City takes different approach to handle calming traffic requests from neighbors

Posted at 5:02 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 19:47:46-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Living in the Fairlane Park Neighborhood in south Nashville for more than two decades, Jeff Sexton has seen a lot of changes. However, he says quality of life is deteriorating as the city continues to grow.

With overwhelming traffic, drivers are cutting into his neighborhood and causing an ongoing issue. He has witnessed drivers speeding and barely stopping at intersections where children frequent.

"It's not a place where you can cut through and have irresponsible behavior that puts our community at risk. We have runners, we have bikers, we have families walking with children and yet we still have people running the four-way stops," Sexton told NewsChannel 5.

Sexton, the director for the neighborhood association, already helped to add stop signs but he would like to see more and have the streets re-striped.

"We're talking about residential safety," Sexton said.

Sexton shares the same concerns from countless of residents across Davidson County who would like to see some type of solution to speeders in their neighborhoods.

For years, Metro Public Works has been accepting applications for its traffic calming program which can include installing roundabouts, traffic circles, speed cushions and pavement marking.

The department would allow applications year-round but decided to change it in 2019. For the first time Metro Public Works opened two application windows for requests.

By keeping applications in two groups, city officials say they could better analyze traffic problems in cut-through neighborhoods.

"It's to ensure all neighborhoods are fairly evaluated against each other so we're not promising on a rolling basis and say that we'll get to them eventually when we can give them a hard yes or no," MPW Traffic Calming Program Manager Derek Hagerty said.

The first window completed in January with more than 50 applications. It is hard to pin-point where majority of the requests come from because they are widespread across Davidson County.

"Over 50 applications obviously is a lot but we consider it a testament to our outreach. We've gotten word out to neighborhoods that this program exists and they've responded very well," Hagerty added.

The city will choose six to ten of the applications and will announce its selection as early as next week.

Officials will then hold community meetings in those neighborhoods to get input from residents. Hagerty said to continue with the project, 70 percent of residents in the neighborhood must sign off on the changes.

The next window opens from July 8 - 22.

To learn more about the program and how to apply, click on this link.