Letter: Seeing Daylight

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

Jack Neely has recently opined that, if the James White Parkway extension is not to happen, perhaps some removal of the existing portions would be desirable. [“Death to James White Parkway,” Secret History, Sept. 5, 2013] That reminded me of a now 10-year-old initiative that promoted removing the I-40 viaduct from its divisive location and, in essence, making I-640 into I-40. Of course that never got very far, and SmartFix is now long in place.

Back in the spirit of those times I had done a sketch plan, complete with an admitted lack of traffic engineering expertise, to promote three goals. The first two were maximum preservation of the Fourth & Gill district, and development of Magnolia Boulevard as an east-west connector, permitting a reconnected urban grid. The third was daylighting First Creek as centerpiece of a park that, with removal of questionable and inefficiently aligned roadways, could permit both a substantial urban greenspace and upwards of 2 million square feet of future development.

I fully admit the unrealistic nature of the scheme, but offer it these years later in case there are more feasible improvements that it may suggest.

Kenneth M. Moffett, AIA


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