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Monday, January 9, 2017

Care About Walking in Nashville? Now is the time to act. Please review slides and comment

Nashville's Walk N Bike Plan is now available in draft form for your review.  There will be 5 more public meetings to discusses the important aspects.  

Michael Briggs, Angie Henderson and Mayor Megan Barry spoke today at the Downtown Public Library from 12-1:30 (slides below).  The main gist was sidewalks are expensive but are a 'top priority'.  The estimate is big but notably due to years of neglect (my words) in funding.  The number floated by Mayor Barry was $165 million per year for the next 5 years.  

Safety, equity, health, access to school and transit are the main goals.  

January 9, 2017

Noon to 1:30pm  
Metro Library Auditorium  
615 Church Street

January 9, 2017

5:00pm to 7:00pm  
MNPD North Precinct  
2231 26th Avenue North

January 9, 2017

7:00pm to 9:00pm  
MNPD West Precinct  
5500 Charlotte Pike

January 10, 2017

5:00pm to 7:00pm  
Madison Park Community Center  
510 Cumberland Ave

January 10, 2017

7:00pm to 9:00pm  
Stanford Montessori School  
2417 Maplecrest Dr

January 11, 2017

5:00pm to 7:00pm  
MNPD South Precinct  
5101 Harding Place

Slides from the draft release of the Nashville's Walk N Bike Strategic Sidewalk Plan today for your review:

Implementation Focus:  New sidewalks, low-stress bikeways, sidewalk repairs, vision zero, and living lab (to include tactical urbanism!)

37% of existing roads have sidewalks.  One thing missed today is that is sidewalks on ONE SIDE OF THE ROAD.  We are NOT fortunate enough to have a rich network of sidewalks on BOTH sides of the road.

This is critical to understand.
Take a minute to consider being a child, elderly or disabled with the singular option of a sidewalk on only one side of the road.  

What if you destination is in the middle of the road on the side without the sidewalk???

Prioritization process now based on:
safety, health + equality, transit access, neighborhood access, serves activity centers, Nashville Next centers + corridors, roadway characteristics, school access, recreational access, civic amenity access, private activity center access, shopping access, and previously proposed projects

New sidewalks:  4 main ideas -> destination + transit access, schools, safety, filling sidewalk gaps

Example of the new map of prioritization

All new sidewalks will need repairs.  The city is aware that this will increase the repair needs over time.

This was the part in the meeting where alarm bells began to ring.  We have suffered with little to no design standards in regards to sidewalks & it has left us with a maddeningly crazy quilt of limited options.

I would argue that we need to shoot high here.  Let's not be talking about compromise before the work even begins.

Have a high design standard with a small space for compromise.  A very small space.  The compromise should be a BIG NO, the way new sidewalk production has been historically, until there is literally no other option.  

The reason I am against compromise is that once the foot print goes in, that's it for as long as one can see.  These photos are a soft compromise.  Where I see this playing out is in sidewalks like the one below.

This design type of a sidewalk that is fairly narrow and without any type of buffer from the road is notoriously lacking in foot traffic.  They do not feel safe.  So, if this kind of design is part of the compromise - I would say no way!

Easements / right-of-ways slow the progress of new sidewalk production but not if they are donated to the city.  

Do you have an easement / right-of-way that you would like to donate to the city?

Contact me & I will help you through the donation process:

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