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Friday, January 24, 2014

Sidewalk Project #4, My House

Ok, you want sidewalks? 

So, put one in front of your house. 
Or, can you?

Above is a picture of my front yard - typical of most in Nashville.

The area in front of most homes, where a sidewalk would be placed, is located in a right-of-way - an easement - technically owned by the city. 

In order to respect this, my proposed plan was to build a regulation sidewalk with the dimensions and qualification Public Works deemed necessary, funded by me and created by my contractor.
'In the 17 years I have worked here, this is a new one', was the honest response from Public Works.

My contractor met Roy and Mike from Public Works, Permits Office, at my house to evaluate it for sidewalk placement. 

Numerous people have warned me that the sidewalk issue is complex in Nashville.  

  Just a few quotes from our discussion

- not as simple as it seems
- won't be able to park out front
- not advisable
- will loose all your trees
- biggest issues is drainage
- water will run onto neighbors yard
- may get sued.  Water will run onto street and if someone hydroplanes...
- water meter would need to be raised, water line may possible need to be elevated
- would need a water study
- sidewalk would need to be elevated so its grade is towards the road…would need a lot of fill
- impractical
- zero % chance that Public Works would fund sidewalks on this street
- if done to standards, could not use a permeable concrete (such as at Convention Center downtown Nashville)
- could be pointed at as a crazy idea
- a 'sidewalk to nowhere'
- would not look great
- need to cut down the trees
- neighbors would not like it
- liable if you build it
- kills trees
- between 25-30K to complete

 Then, they turned to me & asked why I wanted to do such a thing…

A sidewalk in front on my house - a small strip with no connection to other sidewalks is not ideal.  I hear what they are saying above.  

But, I believe in sidewalks.  Nashville needs them. But, progress on sidewalk creation has been woefully slow.  I want a place for my children to play that is not in the road or driveway.  I also think that others do, too.  In addition, I believe others would be willing to pay for such a 'luxury' as it has grander implication such as improved quality of life and home values. 

This could be a model for how to get sidewalks on your street…   

The advise was to talk with neighbors.  Get a petition.  Talk to councilperson.  It was noted that my street had a high volume of walkers who would appreciate a sidewalk and possibly the 'juice' to make it happen. 

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