What are Easy Ride Routes?
Metro Nashville's 2017 WalknBike Plan outlined the routes for a network of bike lanes that would be separated and protected from traffic and take us in and through downtown Nashville from the North, South, East and West. We are advocating for the advancement of this network so that we have routes for those on bicycle that are:
- Safe – car drivers are a major danger for those on two wheels. We want our routes to be safe. For busier roads this means separated from traffic, and protected by some sort of physical barrier. For smaller streets, this means traffic speeds and volumes that are low enough to accommodate people not in cars
- Low-Stress – the easy ride routes should be low stress for riders 8 years old to 80 years old, and of all skill levels. This means they should be complete – not disappearing at intersections, provide separation from fast-moving traffic, and comfortable to ride in.
- Providing Access – it’s key for our network of Easy Ride Routes connect people to opportunity: jobs, housing, parks, and education. This is why a complete network is essential.
- Equitable – Nashville was developed in an uneven fashion, and systemic racism meant some parts of town (particularly those with high percentages of residents of color) were left behind. Our bikeway network should be developed through genuine, extensive community engagement. And it should work to address the systemic inequities created by Nashville’s past transportation and planning decisions.
- Multimodal Friendly – scooters are here to stay in Nashville. They provide a popular, low-emission, low-speed way for people to get around. But as pedestrian advocates, we do not want to see them on sidewalks. Electric scooters belong in bike lanes with other vehicles (bicycles) that go roughly the same speed, and weigh roughly the same amount. The on-street parts of the Easy Ride Routes (ie not the greenways) should also be designed to encourage scooter users to get off the sidewalks.
- Reminder: electric scooters are not allowed on Greenways.