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Cumberland Avenue - Then and Now 
The reconstruction of Cumberland Avenue has made it safer for motorists and pedestrians. Traffic flows more smoothly through and along The Strip - and more predictably. The wider sidewalks and bus shelters have made it more walkable and transit-friendly. Pre-World War II utilities have been upgraded.

But how exactly do you assess the improved aesthetics along Cumberland Avenue?

This might help. Here's a "before" photo, taken by a Knoxville News Sentinel photographer several years ago from the western end of Cumberland near 22nd Street:

Cumberland Avenue - before it was reconstructed

There's a mass concentration of utility poles and lines. There are no turn lanes. The sidewalks are narrow, and there's little greenery.

Interesting footnotes: In this "before" photo, note the delivery truck illegally parked on the sidewalk and the pedestrians scurrying between cars across four lanes of traffic.

Compare that with this photo, taken this morning by City photographer Traci K. McDonell:

Cumberland Avenue on Aug. 17, 2017

Right off, you'll notice the wider sidewalks, turn lanes at intersections, and a landscaped median. About 100 trees will be planted this fall, further greening up The Strip.

The massed utility poles are gone, too. Power lines have been relocated to the alleys behind Cumberland. Decorative LED streetlights, designed to more crisply illuminate sidewalks and the street with less light pollution, have replaced the standard roadway lights on wooden poles.

But that's not all. New development and private investment also are changing the cityscape.

The Evolve and the Standard apartment buildings have been constructed in recent years. The 1830 residential and retail development (8 stories, 600 residents, a parking garage) is now under construction. Coming soon in the 2200 block: A 7-story mixed-use development with 200 apartments, 15,000 square feet of street-level retail and a parking garage.

A $25 million public investment in infrastructure has helped leverage more than $190 million in private investment.

Come join Gov. Bill Haslam, Mayor Madeline Rogero and Cumberland merchants and stakeholders at 4 p.m. today, when the new Cumberland Avenue will be officially dedicated! The ribbon-cutting will start at the Baker Center, located on the eastern end of the reconstuction project (at Cumberland and 17 Street).

Ample parking for the ribbon-cutting celebration is available at the University of Tennessee’s White Avenue Garage, 1621 White Ave. (between 17th and 16th streets; note that White Avenue runs one-way eastbound). Taking a KAT bus? Routes 10 and 11 serve Cumberland Avenue as part of the Free Fare Zone.
Posted by evreeland On 17 August, 2017 at 12:36 PM