New sidewalks under construction ahead of vote on plan to cut Nashville pedestrian deaths

pedestrian crossing sign with cars driving by
Posted at 9:05 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 08:31:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville is on track for another record-breaking year for pedestrians killed while walking in the city, but a solution could be on the way.

On Tuesday, the Metro Council will consider a resolution that would adopt the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT)'s Vision Zero Action Plan. The five-year plan aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe mobility options for all.

"This is an opportunity for the council to solidify that plan," said Zach Young, Metro Council member for District 10. "We can go on the record as putting this as our official way to get to zero pedestrian deaths."

The proposal has been in the works since Mayor John Cooper announced his commitment to the project in January of 2020.

The Vision Zero Action Plan establishes strategies based on the five E’s of transportation safety: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Evaluation and Enforcement. It also identifies the most dangerous roads and intersections across Davidson County for people walking, biking, and driving.

In 2021, 38 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.

Members of the group Walk Bike Nashville said to make streets safer, the city needs to invest in more sidewalks, additional crosswalks, better lighting, and lower speed limits.

NDOT announced three new sidewalks are under construction. The projects are located at Old Harding Pike from Hicks Road to Highway 70 South, Davidson Road from HG Hill Middle School to Highway 70 South, and Eastland Avenue from North 16th Street to Setliff Place.

An official with Walk Bike Nashville said the group supports the Vision Zero Plan, but wants to see it implemented quickly.

"We want to see safety being prioritized," said Naffie Njie, with Walk Bike Nashville. "I think they are moving forward with that, but perhaps it's not fast enough."

In order for the plan to move forward, it must be approved by the Metro Council at the Aug. 16 meeting.

Review the entire Vision Zero Action Plan online.