Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville’s work to make streets safer and their regions more livable and equitable has now won them a competitive national award.
Smart Growth America and its National Complete Streets Coalition announced today that a partnership of Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville – along with their respective Metropolitan Planning Organizations – has won a Complete Streets Consortium workshop series. The three entities applied for and won the award collaboratively, and will together receive a set of three free technical assistance workshops.
“Making our streets safe and accessible for all users is a key goal of ours, so we’re excited to be a part of this consortium to receive technical assistance,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. “We look forward to learning from national experts and from our partners in Tennessee.”
“We’re excited to be involved in this project focused on Complete Streets implementation,” said Jeff Welch, Executive Director for the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization, which serves as the MPO for the Knoxville region. “The Complete Streets approach enhances safety for everyone who uses our transportation system, and safety is a huge part of our mission.”
“This award is a testament to the hard work that’s already happening in these communities,” said John Robert Smith, Senior Policy Advisor at Smart Growth America. “Our program was very competitive and each of our winners should be very proud to be included. We’re excited to help them continue on to the next stage of this work.”
Each of the winning entities will host one of the three workshops, which will take place over the course of the next few months. They will be tailored to the region’s specific opportunities and challenges to Complete Streets implementation. And they will be designed to enhance relationships between Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Nashville, as well as those with state agencies.
The series of workshops will provide participants with tools and strategies to implement Complete Streets that advance economic, health, and community vibrancy goals. Discussions will focus on how to create a safe and inviting transportation network for everyone in the community, including bicyclists, drivers, transit operators and users, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Each of the three participants will create a Complete Streets implementation plan as part of the workshop outcomes.
“A region can’t thrive if some people are struggling just to get to the grocery store,” said Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America. “A lot of times, overcoming that challenge takes regional cooperation. This workshop series is the first time we’ve brought together multiple entities to collaborate on Complete Streets. We’re really excited to see what they can accomplish together.”
Smart Growth America offers nine types of technical assistance workshops that help communities build stronger local economies, protect the environment, preserve sense of place and improve overall quality of life. This technical assistance is funded through a grant to Smart Growth America from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities under their Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have partnered with EPA through this grant to support the Complete Streets Consortium Workshop series. EPA’s Building Blocks program funds quick, targeted assistance to communities that face common development problems. Through the program, Smart Growth America has already provided free assistance to more than 70 communities across the United States, from Hawaii to Maine.
Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For more information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org.
The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan alliance of public interest organizations and transportation professionals committed to the development and implementation of Complete Streets policies and practices. A nationwide movement launched by the Coalition in 2004, Complete Streets is the integration of people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation networks. To date, more than 1,060 agencies have adopted Complete Streets policies.
The Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) coordinates a comprehensive, multimodal transportation planning process for the Knoxville Urban Area. Member jurisdictions include Knox County and the urbanized areas of Anderson, Blount, Loudon and Sevier counties and includes the following cities and agencies: Alcoa, Clinton, Knoxville, Lenoir City, Loudon, Maryville and Oak Ridge, the Town of Farragut, Tennessee Department of Transportation and East Tennessee Development District.