Knoxville/ Politics & Govt
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Published on March 31, 2024
Knoxville Appoints Cody Gentry as First Vision Zero Coordinator to Eliminate Traffic Fatalities by 2040Source: City of Knoxville

Knoxville's streets are set to get a safety overhaul with the appointment of Cody Gentry as the city's first Vision Zero Coordinator. In his new role, Gentry, a long-time member of the City’s Engineering Department, is tasked with spearheading initiatives to eliminate fatal traffic accidents by 2040. According to a press release from the City of Knoxville, Mayor Kincannon expressed confidence in Gentry's capabilities, saying, "Cody is the person to bring those components together."

Having clocked in 17 years with the Engineering Department and contributing extensively to the Neighborhood Transportation Safety Program, Gentry is no stranger to negotiating vehicular speeds and ensuring residential street safety. In a city where the community has a weight in shaping its streets, the efforts of Gentry have been widely appreciated by local authorities, with Mayor Kincannon describing him as a pivotal member of the city’s Vision Zero endeavors. Gentry, who helped craft the Vision Zero Action Plan, is eager to transfer those neighborhood traffic-calming principles to larger-scale challenges on busier roads, drawing from the $10 million in federal and local funding earmarked for safety improvements at five of Knoxville's most dangerous locations.

With unanimous endorsement from the Knoxville City Council in 2021, Vision Zero's Action Plan is built on local crash data and community feedback to develop life-saving strategies. "I’m excited to apply neighborhood traffic-calming principals and methodology to higher-speed streets and intersections that require more intense interventions," said Gentry, emphasizing the ultimate goal to "slow vehicles down" and reduce the risk of serious injuries and fatalities.

Significant federal dollars back this initiative, with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program committing $8 million toward the venture, while an additional $2 million in local dollars are cementing Knoxville's roadmap to safer passages. Making moves on infrastructural improvements, Gentry's newly adopted strategies will confront safety concerns head-on at high-risk areas such as North Broadway, East Woodland Avenue, and three intersections on East Magnolia Avenue, as reported in the same Knoxville press release.