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Monday, April 6, 2015

Thank You To Mayor Karl Dean For Meeting About Sidewalks in Nashville Today


Want to thank mayor Karl Dean for meeting with us today about Sidewalk Project #1 - Bowling Av.  Wanted to also thank Councilman Sean McGuire for arranging the meeting and Marc Macy of Public Works for fielding so many questions (both during and after the meeting).  


As many of you know, last year we took up the cause of completing the sidewalk network on the fast cut-through street of Bowling Av.  First, we sent a letter to every land owner on Bowling.  Responses were very supportive.  Following the letters, was a poll of the neighborhood.  140 responders with 92% showing support.  Then, we held a public meeting about this pilot project at West End Middle School.  We had numerous guest speakers and over 70 citizens join in the conversation.   

Since that time, we have had Public Works rework our Sidewalk Priority Index score and have continued to work hard to gain support for this project.  Since it equates to a pilot project for us, the plan is to replicate its success on other streets where citizens express need.     

Bowling Av is in critical need for a few reasons.  First, there is West End Middle School.  On the side of the street with the school, there is no sidewalk making walking safely to school not an option.  Second, Bowling is partially sidewalked.  Completing the project would finish the job.  Critically, the portion that is not sidewalked sits squarely in a dead zone for pedestrians.   There is no adequate walking infrastructure from Woodmont to Brighton and yet there are many walkers the fairly quiet tree-lined side streets.  On the highly residential end of Bowling, everyone just avoids this connector street.  Walkers that could run errands of foot don't because it does not feel safe. 

Bowling is a connector.  Even though many live within walking distance to Green Hills, Hillsboro Village, Elmington Park, McCabe Greenway, Sylvan Park plus numerous churches and synagogues the discomfort in having to travel on Bowling makes most get in their cars instead.   The speed limit is 35mph on Bowling but the average driver likely goes quite a bit faster making it a perceived danger for a walker.   Lastly, Public Works has assured us that there are no right-of-way issues on the remainder that needs to be sidewalked.   In other words, this project is doable with the right support.  

We talked for 45 minutes and made our case.  The discussion seemed well rounded and mayor Dean expressed his understanding.   

I have had many emails asking how to get a sidewalk project completed.  Hopefully, I will have more information soon.






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NASHVILLE NEEDS SIDEWALKS. 

Nashville needs well designed, high quality, and uniform sidewalks with adequate green buffers to provide shade.

That is the goal of Shade Parade Nashville & The Sidewalk Foundation.


If you or someone you know would like to put in a regulation sidewalk in front of your home or development OR would like to make a donation to The Sidewalk Foundation contact thesidewalkfoundation@gmail.com




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