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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What are your True Feelings About Pedestrians, Nashville?

Councilman Anthony Davis has introduced a bill that would give a pedestrian the right to walk on a residential street without a sidewalk or shoulder. This is place-making.  Many will be surprised that there is no legal provision for walkers currently.  You are not allowed or disallowed to walk - there is no legal statement on the issue.  

Thankfully, the bill passed its second reading and will be heard for a final vote on July 6, 2017. 

Some have written to ask why this is even is my response.  Before you read, you may want to open the link and read the bill.

I'm going to ask you to consider your true feelings about pedestrians.  Do you look ahead, while driving, at a person in the crosswalk and think, 'oh-no, they are going to slow me down'.  If so, that's what this bill is for. It's purpose is to formally give pedestrians the right to be present.  It gives them a legitimized place in our city.  

It also acknowledges that Nashville has, as of yet, not provided walkers a safe and inviting infrastructure.

This is the 1st step.  Sadly, in 2017, this is where Nashville stands.  We are significantly behind other cities in regards to safe and comfortable sidewalks.  We have a very high pedestrian death rate (  We have citizens who do not respect individuals on foot.  We don't even have much of a culture of walking.  Many who read this have limited first hand knowledge of what it is like to walk our streets - how uncomfortable it really is.  

My suggestion - next time you see a pedestrian, give them a brake.  Slow down!  Give them at least 3' distance from your car.  Make room for them.  Let's keep everyone safe.  Let's create a rich pedestrian climate for the health and betterment of Nashville!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Compact Walkable Neighborhoods - Nashville, this is a way to uphold the Paris agreement

President Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement on June 1st, and since then more than 211 U.S. mayors have pledged to uphold it despite the president’s action. Together the mayors represent more than 54 million Americans and some of the largest U.S. cities.

To these mayors we say: thank you for your leadership. We support you and this strong commitment to reducing emissions at the city level. Keep going.

How should mayors keep going, exactly? The Mayors National Climate Action Agenda has already outlined several suggestions for how cities can achieve these goals, including things like investing in electric cars and clean energy.

We’re here to add that building compact, walkable neighborhoods served by transit is a crucial part of reducing emissions. Using this approach can help cities reach their emissions goals faster. Here’s why and how.

Compact, walkable neighborhoods are efficient. They use less car fuel, home energy use, and water. In 2015, electricity — including energy use for homes and businesses — accounted for 29 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and transportation accounted for 27 percent. Transportation emissions increased from 1990 to 2015, as Americans drove approximately 40 percent more.
If you’re worried about climate, you’ll need to make it easier for people to drive less, and to travel shorter distances when they do drive.
That means if you’re worried about climate, you’ll need to make it easier for people to drive less, and to travel shorter distances when they do drive. The good news is that walkable neighborhoods served by transit can help people do this. These neighborhoods also happen to be in high demand among both homebuyers and renters, meaning that the market is ready to help mayors meet their climate goals. So what do mayors do to capitalize on this opportunity?
Make it safer for people to bike and walk. A Complete Streets approach can help departments of transportation make streets safer for everyone, including people bicycling, walking, wheelchair rolling, and driving.
Prioritize public transit. Make it a priority in your budget and give transit advocates a seat at the transportation planning table. Ride transit to work, and be a public champion for it.
Remove obstacles to locating homes and businesses near that transit. Transit-oriented development — a mix of residential and commercial development within walking distance of public transportation — can play a substantial part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some research has shown that living near transit can reduce household emissions by as much as 78 percent.
Reduce barriers to building on land that has already been developed. For years, the U.S. has been consuming land far faster than population growth. This expansive development has caused CO2 emissions from cars to rise while also reducing the amount of forest land available to absorb it. Reusing land that has already been developed can help curb this.
Allow mixed-use development, so people can live convenient to destinations like the grocery store or their work. Rather than building single-use subdivisions or office parks, communities can plan mixed-use developments that put housing within reach of these other destinations. Make sure your codes, policies, and regulations allow for this type of development.
Make sure your street network interconnects, rather than ending in culs-de-sac and funneling traffic onto overused arterial roads. Even if destinations are spread out, this can keep driving trips short.
Support a diverse housing stock by allowing developers to build more condominiums, townhouses, or detached houses on smaller lots. This approach can help communities shorten distances between destinations, give people options to live in more efficient homes, and make it more affordable for people to live near where they work or the grocery store.
The commitment that mayors are showing to the climate right now is incredibly necessary. Climate change will have real consequences for Americans and their cities — and it’s not just a matter for the coasts. The map below, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, shows places in the country that have had multiple floods over the last 35 years. The coasts are certainly vulnerable — but so are areas along the Mississippi, and even in places like Oklahoma and Texas.
Claims to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), from the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Climate change is already hurting people in these places. And before long, more homes will be damaged or destroyed, and more American families will be displaced.
Great places don’t happen when they’re underwater — physically or fiscally.
If that’s not a compelling enough reason to take action, there is a financial angle to all this, too. Recovering and rebuilding from climate-related disasters can cost millions or billions of dollars. Taking action to mitigate these disasters is as much an issue of finances as it is about quality of life. Great places don’t happen when they’re underwater — physically or fiscally.
You’re doing great work out there, America’s mayors. Keep it up—we’re here to support you.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Bill to Give Pedestrians the Right to Walk on a Residential Street Without a Sidewalk or Shoulder in Nashville!

Councilman Anthony Davis has introduced a bill that would give a pedestrian the right to walk on a residential street without a sidewalk or shoulder. 

Many will be surprised that there is no legal provision for walkers  currently.  Thankfully, the bill passed its second reading and will be heard for a final vote on July 6, 2017. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pedestrian Struck and Killed 5/2/2017 on Briley Parkway Identified

Pedestrian Struck and Killed Friday (5/2/2017) on Briley Parkway Identified

May 5, 2017, Friday
The pedestrian killed Friday at 4:15 p.m. when he was struck by a tractor-trailer on Briley Parkway near Elm Hill Pike is identified as Marcus Dixon, 27, of Nashville.
Prior to the fatal crash, Dixon was in a cab and asked to be dropped off on Briley Parkway. The driver refused and drove Dixon to Elm Hill Pike where he exited the cab, leaving his wallet behind. Dixon returned on foot to Briley Parkway where he walked north alongside the roadway toward oncoming southbound traffic.
The driver of a tractor-trailer, Jeffrey Shrum, 45, was in the far right turn lane near Elm Hill Pike where he planned to exit Briley Parkway. Shrum told investigators that Dixon made eye contact with him and then jumped into the path of the tractor-trailer. Shrum was unable to avoid the collision. Dixon died at the scene.
Toxicology testing will be conducted on Dixon to determine whether alcohol or drugs played a role in this fatal crash.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

NASHVILLE'S Budget - sidewalks

Megan Barry's new $2.2B budget hits on affordable housing, police body cameras, transit

Streets and sidewalks

  • Barry's capital plan will include $65 million for sidewalks and road paving, as well as an additional $3 million dedicated to making the use of sidewalks safer to children going to and from school. She's also earmarked $2 million for bikeways. 

Couple questions:  how will sidewalks be broken out from paving? Is there protected money for new sidewalks?  How will productions of sidewalks be monitored? 

Right now, progress on sidewalks feels like a kind of molasses.  You cannot see anything happening but repairs.  Where are the NEW sidewalks?  How is it that major roadways such as 21st Av S/Hillsboro do not have sidewalks that connect very walkable areas of commerce such as Hillsboro Village to the Green Hills area.  How is it that our public schools are not encircled by sidewalks?  Overall:  WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG TO MOVE FORWARD ON SIDEWALK PROJECTS???

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mother of 5 Struck in Pedestrian Crash, Requiring Admission to Hospital for Several More Weeks in Nashville - Help Needed!

Mother of 5 Struck in Pedestrian Crash, Requiring Admission to Hospital for Several More Weeks in Nashville - Help Needed!

Friends, I would like to ask your help in assisting  a refugee family we have been mentoring  to cover rent for a few months while the single mother recovers from a major accident and cannot work.

Nooria and her 5 children, ages 9-16, were resettled in Nashville in 2016 as refugees from Afghanistan via Pakistan.  Their father was killed before they came here. We met them as a volunteer mentor family for  Catholic Charities refugee resettlement.

Nooria worked for several weeks in hotel housekeeping in early 2017 before she was hit by a car as a pedestrian on her way home from work. She spent several weeks in the hospital and rehabilitation, and is still recovering from several broken bones and a head/neck injury that seriously limits her mobility.

The kids have been very happy in their schools here, expressing amazement that a bus comes to get them right at their apartment!   It will be several months before their mother can work and we are hoping to help them keep their apartment and avoid further disruption.

Please contact me if you have any concerns or questions.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nashville in the News!

The South’s funkiest town gets even cooler

Nashvillians like to joke that the crane is the city’s unofficial bird.
After all, nearly 30 of the huge, steel species soar in the sky right now.
Music City is in the midst of a building boom, with 22 hotels under construction and more than 125 restaurants slated to open by the year’s end, according to the tourism bureau.
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Nashville’s summery skyline.Alamy Stock Photo
At the same time, there’s a creative renaissance underway, as the city’s thriving music, fashion and food scenes gain national attention. Tennessee’s capital is so happening that both Frommer’s and Travel & Leisure included it on their lists of the best places to go in 2017 and Thrillist recently named Guitar Town America’s best weekend destination.
“Nashville has always been cool, but today people seem to be more proud of the city than ever before,” says Libby Callaway, founder of The Callaway, a branding and public relations company (and former fashion editor of The Post) based there. “We’re an alternative to the coasts.”
Over the past decade, the home of country music evolved into a hipster hub with a strong “maker” culture of craft and creativity. Visitors can explore funky neighborhoods like East Nashville, 12South, Germantown and the Gulch, lined with specialty coffee shops, brew pubs, craft cocktail bars and critically acclaimed farm-to-fork restaurants.
Or scour the quirky lifestyle and clothing boutiques for local labels such as Ceri Hoover (leather bags and shoes) and Imogene + Willie (heritage denim).
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Leathersmith Ceri Hoover crafts bags and shoes.Brett Warren Photography
Cowboy boots are always in style — Boot Country on major thoroughfare Broadway has a crazy buy-one-get-two-pairs-free deal — rocked the Coachella way.
Speaking of all-star concert extravaganzas, the world’s biggest country music celebration takes place downtown from June 8-11.
This year’s CMA Music Festival will feature more than 100 acts, including legends like Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley.
The best part: Seven of the 11 stages are free and a number of them are outdoors.
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Ketchup on all the action at Nashville’s very-costumed Tomato Art Festival in August.Tomato Art Fest Solar Ca
Later this summer, produce and creativity will make beautiful music together at the 14th Annual Tomato Art Festival the weekend of Aug. 11-12.
Of course, Nashville doesn’t need festivals to be fun as hell: Cold beer and live music are on tap seven days a week. Country, blues and rock acts perform nightly at the boozy, neon-lit Lower Broadway honky tonks — don’t miss Robert’s Western World with its $2.50 Pabst Blue Ribbon and no-cover policy — and nearby Printer’s Alley, the historic nightlife corridor. Meanwhile, The Station Inn in the trendy Gulch is the premier club for bluegrass and roots performers.
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Taylor SwiftAlo Ceballos/GC Images
Even if you’re not a country music fan, a visit to the Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry for 31 years, is obligatory. It’s worth paying extra for the guided tour, just to walk backstage where icons Johnny Cash met June Carter in 1956.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is another must-see, with Elvis’ gold Cadillac, Gram Parsons’ “high”-fashion pot leaf-embroidered “Nudie suit” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” cheerleader outfit on display. Hatch Show Print is the historic letterpress company in the same building that has cranked out iconic show posters since 1879.
Feeling hungry? Savor a meal at one of the restaurants opened by James Beard Award-winning chefs like Donald Link (Cochon Butcher), Sean Brock (Husk) and Maneet Chauhan (Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Tànsuo and The Mockingbird, opening any day).
As Callaway says, “Nashville has gone way beyond barbecue.”

Where to stay and eat in Guitar Town

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Rent a bed at the Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown.Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown
Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown (from $199) recently underwent a $35 million renovation and boasts immaculate rooms, a revamped fitness center and the new Library Bar, serving more than 50 varieties of bourbon and regional dishes (order the house-made smoked mac and cheese). The property — one of five in the US to gain the chain’s “Grand” distinction – is a short stroll from Lower Broadway nightlife and the Ryman.
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A neon cocktail at Henrietta Red.Andrew Thomas Lee
Just around the corner is The Hermitage Hotel (from $255), Nashville’s Southern belle. The century-old landmark edifice is known for its plush lobby, luxurious rooms and old-school chophouse, the Capitol Grille.
The new boutique hotel, Thompson Nashville (from $305), is a sleek addition to The Gulch. James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh and Nathan Duensing helm Marsh House, a seafood restaurant.
Nashville native Julia Sullivan trained at New York’s Per Se and Blue Hill at Stone Barns before opening Henrietta Red, one of Germantown’s hottest tables. To die for: wood-roasted oysters with green curry.
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Tandy Wilson’s City House eatery.Andrea Behrends
Just down the block sits City House, serving James Beard Award-winning chef Tandy Wilson’s inventive Italian-Southern fare.
His belly ham pizza was rated top in Tennessee by the Food Network.
Celeb-spotting is par for the course at the bustling Rolf and Daughters in Germantown.
Chef Philip Krajeck is famed for his rustic pasta dishes, like squid-ink paccheri with octopus and breadcrumbs.
In the mood to pig out?
Head to Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint‘s downtown hub. Pitmaster Pat Martin hickory-smokes mouthwatering West Tennessee whole hog, ribs and beef brisket.