NASHVILLE-DAVIDSON COUNTY STRATEGIC PLAN FOR SIDEWALKS & BIKEWAYS

FAQ

GENERAL

What is the purpose of this plan?

Answer
WalknBike serves as an update to the 2008 Nashville-Davidson County sidewalks and bikeways plan. This plan serves as blueprint for where the city should prioritize investments in order to improve walking and biking conditions. The plan lays out strategies and actions for Nashville-Davidson County to take in order to achieve its vision of improving safety, connectivity, and quality of the walking and biking experience.

How long is the public comment period?
Answer

Metro will receive comments on the draft plan until January 31, 2017. Comments can be submitted through the project website, by email, by phone, or by attending one of the five community outreach meetings taking place on January 9th through January 11th.

What happens after public review of the draft plan?
Answer

The project team will review all public comments, make necessary edits, and produce a final version of this plan. The plan will then be considered for adoption by Metro Council in 2017.

BIKEWAY

What does “all ages and abilities” mean?
Answer

All ages and abilities refers to a network that is appropriate for all types of users, including children and seniors. The proposed network is not only meant for those are enthused and confident about biking and walking. Rather, the network is meant to improve safety and connectivity for everyone.

What does low stress mean?
Answer

Low-stress refers to facilities that are comfortable for the majority of cyclists, including most children and adults. Therefore, low-stress bike facilities are those that are suitable for most users and can include neighborhood greenways, protected bike lanes, and buffered bike lanes. In general, low-stress roadways have bike facilities, have lower traffic volumes, less travel lanes, and lower posted speed limits. The combination of these factors creates conditions where cyclists feel safer and more comfortable when biking.

Why are most of the bikeway priority recommendations within the downtown, urban core?
Answer

The key to a successful bikeway network centers on connectivity. Through other bike friendly communities nationally, we know that a connected low-stress network can increase bike mode-share. To do this, Nashville must first build a connected system from the center of the County and slowly and thoroughly build the network out to serve the entire county.

Why doesn’t WalknBike recommend new greenway trails?
Answer

WalknBike focuses on the on-road bikeway network but we recognize and understand the significant role the greenway trail system plays on the on-road bikeway network. Because of this, the WalknBike team has been working closely with the Plan-to-Play team to ensure recommendations are consistent and coordinated. Greenway trail recommendations will be a part of the Plan-to-Play Master Plan and more information can be found here: http://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Plan-To-Play.aspx

SIDEWALK

What happened to the PGI?
Answer

The pedestrian generator index (PGI) has served as the sidewalk prioritization framework since the 2009 Sidewalk and Bikeway Plan was developed. The data-driven prioritization tool used land use categories, destinations, and major streets to estimate demand for walking. The WalknBike Plan has updated the prioritization process to reflect new policy objectives, peer and aspirational city best practices, and community priorities. While several of the PGI components are still being used, new elements such as Equity, Safety, and Level of Service were added.

Please explain network filters.
Answer

In the process of determining the priority sidewalk network, the project team used filters, or criteria, to determine where sidewalks are most needed. The project team first determined the locations of all missing sidewalks in Nashville-Davidson county. Then, they only kept sidewalk segments that met four criteria (demand, access to destinations, health & equity, and NashvilleNext center and corridors) as possible sidewalk projects. After that method was used, the remaining sidewalks were prioritized using a data-driven process.

How does my neighborhood sidewalk project compare to missing sidewalk segments along major pikes and corridors?
Answer

New sidewalk projects are grouped into four categories of projects including:
• Destination and Transit Access – These projects focus around the Nashville Next Centers and Corridors and improve access to transit stops and key destinations.
• School Connections – These projects connect to schools and universities along local roads and minor collector streets.
• Sidewalk Gaps – These projects fill in short (less than 500ft) gaps in the existing sidewalk network.
• Vision Zero Safety Improvements – These projects address corridors that have a history of multiple pedestrian crashes and/or serious or fatal injuries.

What if my sidewalk project isn’t included in the priority sidewalk network?
Answer

Because there is so much sidewalk demand across Davidson County, we had to use our new prioritization process to identify a network of priority projects for Metro to focus resources. Just because your specific sidewalk project isn’t currently include, doesn’t mean it won’t be implemented through other means, such as private development or another Metro funded project. There are also a number resources recommended in chapter 6 for policy and program initiatives to slow traffic and improve conditions for walking.

If you don’t see your sidewalk project in the priority network or have other policy/program ideas, please fill out an online comment form through the website. The project team will review your comment.

Why aren’t missing sidewalk projects along Nolensville Pike, Gallatin Pike, Murfreesboro Pike, Dickerson Pike, and Charlotte Pike in the priority sidewalk network (PSN)?
Answer

These corridors are currently being studied by MTA as High Capacity Transit Corridors. This study, to be kicked off in early 2017, will identify appropriate improvements along these key corridors, to include sidewalk and bikeway recommendations. More information on this MTA study can be found here: http://nmotion2015.com/

Why aren’t there any pedestrian bridge recommendations?
Answer

In general, people won’t walk up and down a pedestrian bridge unless there is pedestrian activity on an upper level of the adjacent structure; they would just cross the street. Nashville needs to work on lighting, providing safe crossings at intersections, and slowing traffic. Pedestrian bridges also tend to take the street activity off of a street where you need to be able to see people walking and be able to experience the vibrancy of an area.

IMPLEMENTATION

How are projects selected for construction?
Answer

Projects that have been identified in either the bikeway priority network or the sidewalk priority network undergo a detailed internal Metro review. Metro staff from multiple departments and perspectives review projects together to ensure the purely empirical scoring methodology has identified projects that are 1) evaluated for constructability and deemed to be feasible and 2) don’t conflict with other Metro priorities or initiatives. Once the internal review process is complete, external stakeholders are invited to comment on the project list, including TDOT, NES, and individual property owners.

When will a five-year plan of sidewalk and bikeway projects be released?
Answer

Metro will release an approved project list to the public and as an appendix to the WalknBike Plan as soon as the internal process described above is complete.

How much money will Metro allocate to new sidewalk and bikeway projects?
Answer

While the WalknBike Plan identifies funding scenarios in Chapter 7, it does not recommend a funding structure. The Capital Budget and Planning program is responsible for tracking and reporting on the various areas of the capital improvements process for Metro. The Capital Improvements Budget (CIB) is an annual plan of proposed expenditures for capital projects and the means of financing them. Project requests are submitted annually by Metro agencies and the Mayor and are compiled and approved by the Planning Commission each Spring. More information on the CIB process and to learn ways to provide comments, go to: http://www.nashville.gov/Finance/Management-and-Budget/Capital-Budget-and-Planning.aspx

Why do sidewalk projects take so long to design and construct?
Answer

Retro-fitting sidewalks along an existing corridor can often be more challenging than widening an existing roadway. Often time’s roadways are very constrained either in right-of-way or by environmental issues such as drainage or impacts. The design process includes the necessary permits required for the project and community outreach.

Why are sidewalk projects so expensive?
Answer

Project costs vary due to individual constraints but one of the most significant costs for sidewalk construction is drainage improvements. Many streets in Nashville don’t currently have curb and gutter, so when sidewalks are added, the streets are brought up to current standards. Additionally, right-of-way impacts and costs can play a significant factor in total sidewalk project costs.

How can I track sidewalk or bikeway projects?
Answer

You can contact Metro Public Works through their online customer service center here: https://www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Forms/Request-Customer-Service.aspx. The call center is open Monday through Friday between 7am and 5pm.

THE PHASES OF THE PLAN
phase 1, Visioning Inventory Analysis; phase 2, Project Prioritization; phase 3, Implementation & Action Plan