The issues surrounding this controversial development are simple, but the details can be complex.

We receive a lot of common questions about traffic safety, road construction, sewer treatment, water, electricity, flood plains.. and more.

These links are to those questions and their answers.  We welcome your comments, suggestions and questions.


Traffic Safety Issues FAQ

  • POB = Post Oak Bend development
    NCA = Northshore Corridor Association
    MPC = Metropolitan Planning Commission of Knox County
    BZA = Board of Zoning Appeals
    FUD = First Utility District

  • Post Oak Bend is a proposed 622 new housing units at the end of Tooles Bend Road, in Knoxville.

  • 1) The developers estimate it will add 5,960 additional vehicles per day to Tooles Bend Road.

    2) This 5,960 vehicles trips are just for the residents, not counting commercial vehicles such as landscapers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc.

    3) All this traffic will dump onto Northshore Drive.

    4) Much of this traffic will have to use Badgett Road and Tedford Lane to Keller Bend.

    5) Traffic will back up on Tooles Bend Road beyond Amberleigh Drive and Badgett Road.

    6) A proposed traffic light at Tooles Bend and Northshore will back up traffic beyond Kensington to the east, and beyond Whittington Creek to the west, at morning and evening rush hours.

    7) 2,500 additional vehicles will try to enter I-140 from Northshore Drive in the mornings.

    8) None of the other developments in the area are being considered or factored into the traffic study.

    9) These narrow, winding roads already are UNSAFE for the current levels of traffic, according to TDOT and Knox County standards.

  • 1. The developer’s traffic study did not conform to the format set by ITE for a Level II traffic study, and omitted many sections

    2. The developer’s traffic study, by CDM Smith, does not address all the traffic which will be added to Tooles Bend Road, Tedford, Keller Bend, Badgett Road, and Wrights Ferry Road.

    3. The CDM Smith study does not include historical accident data for these roads.

    4. The CDM Smith study was not properly scoped in advance by MPC and TDOT.

    5. The focus is on Tooles Bend Road handling 90% of the traffic between the new housing and Northshore Drive. Tedford, Badgett, Keller Bend, and Wright’s Ferry roads are assumed to be relatively unaffected.

    6. All these roads were built to standards when they were paved in the 1950s.
    Laws and regulations require modifications to these roads must meet current standards.
    The developer and MPC proposals do not meet legal and engineering standards for:
    – Road width
    – Line of sight around curves and over hills
    – Line of sight to driveways and neighborhood entrances
    – Shoulders and other margins of safety
    – Guardrails
    – Drainage
    – Blockages due to fallen trees, rock slides, ice, snow, and accidents

    7. There are no details of how the roads would be upgraded, in stages, and completed prior to the beginning of grading and construction.

    8. There are no models or simulations of traffic flows at full build-out of the project.

    9. There is no consideration of additional traffice of any other housing units which could be added to all these roads during this period of build out of Post Oak Bend.

    10. There is no consideration of additional traffice of any other housing units which could be added to Northshore Drive West during this period of build out of Post Oak Bend.

  • NCA contacted quite a few professional engineers specializing in traffic engineering. Local engineers were either too busy, or had conflicts of interest. We spent a significant amount of time sharing the study of CDM Smith with two engineering firms from Alabama and North Carolina, who gave us similar estimates. All the engineers who have looked at this it detail said the study needs to be a “Level III”, encompassing all traffic onto and off of Northshore Drive from Rocky Hill to the other side of I-140, including Northshore Town Center.

  • Gerald Green, Director of MPC informed NCA that they would not consider a traffic study commissioned by NCA.

    That is why NCA asked for MPC to direct the developers to perform a more comprehensive study.

    NCA did retain the services of two engineers who have developed large projects where substantial improvements to the roads had to be made, who have performed traffic studies and have hired engineering firms to perform traffic studies. They advised us to how things should be done.

    NCA commissioned a study of the safety issues by a traffic engineer whose specialty is accident investigation and forensics, and roadway safety. This study was submitted to the BZA.

  • Standard procedure for a traffic study is for the developer or business to hire a licensed traffic engineer, and give them a scope of study. The engineer would also set the scope and level of study ( breadth and depth ) according to the guidelines of the Institute of Traffic Engineers.

    A proposal for the study would be submitted to the local traffic engineers, and to the state highway department if state roads are involved. In some states – such as North Carolina – all roads are state roads. In Tennessee, there are state, county and city roads. Northshore Drive is a state road under jurisdiction of TDOT. Tooles Bend Road, Tedford Lane, and Badgett Road are all county roads, maintained by Knox County, under control of MPC.

    This procedure was not followed by MPC.

  • MPC did not order or set the scope of the traffic study.
    TDOT was not informed in advance, and had no input into the study.
    The entire scope of the study was set by the developer, Safe Harbor LLC.

    If MPC had ordered a traffic study, the consulting engineers would have had access to all the accident reports, and would have had a duty to include all that crash data into their study and reports.

    But when the study is ordered by a private firm, with no role of the local or state agencies, the traffic engineers have no access to the accident data. Likewise, outside engineers have not access to this data.

    NCA believes that this may have been a deliberate, coordinated strategy of the developers and MPC to keep crash and other safety data out of the Traffic Study and out of public view.

  • The original proposal was for 722 units, which would have added over 6,000 vehicles per day to Tooles Bend Road. This much traffic would require a Level III Traffic Study, which would encompass all the other neighborhoods along Northshore Drive from Rocky Hill to Northshore Town Center. Such a study would be much more expensive, and would require at least six months to complete.

    When challenged by NCA on this, the developers and MPC reduced their plan to 621 units, just enough to generate an estimated additional vehicle trips per day to about 5,960. MPC used this to justify not requiring a Level III study. If MPC had stepped in and done anything, it would have triggered the requirement to include accident data, as discussed above.

  • Northshore Corridor Association believes this is what a planning commission should do.

    MPC choses to consider each proposed new project as if the others did not exist. This keeps the impacts of traffic below the threshold required for a comprehensive traffic study.

    This is what created the traffic problems in Hardin Valley. Now, MPC and TDOT are having to go back and perform a major traffic study, taking at least nine months, and including all the vehicle crashes, in order to completely upgrade the roads after the developments are in place.

Sewer Issues FAQ

  • POB = Post Oak Bend development on Tooles Bend peninsula
    NCA = Northshore Corridor Association
    MPC = Metropolitan Planning Commission of Knox County
    BZA = Board of Zoning Appeals
    FUD = First Utility District
    KUB = Knoxville Utility Board

  • Post Oak Bend is a proposed 622 new housing units on the river channel side of Tooles Bend Road, in Knoxville, between Tedford Lane and River Club.

  • It was rezoned RP-1 for 1 home per acre, in 1988. No development was done.

    In 1993, it was rezoned RP-1 to RP-3, on the condition that water, sewer, electricity, and gas utilities were put into place and available, before any housing units are built or offered for sale.

    So this proposed project REQUIRES water service and sewer service.

  • Because of the density ( about 2.4 units per usable acre ), they are forbidden to drill wells for drinking water, or to use septic tanks for waste water.

    Water lines will have to be run along Northshore Drive, down Tooles Bend Road, and throughout the proposed development. No details of these lines have yet been submitted to governmental authorities.

    Originally, sewer lines were proposed to run up Tooles Bend Road, along Northshore, to the treatment plant at Ebenezer Road, but no details of how this was to be done were included in the plans submitted.

  • Yes, and this proposal was abandoned after the first public hearing in June, 2018.

  • The developers proposed locating a sewer treatment facility in the subdivision, situated in the midst of houses and multi-story condiminium buildings. They added this in recent weeks, just before the September 13 vote by MPC to approve the Concept Plan and Development Plan.

    This is the proposal they defended on November 18 before the BZA hearing of an appeal by NCA.

    But now, we have recently learned that on November 5, 2018, the developer’s engineer and FUD were debating the possibility that the facility would be moved out of Post Oak Bend onto land between the I-140 Parkway and Tooles Bend Road.

    And a letter obtained by by NCA reveals that the developers are considering at least three other locations, on and off the Bailey property.

  • That seems to be what the regulations require, but in spite of the approved plans showing the plant in one location, it appears that this may not be the actual location.

  • No, but MPC is claiming the RP-3 ( Planned Residential, 1 to 3 units per acre ) allows a treatment plant to be placed on the Post Oak Bend development as “an accessory”.

  • We do not know, but FUD says they want enough land to build a treatment plant large enough, at some future date, to serve all the current and future residents of Tooles Bend.

    Normal practice is to require those on septic tanks to connect to the sewer lines, or to at least pay a monthly tap fee, even if they do not connect.

  • It will have to be discharged into Fort Loudon Lake, into a moving inlet current of Tennessee River.

    So the discharge lines would have to go under Tooles Bend Road adjacent to the Cove Point Subdivision, into the inlet adjacent to Cove Point Subdivision and under water out into the main channel
    the discharge lines would have to go through the Bailey farm and into the barge channel.