Construction Blocks Cyclists, Pedestrians

Last week, a construction crew doing work in association with KUB’s long-term infrastructure project set up across the bike trail on Neyland Drive. A police officer routed 40 mph eastbound automobile traffic through a narrow chute that didn’t allow for bicycle or pedestrian traffic. Homebound bicycle commuters found themselves in a construction zone, without warning and with no way out except to turn back.

The Neyland Greenway is the only bicycle link between the downtown/university area and the Third Creek Greenway, which now connects to Sequoyah Hills, Sutherland Avenue, and deep Bearden. Many of its users are recreational, but recently it’s seen more commuter traffic.

Motorists facing construction always get a flagman, or a marked detour. If you’re a pedestrian or bicyclist, you’re out of luck. Greenways advocates say the city of Knoxville requires no signage, no suggested detour, no flagman, nothing, for bicyclists or pedestrians. The official ordinance reads, “When construction is underway, you suppose to be in yore car.” At least that’s the gist of it.

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