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TDOT Issues New 2015 TN Transportation Maps

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, January 15, 2015:

NASHVILLE – The official 2015 Tennessee Transportation Map is now available for travelers. This year’s map contains new information to assist motorists, and features a special cover to commemorate the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s centennial.  The 2015 map contains historical photographs that look back at the development of Tennessee’s highway system over the last 100 years. It also highlights State Route 1, the first cross-state highway built by the state of Tennessee.

Other new additions to this year’s map include the new Welcome Center on Interstate 26 in Sullivan County and Rocky Top in Anderson County, which was formerly known as Lake City. The map also indicates the widening of several state highways, such as SR 99 in Lewis County, SR 30 in McMinn County, and a new Exit 1 on SR 22 in Obion County.

The 2015 state map can also be downloaded from the TDOT web site at www.tn.gov/tdot/maps.htm.

Pre-printed maps may be ordered from TDOT online at www.tn.gov/tdot/MapOrder/maporder.htm or by mailing a request to:

Tennessee Department of Transportation
505 Deaderick Street
James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1402

 

Individuals may request up to five free maps. Organizations and schools may order up to one hundred maps for their use.

The Official 2015 Tennessee Transportation Map is a joint effort between TDOT and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

Dunlap Receives $591K Grant to Connect Residential, Business Districts

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; July 8, 2014:

DUNLAP – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer announced today a $591,141 transportation alternative grant to the city of Dunlap to connect residential areas near Coops Creek with the downtown business district and educational centers.

Phase II of the Coops Creek Greenway Project is located at the beginning of Highway 127 and continues along the edge of the creek. It will include parking, bicycle racks, and a gathering area for public events.

“In addition to providing residents and visitors with critical connections to areas of the city, this project will also improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists,” Haslam said. “Tennessee’s downtowns are the heart of our communities, and projects like this enhance the lives of Tennesseans and make our communities more livable.”

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement, and is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects, are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

State Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) and state Rep. Ron Travis (R-Dayton) represent Sequatchie County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

TN Rolls Out ‘More Cops, More Stops’ Campaign

Press release from the Tennessee Dept. of Transportation; April 8, 2013:

Nashville, Tenn. – In an effort to save lives on Tennessee’s roadways, local law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force beginning April 12 through April 15, and from April 19 through April 22, as part of the “More Cops. More Stops.” campaign to crack down on drivers who are speeding, driving while under the influence or distracted, or not wearing seat belts.

Breaking traffic safety laws has deadly consequences. Of the people killed in Tennessee motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2011, 57 percent were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Twenty-seven percent of the fatalities involved drivers or motorcycle riders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above and 23 percent were involved in speeding-related crashes.

More violations of basic traffic safety laws like not wearing a seat belt occur during nighttime hours. In 2011, 10,135 passenger vehicle occupants in the Unites States were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes at night (6:00 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.). Of those killed in nighttime crashes, 62 percent were not wearing seat belts, compared to 43 percent of daytime (6:00 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.) occupant fatalities.

“The statistics prove that violating Tennessee’s traffic safety laws can be deadly, and law enforcement officers will be out in force cracking down on unsafe drivers,” said Kendell Poole, Director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office. “We hope the high visibility of the More Cops. More Stops. enforcement campaign will remind people to drive responsibly, reduce traffic crashes, and ultimately save lives in Tennessee.”

Tennessee law enforcement teamed with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to test the effectiveness of a combined highway safety law enforcement campaign called More Cops. More Stops. For more information on the More Cops. More Stops. campaign, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or www.tntrafficsafety.org for more information.

Tennessee Roads, Bridges Ranked High in National Study

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; February 27, 2013:

Reason Foundation Finds Improvement Across the Board in Tennessee

NASHVILLE – A new study by the Reason Foundation examining 20 years of highway data finds Tennessee has improved in all seven key areas studied, one of only 11 states to do so. The report, “Are Highways Crumbling? State Performance Summaries”, looked at state highway data from 1989 through 2008.The report measures road performance in several categories: Miles of urban interstate highways in poor condition, miles of rural interstates in poor condition, congestion on urban interstates, deficient bridges, highway fatalities, rural primary roads in poor conditions, and the number of narrow rural primary roads.

“This report is a testament to the focus TDOT has placed on maintaining our infrastructure, aggressively repairing and replacing aging bridges, increasing safety, and managing congestion” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This is truly exceptional when you consider we are one of only five DOT’s in the nation with no transportation debt.”

The report found urban congestion and the proportion of deficient bridges in Tennessee were significantly improved. The study also cites Tennessee as being particularly successful in taking care of its roads, improving road conditions on rural and urban interstates. In fact, the proportion of urban interstates in poor condition fell by 16 percentage points, the fifth biggest improvement in the nation.

In addition to improving in all seven categories, Tennessee eclipsed the national average improvements in many cases, making it one of the most successful states in the U.S. in terms of highway infrastructure.

To view the entire report, please visit:

http://reason.org/files/us_highway_performance_20_year_trends_full_study.pdf

To view state by state summaries, please visit:

http://reason.org/fil/us_highway_performance_20_year_trends_state_by_state_results.pdf

Gas-Tax Talks Not on Administration’s Immediate To-Do List

State transportation officials say the state needs to start thinking about how to charge drivers for using state roads, but the governor says there’s no consensus to tackle that issue this year.

While the state transportation department says the issue is squarely on the administration’s radar, Gov. Bill Haslam says the topic won’t be among those he’s interested in come 2013.

“We definitely won’t be addressing that this year,” Haslam told reporters Thursday following an economic development announcement in Nashville, adding that both he and Transportation Commissioner John Schroer believe it’s “inevitable” that the state will have to address that issue down the road.

“The way we’re paying for roads and bridges now won’t work long-term. And I think John’s acknowledging that. That being said, there’s not much consensus about how you do fix that problem,” he said.

Schroer is in the middle of a fall tour to various transportation projects across the state. The department has $9.5 billion worth of projects under development, but only has about $900 million to work with this year.

The issue is nothing new to Tennessee. Schroer told the governor and other high-ranking officials during budget hearings last year that the state will need to reconsider how it collects money for roads as people shift to vehicles that guzzle less gas.

Tennessee charges 21.4 cents a gallon for gasoline, ranking in the bottom third of state gas tax rates in the country, according to the American Petroleum Institute. The state tax on diesel is 18.4 cents a gallon. That’s on top of a federal tax of 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents a gallon on diesel.

The Beacon Center suggests the state consider other options besides simply raising the tax on fuel. The free-market think tank released a report this week analyzing the state’s various options, like charging taxes based on miles traveled, emissions or installing toll roads.

Not all the money from the gas tax is spent on highways. Across the country, the gas tax has been diverted for other projects, including schools, parks and beautification.

Haslam last year said it’s possible he’ll put off serious talk about rejiggering gas taxes until a possible second term.

Clarksville Gets $626K Transportation Grant for River Trail Project

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, August 16, 2012: 

CLARKSVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer announced today a $626,360 transportation enhancement grant to Clarksville for a project that extends a trail along the Red River and completes a walkway in the downtown River District.

The grant funds Segment I of the Clarksville River Trail, the first of two sections of a multi-use, north-south trail segment extending from the merge of the Cumberland and Red Rivers and continuing north along the Red River for approximately 1,500 feet.

The project also completes a pedestrian walkway in the downtown River District by joining the city’s North Extension Riverwalk, including construction of the 12-foot-wide trail and installation of landscaping, benches and signage regarding points of interest and historical significance.

“This project will provide Clarksville residents and visitors with a significant alternative transportation opportunity while also enhancing the city’s downtown district,” Haslam said. “When complete, the project will create a great network of multi-use trails that connect key areas of the city and improve the quality of life for citizens.”

“Through Transportation Enhancement grants, TDOT has funded more than $270 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

The grant is made possible through a federally funded program administered by TDOT. A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

Haslam Awards $230K Grant to Newbern for Amtrak Station, Biz District Connection

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 1, 2012: 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer announced today the award of a $229,789 transportation enhancement grant to the town of Newbern to fund the Depot Connection Project.

The project aims to improve connectivity between the Amtrak Station and the Newbern business district. The project includes the installation of four pedestrian crosswalks, landscaped pedestrian buffers, shade trees, and pedestrian lighting. Approximately 900 linear feet of sidewalks along Jefferson Street and East Main Street will also be replaced.

“The town of Newbern is home to one of only two Amtrak stations in Tennessee, and it brings hundreds of travelers to this community each year,” Haslam said. “This project will create a safe environment for pedestrian retail shoppers and can have a positive impact on the local economy. I’m pleased the state can assist with these efforts.”

The grant is made possible through a federally funded program administered by TDOT.

“Through Transportation Enhancement grants, TDOT has funded more than $270 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville), State Representative Bill Sanderson (R-Kenton), and State Representative Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) represent Dyer County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Transportation Grants Announced for Memphis: $1.5M

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 26, 2012:

MEMPHIS – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer today announced three transportation enhancement grants to the city of Memphis totaling nearly $1.5 million.

The grants will provide $666,523 to fund Phase 4 of the Wolf River Greenway, $285,944 to the Highway 61 Blues Trail, and $529,436 to the first phase of the Walker Avenue Streetscape project.

“While each of these projects is very unique in nature, they all serve to enhance lives of those who live and visit the city of Memphis,” Haslam said. “These investments create new recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, showcase the city’s heritage, and make much needed safety improvements for pedestrians.”

Phase 4 of the Wolf River Greenway will add a 1.1-mile segment that runs east from a trailhead adjacent to McLean Avenue to a trailhead located next to Hollywood Avenue. This section will function as a stand-alone segment, eventually linking to Rodney Baber Park to the north and then Douglass Park east of Hollywood Avenue.

The Highway 61 Blues Trail project is designed to recognize and promote blues music’s heritage in Tennessee and Memphis. The project will make physical improvements to an 11-mile section of Highway 61, from the Mississippi state line to Crump Boulevard. These improvements will consist of trail marker, directional and historic site designation signage; blues music crosswalks; gateway art projects; and landscaping at key intersections.

The Walker Avenue Streetscape project will begin at the intersection of Highland Street and Walker Avenue and continue east to the intersection of Brister Street. The project will modify parking areas to separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic, replace existing sidewalks and add striping and signage for bicycles lanes. New landscaping, park benches, bicycle racks and pedestrian lighting will be added. The project will also create a focal point with the creation of a pedestrian plaza area.

“Through transportation enhancement grants, TDOT has funded more than $270 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

The grants are made possible through a federally-funded program administered by TDOT. A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

State Sens. Jim Kyle (D-Memphis), Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis) and Ophelia Ford (D-Memphis) and state Reps. G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis), Barbara Cooper (D-Memphis) and Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) represent portions of Shelby County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

 

CNBC Study Gives High Marks to TN Transportation Infrastructure

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; July 16, 2012: 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the third year in a row, Tennessee’s transportation system ranks as one of the best in the nation, according to CNBC’s 2012 study “America’s Top States for Business.” According to the report, Tennessee ranks fourth best in America in the category of “Transportation and Infrastructure,” and is the only state topping the list that has no transportation debt.

Many states across the nation carry transportation debt, and must allocate a large portion of their funds to interest payments.

“This is significant as we are the only top-ranked state without any transportation debt,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer. “The next state on the list without debt was ranked 19th. Tennessee is a ‘pay as you go’ state and TDOT will continue to do our part in upholding Governor Haslam’s vision of running an effective and efficient government.”

“We know that access to high-quality infrastructure is a key component to getting products to market and people on the move,” said Kent Starwalt, President of the Tennessee Road Builders Association. “This acknowledgement is a true testament that the department and the industry are working together to foster economic opportunity in Tennessee by providing a superior transportation network.”

The CNBC report scored all 50 states on 40 measures of competitiveness, including the vitality of each state’s transportation system. Tennessee also ranked well in the categories of business friendliness and cost of living. This is the sixth year the news network has performed the study.

TDOT Appoints New Director of Long Range Planning

Press Release from Tennessee Department of Transportation; Jan. 11, 2012:

Nashville, TN – Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer names Tanisha Johnson Hall, AICP, as the new Long Range Planning Division Director. In her new post, Hall will oversee the division which identifies transportation needs through analysis of travel and safety data, then engages communities to obtain public input on transportation investments. The Long Range Planning Division is comprised of the following four offices: Statewide Planning, Regional Planning, Research and Policy, and GIS Mapping and Facilities Data.

Ms. Hall has over 14 years of experience in Urban Planning, specializing in Transportation Planning and Research. She most recently served as Director of Research and Transportation at the Greater Nashville Regional Council.

“TDOT’s Long Range Planning Division is instrumental in identifying needs in communities across the state and ensuring we make sound transportation investments,” said Commissioner Schroer. “Ms. Hall’s extensive knowledge and experience in transportation planning will be a valuable asset to this agency.”

“I appreciate Commissioner Schroer’s confidence in my ability to lead the Long Range Planning Division,” said Hall. “I am extremely excited about the opportunity to make sure TDOT continues to deliver projects that improve Tennessee’s transportation system.”

Hall will begin her role at TDOT on January 17th.