Happy 1st Anniversary Shade Parade Nashville!
Yesterday, marked 1 year of hard work and critical thinking about sidewalks in Nashville.
Many things have been learned and I now know that I still have a very long way to go…when your heart is for better walkability - you must be prepared to take the longer path.
A friend said she had never thought about sidewalks or walkability before. But, since reading this blog, her consciousness had been raised. Now, she sees walkability issues all around and finds them worrisome. This was the best compliment I received all year as this is part of my goal - to get you to see how hard it is to be a pedestrian in Nashille. In doing so, I hope to make you into a pedestrian advocate who will work to make things better.
If I was able to raise your consciousness about pedestrians and sidewalks in Nashville - I will count my work a success.
Here is a breakdown of my work so far (start date 11/2013):
- Creation of Shade Parade Nashville, a blog dedicated to raising awareness of walkability issues in Nashville, 11/2013
- Attend Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meetings, every other month, Metro Courthouse, starting 1/2014
- Surveyed neighborhood of my sidewalk pilot project, Bowling Av, via both letter and on-line survey with results of 92% support of sidewalking this road, 3/2014
- Held a public Meeting to discuss the need for improved walkability with 9 guest speakers, numerous public officials and council people in attendance. 70 neighborhood citizens in attendance, 4/2014
- Presented at Research Club on the need for enhanced walkability in Nashville and the current limitations, 6/2014; https://www.facebook.com/ResearchClubNashville
- Created The Sidewalk Foundation, a non-profit to raise funds for new sidewalks in Nashville, 6/2014
- Interviewed in The Scene: -- http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/as-the-city-grapples-with-public-transportation-nashville-neighborhoods-want-more-attention-for-sidewalks/Content?oid=4123293
- Volunteer at local Farmer's Market, working to engage citizens on walkability issues, 3rd Saturday of each month, Vine St Market on West End, 7/2014
- Volunteered with The Nations, in their demonstration project of a road diet, 8/2014
- Interviewed for Streetsblog
- Interviewed for The Tennessean, 9/2014
- Citizens Police Academy, 8/2014 - 11/2014. To learn what the police are doing in regards to the safety of pedestrians
- Primary host of The Mayoral Candidate Coffee on Walkabilty. All 5 mayoral candidates were present to discuss their solutions to walkability, 10/2014
- Walk [Your City] Campaign in Green Hills, 10/2014
- Voted Best Community Organizer, The Scene, 10/2014; http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/best-community-organizer/BestOf?oid=4721250
- Unanimously voted to become a member of the board, Walk/Bike Nashville, 10/2014
- Primary host of Pedestrian Paradise, an event for Walk Month Nashville & Artober, 10/2014
- Guest Speaker, The Sierra Club/5K for Clean Air; https://cleanair5k.racesonline.com/home
I was warned that getting involved with sidewalks was grueling and somewhat soul crushing. I have definitely had my fair share of negativity thrown my way. A good example of this is: http://shadeparadenashville.blogspot.com/2014/01/sidewalk-project-4-my-house.html
But, I have also met some wonderful people who are truly passionate about walkability and there are many citizens who really want a better sidewalk network here in Nasvhille. In fact, I would say the majority of do.
Let's hope that the upcoming year shows some real progress. Plan is for a website, Kickstarter campaign, proposed change in the in-lieu fee requirements, Public Works call in campaign, design competition AND fund raising for specific sidewalk projects.
Let's get some beautiful sidewalks built in Nashville!
We need a good website --- if you can help - please let me know!