The City’s Communications Department periodically has been asked questions about traffic flow, statistics on collisions and private investment along the Cumberland Avenue Corridor since the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction project was completed in August 2017.
Here’s a link to a detailed report that has just been posted on the City’s website, prepared by the City’s Traffic Engineering Division and the Office of Redevelopment, using Police Department and Traffic Engineering data:
Below is the Executive Summary, at the front of the 50-plus-page report:
The goal of the Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project was to chart the course for a “more attractive, economically successful, vibrant and safe Cumberland Avenue.” This report aims to assess how successful the City and its partners were in achieving those goals after investing $25 million in public funds.
Engaging extensively with stakeholders, the public, the University of Tennessee community and media, three key litmus tests emerged:
• Is Cumberland Avenue safer?
• Does traffic flow well?
• Has the public investment in infrastructure leveraged significant private reinvestment in hotels, retail, entertainment and residential housing along the corridor?
For each of these measuring sticks of whether the project was successful, the data clearly indicates that the City has hit its milestone goals and that the public investment has reaped handsome rewards.
• In the six-month period since the project was completed, Police Department traffic crash data shows an approximate 40 percent reduction in vehicle crashes along the corridor. In addition, no pedestrian or bicycle crashes with vehicles have been reported in the same time period – a direct result of inherent conflicts having been dramatically reduced.
• As predicted, traffic volumes are down by 5 to 21 percent at different points throughout the corridor. This reflects the desired effect of Cumberland Avenue being transformed from a cut-through route to a destination. Delays in average commute times have been minimal overall. And at different peak travel times, signal system optimization has improved travel times for both eastbound and westbound commuters by 7.5 to more than 20 percent.
• The $25 million project has leveraged more than $190 million in private investment and brought more than 1,400 new residents to the half-mile corridor from 17th Street to University Commons Way.
Based on these findings, the City is confident in stating that it has met the goals of the Cumberland Avenue Corridor Plan and that the implementation of the project has been successful.
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