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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What Does Our Current Sidewalk Infrastructure Say About Us?

'When the public realm is vibrant, beautiful, and active, it is a demonstration that the local government values its citizens and their quality of life.  Alternatively, when the public realm is neglected, badly designed, or treated as an after through, it reflects poorly on the city, effectively sending a message that the government does not value its citizens or its visitors.  At the Design Trust, we believe that well-designed, beautiful public spaces have the power to restore a sense of dignity to our urban environment, enrich our civic life and foster a sense of ownership in local residents.'

- Megan Canning
Deputy Director
The Design Trust for Public Spaces
http://designtrust.org


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Downtown Nashville is flourishing (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/realestate/commercial/nashvilles-skyline-being-rebuilt-by-building-boom.html?_r=0) but what about the other highly valuable centers of Nashville?  I am arguing that we need a cohesive and well designed sidewalk plan to connect our city & we need to establish permanent funding in order to complete the task.  


In Green Hills:  A 'premiere' shopping destination





Can Nashville make public spaces like these a thing of the past?  Can we stop talking about building sidewalks and actually get to the work of it?  

There is a huge latent demand for real walkability:  sidewalks that connect to destinations, are highly functional, safe, and have beautiful design.  

Please let your elected officials know your thoughts or share this post!  The more people who care about walkability in Nashville, the better.  











Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This is Embarassing - See How Nashville Compares: Our Average Utilization of Active Transport Compared to National Average + Other Cities


I show this graph and include the brief info from a New York Times article below to argue that we need dedicated funding for active transportation infrastructure (walking, biking, public transportation) here in Nashville.  

We don't currently have this:  every year, the funding has to be asked for - there is no guarantee and this leads to instability and difficulty in setting long term plans.  Hence, we haven't planned well and we now experience the situation where buses let you off on small concrete pads that connect to nothing on very busy streets and we have 1/8 of mile of sidewalk for every mile of roadways.  Every complains of traffic.  And yet, in our neighborhoods, we have major connector streets lacking sidewalks that could lead residents to walk to run errands, but are instead lined with dangerous ditches.   

Nashville is experiencing a boom and yet are missing the opportunity to harvest some of this revenue to create a superior  walking experience.  

I'd argue that there is no great walking city in the South...why not make Nashville the first?







Nashville’s Skyline Being Reshaped by Building Boom



NASHVILLE — A powerful surge in construction is reshaping the physical character and economy of this 236-year-old river city, and fueling a deepening public conversation about essential civic values that many residents worry could be lost.

More than 100 new projects, together valued at more than $2 billion, are underway in Nashville or planned to start next year, according to city figures. Most of the big projects — four hotels, five office buildings and eight high-rise residential towers with a total value of $1.5 billion — are in the downtown core, a number of them rising on former parking lots, according to the Nashville Downtown Partnership, a business development group.
LINK:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/realestate/commercial/nashvilles-skyline-being-rebuilt-by-building-boom.html?_r=0



Now, is the time to write your mayor and call your councilperson...If they do not know your wishes for better walkability - they won't act.