Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Turning over a new leaf?

Could it be? Is it possible? Is Knoxville trying to become more... pedestrian friendly?

I noticed this a few weeks ago and have finally gotten around to doing the post. The city has apparently installed a really high-tech cross walk on hall of fame near the community center and new bus station. (Please see evidence below) The new crosswalk comes equipped with lighted thresholds on the sidewalk, and flashing lights embedded in the roadway to alert drivers that the pedestrians have the right of way. I didn't see any buttons to push to turn it on so it either is sensor operated or is on all the time.

Knoxville has not been, in my opinion, the most pedestrian town in the most literal sense. Much of the city is dedicated to the pursuit of the automobile, with barely an afterthought for sidewalks. And then once there are sidewalks they are typically short-lived and in disrepair.

This type of development (if it portends more of the same) is the type of infrastructure development that the city should invest in. Let's just hope this isn't just some box they had to check to get the new station LEED certified.

PS - Here is a shot of the new bus station for good measure. I think it's quite pretty.

PPS - So the Wigshop has been toying with a free Adwords trial for the past week or so. Have any of you seen the ads? Don't get used to them as once the trial is over the ads will stop, but I'm just curious whether or not anyone really notices them or not. Let us know!


ck said...

Wait- what does this amazing crosswalk do?

The Pol said...

thanks ck, i updated the post above with more details on the crosswalk itself.

The Modern Gal said...

I drive through this crosswalk on almost a daily basis. I've been dying to see it in action, but everyone I see crossing HOF Dr. just crosses wherever they please -- which never seems to be at the crosswalk.

Unknown said...

Sorry, I have not noticed the ads.

the_rev said...

Ok, so I'm ignorant. When I saw the second photo, I thought maybe those round things were bollards that would come up out of the ground when someone entered the crosswalk. I was horrified.

I googled for it, and learned that those are actually bright flashy lights automatically activated by anyone entering the crosswalk. That's pretty cool.

And to make it even better, the sensors are smart enough to tell which direction someone is walking... so a pedestrian *leaving* the crosswalk will not activate the lights.

Of course, all that technology probably isn't worth what the city paid for it... especially if people aren't using it, as MG said above.

ck said...

@ the rev- that's what I thought too! I'm glad our tax dollars weren't paying for a huge hydraulic bollard system.

Anonymous said...

You would think the bus station is pretty! -mbs

Anonymous said...

Saw one of your Google Ads on a site I manage, It was a simple text ad at the top of the home page.

Anonymous said...

Put some sidewalks on Kingston Pike!! Nearly walked to my death as I strode from Firestone at Gallaher View to JoAnne's Fabrics at Cedar Bluff... The journey was horrible: glazed with plums from a plum tree that draped over Kingston Pike; treacherous with banks and hills that flank the shoulder of the road; confusing, as there were no pedestrian signals to cross Kingston Pike at Krystal.

Thank you for listening to me gripe.

Liakela said...

Moving here from DC about 5 years ago, that was one of my biggest disappointments with Knoxville. The public transportation is.. oy, but the lack of sidewalks really surprised me. I'm seeing more bike paths... not a /lot/ more, mind you, but more.

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