$25M public investment into Cumberland Avenue brings ‘significantly fewer traffic crashes’

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A new Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization report shows a drop in traffic crashes along Cumberland Avenue since the $25 million streetscape project was completed in 2017.

The City of Knoxville posted a blog citing the success the public investment had in reconstructing Cumberland Ave.

“The top-to-bottom $25 million public investment in reconstructing a flawed Cumberland Avenue four years ago aimed to stimulate private investment. (It did – worth more than $200 million.) The project also eliminated traffic snarls by adding turn lanes and better traffic light signalization, and it relocated ugly utility lines and greened up the corridor.”

City of Knoxville

TPO’s report showed a big drop in traffic crashes since the project was completed in 2017:

  • Average annual number of crashes involving people walking or bicycling fell 78 percent
  • Traffic crashes of all types fell 44 percent, according to a separate analysis by the Knoxville Police Department.

The city’s blog offered a comparison of the old Cumberland Avenue versus the new:

“Here (below) is what Cumberland Avenue looked like before the streetscape project. Note the white car at the bottom of the photo, precariously turning into oncoming traffic; pedestrians scrambling to cross four traffic lanes, mid-block; and the ugly utility poles and overhead lines.

Cumberland Avenue, before the streetscape project

Compare that to this drone photo, taken shortly after the streetscape project wrapped up in 2017:

Cumberland Avenue in 2017, after the streetscape improvements, traffic light synchronization and construction of turn lanes

Highlights of the streetscape work are included in this City write-up on the project being honored by the American Planning Association in 2018.”

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