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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Letter to the Mayor of Nashville - direct request for amending the transit plan


Statement by the Ad Hoc Nashville Coalition for Walking and Biking
The proposed Transit Improvement Program represents a significant step forward improving transit in Nashville but fails to include any details or proposals for sidewalks or bike lanes. Although the plan includes a positive promise of a "more safe and welcoming pedestrian and biking environment" it has no specific proposals for how that promise is to be implemented. Although the program includes extensive information and budgets for other parts of the transit system, sidewalks and bike lanes are overlooked. The WalknBike Plan is not even mentioned in the proposal.
Cities with transit systems far more advanced than Nashville understand that bus and light rail systems are complete only when citizens can easily and safely walk or bike to transit lines. Nashville’s past commitment to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure was lacking and is only now beginning to catch up to cities with more developed infrastructure. This transit program is an opportunity to make up for those years of neglect.
We are asking the Mayor and Council to amend the plan before final passage to include the following:
  •  The plan should explicitly recognize that a complete and connected transit system will include facilities for biking and walking as integral to the plan and not just an afterthought.

  •  The budget should delineate the minimum amount that will be invested in bike and pedestrian facilities in the same way that other elements of the transit system are included. The schedule should include completion timelines for these projects in the same way as other parts of the project. Bike lanes and sidewalks should be included down every Rapid Transit Corridor.

  •  Ten percent of the total budget should be dedicated to sidewalk and bicycle infrastructure over 15 years. This is $36 million annually compared to the current Metro budget of $35 million. The current budget should be enhanced and used in other parts of the city and county.

  •  The plan should include a specific minimum amount of linear feet of new sidewalk coverage (not including repair of existing sidewalks). It should require that there will be at least one fully functional sidewalk route (both sides of the street) and intersections with painted crosswalks and pedestrian signals that connect the Neighborhood Transit Centers to each other and to every public school, community center, public library, and park in that community.

  •  The plan should include a specific number of miles of new dedicated and separated bike lanes that provide connectivity between Transit Centers and community facilities. Under no circumstances should the project utilize the kind of sub-standard and disconnected bike lanes in existence in many parts of Nashville.
Thank you for consideration of these additions to the Transit Improvement Program. The inclusion of our requests will improve the plan and the future transit system in Nashville and Davidson County.

The Ad Hoc Coalition is an informal group of advocates for bicycling and walking in Nashville. Many of us commute to work every day on Nashville streets and deal with the deficient infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Carey Rogers
Jason Garrett
Stacy Dorris
Tom Grose
Sean Davies
Mary Hinton
Amy Eskind
Ramsay Wall
Amy Willoughby Bryant
Sadie Cooper
Kathryn Peters
Thommy Thompson
Dane Andersen
Greg O'Loughlin
Tony Burdick
David Swanger
John Michael Cassidy
Tom Grooms
Kari Hoffman
Robert Randolph
Ryan Kamper
Edwin Williamson
Katie Hoovler

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