Reading recent stories about traffic along The Strip had me wondering: Is Cumberland Avenue really one of the most heavily-traveled streets in the city?
Nope. Not by a long shot. Here are 2013 traffic counts from the Knox TPO. And a few of the more well-known roads in the city, with their counts:
- Cumberland, East of Alcoa Hwy: 36,399
- N. Broadway, South of Woodrow Drive: 42,407
- Lovell Rd. South of I-40: 39,537
- Clinton Hwy, South of Old Clinton Hwy: 30,371
- Middlebrook Pike, West of Mars Hill Road: 25,910
- Western Ave., E. of 44th St.: 41,404
At one busy intersection with an artery to interstates, Cumberland is busy. So are the other roads listed above – which also happen to be counted at intersections near interstates.
But if you look at counts where the road narrowing is actually happening on Cumberland, a dramatically different picture emerges:
- Between 17th and 18th streets: 18,825
- Between 17th and 16th streets: 15,864*
Keep in mind that the narrowing will really be evident between 22nd and 17th streets. There doesn’t appear to be huge changes near Alcoa Hwy.
*And on the other end, the project tapers off between 17th and 16th streets.
Will the construction hurt businesses? Surely, in some part. Will it be ultimately beneficial? Far too soon to tell. Is the pedestrian-friendly work going to be on one of the more heavily-used pedestrian areas in the city? Absolutely. Here’s a comparison between The Strip and another well-known pedestrian area in Knoxville, downtown.
Potential boondoggle or not, it’s surely well-known in the community. And taken a while to get to fruition. Even had a couple stumbles out of the blocks. Here’s a history of public meetings dating back to 2006.