Feb 29 2008

The surprise announcement (at the Tuesday Feb. 19 2008 TDOT meeting) of the necessity of the Southern Loop and Alcoa Parkway to make the PPE worth building got the attention of lots of people and the press (link...)

The Southern Loop is a 26-mile beltway around Maryville and Alcoa.
Drivers heading south on 129 could get onto the Loop and continue west and south.

Five years ago CAPPE said the PPE wouldn't aid traffic congestion by itself because most drivers are going south on 129 and 411. At the time local officials said the Southern Loop 'would never be built.' But the Southern Loop is still in the Long Range Transportation Plan for our region. That plan is voted on by representatives of our local governments.

Even UT's Center for Transportation Research, in their review of TDOT's planning for the PPE, said more attention needed to be given to the terminus of the PPE on 321 and if the long term plan was to build the Southern Loop, that TDOT needed to study the impact of the entire beltway.

Now even TDOT is saying that the PPE will relieve traffic congestion ONLY if the Southern Loop AND Alcoa Parkway are built.

If our elected officials didn't know that the supposed benefits of the PPE require the Southern Loop, what else don't they know? What will the impacts of the Southern Loop and Alcoa Parkway be on our communities?

To read CAPPE's response to the Feb. 19 meeting, go to Link... or (link...) and click on
"CAPPE’s response to Feb 19 2008 TDOT public meeting."

Traffic Studies

I found it interesting that the person doing the traffic analysis was the one who let it out of the bag that her only analysis was based on all of the long range transportation projects scheduled for Blount County being completed. When I talked to her afterwards she had no idea she had created a new controversy over the planning of this project. This is ludicrous. If you send in comments be sure and emphasize that the PPE should be evaluated as how it ALONE will improve the supposed traffic congestion. This project is not about the southern loop or improvements to Alcoa Highway.

Use more arguments

Governor Bredesen is forcing ecological change to his state. Why can't we ride on the coat-tails, of that Heavy Wind, and decry diversion of funds from much-needed Public Transporatation projects, to plopping tons of black-greasy-crap towards the Mountains? 1/2 of the GSMNP Tennessee side is here in Blount County, Carbon footprint, and reducing it, is therefore a moral as well as an ethical issue.

viva Evo Morales

Tell that to the administrator of Blount County's fleet program!

The county's SUV fleet doesn't reflect any acknowledgement of gasoline prices, much less ethical and moral sensitivity toward carbon footprint.

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Let me get this straight...

Now even TDOT is saying that the PPE will relieve traffic congestion ONLY if the Southern Loop AND Alcoa Parkway are built.

Anyone who supports the Pellissippi extension also supports both the Southern Loop AND the Alcoa ByPass because one won't work without the other.

Let me guess! Materials for creating the PPE would come from the Vulcan quarry in Maryville?

So people who support the PPE and the Southern Loop and the Alcoa extension would also want to see the Maryville quarry expanded so there is enough rock to pave all of Blount County- except those portions of the county which the GMAC is working hard to preserve?

straight... to hwy 321

Is tdot saying that they have to have the other two projects done before PP can be effective? I don't think so, from what I heard them say at the Feb. 19th meeting is that the southern loop is a long term traffic plan beyond the year 2030. I'm not sure what the Alcoa bypass will accomplish, when it would be way less expensive to build access roads that run parallel to Alcoa hwy in front of all the auto dealers.
just my two cents.

TDOT's traffic consultant

TDOT's traffic consultant said at the meeting and confirmed specifically afterward that the very small improvements their traffic projections show for the PPE assume that the Southern Loop is also built and available. This makes sense because most of the traffic now going south on 129/Alcoa highway past the airport goes straight on 129 toward the Wal-Marts, as per TDOT's own traffic counts. Nothing in their projections indicates that the PPE by itself will improve any traffic anywhere.

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