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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

One thing you can do is say something when you see something.

Want more sidewalks in Nashville?  One thing you can do is say something when you see something.  This is kind of the mantra when discussing Nashville's need for sidewalks.  Talk to your councilperson, write to the mayor, etc.  Nashville has sidewalks on a little less than 20% of our roadways.  We are a bit hamstrung - if major development occurs, the sidewalk technically should be built, but until then nothing can really change because it won't be ADA compliant. 

So, can an individual solve this systems issue by writing their council person or the mayor? 

I was listening to a radio report about Facebook's allowance of personal data to be shared with other large companies and felt the reporters made some parallel arguments that apply to working with a big agency such as city government. 

When you write to your councilperson, asking for a sidewalk, you are personalizing an issue that is really a system wide problem.  According to this radio report, these kind of issues - systems issues -  cannot be solved by individual action and personal fortitude.


Harpeth Hall, located at the SW corner of Estes and Hobbs, is a private girls school in Nashville.  The school has a rather sizable project underway but is not building any sidewalk infrastructure despite a clear lack in the area. 

Julia Green Elementary is also near by with 610 students, K-4th. 

In addition, Public Works has put in a new guard rail on Estes, which also does not have a sidewalk (see picture below).  Now, this expanse on Estes is possibly more dangerous for pedestrians than before...  

One crucial point is none of the 698 5th through 12th grade students can walk to school safely.   They must be driven by their parent which has an impact on traffic, safety and air quality to name a few.  Some of the Julia Green students are likely effected, too.

If there was a well designed sidewalk all the way around the school property, the students could walk to class safely and it would be the most generous gift to the neighborhood.

The shrubby area on the left side of the image is under construction currently


If you have an opinion on this, please let Harpeth Hall know.  I cannot say that it will help!  But, if we do not try, I am certain nothing will be done.

Harpeth Hall's address and number: 
  • 3801 Hobbs Road - Nashville, TN 37215
  • Main Reception: 615.297.9543

  • Dear Harpeth Hall,

    I was not sure who to email & am hoping you can help guide me as you are listed as the Director of Community Support and Inclusion.  There is a brand new guard rail on Estes at Esteswood that makes walking literally impossible in a safe and comfortable fashion.   I've sent an email to Public Works, too, as this is not ADA compliant and does not allow for a 3' passing of a pedestrian (which is the law) in a vehicle.  There really needs to be a sidewalk here and I am hoping that your school can help.


     I have been very disappointed to learn that Harpeth Hall is also not putting in a sidewalk on Hobbs despite the very large project underway.   This would have been a huge gift to your students, the city and the neighborhood.  I hope you will reconsider.



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