Models of Success for Knoxville Streetcar

Hi Dawn,

I hope you’re doing well and enjoying this interesting July day.

I wanted to pass on a post I made today on the Parkridge Community Organization’s Facebook group:

On July 25, Tuscon, Arizona opened a 3.9 mile streetcar linking a hospital, downtown, and University. Cost: $200 M. City Paid: 26.6 M. Fact: $800 M in public/private investment along streetcar line since project start in 2010. Food for thought: Gay Street Bridge to South Knoxville is 4.2 miles from Chilhowee Park / Knoxville Zoo along Magnolia Avenue.

More details are here:

Sun Link Streetcar in testing.

SunLink Streetcar in Tuscon, Arizona

This reminds me of similar news from Charlotte, where the “Charlotte Lynx” Blue Line was reported to have generated “nearly 10,000,000 square feet of new commercial and residential development along its route” (9.6 miles). See <>.

Charlotte Blue line transit car and station.

Charlotte Blue line station.

I’ve mentioned this before – but “Park Avenue” was designed as a streetcar suburb. With the precedent for economic activity generated by streetcars, and momentum of economic activity downtown, I think it’s smart to begin exploring the return of rails on Magnolia. Like Charlotte and Atlanta, Knoxville can – and should – be a leader in the Southeast for public transportation infrastructure.




About Tanner Jessel

I am a recent M.S. in Information Science graduate from the University of Tennessee School of Information Science. I was formerly a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth). Prior, I worked for four years as a content lead and biodiversity scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Biodiversity Informatics Program. Building on my work experience in biodiversity and environmental informatics, my work with DataONE focused on exploring the nature of scientific collaborations necessary for scientific inquiry. I also conducted research concerning user experience and usability, and assisted in development of member nodes with an emphasis on spatial data and infrastructure. I assisted with research designed to understand sociocultural issues within collaborative research communities. Through August 1, 2014, I was based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Posted on July 30, 2014, in Civic Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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