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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Walk Your City Campaign…In Nashville! We NEED YOUR HELP FOR THIS, TOO!

Coming soon to Green Hills!

We have our 1st supporter:  Thank You Kalamata's!


Just under 1/2 of all car trips are less than 2 miles.   A 2 mile walk, for most would take about 30-40 minutes on foot and just 10-15 minutes on bike.


Green Hills in Nashville, could be a great walkable neighborhood.  The distance between destinations is actually quite short.  Within a 20 minutes walk you can travel to The Hill Center/Whole Foods, the YMCA, Trader Joe's, the post office, library, Sally Beaman Park, the mall, Hillsboro High, and the Hillsboro bus.  

A few major issues hinder Green Hills as a walkable destination. 

 One, the sidewalk that is present is right up against the road except for a small stretch shown here - no green buffer nor shade coverage leading to a walking trip that is not very comfortable or pleasant.  

Two, the sidewalk network is not intact.  There are gaps without sidewalk for no obvious reason.  There are many egresses to business parking lots - an obstacle for walkers as many drivers pull up to the road fast and only look over one shoulder (not both ways).  If you are walking from the opposite side - you may not be seen if on foot.    

Three, the existing sidewalks are in poor condition.  Lots of broken walkways and curb cuts. Many obstacles are also in the sidewalk - clearly, these sidewalks are not regarded as active pedestrian fareways.

Four, superblocks.  The enormity of walking these blocks, if you destination is half way through a block on the other side, leads to wanting to jaywalk - a great danger in a neighborhood without a high pedestrian volume.  

Five, the scale is set for vehicular passage.  There are a lot of businesses with large parking lots out front.  This makes it so there is no window shopping & a walker has to snake through a busy and often hot parking lot before arriving at their destination.  

Let's change this.

Green Hills is a place that many actively avoid as the traffic is awful and yet it is our most dense shopping area.  It is also surrounded by neighborhoods with the highest income base.  It could be great.  Think of the energy of 12th So or the Gulch.  These neighborhood feel so alive because they are the perfect mix of walkable and liveable.  Green Hills is certainly ready for a redesign…let's work to make it a walking destination!


Walk Month Nashville is coming in October.  We need your help to make Green Hills more walkable!  The plan is to do a Walk Your City Campaign in Green Hills.  The signs are fairly expensive:  $25 per sign.  We are looking for donations to get this campaign up! 

I encourage you to be on the look out for these signs coming in October.

If you would like to donate $25 for  sign - please email me at:

Found on foot in The Nations, 8/23/2014, as part of the Guerrilla Urbanist/Outlines event. 



Saturday, August 30, 2014

Found on Foot - #2

Walking allows for a pace that can lead to discovery.  Found on Foot this week is a small neighborhood lending library and sharing space.  Zipping by, at 30 mph, this charming find would have been missed.  

If you would like to visit this lending library it is located at 24th and Barton, Nashville TN

If you find interesting things on foot…please share them here!



Twitter:  @Found_on_Foot
Intagram: Stacydorrisproctor



Want more sidewalks on Bowling Av and beyond? 

There is a lot to do:

-> Call Public Works request a sidewalk on Bowling Av from West End to Woodmont.
(615) 862-8750
Mon-Fri 7a-5p

-> Read article in The Tennessean & comment on your thoughts about sidewalks in Nashville - we need Nashvillians to engage around this subject:

- > Read and comment to bring Nashville's walkability issues to a larger audience:

-> Attend The Mayoral Candidate Coffee on Walkability.  Wed, Oct 8th, 745a-9a.  At Ruby.  Coffee donated by Bongo Java/Fido.

-> Come to Pedestrian Paradise in Elmington Park.  A celebration of Walk Month Nashville.  Walk Bowling Av, see Elmington Park transformed into a Pedestrian Paradise with music, art, performances, food trucks, plus so much more.  Sun, Oct 19th, 4-7p.  You are encouraged to walk to this event.  Rules of the road:  walk against traffic, wear bright/reflective clothing & it never hurts to wave at drivers!

-> Donate to The Sidewalk Foundation.  Let's build some sidewalks in this town!  Sidewalk Project #1 is Bowling Av.  1 sq ft of sidewalk = $50.  1 linear ft (1'x5') = $250.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pedestrian Paradise Needs YOUR HELP!

October is Walk Month in Nashville.  
It is also Artober.  

One thing walking advocates often push for is an environment that is entertaining and scaled to the pedestrian.  Imagine a city that has lively streetscapes including street artists, great window shopping, and cafe style seating allowing you so many things to look at, hear, and experience while simply walking by.

In this spirit, we are hosting Pedestrian Paradise in Elmington Park.  Elmington Park is already home to many sports events, food trucks and the famous LARPers on Sundays.  For this event, Elmington Park will be further enriched by being 'Art Bombed' with tons of kinetic and interesting things to view and experience.    


As many of you know, Bowling Av in our pilot project here at Shade Parade & The Sidewalk Foundation.  The goal is to complete the sidewalk from West End to Woodmont on Bowling.  This is our 'Sidewalk Project #1'.  Later, we hope to connect this sidewalk network to one on Woodmont, then we will move onto Hillsboro.  This would highly benefit the neighborhood, West End Middle School, and the many business, churches and synagogues.  

We invite you to walk down Bowling Av (so you can experience walking here before the sidewalk is put in) and meet us in 
Elmington Park
Sunday, October 19th, from 4-7p



In order to pull this off
we need YOUR HELP!

  Calling all artists and performers!  We are looking for aerial acrobats, jugglers, performers, acting groups, singing groups, acoustic bands, unicycle riders, plein air painters, sculptors, dancers, yoga teachers, and tai chi teachers willing to lead a group and interact with the participants.  This is an informal event.  There is no stage.  The goal is to have the park itself studded with many types of kinetic and stationary events.

This is a free event with the intention of intriguing & entertaining pedestrians who pass through the park on foot.  

If you or someone you know would like to perform or volunteer - please let us know.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Update on 33 New Miles…

The 33 new miles includes miles created by developers.  I do not yet know the full story on this but I do understand that when a commercial developer develops a property - they are to put in a regulation sidewalk (5' wide, with a 4' green buffer).  They are to create the sidewalk even if the remainder of the street is void of one.  Even if no one walks there (yet). 

The picture below shows a well done sidewalk in front of the Charlotte Av Police Department - The West Precinct.  Psychologically, when walking right here - it has a great feel.  You are physically buffered from the cars by the patch of grass and trees.  

Let your eye follow the sidewalk to its terminus where it empties into a parking lot of a tire repair shop.  You can see the difference.  This shows the importance of high quality well designed sidewalks here in Nashville.  They make a significant difference.

Still waiting to hear how many miles of new sidewalk were produced by Public Works last year.  As soon as I know, I will write about it.


That being said - I'll take any well designed high quality sidewalk in Nashville no matter who makes it.  These bits and pieces  created by developers & individuals (yes, you can DIY if you choose) add up over time.  In addition, Public Works has states that these 'sidewalks to nowhere' actually hold heavy weight when a road is evaluated for a sidewalk.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yes the 33 Miles is New…

'Stacy - yes the 33 miles is new' from Jenna Smith, who is so kind in answering my many, many questions, at Public Works. 


Since 2008, when the updated version the Strategic Sidewalk Plan for Davidson Co was released, Public Works is calculating that they have created 200 new miles of sidewalks.  

The next natural questions is:  WHERE?  

And, for me, are these sidewalks high quality?  Are they usable?  This is going to take a few days to figure out but I will reporting on this issue over the week.  

If the ratio of sidewalk to roadways has increased to 0.45:1, as reported in The Tennessean (see link below) that still means that in our urban service district, less than one half of our roadways with a sidewalk on just one side.  

Noted that this is in Nashville's URBAN service district - our area of highest density has less than 1/2 the roads with a sidewalk on only 1 side. 


As much as I applaud the Mayor's Walk 100 Mile initiative - I feel strongly that you have to create safe places for Nashvillians to walk.  In particular, we have to create safe places for people to walk so that they can accomplish their typical errands on foot.  Driving to a Greenway to then exercise has its pluses but also has huge minuses. 


  This year, 11 pedestrians have been killed by drivers in Nashville.  By comparison, only 1 bicyclist has been killed in the last 5 years.

We need to build high quality well designed sidewalks with pedestrians in mind.  They need to be safe, comfortable and inviting.  


Monday, August 25, 2014

Sidewalks in Nashville

According to The Strategic Sidewalk Plan for Davidson County put out in 2008, Nashville's Urban Service District ratio of sidewalks to roadways was 0.33:1.  It is critical to note that this is ONLY the Urban Service District (USD) and does not mean the whole county that is Davidson County or Nashville.  This number also means that 1/3 of Nashville's roads (in the USD) have sidewalks on ONLY one side of the road (NOT both).  

By comparison, Minneapolis has a sidewalk ratio of 1.97:1.  Essentially 2 miles of sidewalk for every mile of road.  This equals a sidewalk on both sides of the street.  Nice! 

Wouldn't that be wonderful here in Nashville? Can you imagine sidewalks on BOTH sides of the street on essentially all roadways?!?

This picture, which was published in The Tennessean on Aug 24, 2014, exemplifies what it feels like to walk most of Nashville's streets.  Do this look safe, easy, and comfortable?  Do you think this encourages walking?  

Would you walk here? Or, let you kids walk here?


The Tennessean also recently reported that our sidewalk ratio in Nashville has improved to 0.45:1.  I am questioning this statistic and will report back as soon as I know.  


Want more sidewalks in Nashville?

-> Donate to The Sidewalk Foundation.  Let's build some sidewalks in this town!  1 sq foot of sidewalk = $50.  1 linear ft (1x5') = $250. 

-> Plan to attend The Mayoral Candidate Coffee on Walkability.  Wed, Oct 8th, 745a-9a.  at Ruby.  Coffee donated by Bongo Java/Fido. 

-> Pedestrian Paradise.  A celebration of Walk Month Nashville.  Walk Bowling Av, see Elmington Park transformed into a Pedestrian Paradise with music, art, performances, food trucks, plus so much more.  Sun, Oct 19th, 4-7p.  We are encouraging all to walk to this event.  Rules of the road:  walk against traffic, wear bright/reflective clothing, & it never hurts to make eye contact & wave at drivers.


Follow here and at:

& Shade Parade Nashville on twitter.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Success in The Nations!

Really strong work by the Guerrilla Urbanist in The Nations, Nashville yesterday!

The day showed that with improved walkability and, very importantly, by providing interesting things to see and do that are scaled to foot traffic the feel of a neighborhood can be transformed.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

TODAY - See a Neighborhood Transformed!

Come see a neighborhood transformed!  

Today from 10a-10p!

Through the actions of a group of dedicated volunteers - 51st Av gets a modern makeover

 The emphasis today will NOT be how to get a vehicle from point A to point B the fastest way possible but rather how to make a city street livable - pedestrian style.  This group is literally changing the scale of a 4 lane very busy street.  You can come experience this scale change that is made for you - a person on foot.  

See a road diet in action.  Come feel how a few changes, such as adding trees, narrowing a road, providing places to sit and talk can make a HUGE difference in the feel of a very busy and uninviting (to a pedestrian) road. 

If you like these changes - tell your elected officials.  Want more sidewalks in Nashville?  Come to The Mayoral Candidate Coffee on Walkability Oct 8th, Wednesday, at 745a, Ruby.  Donate to The Sidewalk Foundation.  Volunteer.  Get involved.  Get together as a neighborhood and do it in yours.  

Imagine your neighborhood as a socially rich, kinetic and vibrant place where all modes of transportation exists for the better.

Upcoming Events:

- OCTOBER is WALK MONTH NASHVILLE:  get your walk on 

- Mayoral Candidate Coffee on Walkability - come hear the new mayor's solutions to walkability.
---October 8th, Wednesday.  745a-9a.  Coffee provided by Fido.  At Ruby (next to Dragon Park). Parking (if needed) at Harris Hillman.  Please try to walk or bike if possible.
---moderator:  Bobby Allen from NPR
---all candidates have agreed to participate so far

- Pedestrian Paradise
---Bowling/Elmington Park
---October 19th, Sunday, 4-7p
---Be surprised on foot

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guerrilla Urbanist/Block Party TOMORROW - DO NOT MISS THIS!

According to The Scene, on August 23rd, for '12 hours during Saturday's Nashville Outlines block party, community volunteers will transform 51st Avenue North, the road that bisects The Nations, from a four-lane highway into an ideal block for pedestrians, narrowing it down to two lanes of traffic and adding bike lanes, crosswalks, parklets, traffic-calming measures and more'.

'Guerrilla Urbanist follows the design philosophy known as New Urbanism. But as Kenner readily points out, it's more like Old Urbanism, in which walkability and pedestrian-friendly measures are prized over speedy car traffic. He describes it as a corrective to the "70-year experiment" of centering urban design on the automobile.

"We've actually engineered our own abdominal obesity, our 35 percent obesity rate in the South, the type 2 diabetes rate — all of that is because of the way we designed America for the last 70 years," Kenner said. "New Urbanism is all about redoing good design and how to redesign neighborhoods to make them efficient and make it so we're not scared to walk."

So very true.  

I hope that you have all marked your calendars and plan to attend this Saturday, Aug, 23rd (TOMORROW!!!), 51st Av, from 10a-10p.  

During a few Saturday's this past month, I have volunteered with these guys.  I can lay claim to a few paint splatter chairs.   

And, I have to say - they are amazing.  Hard working, genuine and heartfelt…It would be a holy shame to miss this event.  If you want better walkability in Nashville - come to this event!