– Meg Garner, Nashville Business Journal
Nashville is a southern, car-centric community, but last year, they only experienced a third of the pedestrian fatalities reported in Tampa Bay.
Walk Bike Nashville is aggressively advocating for safer streets, bikeways and transportation infrastructure.
Founded in 1998, Walk Bike Nashville is building a more walkable, bikeable, and livable Nashville by advocating for pedestrian and bicycle safety, and making active transportation an option for all citizens of Nashville, no matter where they live or where they’re trying to go.
Walk Bike Nashville’s ongoing advocacy efforts focus on developing relationships with city and state elected officials, local and state agencies involved with various aspects of development and transportation, as well as other coalitions advocating for transportation options. Walk Bike Nashville also holds these groups accountable for progress through publicly-released reports and studies, such as their recent report on the most dangerous intersections, “Impossible Crossings,” and their scorecard on the community’s three-year Transportation Action Agenda.
Advocacy efforts have resulted in the passage of bills requiring developers to build sidewalks, increased funding for Metro Sidewalks and Bikeways Programs, and the revamping of a traffic calming program.
According to Walk Bike Nashville Executive Director Nora Kern, the organization was a driving force in updating the Metro Nashville Sidewalk Requirement in the metro zoning code in April 2017. The Sidewalk Ordinance requires sidewalks to be installed (or replaced) in any new or redeveloped properties and connects this ordinance to the city land use and multimodal transportation plans such as NashvilleNext, Access Nashville 2040 and nMotion.
Walk Bike Nashville also helped advocate for a federal Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant which allowed the Metro Planning Department to add staff dedicated to transportation and pedestrian issues.
Walk Bike Nashville also teaches Nashville citizens to safely access the city’s streets, bikeways, greenways and sidewalks. Walk Bike University is an education initiative to increase the number of citizens walking and biking through instruction, raising awareness, and cultivating bicycle and pedestrian advocates. The Travel Green program helps businesses grow their walking and biking culture by installing bike parking and holding Lunch & Learn programs on bike safety and transit use.
To increase engagement, Walk Bike Nashville holds a number of events and services, including Bike Valet at community events; Bike Month which includes Tour de Nash, Nashville’s largest urban bike ride; Walk Nashville Month; and Open Streets Nashville, a movement to activate people, strengthen businesses and inspire public spaces by temporarily closing streets to cars.
The program has been recognized as a Best Practice by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association to reduce pedestrian and bicycle deaths.