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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lack of sidewalks called into question after pedestrian killed - Feb 2013 Nashville

This emphasizes the importance of pedestrian awareness here in Nashville.  It also dramatically shows that we need sidewalks for safety alone…

Lack of sidewalks called into question after pedestrian killed

Posted: Feb 21, 2013 4:50 PM CST
Nathan Walters knows first-hand the dangers of sharing the road.

"I got hit on July 4th on Gallatin Road where there's no bike lanes," said Walters.

"I walked away without a scratch," he added, "I tumbled over the car. I have no idea how in the world, but luckily I wasn't injured."

The death 32-year-old Livia Rose Smith also hits home for Walters. 
Smith's body was found on Barclay Drive, right in front of his house, around five o'clock Wednesday morning.

"I had no idea at that point there was a body like five feet from my driveway," said Walters. "Seeing that and knowing that I was all sleep like 20 yards away and didn't hear anything, couldn't do anything to help her and knowing that it's being investigated as a hit-and-run, I just felt like if we don't do something about the traffic scenario around this whole area in general, that could happen a lot more often."

"It really hit home for a lot of folks," said Peter Westerholm, "That this could be any of our neighborhoods and any of our friends."

Westerholm, the Metro council person for the area, told Nashville's News 2 the issue of more sidewalks is something he's trying to bring more attention to.

Westerholm worked with the city to get a crosswalk put up along Eastland Avenue near a dense shopping district.

"We have lots of side walks that are planned, but are not yet funded," he explained.

Metro Public Works told Nashville's News 2 there is a Sidewalk Master Plan.

The plan was developed about 12 years ago, and ideally called for $20 million in each year's budget be dedicated to adding new sidewalks and making improvements.

Metro Public Works said the reality is, they get about $12 million per year, and this year, Mayor Karl Dean asked all city departments to prepare budgets reflecting a two percent cut in spending.

"I think there's a lot more that needs to be done," said Walters. "Hopefully, it doesn't happen again, because this area is really tight. [If] you know somebody, you know everybody out here."

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