As long as it still has a pulse, the James White Parkway extension isn’t dead. Not yet. But as of today, it appears to be one step closer.
Supporters of the controversial road attempted to pass a motion before the Transportation Planning Organization’s technical committee this morning that would have moved the project back onto the TPO’s long-range plan. In late August, the TPO voted to abandon the decades-old project. This morning’s motion by Sevier County Communications Coordinator Perrin Anderson represented an attempt to reverse that decision.
However, no one at this morning’s meeting would second the motion.
Supporters will have one last shot at reviving the project when the TPO’s executive committee meets October 16.
Long a subject of impassioned debate, the five-mile James White Parkway extension would connect Moody Avenue in South Knoxville to Governor John Sevier Highway. Proponents believe the extension would relieve Chapman Highway of congestion, while offering motorists quicker access to the Smoky Mountains. Opponents argue the project would deprive Chapman Highway businesses of customers and a new roadway would compromise the bucolic nature of the region.