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Saturday, November 24, 2018

The federal government released its most dramatic report yet on the effects of climate change - one easy way to help!

One thing that seems clear:  we cannot keep this pace up.  We cannot keep driving everywhere, purchasing whatever.  This level of worldwide consumption needs to be slowed. 


Want to do something?  Try 'Park Once'.  Park once and run all your errands in that area on foot.  Try just walking.  Heading out?  Can you walk there and back safely?


If the answer is no because you do not feel safe, support organization such as The Sidewalk Foundation who are raising money to build high quality sidewalks in Nashville.  So that more can walk safely and comfortably. 








FROM PBS: 


On Friday, November, 23, 2018, the federal government released its most dramatic report yet on the effects of climate change. According to scientists, the country is already experiencing serious consequences from rising global temperatures, including more frequent and severe storms, fires and flooding. John Yang talks to Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.


The government issued its most dramatic report yet about climate change today, and it came with a dire warning.
Scientists said the country is already reeling — feeling major effects of climate change and it has already cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars.
The report, which was issued by 13 federal agencies, also highlights how climate change is expected to have a significant impact on the future of the economy.
The report links extreme events like Hurricanes Maria and Harvey and longer, more intense, more frequent wildfire seasons. And scientists say there's more to come. The continental United States is already 1.8 degrees warmer than it was a century ago, and the temperature may rise by another 2.3 degrees by 2050.
Unless more is done, the risks and impact of climate change are expected to shrink the U.S. economy 10 percent by century's end.
David Easterling of NOAA, which released the report, suggested in a media call that climate change would damage the country's infrastructure, economy, and human health.








To see and read the remainder of the report:  PBS news report on government report on global warning

Friday, November 23, 2018

PLOGGING - This is YOUR New Year's Resolution and a Fantastic Way to Get Out on Foot!

PLOGGING - This is YOUR New Year's Resolution and a Fantastic Way to Get Out on Foot!

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This is YOUR New Year's Resolution and is such an amazing way to stay active and help. 

PLOGGING! 

Another great reason to get out on foot!

















To read the remainder of the article on plogging in the Washington Post by Allison Klein, click on link:  Plogging

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TheSidewalkFoundation.Org

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Despite Budget Shortfall in Nashville, In-Lieu Fees for Sidewalks is Reduced

In addition to information coming out about Nashville's Public Works mismanagement of sidewalk directive, now the in-lieu fee for sidewalks has been discounted.  Watch our dream of a walkable city move further away...






When Sidewalk Bill 493 is activated, many times, the property owner can building the sidewalk OR pay an in-lieu fee to the city.  Nashville ends up with a piece of completed sidewalk OR money that goes into a pot used to augment sidewalk projects in that particular area.  But, the collected money is not nearly enough to cover the cost, according to Public Works, of an actual sidewalk. 


Despite a booming city, Nashville is experiencing a budget shortfall (see article in the Tennessean).  From the general talk about town, it sounds like we are handing financial incentives to developers and businesses which reduces our ability to cover our essential needs.  Why are we doing this?


Nashville's Public Works estimates that their cost to build sidewalks is significantly higher than the in-lieu fee and dependent on the quality of the road.  Local roads are estimated to cost $901/linear foot, collector roads are $1183/linear foot and arterial roads come in at the most expensive, and some of the highest in the nation, at $1336/linear foot.


All of us can agree that safety and accessibility of pedestrians is a basic civil right a city should provide its inhabitants.  We all have the right to walk. 


Know the facts:  We currently have 81% of our roadways in need of a sidewalk & a pedestrian death ever 2 weeks.  So WHY are we charging property owners such low fees instead of having them build the sidewalk? Many private contractors say they can do this job much cheaper than the city.  And, why have we actually DISCOUNTED the in-lieu fee recently?  It now stands at 11% of the cost the city says it needs to build sidewalks.  Let's not get even further behind...ask your council person to eliminate the in-lieu fee.  Let's build some sidewalks!


This in-lieu fee price was reduced in August 2018 from:
  • $178 per linear foot
  • to $153/linear foot







Sunday, November 11, 2018

For Great Public Transportation -> Step 1 = Sidewalks


 Walking is the most elemental form of mobility and sidewalks are a basic ingredient in a thriving public transportation system.    Without sidewalks, many cannot access the transportation system, such as the bus, safely or simply.

Without sidewalks, there is a barrier to use the bus.

This is why I was so happy to be invited to talk with the Music City Riders United (https://workersdignity.nationbuilder.com/mcru17).  This group is working hard to make riding the bus a better and more practical experience.  

I shared with them a few critical sidewalk facts that make riding the bus difficult for many.

- 81% of Nashville's roadways do not have a sidewalk
- There is a pedestrian death every 2 weeks in Nashville.  Many stories (see https://www.nashvillepedestriandeathregistry.org/) involve those trying to catch or exit their bus.
- We are not building sidewalks at an appreciable rate 
- The sidewalk grid in Nashville has an estimated date of completion ~ 1000 years from now
- The Sidewalk Foundation (http://thesidewalkfoundation.org/) is raising funds to try to make a change in these statistics
- our city government could change this by allocating appropriate funding with a realistic completion date






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