On Tuesday October 20th, Walk Bike Nashville co-hosted a speaker panel event with Vanderbilt University featuring two experts in the field of pedestrian safety, Angie Schmitt and Dr. Destiny Thomas.
Angie Schmitt is the founder of 3MPH Planning and Consulting and the author of a new book called “Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Death in America”.
Dr. Destiny Thomas is an anthropologist, urban planner, and founder of Thrivance Group, a firm that works to make public spaces and services more accessible to all by bolstering the voices of marginalized communities within the planning process.
Are people driving faster during the Covid-shutdown?
A few months ago we started hearing from residents across Nashville that, despite the reduction in overall traffic volumes as a result of the pandemic-shut down, people were driving even faster in our neighborhoods. We have also read national stories about increasing car speeds around the country as a result of the shutdown (in the Washington Post for example).
Walk Bike Nashville decided to take a look at speeds in Nashville ourselves, in particular on Greenwood Ave in East Nashville, using Streetlight Data Insights. Streetlight uses big data to measure traffic -- we have a subscription to this year thanks to a grant from Spin. What we found was pretty surprising: despite an overall reduction in traffic this spring, average speeds were up and the number of people driving very fast were also up.