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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sidewalk Bill 493 Passes Unanimously!

Sidewalk Bill 493 Passes Unanimously!

Great news for Nashville!  Thank you to the many people who took the time to write their support!!!


Metro Council approves zoning change to pave way for sidewalks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Metro Council voted Tuesday night to change zoning in some neighborhoods to pave the way for more sidewalks.
The extent of the sidewalk shortage in Nashville is staggering.
Only about 19 percent of the city’s streets have them, and we’re missing roughly 1,900 miles of sidewalks.
Supporters of more sidewalks say that’s partly because developers weren’t required to construct sidewalks in front of new, single-family homes.
The zoning change changes that, forcing builders to add sidewalks. In some cases, developers can instead pay an in-lieu contribution fee to the city, which will go toward adding sidewalks.
The requirement is applicable in the Urban Zoning Overlay, which includes downtown Nashville and several other neighborhoods.
Stacy Dorris, a Nashville mother, physician and sidewalk advocate, says the change is a good place to start.
“The whole point is that eventually these little bits (of sidewalk) will be knit together,” said Dorris.
The Metro Council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance.

LINK:
http://wkrn.com/2017/04/18/metro-council-approves-zoning-change-to-pave-way-for-sidewalks/

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hit and Run Kills Nashville Woman Walking to Church - looking for small black 4 door car with front end damage


“Don’t assume that just because you have a walk signal that people are going to stop drivers sometimes disobey traffic signals.” 

That's the quote!

Instead, we should be asking WHY is it so UNSAFE to walk in Nashville???

If you know of a 'small black four door car' with front end damage, it may have been involved in this hit & run on 4/8/2017. Please alert the police!
So far in 2017, drivers hit 123 pedestrians. Six pedestrians have died. At this same time in 2016, two pedestrians died after a collision with a car.

In 2016, drivers hit 467 pedestrians and 16 of them died.
Watch for The Nashville Pedestrian Death Registry out in the next 1-2 weeks to read more.



Family and church members are asking for help after a grandmother was killed in a hit-and-run accident as she walked to church.
WATE.COM

Sunday, April 16, 2017

After being hit by a bus while on foot, rare discussion of the aftermath including 6 months of recovery

In creating the Nashville Pedestrian Death Registry (planned release in 1-2 weeks), we had a lot of feedback about including 'near misses' where someone is struck but does not die.  Ultimately, we decided that it would increase the scope of the project to an untenable volume & therefore we held fast to deaths only in Nashville.  But our lack of inclusion in no way should be considered a down play of the severity of being hit by a car and surviving.  Some of the stories are truly horrific.

This woman's tale of recovery from being hit by a bus exemplifies why the term 'near miss' is indeed a euphemism.  She has a bright spirt about it but my goodness.  This is a horror story.  Crushed pelvis.  Six months later and still not walking.  It does exemplifies why these stories are so important - to not let them be a momentary media blip but rather a human interest story as lives are truly changed.  It is important to know the details to understand fully the details of the events so that Nashville can make changes.    


***
Nashville is very conflicted right now about pedestrian vs vehicle crashes.  The comments I have received range widely (see photos below) on a recent post about a grandmother who died after a hit-and-run (know a black car with front end damage?).  We have not reached a consensus.  Competing needs are duly noted.  


But, we do have laws.  I would argue that a really strong and clear message from the Mayor's office in needed NOW.  It is time for a blanket Public Service Announcement on pedestrian laws with a concurrent enforcement blitz to help drivers learn.  

Arguably, I have very mixed feelings about ticketing pedestrians.  If we had top notch infrastructure for pedestrians, I would feel entirely different.  When sidewalks on only 1/3 of our roadways, crossings ridiculously few and far between, wait times seeming unrealistically long - I understand the urge to jaywalk.     









 




Woman hit by MTA bus talks about recovery

Posted: Apr 14, 2017 4:22 PM CDTUpdated: Apr 14, 2017 7:40 PM CDT
Woman hit by MTA bus talks about recovery
 
Vicki Pillow is recovering after being hit and dragged by a bus. (WSMV)
Vicki Pillow is recovering after being hit and dragged by a bus. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse employee was on her way to work. She had just gotten off an MTA bus in downtown Nashville when she was hit and dragged several feet.
Six months have passed. Vicki Pillow is now recovering from another surgery.
"It would be neat if you could take a step, wouldn't it?" said Solita Morris, Pillow's daughter.
Pillow hasn't been able to put weight on her new prosthetic yet. She had broken ribs, a lacerated liver and a crushed pelvis.
The MTA bus that hit her last October dragged her 165 feet before finally coming to a stop.
"I'm glad I don't remember it, and I don't want to see the traffic video," Pillow said.
Vicki was 64 at the time. She had just bought a new car, planned to retire after 30 years with the state and travel to the beach.
"That was going to be the beginning of the rest of her life," Morris said.
These days she's working on walking. Pillow would like to be able to use the restroom on her own and have some semblance of a normal life.
"Every time she’s stuck with a needle or rolled on her side, every scream and pain I have to hear from her is an emotional drain on me too," Morris said.
Pillow and Morris now live together, both an inspiration to the rest of us because, despite the hardships and financial burdens, they somehow manage to see the good in their current situation.
"I've seen a lot of miracles happen since that day," Morris said.
"It made us closer, much closer," Pillow said.
Before the crash, Morris and Pillow stayed busy. They said their relationship was strained. Now they want people to know that's one thing that's changed for the better.
"I would encourage them to treasure their relationships and to appreciate that time is very fragile and not promised to anyone," Morris said.
A spokesperson for MTA said, "Since it’s currently under litigation, we can't comment beyond saying that our thoughts and prayers continue to be with her during her recovery."
Copyright 2017 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.










  • http://www.wsmv.com/story/35154976/woman-hit-by-mta-bus-talks-about-recovery






    Sunday, April 2, 2017

    A very personal appeal for a few minutes of your time. Sidewalk Bill goes before Council TUESDAY! One quick email from you is needed!

    Listening to a podcast yesterday on cities on Hidden Brain 

    where words such as haphazard infrastructure vs first class infrastructure where bounced around.




    Walking in Sylvan Park and then later in the Gulch really highlighted this issue for me here in Nashville.  We do have first class infrastructure but only in a very limited area.  The remainder is haphazard at best.  With a little help from you, we could start to make a change towards consistency and production of first class infrastructure all over Nashville.

    ***
      

    HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN!

    Please take a few minutes and write to:

    Include your Council Member 

      
    - Put 'Sidewalk Bill 493 - Support' in the subject line.   
    - Put your home address at the bottom of the email 

    - This bill is a comprehensive plan that will close loopholes including those for single and two family home builders.  When development occurs, sidewalks will go in. 


    - Nashville has sidewalks on ONLY 37% of roads (this is also on only one side of the road mind you)!    
    - we are a city of 532 square miles - LOTS of sidewalks are needed
    - We are ranked poorly in regards to safety.  We are the 37th most dangerous metropolitan area when compared to our population.  Not good. 
    - Nashville's population grows daily.  With this growth, goes more traffic.  We do not have good public transportation partly because you cannot get to the bus stop on foot safely.  This bill will help.  

    More density = more sidewalks.  
    Now, that's smart.


    For more information:



    Help Nashville stop being the city where the sidewalks end...














    Monday, March 27, 2017

    Sidewalk Bill 493 - Nashville. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

    Wonderful News!!!



    The Sidewalk Bill avoided deferral and has advanced.  It passed through the Planning Commission with ALL FOR and NONE AGAINST!  Next step, Sidewalk Bill 493 will go before the Council for a vote on April 4th (Tuesday).  




    Since the bill passed the Planning Commission step, it will need 21 votes in Council.  The bill has 21 co-sponsers but it will not be immune to the possibility of lobbyist for developers reaching vulnerable Council Members.  

    HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN!

    Please take a few minutes and write to:

    Include your Council Member 

      
    - Put 'Sidewalk Bill 493 - Support' in the subject line. 

    - Nashville has sidewalks on ONLY 37% of roads.  
    - We are ranked poorly in regards to safety.  We are the 37th most dangerous metropolitan area when compared to our population.  Not good. 
    - Sidewalk bill 493 is important because it will increase sidewalk production in areas linked to development. 
    - Nashville's population grows daily.  With this growth, goes more traffic.  We do not have good public transportation partly because you cannot get to the bus stop on foot safely.  This bill will help.  
    - make sure you put your address in the email



    More density = more sidewalks.  
    Now, that's smart.

    For more information:





    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting - TOMORROW at 1p - PLEASE ATTEND!

    TOMORROW


    ---WHERE: The Board of Zoning Appeals at The Howard School ----WHAT: To oppose the variance requested to build a poor quality sidewalk at Cabot Dr near Charlotte.
    ---WHO:  The Beach Co, a large developer of rental properties out South Carolina
    ---WHEN: 3/16/2017 at 1p

    I have been able to learn that the variance requested is for a broad sweeping curve abutting a stone bluff (see photo below).  Certainly, this stone bluff is an obstacle that would take an amount of work and money to rectify.  BUT, haven't pedestrians been getting the short end for too long?  If we in Nashville have the right, legally, to hold developers to high standards of sidewalk design, we need to start now.  

    Depiction of sidewalk proposed by variance
    Note the closeness of the car to the pedestrian


    Right now.  

    Because building walkability... NEVER GETS EASIER, BETTER OR CHEAPER TO DO THEN WHEN A PROPERTY IS BEING DEVELOPED.  


    Sidewalks are few and far between because WE DID NOT REQUIRE THEM FOR THE LAST 50+ YEARS!  Now, we look around at our growth, our traffic, our more urban existence and wonder what happened.  Why can't we walk?  We have policy and we have laws for a reason.  We have the right to deny variances.  The hardship existed prior to The Beach Co. coming to Nashville, purchasing this particular lot and planning this particularly large rental development consisting of 402 units,  over 600 parking spots and 17 buildings.  

    MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD - TELL THE BZA THAT YOU DO NOT WANT A VARIANCE TO ALLOW A POOR QUALITY SIDEWALK.  We want the PROPER SIDEWALK as the law allows (see photos below).  

     Where would you rather walk?



    NASHVILLE WANTS THE PROPER SIDEWALK!  
    The > 600 renters projected for this development do too.  So does the neighborhood at large.  



    Variance Sought For 402-unit West Nashville Apartment Project...they do not want to put in sidewalk required. Action Required!!!

    My main concern about this substantial project is the variance requested to NOT BUILD THE SIDEWALK. This project is to include 17 buildings, 402 rental units and 602 parking spots. The developer, The Beach Co, reports that 'Charlotte is the new hot spot'. If a great sidewalk does not go in at time of development, all those renters will take to their cars even for local trips.
    My point is: Please write to BZA@Nashville.gov &/or show to the variance meeting at The Howard School, 1 p, Thursday, March 16th. TELL THEM YOU DO NOT THINK THIS LARGE SCALE PROJECT SHOULD HAVE A VARIANCE TO NOT BUILD A SIDEWALK.
    A large development like this needs to have financial provisions to also make it a walkable community. This is the GIFT they give to the neighborhood.
    District 20 Council Woman, Mary Carolyn Roberts, is reporting she is 'the main person standing in the way of this project' & has 'announced at every Neighborhood meeting' this stance. She knows a sidewalk is needed for a project of this magnitude. No need to email her anymore about it.
    PLEASE:

    - Write to BZA@Nashville.gov: Tell them NO variance to avoid building sidewalk. We WANT the sidewalk!
    - Show to the meeting: The Howard School, 1 p, Thursday, March 16th

    Variance sought for 402-unit West Nashville apartment project

    South Carolina developer eyes late spring construction start for Bells Bluff Apartments.


    Bells Bluff Apartments will be the name of the 402-unit community that Charleston, S.C.-based The Beach Co. plans to start building in late spring on 44 acres off Charlotte Pike in West Nashville.
    On March 16, the developer will go before the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals seeking a variance from sidewalk requirements. The Beach Co. cites severe topographic constraints that would make it difficult to comply with 6 feet of grass strip and sidewalk requirements for a portion of frontage on Cabot Drive.
    "The Charlotte market is the new hot spot for Nashville," Woody McLaughlin, a board member of the Greater Nashville Apartment Association said, referring to the corridor leading west from downtown off of which the Bells Bluff  Apartments project is planned. "It's where there's been available land that new apartment developers are attracted to."
    Bells Bluff is one of two projects The Beach Co. plans in its Nashville debut.  The developer is also working on plans for a 12-story mixed-use project with 296 apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail space at Sixth Avenue South and Lea Avenue in the area south of Broadway.
    Latest statistics from the Greater Nashville Apartment Association shows average monthly rents across the region at $1,114 at last year's end, just slightly below the record $1,118 for last year's third quarter. The data shows vacancy starting to rise in nearly all Nashville area submarkets with the biggest jump in the West End/Downtown area that accounts for half of all new construction marketwide.
    Downtown Nashville has the second fastest-growing submarket nationwide for new apartment supply, McLaughlin said. "We're building downtown a little bit faster than we're renting," he said. "The important thing is our job growth is among the highest in the country and new people continue to come into the market looking for housing and the jobs we're creating tend to be the higher-paying jobs."
    Ned Miller, development manager with The Beach Co., said construction should start on Bells Bluff Apartments at 7600 Cabot Drive soon after required permits are obtained with completion expected by the third quarter of 2019. Plans call for 17 buildings with residential units and 602 parking spaces.
    Miller cites great views in a wooded setting right off Charlotte Pike within good proximity to downtown among appeals of the property on which Bells Bluff Apartments is planned. The Bells Bluff name plays off the location across from the Bells Bend Park rural preserve being on a river bluff roughly 300 feet above the Cumberland River.
    Miller said the units at Bells Bluff Apartments will be competitively priced for the West Nashville market,  "We feel pretty good about the timing of this project and the SoBro one," he said. "After this year, there’s going to be a big dip compared to recent inventory. And specific to West Nashville, there really isn’t a whole lot of new product there that'll be competing."
    The Bells Bluff Apartments project team includes design firm Southeast Venture, civil engineer Littlejohn and landscape architects Hawkins Partners.



    IF YOU CAN SHOW TO THE BZA MEETING TOMORROW AT 1P,  HOWARD SCHOOL BUILDING, PLEASE GO & ARGUE FOR A PROPER SIDEWALK (WITHOUT VARIANCE) TO BE BUILT





    Monday, March 6, 2017

    Variance Sought For 402-unit West Nashville Apartment Project...they do not want to put in sidewalk required. Action Required!!!



    My main concern about this substantial project is the variance requested to NOT BUILD THE SIDEWALK. This project is to include 17 buildings, 402 rental units and 602 parking spots. The developer, The Beach Co, reports that 'Charlotte is the new hot spot'. If a great sidewalk does not go in at time of development, all those renters will take to their cars even for local trips.

    My point is: Please write to BZA@Nashville.gov &/or show to the variance meeting at The Howard School, 1 p, Thursday, March 16th. TELL THEM YOU DO NOT THINK THIS LARGE SCALE PROJECT SHOULD HAVE A VARIANCE TO NOT BUILD A SIDEWALK.

    A large development like this needs to have financial provisions to also make it a walkable community. This is the GIFT they give to the neighborhood.

    District 20 Council Woman, Mary Carolyn Roberts, is reporting she is 'the main person standing in the way of this project' & has 'announced at every Neighborhood meeting' this stance. She knows a sidewalk is needed for a project of this magnitude. No need to email her anymore about it.

    NOW, IT IS TIME TO:

    - Write to BZA@Nashville.gov: Tell them NO variance to avoid building sidewalk. We WANT the sidewalk!

    - Show to the meeting: The Howard School, 1 p, Thursday, March 16th



    Variance sought for 402-unit West Nashville apartment project


    South Carolina developer eyes late spring construction start for Bells Bluff Apartments.


    Bells Bluff Apartments will be the name of the 402-unit community that Charleston, S.C.-based The Beach Co. plans to start building in late spring on 44 acres off Charlotte Pike in West Nashville.
    On March 16, the developer will go before the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals seeking a variance from sidewalk requirements. The Beach Co. cites severe topographic constraints that would make it difficult to comply with 6 feet of grass strip and sidewalk requirements for a portion of frontage on Cabot Drive.
    "The Charlotte market is the new hot spot for Nashville," Woody McLaughlin, a board member of the Greater Nashville Apartment Association said, referring to the corridor leading west from downtown off of which the Bells Bluff  Apartments project is planned. "It's where there's been available land that new apartment developers are attracted to."
    Bells Bluff is one of two projects The Beach Co. plans in its Nashville debut.  The developer is also working on plans for a 12-story mixed-use project with 296 apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail space at Sixth Avenue South and Lea Avenue in the area south of Broadway.
    Latest statistics from the Greater Nashville Apartment Association shows average monthly rents across the region at $1,114 at last year's end, just slightly below the record $1,118 for last year's third quarter. The data shows vacancy starting to rise in nearly all Nashville area submarkets with the biggest jump in the West End/Downtown area that accounts for half of all new construction marketwide.
    Downtown Nashville has the second fastest-growing submarket nationwide for new apartment supply, McLaughlin said. "We're building downtown a little bit faster than we're renting," he said. "The important thing is our job growth is among the highest in the country and new people continue to come into the market looking for housing and the jobs we're creating tend to be the higher-paying jobs."
    Ned Miller, development manager with The Beach Co., said construction should start on Bells Bluff Apartments at 7600 Cabot Drive soon after required permits are obtained with completion expected by the third quarter of 2019. Plans call for 17 buildings with residential units and 602 parking spaces.
    Miller cites great views in a wooded setting right off Charlotte Pike within good proximity to downtown among appeals of the property on which Bells Bluff Apartments is planned. The Bells Bluff name plays off the location across from the Bells Bend Park rural preserve being on a river bluff roughly 300 feet above the Cumberland River.
    Miller said the units at Bells Bluff Apartments will be competitively priced for the West Nashville market,  "We feel pretty good about the timing of this project and the SoBro one," he said. "After this year, there’s going to be a big dip compared to recent inventory. And specific to West Nashville, there really isn’t a whole lot of new product there that'll be competing."
    The Bells Bluff Apartments project team includes design firm Southeast Venture, civil engineer Littlejohn and landscape architects Hawkins Partners.