Good news for walkers in the Nashville area…all a long it has felt like the desire to create a more walkable city was 'in the air'.
Help keep it 'in the air' by calling Public Works and requesting a sidewalk in your area.
Bikeshare, greenways, bus stations share in $10 million
A greatly expanded federal fund will boost 10 non-traditional transportation projects in the Nashville area, including to extend several greenways and trails and to create a new bikeshare program in Williamson County.
Nearly $10 million was awarded Wednesday by theNashville Metropolitan Planning Organization for so-called “active transportation” efforts.
That’s nearly quadruple the amount the MPOhanded out in 2012, when the agency first set aside money specifically for nonmotorized projects that diversify travel options and improve health.
“We’re seeing a change,” said Leslie Meehan, MPO director of healthy communities. “Bicycle and pedestrian facilities are really seen as economic development strategies now.”
The largest grant, of almost $2.25 million, went to Nashville’s bus system to create two new “transit hubs” on Clarksville Pike in North Nashville and Nolensville Pike in South Nashville.
In those places, where some of the city’s busiest bus lines intersect, officials want to provide more than benches for riders. Plans call for heated waiting areas and restrooms, more lighting and improvements for pedestrians walking to the stations.
The second-largest grant went to the Franklin Transit Authority, providing $2 million for a bikeshare program that will be larger than Nashville’s B-Cycle system.
The smallest grant — and one-of-a-kind in what it will pay for — went to Berry Hill.
Instead of construction money, like the other awards, Berry Hill will get $125,000 to study how to accommodate walking and bicycling amid the rapid construction taking place along Franklin Pike between Wedgewood Avenue and Berry Road.
“It’s a little bit catchup and a little bit get-out-in-front. We know we need pedestrian improvements,” said Joe Baker, city manager. “Fortunately, you can usually get up and down without the sidewalks. But it’s not especially hospitable and not particularly accessible.”
Reach Tony Gonzalez at 615-259-8089 and on Twitter @tgonzalez.
Funding for active transportation projects
“Active transportation” is daily travel powered by human energy, including walking, biking and taking transit (which often involves walking). The Nashville MPO began setting aside federal funds for such projects in 2012.
•$2.25 million to create bus transit hubs on Clarksville Pike and Nolensville Pike in Nashville.
•$2 million for a Franklin and Cool Springs bikesharing program.
•$1.6 million for just less than a mile of multiuse trail on Highway 31 in White House.
•$1.2 million for two miles of sidewalks in Mt. Juliet between the Providence Greenway and Jerry Mundy Park.
•$1 million to create 2,000 feet of greenway in Sumner County between Saundersville Station and Station Camp School.
•$560,000 for four miles of sidewalks in 13 areas in Gallatin.
•$413,000 for a Nolensville trailhead, bridge and multiuse trail.
•$320,000 for bicycle and pedestrian amenities along South Lowry Street in Smyrna.
•$124,000 for community planning about the future of Franklin Pike in Berry Hill.