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While traveling through the SouthFest area this afternoon I could not help but notice that City of Knoxville employees were blocking off lanes of Chapman Highway to provide additional space along the roadway for vendors and other SouthFest-related activities.
I find all of this to be very curious since both Mayors (Burchett & Rogero) recently expressed their opposition to the completion of the James White Parkway and appear determined to force thousands of vehicles using Chapman Highway solely as a THOROUGHFARE to remain on that corridor for years to come.
I dare say that if the Henley Bridge WAS actually in-service at this time the traffic jam which would have resulted from those lane closures/restrictions would have been E-P-I-C!
Completion of the James White Parkway will reduce the number of vehicles using Chapman Highway solely as a THROUGHFARE by half OR MORE and allow us to implement the Cumberland Avenue Streetscape “road diet” on this side of town.
I hope SouthFest reminds the City & County Administrations that South Knoxville’s Chapman Highway (like Cumberland Avenue) has the potential to become a true destination. Completing the James White Parkway is a BIG first-step towards unlocking that potential.
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