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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fatal Pedestrian Injury in Nashville

December 21, 2015


          The pedestrian fatally injured after being struck by a compact SUV at 5:30 a.m. today on Murfreesboro Pike at Dover Glen Drive is identified as Vulet A. Gaurge, 45, of Dover Glen Drive.
          The preliminary investigation shows that Gaurge was crossing Murfreesboro Pike in the rain to reach a bus stop when she was struck by a 2010 Subaru Forester driven by Samuel J. Wolf, 27, of Gale Lane.  Wolf said he did not see Gaurge until he struck her.  Gaurge was carrying an umbrella which may have obstructed her view of traffic.  She was crossing the street about 30 feet away from a crosswalk
          There was no indication of alcohol or drug involvement on the part of either individual.


Three things:  as a driver, it is your job to see pedestrians.  You have to anticipate their moves.  Period.  

Second thing, and I don't know the answer to this:  is there a deficiency of proper pedestrian level lighting in this city?  I find Nashville so dark!  For example, I was at the intersection of 21st and Wedgewood yesterday & all 4 decorative lamps at each corner were out.  I could barely see the pedestrians crossing in the cross walk.  If anyone out there has some knowledge on lighting that is best for pedestrians or what other cities do (I can't say I have had the thought that other cities are so dark) - please let me know.

Third thing:  I think the ultimate question on the sad case above is why pedestrians feel the need to cross out of a crosswalk.  I suspect that it is due to poor design.


Design matters.  

Shade Parade = tree lined, well designed sidewalks for Nashville

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Keys to Happiness...

The same is true about walking and coffee...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference...Sometimes for the Worse. See for Yourself...

Little changes can make a big difference.  It seems that the general trend in Nashville is towards a more progressive walkable city but there are times of obvious step back.  Today, I encountered a big one.  

One of my treasured foot paths, between the Hill Center and Bandywood in Green Hills, has been very recently fenced off.  Someone, presumably the landlord, took the time and spent the money to do it.  


The construction dumpster was bad enough but now this fence!

As I was shimmying between the rigid fence and the grey-green 
?electrical box, I commiserated with a guy loping towards me, cutting through the parking lot, planning on utilizing the sweet stone pathway as I have done a million times before.  

My first thought was, 'Oh, so Nashville' and I am sorry that this is the way my city is sometimes.  It's frustrating that walkers are not supported and celebrated more.  

Pedestrians should not be treated as 2nd rate citizens as they add a lot of value to a community.  The fact is, pedestrianism is good for cities.  Less car traffic = more conviviality.  More foot traffic = less social isolation.  Less air pollution = more fit citizens.  


Foot traffic, for businesses, can only be seen as a boon.  I am not sure what the correct response is here to the fenced off walkway...If someone has a good and decent idea - please comment below.

As pedestrians in Nashville know...There are far too many places where the sidewalk abruptly ends.  Maybe there is a way to reverse this recently created blockade to walking...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Big Event This Saturday on Bandywood...Finish your holiday shopping on foot (and have fun doing it!)

Big Event This Saturday on Bandywood...Finish your holiday shopping on foot (and have fun doing it!)

Want to shop locally and pick up a few things from the mall in Green Hills?  Don't want to fight traffic and search long and hard for parking?  Come to a unique and clever event to be held 

December 19th, 2015


If you find it lamentable that Green Hills shopping district is not more walkable - please come to this event!  It is so important to actually walk Green Hills and experience it.  This event will provide a safe and cheerful way to do this in the company of others.    

Plan to meet a friend.  Please share this link or the Facebook links below.  


A funny addition from Elizabeth Miller, a very smart lawyer, mother and walking advocate that directly relates to the invitation below:

As a side note and to encourage all about the impact of the concept: (1) my 27 month-old boy, Henry, has devised his own game where he lines up his small VTech toys and the last one "can't find a parking spot"; (2) today, the Billy Reid employees at the Hill Center spent 10 minutes telling me about their harrowing adventures trying to hop the wall between the Hill Center and Bandywood to lunch/shop, concluding that TURBO should build a slide for Saturday's event. 

So, are slides a possible infrastructure solution so that walkers can scale the numerous physical blockades that are currently hindering pedestrian flow in Green Hills???  

Come and walk - decide for yourself (and have some holiday cheer while doing it)!





Come one come all to do you healthy holiday shopping! Find us by foot on Bandywood Dr and get FREE gift card giveaways and discounts!

Music Lineup:

3pm - Hillsboro High Carolers
3:30pm - Lisa Dotolo and Friends
4:30pm - Benjamin Bynum

People from all over Nashville come to Green Hills to do their shopping. The biggest issue with coming to this area to shop is dealing with the automotive congestion. Most people will drive from one parking lot to the next even if when a desired store is less then a tenth of a mile away. The reason most people will drive between stores is because the pedestrian infrastructure is lacking, it is unenjoyable and even dangerous to walk in this area.

With this project, TURBO and Alliance for Green Hills are creating a fun, festive, and safe environment for shoppers to walk between the Green Hills Mall and Hill Center.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Things You Should Have on Your Xmas/Holiday List

The following top 5 list was created by Dr. Katie Rizzone, who is has a wry sense of humor that never ceases to make me laugh...


Things you should have on your Xmas/holiday list instead of whatever crap you currently have:
1. Exercise. Join a gym, get a treadmill, and do whatever it takes to stay consistent. (I would add:  EXPLORE YOUR CITY - TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE!!!) You don't need to do 100 pull-ups, just be active.

2. Don't smoke/drink. Stop, for the love of yourself, figure out a way. If someone smokes around you, get them to stop. Alcohol is a known toxin, you can get way more heart health through walking than red wine. Sorry, but true. 

3. Eat real food. Don't take in your nutrients through supplements or shakes or gluten free, vegan bacon whatever. Eat real food and prepare it yourself. Don't go out to eat often. That food is usually not healthy. 

4. Repair fractured relationships with family. You have no idea how expensive long-term care is. And how shitty the food is until you get there. I would stay on everyone's good side. You're going to need them to take you to doctors visits, help with your meds etc etc

5. Figure out how to be happy. Get outside, find a hobby, be nice to people. Even if you get hit by a bus at 40, for goodness sakes' it's so much better.


I would add ---  to number 1- Exercise (this should be done AT ANY COST!  If childcare is an issue, the Y has an amazing childcare center where you can drop your children FOR  9 HOURS PER WEEK while you exercise).  

6. Get Involved:  Grow some of your own food, sweep your front walkway, sit on your front porch and wave at your neighbors, volunteer for something you care about (I am involved in making Nashville more walkable and it has led to all sorts of fun), listen, learn something new, go to your public library & wander, travel.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Walking Should Be...

Walking should be fun.

Art helps...

Businesses help...window shopping and people watching should not be taken for granted as they heighten the fun.

Serendipity is important.  An unexpected find is like a lightening bolt of fun.


Walking should not be dangerous.

Does this look like a viable way to get to the local playground?

Consider speed limit reduction in residential areas where there is a lot of walkers and no hope of sidewalks any time soon.

Imagine walking order for me to walk to work, I would have to cross this.  Look safe?  Look fun?

Nashville, we have a lot of work to do.  We are sorely lagging behind our sister cities when it comes to walkability.

Please talk to your friends, your neighbors, your councilperson about the need for high quality sidewalks.

Let's all pitch in to move Nashville from a city where the sidewalk ends to the best walking city in the South!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Donate To Walk Bike Nashville

As we head into the holiday season, I want to put in a plug for Walk Bike Nashville as a great place to donate.  If you haven't looked at their website lately - please do (link below).  They are doing really strong work to help all of Nashville be more walkable and bikeable.  

They are daily encouragment to get out there on foot or on bike.    

Tour de Nash

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mayor Barry to Update Strategic Plan for Sidewalks!

As many of you know, the goal of Shade Parade Nashville is to help Nashville transition into a consistently walkable city.  I would love if all of Nashville's streets look like the one below:  rich and lively with people walking.

Very excited that Mayor Barry is allocating an additional $15 Million towards sidewalks and that the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks ( will be updated.  The Plan, from 2008, is actually pretty great - it was just not funded and did not have the backing, it appears, from Public Works as many projects did not follow either the Pedestrian Generator Index nor the basic design with proper green buffers and width described in the plan.  

What I encourage you to note as you move through Nashville are the sidewalks that are busy and work.  The ones that don't are often narrow build, filled with obstacles, or are right next to the road.  It is one thing to build low quality sidewalks as, essentially, decoration and another to build well designed sidewalks that can be used forever.

Nashville’s New Sidewalk Plan Aims To Solve These Two Persistent Gripes 

  DEC 1, 2015 
After much clamoring by Nashvillians, the city will soon update its master plan for sidewalks and bikeways. It arrives as unprecedented funding becomes available for paving and following a year in which demand for better sidewalks reached a fever pitch.
While the new plan is far off (sometime in 2016), two things are clear in a recent Metro document:
First, officials want to look at the math equation that helps pick where to build sidewalks — known as the Pedestrian Generator Index, or PGI, and explained by WPLN here.
Second, they want a better website to show the public exactly when a sidewalk is coming their way — a tool that’s been lacking, to the frustration of many, as detailed by WPLN here.
Those two tools would help carry out a broad expansion of the sidewalk network, with attention still paid to maintaining existing stretches.
During election season, candidates scrambled to make promises about sidewalks. And in one of her first speeches, Mayor Megan Barry lamented the city’s outdated strategy, last updated in 2008.
“We need to update that plan,” she told the Metro Council on Oct. 6. “My administration has already directed Metro Public Works to immediately start undertaking a thorough update.”
The city just opened its search for a consultant to hold public meetings, compare Nashville to other cities, and to collect sidewalk wisdom into a new plan. Metro requested a five-year agenda of sidewalk and bikeway projects, along with estimated costs.
Even changes to city laws will be considered.