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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sidewalk Project #1, Bowling Av, Brighton to Woondmont Av, Another Update…

In regards to right-of-ways/easements on Bowling - I spoke with Rick Kirkpatrick at Public Works on 1/22/2014.  According to Rick, 'right-of-way is not an issue'.  He stated that right-of-ways are very rarely a problem in Nashville - 98% of the time 'not an issue'.  

He quoted an estimate of 1.2M for the completion of the Bowling sidewalk to Woodmont Av and believed it was for one side of the street - not both.  Main expense would be in moving utility poles and changes need to 'decorative' items such as stone walls.  In addition, drainage would need to be addressed.  

Lastly, he said that since the demand in this area is low - it does not score high on the priority index making it unlikely to be started any time soon.  

My next thought was to look up parcel information on each property that would be effected.  This will provide information on owner and also a place to draw or list possible obstructions.  Then, I thought I would write to each owner and gauge their interest in a sidewalk and their willingness to move/change their hardscapes to allow placement of sidewalk if the sidewalk could be completed.  I would also like to gauge interest in donations to this cause as I think many people would be willing to help match funding in order to have a sidewalk.  

I have recently been reading about Walk Scores and their impact on both individual home owners and to local governments.  A one point increase in Walk Scores appears to equate to about a $3000 increase in home value for most metropolitan areas.  For local governments, heavily dependent on higher tax revenues via increased property values, this appears to be a win-win.  

The Walk Score for Bowling - the southern expanse without sidewalks - is 31 with a bike score of 36 - considered car dependent.   When compared to the walkability of Bowling, where sidewalks line both sides of the street, the Walk Score jumps to 51 with a bike score 66 and is considered somewhat walkable.  If the increase of $3000/one pt in Walk Score is to be believed - increasing walkability to the level of the north side of Bowling on the south end would increase property values by $60k.  That would be a significant boon for homeowners and local governments.  

I do have to say that I am sort of suspicious that the right-of-way is a little more complicated that described above…

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