KPD Announces Holiday Traffic Plans

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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KPD Announces Holiday Traffic Plans

Posted: 08/31/2005
 Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today announced traffic enforcement plans for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. Holiday enforcement efforts will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 2, 2005 and conclude at Midnight, Monday September 5, 2005.

Chief Owen said enforcement and safety plans for the annual Boomsday fireworks show, Labor Day holiday traffic, and the first UT Football home game have been in development since February of this year. Knoxville could draw over 350 thousand visitors to the downtown area throughout the holiday weekend.

Chief Owen said, "Every unit within the department has prepared for an extremely busy weekend. The safety of every citizen is a top priority."

Directed Patrols, Saturation Patrols, and SMART Units will be utilized to reduce the speed of motorists traveling throughout the city. Officers will aggressively enforce posted speed limits while looking for motorists who are driving recklessly or who are driving while impaired. "Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 and above is illegal in every state," said Chuck Taylor, Director of the Governor's Highway Safety Office. "The message is simple * Booze It and Lose It. With checkpoints, roving patrols, undercover officers and concerned citizens, chances are if you drive impaired this holiday, you will be caught," said Director Taylor.

During the 2004 Labor Day traffic enforcement campaign, officers issued 642 traffic related citations. Officers also investigated 72 traffic crashes with 24 of those resulting in personal injuries. The last fatality to occur during a Labor Day holiday weekend occurred in 2002.
UT football traffic routes will remain unchanged from last year despite the recent construction of the new downtown road project. Parking on UT campus will remain off limits except to individuals with parking passes. KAT will provide rides from Civic Coliseum parking garages for a small fee. No parking will be allowed along Neyland Drive.

Chief Owen said, "Special security measures will be in place around Neyland stadium to help ensure the safety of the fans. Officers will also be equipped with hand-held metal detectors at all gates."

The annual Boomsday fireworks show has been moved to Sunday night for 2005. To provide enough time for the setup of the fireworks, several partial and complete road closures will begin Saturday afternoon.
The northbound lanes of the Henley Street Bridge will close at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, which is during the UT football game. All lanes of the Henley Street Bridge will be closed at 7:00 p.m. Saturday evening.

All lanes of Neyland Drive from Walnut to Lake Loudon Blvd. will be closed at approximately 5:00 a.m. Sunday. Locust Drive to Neyland Drive will also close at 5:00 a.m. Sunday. The closure of Neyland Drive will be extended to the Cumberland Avenue exit off the James White Parkway at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Gay Street Bridge will be closed fifteen minutes prior to the fireworks show to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Both Neyland Drive and the Henley Street Bridge should be completely reopened by early Monday morning.

Chief Owen said, "We urge everyone to leave early and to preplan their route to and from the stadium or waterfront. We also ask that motorists exercise patience while looking out for pedestrians and officers directing traffic."

Mayor Haslam said, "These weekend events will provide an exciting time for East Tennesseans. We urge everyone to do their part to make it as safe as possible by slowing down, obeying traffic laws, and by watching out for fellow motorists and pedestrians."