Streets Near Market Square to Change Directions

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Streets Near Market Square to Change Directions

Posted: 03/10/2008
The City of Knoxville announced today that it will implement a plan changing the street circulation pattern near Market Square and those changes should be in place this summer.

The change will transform some streets that currently feature one-way traffic into two-way streets.

It will also change the direction of the flow of Market Street from a one-way street carrying traffic southbound - or away from Market Square - to a one-way street traveling northbound toward the square. This was originally proposed in discussions around a downtown redevelopment plan written in 2003.

"The street that should be the entry to Market Square is actually carrying people away from it," said Madeleine Weil, the city's deputy director of Policy & Communications. "Reversing that flow should make it easier for new visitors to find the square."

Other streets that will change include sections of Locust and Walnut Streets and Summer Place. All are one-way streets now that will become two-way streets on certain sections.

Weil said the transition would be phased in gradually to help both drivers and pedestrians become accustomed to changes.

Signs announcing the changes should go up around May 1.

About two weeks prior to the actual changes being made the city will close the lane on the current one-way streets that will soon be carrying traffic in the opposite direction.

That will help motorists get used to traveling only in the right-hand lanes on those streets.

Finally, during June, both lanes will be opened up to two-way traffic with barrels being placed along the centerline accompanied by signs giving motorists and pedestrians visual reminders that they are now dealing with two-way traffic on those roads.

The traffic barrels and signs will remain in place for two weeks to a month or longer if necessary.