Crafty Bastard Brewing
Located in Emory Place, we found that this brewpub is a delightful example of the neighborhood hangout – people bringing their kids and sitting at long tables playing games and relaxing after a long day. That’s the beauty of a close-in neighborhood location. Thanks to all the folks who came out to chat with us. We heard from people who wanted to take transit but maybe faced challenges such as needing to run errands – often for work – during the day. We talked about creating good connections between downtown and the Emory Place/ 4th & Gill area, and we talked about the exciting renovations going on along Central Avenue, which will improve transit amenities along with pedestrian and biking amenities.
K-Brew on Broadway
Two words: Campfire Latte. What a big morning crowd at K Brew, which we completely understood, once we tasted the coffee and then sat in the hammocks. We talked to the folks from Local Motors – an amazing company with a cool building in Knoxville who are currently producing all electric, driverless super-cool vehicles, some of which are mini buses! We talked to people about the challenge of not knowing how to take the bus, and the barrier that creates if you’ve not ridden before. Plus, for close-in neighborhoods, if you’re getting downtown just fine now, either by bike or car, why would you look for alternatives? The issue of taking children to daycare came up again as a challenge for transit use.
Three Bears Coffee Roasters
Best. Transit discussion. Ever. Thanks so much to the dedicated people who came out to really think through transit in Knoxville and how we can make it better. Some of the themes of our discussion over freshly roasted coffee included:
Getting to the bus, waiting for the bus can be challenging. Getting to the bus often means walking in a ditch, or it means walking along a busy roadway which just feels odd, like people are staring at you because no one walks on those major roads. Once at the bus stop, it’s the same thing. Sometimes you’re waiting in a ditch, sometimes you’re at a stop but it just feels like the car crowd rushing by is looking at you curiously. Bus stops should be fun and engaging and eye-catching – designs that make you want to explore transit. Bus stop signs should be more obvious – again showing there’s a reason you’re standing by the road side. There are some folks interested in some art in transit shelter projects along Central Avenue, which could be very cool.
Route 40 – There’s lots going on here. Sevier Avenue is continuing to attract people through new businesses coming online. Parking is extremely limited and will get moreso as it develops. What about a shuttle from downtown’s free parking lots? Expanding the trolley or otherwise providing free, frequent service that connects to downtown. Maybe a special bus (electric) or special event fare, or an evening bus pass. Later service on the Route 40 bus would be good, more frequent service would be ideal, and Ijams Nature Center should be considered for service, connecting to the Urban Wilderness.
A real-time app.
A real-time app is more important when you have less frequent service and the neighborhood is close in. I need to know whether I’m waiting for 5 minutes, or if I should just walk or bike to my location.
Work closely with neighborhood associations.
Despite the fact that the bus goes right through it, most people in Island Home have probably never taken the bus. Group rides via the close-knit neighborhood associations would be a great way to go. Perhaps focus on one neighborhood at a time – enhancing signage in their neighborhoods, organizing group rides, and transit education sessions. Then move on to the next neighborhood.
Transit Needs more grassroots support.
Many folks in Knoxville see the importance of transit as a key element of a sustainable city, so it could be time to try to organize a group to advocate on KAT’s behalf, provide insight into what elements would attract choice riders, and just be an additional voice for the benefits of transit. We need a KAT is Cool
campaign – have groups get together and meet at a stop and do something like a pub crawl. The Ale Trail was mentioned as an opportunity that KAT staff has discussed.
Safety – transit is so much safer than driving.
We accept a certain level of risk when we all drive ourselves, and we need to remind people that transit is a much safer option. On the other side of the coin, transit stops are not always safe – sometimes in a ditch and close to the road. This is a challenge. The other challenge is the perceived safety of waiting at a bus stop – especially after dark.
Let’s talk Route 20 and Happy Holler.
That bus needs to travel via Summit Hill to more directly connect people into downtown.
Other ideas and thoughts:
- Stripe the bus routes on the road like Dogwood stripes their routes – people will know where the bus goes or at least be more aware of it.
- Express route west is needed.Many young people work at Scripps and many might choose to take the bus from downtown areas (if it didn’t take 2 hours).
- Express route to Maryville.
- Route to the airport.
- Provide incentives for people to ride – discounts on coffee, etc. Need a special transit card…
- There’s a benefit to having someone else drive you – reading, listening to music and experiencing less stress, valuing that time alone or with someone else who rides with you.