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Eliminating pedestrian deaths? Nashville council voted on a plan to do just that

Asphalt road empty sidewalk
Posted at 8:49 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 23:35:54-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — A plan to reach zero pedestrian deaths in Nashville made its way Tuesday night through Metro Council.

Members voted 27-7-2 to pass the initiative, which would primarily go through the purview of the Nashville Department of Transportation.

The plan aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2050 while increasing safe mobility options for all. It includes a five-year action plan that will address some of the city's most dangerous roads. The proposal has been in the works since Mayor John Cooper announced his commitment to the project in January of 2020.

Although the resolution passed, some Metro Council members expressed concerns the plan needed more specifics, and some said it didn't do enough to address ongoing safety issues.

"I think it will be very difficult for us as a body to track the implementation of this plan and the goals," said Angie Henderson, who represents District 34.

However, supporters said it can ultimately help make the city safer.

"It's incredible we are going to have this implementation plan of how to prevent people from dying from crossing the street in Nashville, Tennessee," said Zach Young, who represents District 10.

Young said now that Nashville is a Vision Zero city, officials can move forward with applying for $30 million in federal grant money to support the plans in September.

In 2021, 39 pedestrians were killed on Nashville's streets. In all, 132 people died in traffic incidents in Nashville last year, making it the deadliest year for traffic deaths since 1966.