Greenways face uncertain future, more study

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies, Karns

Mike Donila and I came out of the newspaper business – Mike from the News Sentinel and I from Shopper News. So, when we caught up Wednesday at Karns Elementary School, the county’s deputy director of Parks & Recreation asked how it’s going with this website.

Even though I know very little about the digital world, I said, I get up every morning feeling like I’ve got a future.

On the drive home, the irony hit. I had just left a gathering of Knox County employees who probably don’t have such clarity.

The meeting at Karns was the first of four to discuss a long-range plan for greenways along four corridors of Knox County:

  • Beaver Creek, which will run east from Melton Hill Park in Hardin Valley to the Gibbs community.
  • Northshore, which will run from the Loudon County line to Lakeshore Park.
  • Chapman Highway, which will run north from the Sevier County line to Gary Underwood Park.
  • John Sevier, which will run from Chapman Highway to Alcoa Highway and ultimately connect the Knox-Blount Greenway.

The next meeting, by the way, is today (6/6) 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Northshore Elementary School. The overview report is here and a previous column is here. The study encompasses roughly 65 miles of proposed greenway at an estimated cost of $1 million per mile.

Construction of sidewalks and greenways in Knox County has been study-stop-study-stop. We have sidewalks that stub out. We have trails that don’t connect. And now we’ve got another study – this one costing some $300,000 and managed by a Nashville-based landscape architecture firm.

Knox County Commission should get involved with this study; amend or adopt it; and figure out how to fund it. Or else just cancel it. Don’t waste our time attending public meetings to discuss a plan that will lie dusty on a shelf.

The county’s point person is Shauna Godlevsky, manager of parks planning and development. Her contact info is 865-215-6610 or

This ’n’ that
  • Knox County Commission will meet at 4 p.m. today (6/6) to vote on Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ budget. Expect an effort by the commission to increase funding for indigent medical care – a program Jacobs cut by $1.5 million.
  • If Jacobs gets his hand smacked, it will be by his own party. Republicans hold a 10-1 majority on the commission.
  • Nonprofits will get $6.7 million in Jacobs’ budget, the lion’s share ($5.1 million) coming from the hotel/motel tax and funding such entities as Visit Knoxville and the zoo.
  • Nick Della Volpe will write an in-depth look at specific components of Recode Knoxville, which will be published on this website on Tuesdays prior to Knoxville City Council voting on the massive rezoning document in July or August.
  • Mueller Report is here. How about 442 of us each read a page and tweet significant takeaways to Tim Burchett.

Steven Goodpaster, chair of Enhance Powell, talks with Mark Graham.

Jim Snowden, senior director of engineering and public works for Knox County, jokes with Farragut Mayor Ron Williams.

Karns resident Carolyn Greenwood visits with Powell guy Lee Robbins.





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