City completes Magnolia streetscape

Paige M. TravisInside 640

The carpet of yellow flowers is in full bloom, and the tulip poplar, overcup oak and Princeton elm trees have leafed out. The stamped crosswalks are open. The smooth wide sidewalks beckon.

Crews have officially completed the $7 million Magnolia Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project. All that’s left to be done are a few finishing details, like installing KAT bus stop shelters and Knoxville History Project art wraps on utility boxes.

“Magnolia Avenue is a beautiful corridor,” Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “The streetscape improvements started under former Mayor Madeline Rogero will make it safer for everyone – motorists, transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists – to enjoy Magnolia.

“But beyond the aesthetics, this is an important city investment. Streetscape improvements help leverage private commercial investment, which creates both jobs and new neighborhood amenities.”

The fresh-look Magnolia Avenue between Jessamine and North Bertrand streets includes landscaped center medians and left-turn lanes, street trees, wider sidewalks, bike lanes, safer and stamped crosswalks with pedestrian signals, and enhanced transit stops and shelters.

The upgraded multi-modal street improves pedestrian safety at intersection crossings, encourages walkability with wider, tree-lined sidewalks, and makes it easier for people to bike and access transit services along Magnolia Avenue.

Upgrades underway for trolley ‘super stop’

A Knoxville Area Transit trolley weighs about 39,600 pounds. With two or three trolleys at a time repeatedly pulling into or out of the Main Street super stop, for up to 15 hours a day, the combined weight over the years has taken its toll on the street asphalt.

Starting Monday, May 11, crews with Ziggurat Development will be upgrading the super stop by pouring a concrete pad that will better stand up to the wear and tear and resist pulling away from the curbing, as asphalt tends to do.

The thick concrete will take weeks to cure, so the super stop through late June will move a block to the west, in front of the Bank of America building.

The food truck zone in front of Bank of America has been temporarily discontinued to make room for the interim trolley stop.

Due to the pandemic, KAT is currently offering reduced trolley service, with Blue and Orange Lines running until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. KAT is limiting passenger loads to 10 persons per trolley, encouraging the use of face coverings when riding, and asking passengers to use the rear doors for entering and exiting when feasible.

City Court reopens

Knoxville City Court – closed earlier this spring, along with state courts, as a safety precaution to slow the spread of COVID-19 – resumed in-court appearances Monday, May 11.

City Court office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and reopening at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. City Court will adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s physical-distancing protocols, both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Only 10 persons (not counting the judge, staff and officers) will be allowed in the courtroom at a time, and only those with scheduled court dates, attorneys and witnesses will be allowed inside the Safety Building. Temperature tests will be conducted. Bring and wear a cloth facial covering.

Paige Travis is a public information specialist for the city of Knoxville.

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