Sidewalk Subcommittee Update

MPC’s Sidewalk Subcommittee has concluded its work to draft a walkability policy. The City of Knoxville is moving forward with an ordinance and Knox County will continue to study the matter.

In March 2016, the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) created a sidewalk subcommittee to help draft a comprehensive sidewalk policy for the City of Knoxville and Knox County. The subcommittee was tasked with setting requirements for sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities associated with new development and redevelopment. Working with staff from the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and MPC, the subcommittee developed a draft sidewalk ordinance. The draft ordinance identified:

  • Where and when sidewalks would be required,
  • Design and construction standards for sidewalks,
  • Options for alternative pedestrian trails, and
  • Fee-in-lieu of sidewalk provisions.

Based on the unique needs of the City and the County, each jurisdiction has decided to pursue separate sidewalk policies.

Upon reviewing the draft ordinance, it was determined that the time was not right for such an ordinance in Knox County. The County identified the need for further research to answer questions related to requiring sidewalk construction, timing of installation, the impacts of such a requirement, and design and construction standards.

The City of Knoxville is moving forward with a sidewalk ordinance to provide standards for the construction of sidewalks when property in the City is developed or redeveloped. City and MPC staff refined the draft sidewalk ordinance to address specific goals of the City of Knoxville. When completed, the draft ordinance will be submitted to City Council for consideration.