Traffic Safety Strategies Announced

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Traffic Safety Strategies Announced

Posted: 02/02/2005
Mayor Bill Haslam announced today strategies aimed at reducing the speed of traffic in Knoxville neighborhoods through increased enforcement and public awareness.

The strategies will be funded through $210,500 earmarked for traffic calming initiatives in the current budget and build upon recommendations developed by the Residential Neighborhood Traffic Safety Committee.

In its first year, the traffic calming initiative will rely heavily on increased enforcement and public awareness of speeding, with the Knoxville Police Department to purchase 40 hand-held traffic radar units and deploy 12 four-hour shifts - two in each Council district - to target violators in priority locations.

"The enforcement strategy will be driven by hard data about the number of accidents, citizen complaints and violators within specific neighborhoods," Mayor Haslam said. "Officers will work overtime to issue tickets to speeding motorists in these targeted areas, and hopefully change the behavior of drivers in these neighborhoods."

City officials will receive monthly reports to evaluate the impact of the enforcement strategy, and identify new locations when the number of violators drops significantly.

The City will also begin to install "Neighborhood Enforcement Zone" signs under existing speed limit signs to encourage motorists to slow down.

"The most effective, lasting solution is for us all to remember when we are driving that every street is in someone's neighborhood," Mayor Haslam said. "We all need to be aware of our speed, and as parents be vigilant in reminding ourselves and our children that obeying the speed limit is imperative for the safety of others."

The administration will also institute a 10-step process recommended by the committee for neighborhoods to petition for additional traffic calming devices. That process includes neighborhood meetings, mailings and a vote to forge community consensus for proposed solutions. Mayor Haslam has committed to earmarking money for traffic calming initiatives in next year's budget and expects that the financial emphasis will shift from enforcement to neighborhood plans as residents approve those plans. The Residential Neighborhood Traffic Safety Committee - comprised of City staff, City Council members, and residents - met over an eight-month period to address problems posed by unsafe vehicular traffic within residential neighborhoods and propose solutions. "This committee's work will help make Knoxville neighborhoods even better places to live and raise families," Mayor Haslam said. "I appreciate their efforts and look forward to continuing to work together to improve the quality of life in our city."