During the development of Mobility 2040, we heard from many people about walkability, sidewalks, pedestrians, greenways, and connectivity. Walkability is a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. A pedestrian is someone traveling by foot, or a mobility impaired person using a wheelchair or other aid.
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What We Heard
Sidewalks, Greenways and Bicycle Lanes
When asked to rank the types of projects, sidewalks, greenways and bicycle lanes were number one. Followed by: 2) Maintenance of Roads and Bridges, and 3) Technology to improve traffic flow. 
How the Mobility Plan Addresses Walkability
Many elements of Mobility Plan 2040 address the issue of walkability.
- The “centers and corridors” growth plan concept is key – helping create different sized centers throughout the region means that more destinations, like corner stores, will be within walking distance of more residents.
- The existing pedestrian and greenway facilities are discussed on pp 28-30.
- Many of the plan’s goals related to walkability:
- The project selection criteria included weighting that acknowledges the importance of transportation options like walking.
- The pedestrian projects are listed in the Appendix Table E2 (link). Most road projects will also include sidewalks because of the bicycle and pedestrian accommodation policy followed by the TPO and TDOT’s Multimodal Access Policy.
- Hyperlink under “bicycle and pedestrian accommodation policy to p 17 (22 of the pdf) of http://www.ibikeknx.com/Portals/0/PDFs/bikeplan2002.pdf
Why is Walkability Important?
What Makes a Place Walkable?
There are three key ingredients:
- Can you physically get there? Is there a safe way to walk? Depending on the context, this could be a sidewalk, a greenway (e.g. trail, path), or a paved shoulder.
- Is there somewhere to go? This could be your workplace, school, a store, a friend’s house, a park, or the bus stop.
- How far is it? There are plenty of destinations but are they close enough for you to walk? Between a quarter-mile and half-mile is considered walking distance.
How Can You Get Involved?
- Guide to Developing Pedestrian-Friendly Communities
This guide explains how public policy is made in your community and introduces you to the local officials who design and maintain your neighborhoods and communities.
- Recode Knoxville
The City of Knoxville’s zoning ordinance hasn’t been significantly changed in half a century. Recode Knoxville is a process to adopt modern standards that will support continued development and redevelopment of the City in a way that uses resources efficiently and builds a strong, sustainable, walkable community.
- Walkability Ordinance
The draft ordinance is a comprehensive policy for the City of Knoxville and Knox County that would set requirements for walkability and pedestrian facilities associated with new development and redevelopment. In order to be adopted, the ordinance will need to be approved by the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission, and then would proceed to City Council and County Commission for approval.
- Bike Walk Knoxville
BWK is a community driven, non-profit organization working to create safe streets and vibrant communities in the Knoxville region. They promote bicycling and walking as mainstream and enjoyable forms of transportation and recreation.
- Walkability Speaker Series
This speaker series brings national experts to Knoxville to speak to the public, design and transportation professionals, and elected officials on various topics relating to walkability. You can see videos of past events and find out about upcoming events from East Tennessee Quality Growth.
- You can sign up to stay in the loop with monthly e-newsletters from the TPO.
 The University of Tennessee’s College of Social Work conducted a statistically valid telephone survey in Spring 2012, with a total of 2,000 respondents from Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union Counties.
 The University of Tennessee’s College of Social Work conducted a statistically valid telephone survey in Fall 2012, with a total of 2,000 respondents from Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union Counties.
 U.S. Burden of Disease Collaborators. The state of U.S. health, 1990-2010: burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors. JAMA. 2013;310(6): 591-608.
 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, 2008. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2008
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital signs: disability and physical activity — United States, 2009-2012. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(18):407-413.