I have started to meet with various residents and community leaders in Karns. I have also started to propose some plans for the area. Here is what I have learned.
- There will be a proposal for a commercial development at the intersection of Oak Ridge Hwy and Schaad Rd. The proposal for this will be heard at the May MPC meeting at 1:30pm.
- Also, the Karns Connector is designed to alleviate traffic congestion on Byington Solway at the underpass. There are no plans to address traffic congestion and safety around the underpass at this time.
- I do see the possibility of the Karns area having more growth and traffic due to several road expansion projects occurring or slated to occur in the near future. The roads that will (or are) become 4 lanes with sidewalks and a median are as follows: Starting at Canton Hollow-Kingston Pike-Lovell-I-40-Pellissippi Pkwy-Middlebrook Pike-Ball Camp-Oak Ridge Hwy-Pleasant Ridge-Clinton Hwy-I-75. If this sounds like an alternate “Orange Route” you are correct. There are no restrictions on county roads so 18-wheeler traffic can bypass Knoxville by using the route listed above. More developments will come with these road projects. I plan to help our community by making sure we get the developments and commercial projects that are appropriate for us.
- Gray Hendrix is on a list for needing road improvements and sidewalks. Awaiting funding on this project.
I would encourage residents to attend TPO (Transportation Planning Organization) meetings, MPC (Metropolitan Planning Commission) meetings and County Commission meetings to learn more about these projects and add your voice to the discussions.
Here are some thoughts and ideas I have come up with or residents and leaders and suggested:
- Look into school security issues within older schools and perhaps find renovations for some concerns.
- While we do want our students to attend and graduate from college, not all high school students want to attend college. I will help Karns High School offer more career technical and vocational courses so Karns graduates can have an option to join the work force upon graduation.
- I have heard from residents that would like have more casual dining restaurants, coffee shops, bakery, arts and crafts stores, skateboard park or parkour park, rock climbing gym, and dance studio. I have a feeling that once these road projects take place, these business ideas may become a reality sooner rather than later!
- I am currently talking with the Karns Senior Center and Knox Parks and Rec about installing a Fitness Trail at the Karns Senior Center walking path. I will fill in more details as this idea moves along! Learn more about fitness trails by clicking here.
- I am also talking with Parks and Rec about the possibility of a community vegetable garden at the Karns Senior Center.
I have learned some very exciting things from Legacy Parks and Knox County Parks & Rec regarding Beaver Creek and Greenways!
- Legacy Parks is working on some projects with Beaver Creek to make it more accessible by creating trails and promote the use of it through kayaking, paddling, etc. If you want to help with this project and provide input, please let me know.
- Parks and Rec is working on a Greenway Master Plan. One plan would be a 22 mile corridor starting at Melton Hill Lake Park and ending in Halls. The Greenway would go along Beaver Creek. Let me know if you would like to be a part of the planning for this!
I will add more information as I talk with more residents and community leaders. Please feel free to share your ideas with me as well!! MartinezRep@gmail.com
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