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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How Do We Change: Walk to Work?

A while back, at a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting, I was startled to hear that the average Nashvillian does 3-4 active minutes per day.  This struck a cord.  Routinely, after a full & busy day of work in a clinic, with parking in the very back of a quite large lot, I will often see a report on my Fitbit like this:

With this knowledge, I have been persistently looking for ways to add active minutes in my day without extending it.  Inexplicably, my work does not have an option to take stairs although I work only a single floor up - so, I cannot do this commonly recommended activity.  I have tried riding my bike which is not my 1st preference & therefore I tend to opt out of it.  

By far, my 1st preference is to walk.

Recently, I have started parking a mile from my office and finishing my trip on foot twice a week.  This is surprisingly complicated!

I typically park off of Woodmont/Thompson Lane and take the remainder of the trip to One Hundred Oak along this route.

I have to say the view upon entering Berry Hills is less than welcoming when you arrive on foot.

The CDC recommends at least 30 minutes of physical activity.  Here in Nashville, we have literally allowed physical activity to literally be designed out of our lives.

Parking a mile away lets me easily add more than 30 minutes of exercise to my work day but I think my current route is only for the brave and committed.

My point is, we have tailored our public spaces for single use:  to move cars.  We have trimmed out the ability to share these public spaces for other healthier modes of transportation and that is not fair or right.  It is also frankly old-fashioned as modern cities are moving more and more towards walkability and less towards having high volumes of fast moving cars moving through their communities.  




  1. Gah, 100 Oaks Mall itself is a walkability nightmare. The only signaled crossing near that wastecan is down a ways on Thompson. There is no bus that goes down Thompson. Or consider the signaled crossing on Powell starting near the Home Depot and ends up on a tiny little curb that leads nowhere. That big bridge they built for the mall renovation? Not even a sidewalk, just the narrowest of shoulders and some landscaping. Who designed that!

    And good luck to anyone who tries to walk the short distance from the mall proper to Panera. Ye gods.

  2. I am in complete agreement - there is a lot of absurdity in a tiny community if you are a walker! For more info please see ---

  3. Oh, man, that 100 Oaks post is the rant I have in my head every time I'm there, and more. Thanks for publishing that.

  4. One quibble, as reminded to me by MTA (hi, I'm @nashtransit on twitter) - the stop by the bridge is not the only 100 Oaks route stop - there's a much better one right up at the south end of the mall, near the movie theater. But the point remains that it's really hard to walk anywhere away from the mall.