Strategic Plan for Sidewalks & Bikeways
Historically, Nashville’s approach to transportation, like many cities, revolved around motor vehicles. In late 2001, Metro took a fresh look at the planning of pedestrian and bicycle facilities by embarking on the development of the Nashville‐Davidson County Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways (hereinafter referred to as the Strategic Plan), completed in March 2003.

Strategic Plan History

The Strategic Plan was developed as a community plan and involved significant public input. Public meetings were held throughout the county between January 2002 and September 2002. The meetings were utilized to introduce the plan and provide a forum for public input.

In concert with the Strategic Plan, an inventory of the then total of 752 miles of sidewalks in the County was performed. In addition, Metro roadways were evaluated for the feasibility of incorporating bicycle facilities, and thus a Bikeways Vision Plan was drafted as a component of the Strategic Plan.

The sidewalk inventory told a story of a need for sidewalk repairs as a priority. In addition, the need for completing areas of short segments of sidewalks that would provide enhanced connectivity within the sidewalk network was apparent. In 2003, a formal program, driven by the Strategic Plan, was implemented and fully funded in the 2003‐2004 fiscal year.

In addition to sidewalk repairs and constructing missing segments, extending the network was still a priority and part of the program, and in January 2002, changes to development regulations allowed for commercial and private development to fuel the timely expansion of the sidewalk network based on urban growth.

To be able to prioritize all the county‐wide needs, the plan also provided a logic system known as the Sidewalk Priority Index (SPI). The SPI involved estimating the pedestrian use by evaluating proximity to trip generators as well as taking into account the current and future land use by utilizing a common planning concept known as transect factors.

Call for updates to the plan

After five successful years of implementation of the Strategic Plan, the Public Works Department had constructed or repaired over 124 miles of sidewalks and completed the replacement or installation of over 7,200 curb ramps. In addition, over 94 miles of the overall Bikeways Vision Plan had been constructed. The Strategic Plan had served Metro well. However, changes in land use, pedestrian needs and other factors foreshadowed updates to the original Strategic Plan.

In fall 2007, Mayor Karl Dean called for a review of planning and implementing pedestrian and bicycling facilities. The Public Works and Planning Departments took the lead to review and garner public input and draft and publish an update document to augment the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways.


Please go through the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks & Bikeways to learn more.
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