Oct 28 2007
By: BeyondLeft  shortURL

Actually there is un-developed land adjacent strategic locations at Clover Hill (20 miles), Mt. Tabor (15 mi.), Mentor (10 mi.--foundation still there), Topside (5 mi.), and Vestal. This would require a coordinated effort with Knoxville, yet there'd be lots of support from weary 129 drivers. Just check out all the red spots on the highway--they're traffic lights. A Light Rail System shared with CSX freight would work, and does work in tandem with Freight in several large metropolis' such as Baltimore, San Diego, and New Jersey.

daisey duke

We can run moonshine again.

Logical Expansion Program

" ... One very viable alternative is to build much more urban rail – in particular, electrified urban rail – and build it quickly. Such an approach also can preserve the quality of urban functioning while ensuring adequate mobility ..."


$94 / Barrel
What's next weeks Pump prices got in store for you?

Why don't we just go back in time and build lots and lots of paved roads and highways, covered with filling stations and Muscle-Car / Muscle Truck car lots on both sides? It's sure to bring in business, right? I mean can't we just go back to the way it used to be?

The Great Change

viva Evo Morales

I'd like to buy stock in your new railroad

Gas was $98.68 in overnight trading.

Expediting Light Rail

We might ought to think about expediting the creation of a Light Rail Service to Knoxville, before we can't afford to buy Locomotives, and Passenger Cars. But, what do I know? Let's add more highways for people who can afford to drive, instead.

Apr 2001
Nov 2007
British Pound $1.47 $2.05
Euro $0.83 $1.45
Oil $21.00 $97.00 Gold $280.00 $800.00

viva Evo Morales

Oh, and Elrod, after driving

Oh, and Elrod, after driving around the Northeast for two weeks, we may have encountered the differences you mentioned regarding pulling out in intersections to get through a traffic light. One difference between here and there is here the drivers want to ram into you if you get in there way. Up north it was the norm to pull out in front of people and the people understood it. I could be wrong, since I do not have much experience in northern driving and I hate to say it, but city drivers (not necessarily interstate drivers) up north may just be better drivers. But, then, they have more experience since there are so dang many people up there.

I followed the path of the

I followed the path of the railway line on your map. It is kind of interesting that a line exists on such a direct route.

It is critical to determine the destinations of the commuters in Blount County. I have wondered many times where all of these people are going in the morning when they travel from Blount to Knox. There are many that travel on Alcoa Hwy past 140 to Ktown. I doubt that for the majority their destination is downtown. Thus, once they get to Vestal they need a second mode of public transportation to get to their final destination. This is why vans/buses specific to a large business or high density business area would be better, at least initially. Vans/buses should be implemented in the short term, if viable. This will give time to research a rail alternative.

Either way, determining the destination of commuters is critical to determining the mode of public transportation.

Wait times at traffic lights along the 129 ?By-Pass? are tremendous during rush hours--

IMO, the wait times are not all that long. They just appear to be long for this area. In addition, the "rush hours" in Blount County are really only a rush "hour" or less. I have found you can wait thirty minutes longer and barely encounter heavy delays. When I worked in Orlando, an hour from home, a lot of us would wait an hour to leave work and the drive was much better.

Again, IMO, Alcoa Hwy needs re-vamping with traffic lights, better intersections, and turn lanes. When Blount County communters travel 70 mph from Knox to Blount with no interruptions until the Louisville Rd (Wal-Mart) traffic light, of course they feel the delays are horrible. This could only get worse if they try to build a "bypass" around the motor-mile for high speed travel from Singleton Station to, again, the Louisville Rd (Wal-Mart) intersection. People will then be going 80 mph only to be stopped for congestion.

If more thought was put into the process people might realize there are many things that can be done to make the route better.

I say traffic lights, R suggested roundabouts/rotaries. If traffic lights, better programmable lights can be used to work differently during rush hours. Initially, I'm just suggesting lights (or roundabouts/rotaries) at Maloney Rd/Alcoa Hwy, Singleton Station Rd/Alcoa Hwy, and somewhere around the motor-mile/airport, maybe Airbase Rd or Wright Road.

Don't allow tractor trailers on Alcoa Hwy from I-40/75 to 1-140. Make the trucks travel I-40/75 to I-140, then get on Alcoa Hwy.

Complete/enhance the frontage roads in the motor-mile/airport area.

Work with UT, UT Hospital, Fort Sanders, City of Knoxville, Knox County, and other businesses to determine best use of public transportation vans/buses. Provide incentives to businesses and employees.

Light Rail Service

It is critical to determine the destinations of the commuters in Blount County.
Where can we get the data?

Vans/buses should be implemented in the short term
Folks around here tend to be allergic to Busses. Look at the fate of B&C Bus Lines. A Rail Service would be a Newer Sexier looking alternative that would bring lots of attendance initially just because of the uniqueness of it, in this area. It could last, if the Operators kept a keen eye on offering incentives to passengers. Businesses would pop up around depots, immediately. IMO Imagine, if you would, sitting down to dining, adjacent a Rail Line, watching Passenger Trains pull in and out of a station. It'd be a Nostalgic draw at least.

traffic lights
Sorry, but, yeccch! Traffic lights waste fuel. Sitting still with engines idling, is not my idea of Fuel Conservation, or effective traffic management. Roundabouts do work. I've driven thru the UK, and there they're very efficient. Theoretically, one never has to stop; merely slow, look, and continue.

turn lanes
There are over 50 'turn lanes'/'median strip turn-arounds' on Alcoa Highway between the 12 mile stretch of pavement twixt Hunt Road and Buck Karnes bridge--that's obscene. They're frightening to say the least. Some folks even bow up and stop in the left lane of Alcoa Hwy, if their turn lane is occupied. The turn lane at the Airbase delivers us at least one to two fatalities per year.

Bottom line: Locomotives can haul 100 times more people with the same amount of fuel as Automobiles can. Gasoline prices will hurt, and even destroy the ability for poorer commuters to get to work. Depots spaced far enough apart would decrease travel time. West Knoxville Commuters could merely change trains in Vestal, and continue on--at least until an I-140 adjacent line was laid.

viva Evo Morales

Someplace in all this a

Someplace in all this a ferry service should be looked at. We are three miles from our job via the way a crow flies. The problem is that those same three miles are over a good deal of water.

Some may wonder why folks like us buy a home so far from the office. For us, the office is not always the job site. So if we lived near the office we would be doing a reverse trip from the office to the Maryville job site.

Centers of Population

Centered twixt Mt. Tabor and Clover Hill lies the densest population in Blount County. There is another spike in population density somewhere in Farragut, just along the Norfolk-Southern road. Both of these communities would be well served with Light Passenger service to downtown Knoxville. There is a major confluence of roads at UT, in the big switch yard. It'd be impossible to have bus / trolley stations on the UT side of the river; therefore, the Vestal area, around Mary Vestal park would be ideal for a Transit station. Don't forget that once the occupation ends, in the former nation of Iraq, fuel pump prices will sky-rocket, and Gasoline powered travel of any kind will be fairly prohibitive. Blount County could lead the way in alternate Transportation, in our area, seeing as Locomotives can run off Electricity, Oil, Coal, Diesel, Bio-Diesel, Hydrogen, or Vegetable Oil. Wait times at traffic lights along the 129 ?By-Pass? are tremendous during rush hours--there'd be a demand; however, convincing the CSX folks might be a hurdle.

viva Evo Morales

Commuting pattern?

What percentage of Blount County commuters - and Maryville residents in particular - commute to downtown Knoxville? If most commute to West Knoxville than the light rail would do nothing. And it's hard to imagine a light rail going along the Pellissippi Pkwy if only because places of business are so stretched out in West Knox and Oak Ridge. I love light rail and public transit in general, but I don't see how the South Knox/Blount corridor makes much sense.

Rail and Buses

I love light rail and public transit in general, but I don't see how the South Knox/Blount corridor makes much sense.

It can work with a transfer to buses to complete the trip. I use to work in the DC area, sometimes I had to transfer between buses and trains to reach my destination.

Public transportation failed in this area because of poor management, and not people unwilling to ride. When I lived in Knoxville as a child, the bus I rode to downtown was the "Bearden" which ran every 20 minutes. As I grew older, Knoxville rapidly expended to the southwest, and the Bearden line went from 20 to 30 to 40 minutes. No extra buses were added to reduce overcrowding and travel time.

I enjoy bus trips and with the price of gas rising, I look forward to riding the public transportation again.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports