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Trolleys on Tap: OliBea and Cafe 4 
Our most recent Trolleys on Tap were great choices from a culinary perspective. The food was just delicious, and it’s safe to say I shocked my cohort with all the food I consumed at OliBea. VERY yummy. We also, of course, got some great input at both locations. Here’s what we heard at OliBea:

Connecting the Old City to Market Square is essential. A loop was suggested that also connected World’s Fair Park and the edge of Ft. Sanders: Loop idea on map

Connecting the former Baptist Hospital site once completed was also discussed. As previously, we said that of course that would be more of a Phase 2.

Service until 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays was considered ideal. Sunday service was also seen as important, with service starting later and running until 8 pm, again as ideal.

The importance of the trolley system as a representation of our community and downtown was mentioned, as well as the importance of a good connection between UT and downtown. A late night route from UT to downtown was considered a good idea.

When looking at the issues of routing and taking the trolley, one participant wondered whether our resources might be better spent on developing a real-time bus app rather than re-designing the routes. We agreed that this is essential and explained that this is in our plans and we are working to move toward passenger app options.

Trolleys discussed at OliBea

The image of the trolleys can be a challenge. Cumberland Avenue and the Medical Arts Building were also mentioned as trolley destinations.

From Café 4:
We started out with some perspective from Visit Knoxville. Based on input collected from visitors in town, they report the following: The river is a big thing for visitors. Creating a big loop and using Neyland Drive would allow access to UT Gardens, another side of UT, and access to more greenways and blueways – both of which are a big emphasis for the city. After hours is a big thing. Trolleys running until 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and until midnight on weekends.

A “Theater” line was discussed – something that connects the theaters on Gay Street back to outlying parking and hotels. The trolleys in the evening was seen as much as a “movement and activity” thing as it was a transportation thing. Visitors seeing this activity up and down the street was considered reassuring and festive.

Another participant at our Café 4 meeting mentioned Cumberland Avenue and the Ft. Sanders/Children’s Hospital areas as good locations to serve. Connecting Morningside and getting people to jobs, as well as getting to the Old City during lunch came up as ideas.How to serve the waterfront?

The challenge of serving the waterfront was discussed again, as it has in several meetings. The easiest waterfront and greenway access from the current trolley system is found on Hill Avenue at the bus shelter and walk over/elevator (via the bike sculpture), but not many people know that’s what that is. The idea came up to create fun painted pathways directly on the sidewalk from trolley stops for places that may not be able to be served directly. Just like Dogwood Trails are marked for following in the street, sidewalks could be marked with symbols to show pedestrian access to the waterfront, museums, etc. as well as showing where to catch the trolley FROM these locations: Just following the dotted lines! We all agreed that this might be an inexpensive and fun way to extend the reach of the trolley system to additional locations that might not be obvious to the outside visitor.

Our next Trolleys on Tap is this Thursday October 1st back at Flow, 603 W. Main Street, from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Posted by bbrill On 29 September, 2015 at 11:40 AM  

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