Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways
At her first Council meeting Mayor Barry announced that she was going to update the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways. This plan, which was orignally written back in 2003, in theory determines when and where our city invests in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. In reality, it is now badly out of date.
The update of the plan is being called Walk N' Bike and is being led by Public Works, with the assistance of a Steering Committee (which includes Walk Bike Nashville). This update is an incredibly important and exciting for the Walk Bike Nashville advocacy movement. The Bike/Ped plan will be an internal document, approved by the Planning Commission, and will govern our bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure for years to come. It is essential that this plan be an effective and visionary tool. This Plan can be our roadmap to making a more walkable, bikeable and livable Nashville. We need your help to ensure it is.
What YOU can do:
- Attend the Public Kick Off Meeting, April 15 12-1:30 at the Public Library
- Share your ideas through the online survey and mapping tool.
- Tell your friends, colleagues, families, co-workers to get involved.
- Specifically call for the Walk Bike Nashville "Big 4 Asks"
The Big 4 Asks
It is important that this plan reflect the needs you see in your neighborhood. But it is also important that it serves as a tool for advocacy across the city. For that reason there are 4 elements we want you to help us ensure it includes:
A Transparent, Long-Term Work Plan
- We need to know what the plan is in terms of specific projects. What are the top priority projects? And why? We need our sidewalks and bikeways to create a usable network and not be done in a piecemeal fashion. The public deserves to know what the vision is and the council needs to know how much money it will cost. We also hope this vision will be inline with plans from the Planning Department (Nashville Next) and MTA (nMotion).
A Minimum-Grid of Protected (low-stress) Bikeways
- Our bikeways must be protected (by barriers, parked cars or bollards) so that they are accessible to all Nashvillians, regardless of age or ability. We also need to have a network. The connections are often more important than the long straight parts.
Eliminate In-Lieu Fees in the Urban Areas
- In-Lieu fees allow developers to apply to contribute to the Sidewalk Fund rather than construct sidewalks. This no-longer makes sense in our urban areas (UDO and UZO). We would like to eliminate In-Lieu Fees for all developments and begin a discussion as to how single family and 2-family units should be treated (currently not required to build sidewalks).
Include NACTO Design Standards
- We want a progressive plan with progressive design standards specifically included in the plan. NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) has produced comprehensive design guidelines for walking and biking that include state-of-the-practice solutions to create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists and pedestrians. It's time for Nashville's bikeways and sidewalks to be up to the best possible standards.