Shade Parade & The Sidewalk Foundation gets word out about need for sidewalks on Walk Bike Nashville!
I MOVE to be a good role model for my kids.
Written by: Trisha Ping
There are lots of benefits to an active lifestyle, but one of the biggest might be setting a good example for your children. Dr. Stacy Dorris, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, makes getting out and about with her family a priority—even when it doesn’t come easy. She has become one of the city’s most outspoken advocates for pedestrian safety, launching a one-woman campaign to expand the city’s sidewalk network, which currently covers less than 25% of the roadways.
How do you MOVE to stay healthy and what do you enjoy most about it?
I hike on the weekends and take regular exercise classes. It creates a well-rounded workout, which I love. I always try to take the stairs and park as far away as possible at work. This builds activity into days that are fairly sedentary. In addition, I love to walk outdoors and the inherent serendipity of running into a friend or seeing something unique, such as an interesting garden or a new business, is its own reward.
Why do you think it's important for parents to model healthy living for their children
Modeling healthy living is a great gift you can give to your children. Plus, it’s fun. Your children are going to grow up and come into their own. They will need to choose a life for themselves. If they have seen their family engaged in an active lifestyle with its subsequent pleasures, they will have this as part of the range of options they see as possible.
What's your favorite active family activity?
We love to take the dog for a walk, hike in Percy Warner Park and go swimming. We also have a game called “Team Proctor” where we race up and down the driveway—pretty simple, but loads of fun on a warm summer night.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting out and about with your family in Nashville?
The crazy quilt that is our sidewalk network is a big issue. There is little consistency and lots of irregularities that make walking more of an obstacle course experience. Add children into this mix and you get a serious feeling that their safety is in jeopardy. One fall and they are in the road. It is very nerve-racking as a parent. If a role of government is to help people stay safe—pedestrians are definitely getting the short end of the stick in Nashville.
What changes would you want to see?
Pedestrians should be given the highest consideration—they are out there on foot! Other cities have made a conscious decision to make pedestrians their highest priority. Nashville would do itself a huge service to adopt this idea. We could be the first and best walking city in the South!
Creating walkable communities is an important part of Walk/Bike Nashville’s mission. Each October, Walk/Bike Nashville hosts Walk Nashville Month to help engage pedestrians and bring awareness to pedestrian issues. Across the city, various events are held that promote walking for fun, exercise, and transportation. In 2014, Walk/Bike Nashville featured over 25 events including one of our most successful Walk to School Days yet where over 11,000 students from over 60 schools walked to school with their teachers, parents, and community members!
Walk/Bike Nashville is committed to advocating for safe sidewalks, educating road users on pedestrian rights, and bringing attention to pedestrian concerns through efforts such as Walk Nashville Month. Your donation to Walk/Bike Nashville will help keep pedestrians a priority in our city!