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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Residents Say Photo Shows Nashville Needs More Sidewalks

As a city, we pay for things that are important to us.  We've paid for the convention center, the baseball stadium.  For reasons that are inexplicable, we have not paid for high quality walking infrastructure.  We are living through a time in Nashville of extraordinary growth and yet...Where's our sidewalk?  Why aren't well designed sidewalks going in with the flurry of construction & growth?  

Our corridors could be tree-lined and sidewalked.  

As a sidewalks advocate, I argue that we fund walkability like other major civic projects.  We should see it as a major and worthwhile project adding economic, health and social viability for the long term.

See the difference?  Where would you prefer to walk?  Where would you allow your children to walk?  Which makes you feel safe and which makes you feel you'd rather get back in your car?

Residents say photo shows Nashville needs more sidewalks

Posted: Aug 26, 2016 2:06 PM CDTUpdated: Aug 26, 2016 3:45 PM CDT

The photo shows a blind woman and child walking on East Due West Street. (Source: Andrew McGill)The photo shows a blind woman and child walking on East Due West Street. (Source: Andrew McGill)
Some residents say a picture circulating online proves many Nashville neighborhoods need sidewalks.


Andrew McGill said he sees plenty of walkers on East Due West Street trying to navigate the traffic without sidewalks, but a blind woman walking with a child caught his attention.
“Sure enough, she’s struggling to come along the side of the road with her cane out in front of her and a very small child by the hand,” McGill said. “And when she got out in front of my home, she actually had to move down into the ditch to get out of the oncoming traffic.”
McGill said with a retirement home and low-income housing in the neighborhood, the woman is just one of many braving the traffic.
“I see elderly people walk to the grocery store and come back with their hands that are as full of grocery bags that they can possibly carry and still try to stay out of the street,” McGill said.
City officials said they are looking into adding sidewalks on East Due West Street, as well as many other Nashville streets, but the process takes time.
“You have to go into the design stage. You have to go into all these different things, and again budgeting and all that, just to make sure that all the I’s are dotted and all the T’s are crossed. But I can tell you that this is a priority for us,” said Jenna Smith with Metro Public Works.
McGill said that priority would protect both walkers and drivers.
“If you run over a blind woman and her child on this street, yes, you’ve injured or killed someone, but you’ve basically ruined your life as well,” McGill said.
The city has created a survey asking people to point out where the problems are. They also have an interactive map where residents can check if their neighborhood is going to get sidewalks soon.


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