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Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving...Nashville STILL Needs Sidewalks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  Thank you for the support of those in Nashville interested in great walkability.  Your support, your emails, your photos that you share help me keep this blog going.  

Shade Parade will celebrate its 3rd anniversary on November 30th.  I cannot tell you how many people tell me that they have been asking for sidewalks for many years.  When I write, I often hear from people that they had approached their city government about the same thing 5, 10, 15, 20 + years ago.   Our issues are not new.  But, they are wrong.

The fact that we still have very few sidewalks is a shame.  We have schools without sidewalks.  We have major shopping areas that could be connected so people could walk them on foot but aren't.  We have lousy design and frequent barriers smack in the middle of the sidewalks that do exist.  We have construction that closes sidewalks for months - years - without any Plan B.  It is a shame & I cannot see why we cannot move faster.  

  That being said, I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many people like the lovely lady below who saw my Nashville Needs Sidewalks race bib on my shopping bags.  I just, frankly, wish that we were not still talking about this issue!  She told me about her recent move here from Milwaukee followed by her quick understanding that Nashville was  in significant need when it comes to sidewalks & walkability.  Wondered why she had to cross streets to use sidewalk that lined only one side but made it significantly harder to walk.  I hear her.  As an avid walker, I take risks and go out of my way to get there on foot but I recognize that many would not and will not.  

Sorry to say, after 3 long years, that Nashville has not yet made a full commitment to a consistent and well designed sidewalk plan with a completion date.  But, I am hopeful.  I keep chipping away at it in a hope that by highlighting certain issues and themes, our city of Nashville will commit to walkability as a major goal.  I am only asking that  the simple act of walking be safe and comfortable.  

I challenge our mayor, Megan Barry, to move fast on assuring Nashville that this is her goal too.   The issues surrounding walkability are the same as they have been - restudy or reconsideration is little needed.  We know what is wrong.  

   Tis the season of giving and it would be the most wonderful gift to feel that Nashville has committed to making great sidewalks and walkability a major funded project.

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