Even though it isn't perfect, it is getting better - and, it shows. A recent walk from one end of Green Hills to the other down Hillsboro Rd and up Hillsboro Circle showed notable improvements with many more pedestrians out and about (Yay!).
As always, I am striving for the best and I did see that the new sidewalks did not incorporate a buffer of a size that can support shade providing trees - a kind of bitter pill to me (this blog is called SHADE Parade!). My recent walk was on a beautifully breezy day but I have real worries about the heat islands that these places will become. If you are not aware of heat islands, I will introduce you: consider walking next to 4-6 lanes of traffic (hot exhausting cars) on black concrete, in the blazing sun at noon in July. With no shade cover, you have most definitely created a dead sidewalk here in the south as no one, with a choice, would choose this inferno over their air conditioned single passenger vehicle. Heat islands are bad news for walkers.
Shade is a must.
The Davidson County Strategic Sidewalk Plan was created in 2003 & updated in 2008. It has clearly defined goals for the look & design of a sidewalk depending on the street type. We know what's best & yet we, in Nashville, seem to continually build sidewalks that do not fit this ideal. As anyone who has tried to get a sidewalk in their neighborhood knows, it is very very difficult to do & I would encourage you in my strongest
language to insist on sidewalks being built to this plan to allow for shade coverage.
For a quick review of the Heat Island Effect visit:
I want to thank heartily Planning, Public Works and the numerous individuals and groups such as Angie Henderson, Walk/Bike Nashville and The Green Hills Action Partners who have negotiated endlessly to make GH more walkable. I am sure there were many more behind the scenes who I am not aware of - and, I thank them, too.
In addition, I want to thank Helga Menisci for putting her heart out there in a piece about her lovely daughter. Her review & comments on the area were so sharp - certainly from the mother's eye. I truly believe her story helped make the changes you see here.