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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nashville's Ratio of Sidewalks to Roadways: A Comparison to Other Major Cities

According to the Nashville-Davidson County Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikewalks, when comparing our rate of sidewalk to roadways, Nashville ranks poorly.

At the time of the Strategic Plan's update, in 2008, in cities with more than 2000 miles of roadways such as Nashville, the average ratio of sidewalk miles to roadways miles was 0.67:1.

Metro Nashville's ratio of sidewalks to roadways was 0.35:1.  Nashville had 2154 miles of roadways to 752 miles of sidewalks.  Of the cities surveyed for the Strategic Plan, Nashville was the 2nd worst city, just above Charlotte, NC (0.33:1).  

'Today, through the sidewalk program as well as development requirements we have over 1,000 miles of sidewalks in Nashville and Davidson County', per Jenna Smith from Nashville's Public Works. Improvements have been made but it appears the rate of advancement has stalled.   

'In order for Metro Nashville to have a ratio equal to Portland's ratio of 0.46:1, Metro would need to construct approximately 239 miles of new sidewalk along existing roadways', per the Strategic Plan.

Shade Parade Nashville questions the commitment, today, Nashville has to walkability.  Again, according to Jenna Smith of Nashville Public Works, 'Over the past 2 years, over 3 miles of new sidewalk have been constructed and over 20 miles of sidewalks have been repaired'.  Without wanting to sound ungrateful - Three miles - Really?  At this rate, it will take us 79 years to catch up to Portland's mediocre rate of less than half the roadways having sidewalks. 


Nashville-Davidson County Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways, update, 2008

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