As you know, Mayor Freddie O’Connell formally announced that we will vote on a transit referendum this coming November 5th!  The ‘Choose How You Move’ transportation improvement program with a focus on Sidewalks, Safety Signals, and Safety.  The plan calls for 54 miles of upgraded corridors, double the frequency of service of crosstown routes, 12 community transit centers to allow for connections without going downtown, 17 new park-and-ride facilities, and synchronization of the traffic signals on priority corridors for a fluid driving experience

But did you know that the referendum will include infrastructure for pedestrians and bikers?  And that this referendum will give people bikeable and walkable access to transit stops on priority corridors; corridors which include Nolensville Road, West End Avenue, Murfreesboro Road, Gallatin Pike, and Dickerson Road? 

I attended the State of Metro Address on May 14th, where Mayor O’Connell noted that the plan calls for 86 miles of a bike and pedestrian network, and it is my understanding that these bikeways and sidewalks will connect with greenway trailheads, giving people additional access to transit, in strategic locations.

I believe, as a multi-model piece of the transit puzzle, that connecting neighborhoods with complete streets and greenways and giving people safe access to transit will create tremendous impact. People want to live in walkable neighborhoods and sometimes love the ‘ten-minute walk or bike’ versus a short car ride.  To give the ‘ten-minute’ walk or bike concept more color, note that plans have been evolving for years.

In 2017, the Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation, under then Mayor Megan Barry, worked with The Trust for Public Land, to create a 10-year plan, called Plan to Play.  Among other things, this plan envisioned a 30+ mile loop around the city, along with a few spurs from the loop into the core neighborhoods.  This loop included a section of greenway along I-440 from West End Avenue to 8th Avenue called the 440 Greenway and anothee section that would connect the 440 Greenway at 8th Avenue to Geodis and soccer called the Brown’s Creek Greenway.  Both of these sections of greenway could be excellent connections to transit and should be considered in the referendum.

Additionally, NDOT, the Nashville Department of Transportation, in 2022 created the newest version of WalknBike as a blueprint for making Metro Nashville more walkable and bike-able.  A great example that was recently finished connects the 12South Neighborhood Commercial District to The Gulch along 12th Avenue South, which some would call a ‘complete street’.  Could this compete street be the last mile after a bus commute?  I think so and am excited that the referendum will include more of this bikeable miles.

The Choose How You Move referendum, coupled with the WalknBike and the Plan to Play goals, will be hugely impactful, with the promise of making Nashville a model for greenways and complete streets in our nation.  Each connection completed will create a new opportunity to access a job, or a school, or an event, and will give people the transit options that we need in our wonderful community.

Thus, I am going to dedicate my energy and time, working with the Mayor’s Office, the Transit Alliance, and other allies, to support this referendum!  Please work with me to get this referendum passed in November!  Let’s go!