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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Road Diet

Vehicular traffic is a highly complained about subject here in Nashville.  Thinking this through, I am reminded of the old adage - If you build it, they will come.  Building more roads = more traffic strangely. As cities move forward & modernize to the wishes of residents now and in the future they need to consider what nobody desires - more traffic.   

Consider the opposite approach.  A road diet. A road diet is essentially a dimunization of the road either by reduction in lanes or reduction in the width of the lanes in order to achieve systemic improvement.

One of the most common applications of a road diet is to improve safety or provide space for other modes of travel.

Per Wikipedia, 'If properly designed, traffic does not divert to other streets after a road diet, because the road previously provided excessive capacity. In other scenarios, reduction of traffic (either local traffic or overall traffic) are intended in the scheme. Road diets are usually successful on roads carrying fewer than 19,000 vehicles per day. Road diets can succeed at volumes up to about 23,000 vehicles per day'.

As you know, Shade Parade Nashville, is working on a pilot project to complete the sidewalk on Bowling Av.  Currently, Bowling exhibits as a classic Nashville situation - sidewalked for 2/3 of its duration with an abrupt terminus that no longer makes sense.  In addition, for the portion of sidewalk extending south of West End, Bowling only has sidewalks on one side of the road - the side opposite the middle school!

Nashville has devoted enough land to cars - now it is time for pedestrians to have a viable place to walk!

Imagine a road diet for Bowling Av at the intersection of West End with a lush green median and sidewalks on either side

Moving forward, we are organizing a neighborhood meeting about Bowling likely to be held at West End Middle School in the spring.  We want to hear your thoughts and wishes.  It is going to be critical for a large turn out to be present so please plan to attend.  

Date TBD.  

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