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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 And in one of her first speeches, Mayor Megan Barry lamented the city’s outdated strategy, last updated in 2008.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.


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