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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Nashville's Non-ADA Compliant Sidewalks 2016

Sidewalks and walkability do not necessarily inspire advocacy.  They are something that is typically taken for granted.   

Post-WWII, Nashville built quickly and did not put in sidewalk infrastructure thinking it unnecessary as the culture was focused on the automobile.  Similar to today, we are building at a rapid rate without thought to putting in the proper infrastructure.  

In 2001, the sidewalk in-lieu fee was created to allow developers to pay a drastically reduced fee rather than build the sidewalk required when they developed properties.  Unfortunately, there are big questions about this practice today because we don't have the sidewalks to show for it.  The fees collected have amounted to very little.  The success of this program is long overdue for a very thorough evaluation process as the city, outside the Urban Service District is impressively lacking.  

I, for one, would like to see the in-lieu fee either be 100% of the cost of the sidewalk or, preferably, to just eliminate the idea and have developers build their piece of the sidewalk.  This could be done quickly with an executive order from the mayor's office.


Nashville resident, Helga Maneschi is a natural sidewalk advocate.  She is a committed walker - often traveling long distances on foot.  She also is the mother of a child who requires a wheelchair.   I invite you to take a good look at her post below.  

A reminder to all Nashvillans, our city was sued for American with Disabilities Act Non-Compliance and settled around the year 1999.  The Strategic Sidewalk Plan came out of this suit in 2002 and was then updated in 2008.  It is currently, yet again, up for review.

Unfortunately, in the year 2016 (17 years later!!!), we are essentially in the same situation - we have not made a significant change in walkability most notably outside our urban core.  The neighborhoods are frankly abysmal as the photos below show.  

The pictures below are from our major shopping district in Nashville - the Green Hills area.  It is also an area of high traffic.  This area is ripe in revenue and surrounded by fairly expensive homes.  And, yet, it still exists in a state that is far from ideal.

We invite you to take a tour through the Green Hills Mall district. Imagine that you were in a wheelchair, were visually impaired , walk with a walker, or have your children in tow with a stroller.

There is a safe and usable sidewalk between Abbott Martin Rd and Robert Jones Rd without obstructions
Unfortunately, large sections of the sidewalks on both side of Hillsboro Pike are not 
accessible to everyone 
Some examples: Hillsboro Pike in front of Exxon Station
Here one would have to move into the grassy area to avoid the obstacles

Hillsboro Pike in front of Corzine and Company / Grace Plaza

 The same place from a different angle

Not enough space to navigate a wheelchair or a stroller

Hillsboro Pike in front of Wine and Spirits / Grace Plaza

In front of the new Pottery Barn

In front of Village Green


Hillsboro Pike in front of  the Exxon Station close to Hobbs Road 

Same view from the opposite side

In front of Exxon Station - Sidewalk severely slanted

In front of Tuesday Morning - Sidewalk  slanted, no curb cut
 In front of Tuesday Morning  

 In front of Tuesday Morning - No curb cut

In front of Bluebird Cafe
Another section around the Bluebird Cafe

In Front of Bradford's - No Sidewalk 

Around the same area at Bradford Center

In front of Town and Country Cleaners

In front of Verizon Wireless

 In front of Verizon Wireless

In front of Catherine's

In front of Sleep Outfitters

In front of Sam's Discount Tobacco

In front of Hillsboro High School - is this a sidewalk?

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