As you may have read in the Metropulse this week, there is a plan underway to repair and expand the Henley St. bridge. Jack Neely did a great job so I'm not going to rehash the same stuff he said, or at least I'll try not to, but I am going to discuss my perspective on it.
I live at the base of the Henley St. bridge, look out over it every morning and listen to the traffic on it every evening. the one consistent issue I notice is the speed with which people travel across that bridge. They treat the strip of road between Blount Ave. and Summit Hill like a drag strip.
Speaking with my neighbor (Brian Pittman who was quoted in Neely's article) it came to light that very few people even know they have options when it comes to the coming construction. Knoxvillians aren't simply obligated to expand Henley into a 6 lane speedway. I want this post to be a bit of a forum for others thoughts about the entire future of Henley and what type of traffic situation we think would be most conducive to our community.
I'll propose one idea. Having just come back from a trip to the British Isles I have once again come to appreciate the beauty of the round about. It keeps traffic moving smoothly while slowing drivers down considerably. I think Knoxville should install a roundabout at the intersection of Henley and Blount Ave. Just on the south end of the bridge. This would send drivers a signal that they are entering a residential, or at least mixed use, area and high speeds are not conducive there, plus it would ease the congestion that can arise during football games, rush hour, etc.
Hopefully, we can begin to correct the tragedy of separating the campus and Fort Sanders from downtown and start to bring the feeder neighborhoods back into the fold.
The city is moving in the right direction by encouraging TDOT to use bike lanes and more pedestrian. See the story HERE.
I'm glad to be back from the long break, looking forward to 2010. Much Wigshop love to everyone.