Councilman Anthony Davis has introduced a bill that would give a pedestrian the right to walk on a residential street without a sidewalk or shoulder. This is place-making. Many will be surprised that there is no legal provision for walkers currently. You are not allowed or disallowed to walk - there is no legal statement on the issue.
Thankfully, the bill passed its second reading and will be heard for a final vote on July 6, 2017.
Some have written to ask why this is even needed...here is my response. Before you read, you may want to open the link and read the bill.
I'm going to ask you to consider your true feelings about pedestrians. Do you look ahead, while driving, at a person in the crosswalk and think, 'oh-no, they are going to slow me down'. If so, that's what this bill is for. It's purpose is to formally give pedestrians the right to be present. It gives them a legitimized place in our city.
It also acknowledges that Nashville has, as of yet, not provided walkers a safe and inviting infrastructure.
This is the 1st step. Sadly, in 2017, this is where Nashville stands. We are significantly behind other cities in regards to safe and comfortable sidewalks. We have a very high pedestrian death rate (NashvillePedestrianDeathRegistry.org). We have citizens who do not respect individuals on foot. We don't even have much of a culture of walking. Many who read this have limited first hand knowledge of what it is like to walk our streets - how uncomfortable it really is.
My suggestion - next time you see a pedestrian, give them a brake. Slow down! Give them at least 3' distance from your car. Make room for them. Let's keep everyone safe. Let's create a rich pedestrian climate for the health and betterment of Nashville!