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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Few, Far Between & Never Seen…How Urban Planning Can Change You!





Recently, my family moved from near the 70/100 split in Nashville into town.  Walkability and better public schools were critical to us.  Our new neighborhood is rich with walkers - at almost any given moment, I can look out my window and see people walking by.  I love it.  

In contrast, my old neighborhood was a cul-de-sac that abutted a major highway (70S) and a feeder road that was shadowed by an enormous highway bridge.    






The red pin represents our old house and the purple pin is the feeder road.





The large building on the other side of the bridge is a shopping center with a grocery.  There is a bakery and a post office just out of view near the grocery.  












Interestingly, our Walk Score, which measures 'as the crow flies' to local places of interest was 51 - considered 'somewhat walkable'.  But, trying to traverse this highway bridge was highly uncomfortable at best.  

Attention to the built environment is crucial to the movement of people.  Because of the cul-de-sac nature of our street - it was rare that another person was encountered on a walk.  Because of the highway bridge it was near impossible to do errands on foot.  Such a shame…

If Nashville is to chip away at its traffic problem - it needs to think hard about creating alternatives to vehicular travel and minimize barriers to walkability.      







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