Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nashville builds bike infrastructure

We just returned from a holiday visit to Nashville, TN. While we enjoy visiting Music City, it's not known as a very bicycle-friendly place. The street network is similar to ours here in Fairfax County, with many unconnected cul-de-sac developments that force cyclists onto major roads. So we were surprised when we noticed new bike lanes on a major commuter road, Hillsboro Pike, that extends from the suburbs of Brentwood into the city.

Nashville has an enlightened mayor whose top initiative is creating a better quality of life for the Nashville residents. Mayor Karl Dean signed a Complete Streets policy in October of this year and is spending more money on transit, bikeways, and sidewalks than on road infrastructure. See a presentation by Toks Omishakin, Director of Healthy Living Initiatives, given as part of a recent Robert Wood Johnson webinar entitled Feet to the Streets: Alternatives to Motorized Transportation

Nashville.gov sums up what is happening in Nashville:
Nashville is changing. A countywide bicycle plan has been adopted, new bike lanes are being striped, and new greenway trails wander along our waterways. Together, these projects are making cycling a safer, more practical choice for transportation and recreation in Nashville. A bike-friendly community promotes healthy lifestyles, reduces traffic congestion, provides better mobility for children and those who don’t drive, helps clean the air, and improves our sense of community. Bicycling is also one of the healthiest and least expensive ways to get from place to place.
One reason for this change in attitudes in Nashville is a realization that building more and wider roads isn't the only solution to solving Nashville's traffic congestion. According to a new report from CEOs for Cities, Driven Apart, Nashville drivers spend more time stuck in traffic than anywhere else in the U.S.

The Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization recently released their long range transportation plan, based on the guiding principles of Livability, Prosperity, Sustainability, and Diversity. It's the subject of an editorial at Tenneseean.com
Adding more and more roadways to the landscape in Williamson County is not the way to deal with growth, according to Michael Skipper, executive director of the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Logistically, new highways simply won't be able to meet all of the county's growing transportation needs, he said, and aesthetically the pavement eats into the rural setting so valued by residents.

The answer, Skipper suggested, is an emphasis on developing mass transit options while increasing the number of sidewalks and bicycle lanes to help people leave their cars at home more often.

"We spend more time in our automobiles than any other region in the nation," Skipper said during a Nov. 30 forum during which his agency solicited feedback on a 25-year transportation plan.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Contact FABB via email: info@fabb-bikes.org

Subscribe to the
FABB e-newsletter

Subscribe to posts:
[Atom 1.0] or [RSS 2.0]

  Bike to Work Day 2015 at Wiehle Station

  Transportation choices

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?