More Nashville neighborhoods to open 'slow streets' today

Posted at 8:46 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 21:16:04-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — On Monday, roads in fifteen Nashville neighborhoods became “slow streets.”

The Slow Streets program was first introduced last spring. By the end of 2020, Nashville had turned 21 miles of streets into slow streets at some point in the spring or fall.

A slow street or soft road closure is a street where thru-traffic is discouraged with barricades and signage. Local traffic, including delivery trucks and transit service, are still permitted to use the street and on-street parking is maintained.

Through May 17, fifteen neighborhoods will implement use the tools to deter speeders and drivers from cutting through their neighborhood, including Buena Vista.

"They just floor it," said Kerry Crawford, a homeowner on 11th Avenue North. "They go all the way to the stop sign at Jefferson thinking this is their runway and it's not their runway -- this is our neighborhood."

In addition to curbing speeds and drivers taking shortcuts, Walk Bike Nashville says slow streets give more people more convenient spaces to get outside, to play and exercise. The Community Engagement Coordinator for Walk Bike Nashville Brenda Perez says slow streets have been a popular and inexpensive way to help neighborhoods create safe spaces, but they're just a temporary solution.

“We also want to encourage people to like advocate for programs like traffic calming, which provides these things like slow streets, and stop signs and speed bumps. So right now traffic calming has .56% of our city’s budget,” Pérez said.

Walk Bike Nashville and Metro Public Works are collecting resident feedback on the Slow Streets program via an online survey.

There are more than 170 neighborhoods interested in permanent traffic calming solutions on their streets.