NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure and the mayor's office released the first draft of the city’s Vision Zero Action Plan.
Residents can provide feedback up until Feb. 4.
The plan will serve as a guiding framework to make the city’s streets safer for all roadway users — pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists — and achieve a goal of zero preventable roadway deaths. The draft plan includes a High Injury Network of Nashville’s most dangerous roads and intersections, as well as set of specific recommendations for near-term implementation.
Since 2014, at least 468 people have been killed in traffic crashes in Nashville, with pedestrians representing a growing share of that number in recent years. In January 2020, Mayor John Cooper announced Nashville’s commitment to prioritizing roadway safety and becoming a Vision Zero City. Mayor Cooper has made the funding and implementation of Vision Zero safety initiatives a major priority of his administration, and has emphasized the urgent response necessary to quickly address Nashville’s roadway safety challenges in coordination with key partners.
“A great city is a walkable city and a bike-friendly city,” Cooper said. “That means — in a city that works for everyone — we must shape our transportation strategies and infrastructure around the safety and well-being of every person.”
The draft plan was developed by NDOT staff and Alta Planning + Design in coordination with various stakeholders and the Vision Zero Task Force, as well as significant community engagement. The task force included representation from both essential community and implementation partners like the Tennessee Department of Transportation, WeGo Transit, Metro Council, and Walk Bike Nashville. Throughout plan development, five themes emerged as guiding principles:
- Create Safe Streets for Everyone
- Promote a Culture of Safety
- Increase Collaboration & Transparency
- Improve Data Quality
- Prioritize Equity
“The Vision Zero Action Plan shows that there are deep inequities in the design of our streets. Some neighborhoods bear an unequal share of traffic deaths and injuries, said Lindsey Ganson, Director of Advocacy and Communications for Walk Bike Nashville. “The Vision Zero Action Plan provides a clear road map for Nashville’s priorities to save lives and prevent injuries. We don’t have to re-design every street. We just have to urgently fix the streets and intersections we know are dangerous.”
The Vision Zero Action Draft Plan includes a High Injury Network that identifies the most dangerous roadways and intersections for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
Key data findings include:
- 2% of Nashville streets account for 60% of fatal and serious injuries for people walking
- 6% of streets account for nearly 60% of all fatal and serious injuries for all modes (walking, biking, driving)
- 90% of high injury intersections occur in areas defined as “highly vulnerable” – places with more underserved Nashvillians, such as those living in poverty or who do not own vehicles
- A person walking near a bus stop in a highly vulnerable area is 8 times more likely to be killed or severely injured
The plan also includes 11 key recommendations for short-term implementation related to analyzing fatal crashes for preventative measures, developing policies and education campaigns, identifying specific safety projects, designing safer infrastructure and more.
“This plan is essential in helping us understand specifically where our roadway safety challenges are and provides us with necessary guidance on how we can proactively quickly begin addressing many of them,” NDOT Chief Engineer Brad Freeze said. “Vision Zero and traffic safety is the greatest priority for our department right now as we work to make Nashville’s streets safer for everyone, but especially our most vulnerable users.”
The draft plan will be open for community feedback via email until early February, with a virtual public meeting planned for late January. More details on the meeting will be provided at a later date.
For more information on Vision Zero: https://www.nashville.gov/departments/transportation/plans-and-programs/vision-zero.
To report a non-emergency issue affecting a metro Nashville street, visit hub.nashville.gov