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Friday, August 26, 2016

3 Places to Change Policy on Sidewalks in Nashville

This feels like the summer of surveys and studies in Nashville.  

-How do you feel about recycling?
-How do you see the development of parks? (  
-What are your views on bike lanes?
-Where do you want sidewalks? 

- Walk N Bike

- Nashville Next

- Nashville Tree Task Force

All well and good if progress comes of it soon.  There needs to be a balance between study and action and currently it feels like Nashville has been treading in the study area for too long.  

People are anxious to see progress in walkability.  Mayor Barry has been in office about 1 year, extra money has been allocated to sidewalks and, yet, the projects are stuck in the planning process and are slow to come to fruition.  Bowling Ave, the pilot project for 'how to get a sidewalk built' (Sidewalk Project #1, is currently second on my Council person Kathleen Murphy's list of prioritized projects.  37th Av is first and it is stuck in the planning phase making Bowling even further away.  

In addition, there are many exemptions to policy on building sidewalks when developing property in Davidson County that hinder progress.  A very strong argument bubbling to the top is: Why not scrape the old policy and start fresh? Maybe tinkering with the old policy is not worthwhile.   

Three places where starting over makes sense:
- When development leads to increased density, a sidewalks should be put in.  For example, if one house comes down and two go up ->  a sidewalk should be required.
- All sidewalks should be to a set and elevated design standard (see black and white photo below).  
- Stop repairing sub-par sidewalks that do not fit the design standard.  Better to save the money for creation of the higher 
design later.

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