Had lunch at the Smiling Elephant today. Went directly from work so drove. Thought I'd beat the lunch rush but the parking lot was PACKED. Found the only parking spot available - in the back down a fairly steep hill into the tiny cramped lot also at a precarious incline. Arriving into the restaurant, I was surprised to see that it was not full to capacity.
With my window on the lot, I noted that most diners arrived alone, parked, and headed in. Now, the Smiling Elephant is on Franklin Road/8th Av S. It is in the heart of a rapidly changing neighborhood, one that is becoming much more dense. Without consistent and well done sidewalks, it is a challenge to safely arrive on foot. There is a sidewalk out front but it is the type directly next to the fast paced cars - does not feel safe or inviting. And, it is peters out inexplicably as so many sidewalks do in Nashville. Hence, the steady stream of individuals arriving alone in their cars.
Restaurants, shops, and bars are natural allies in the push for better walkability in Nashville. I am sure there are days that people don't stay to eat if they cannot find a spot to park.
If you own or manage a business and would like to support better walkability, shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a Nashville Needs Sidewalks sign for your window. Consider a financial gift, too: http://thesidewalkfoundation.org. You can also vote for where a sidewalk is needed at this same link.
|Alex from Whole Foods|