Hume Fogg students lend spoken word poetry to pedestrian safety

A group of students at Hume Fogg is fed up with Nashville’s poor track record in pedestrian safety.  A student group, Stop! Take Notice, formed to do something about it after the December 2013 death of their classmate in a crosswalk outside their school.

For a few years now, students have been fiercely advocating for better pedestrian safety around the city, including the passage of the Elena Zamaro Memorial Act which (slightly) stiffened the penalties for seriously injuring or killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk.  The student group has also installed eye-catching art around downtown to try to raise awareness among drivers about pedestrian safety.

And just a few weeks ago, the student group released an excellent video featuring a spoken word poem by former classmate Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay and videography by recent graduates Arif Bashar, Jonathan Warkenitin, and some of their classmates.  It’s well worth a few minutes of your time:

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Nashvillians turn out for a car-free 12th Ave S

On a warm Sunday afternoon, the citizens took over the street again, reclaiming it from the cars.  The police blocked off a 2.3-mile stretch of 12th Ave S — from 11th Ave S in the Gulch to Kirkwood Ave in 12 South — for Nashvillians to enjoy the street by foot, bicycle, skates, unicycle, pogo stick, and more on October 30.

Community organizations turned out to set up displays and games, such as this giant Jenga:

dsc_0247.jpgAnd this giant map of Nashville, showing where (and how) people had come from to get to the open street:

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In 12 South, folks ambled along the street, enjoying the sunshine:

And then there was this guy, who converted his bike into a TIE fighter:

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The parade started early in the afternoon at Halycon Bike Shop, and yes, they had pumpkin spice this-and-that:

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There was even dancing in the streets, ’cause, hey, no cars:

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Tomorrow is Walk to Work Day

Walk Bike Nashville is encouraging Nashvillians to walk to work on Friday.  They’ll even be handing out free breakfasts on the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge downtown from 7 to 9 in the morning.

 

 

This event is just one of several that the organization is sponsoring for Walk Month.  Walk Month will culminate with Open Streets Nashville on October 30, which will close down a few miles of 12 Ave S to cars, allowing pedestrians, bicyclists, scooterers, unicyclists, and cartwheelers to take over the street for a few hours that Sunday.

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#DontBlockMyWalk Bill Passes

An ordinance to make sidewalks and bikeways near construction safer for pedestrians and cyclists passed in the Metro Council tonight.  The bill, Ordinance No. BL2016-240, will require contractors to provide appropriate accommodations when their construction blocks a public right-of-way normally used by pedestrians or cyclists.

Earlier: Don’t Block My Walk, Say Councilmembers

Councilmembers Allen and Elrod, who led the charge on the bill, were looking to address such dangerous and inconvenient situations as this:

And this:

This doesn’t mean that all those sidewalks will be immediately unblocked, though.  The ordinance still has to be signed by Mayor Barry (or, at least, not vetoed).  And then, it is the responsibility of Public Works to “adopt rules and standards” to carry out the legislation.  It’s not clear what, if any, enforcement capability Metro will have against non-compliant contractors.

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Vanderbilt getting serious about pedestrians

Vanderbilt University Police Department is taking steps to increase pedestrian safety.

There’s a crosswalk on Natchez Trace between a Vanderbilt parking lot and a pathway to the recreation center.  VUPD says that many drivers blow on through the intersection, paying no heed to pedestrians trying to cross the road there.  So they’re installing new lighting and signage (with the help of Metro Public Works) in hopes that that will make motorists follow the law.

If that doesn’t work, however, they say that VUPD officers are out looking for violators of the law that requires motorists to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.  They’re also working to educate pedestrians about their responsibilities at crosswalks.

They report that they have made other improvements recently too, such as a new traffic light at Blakemore Ave and 23rd Ave S.

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Don’t Block My Walk, Say Councilmembers

Tonight, the Metro council will consider a bill that will require accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists when construction blocks a sidewalk or bike lane.

For months, Nashville pedestrians and cyclists have been tweeting #dontblockmywalk, begging the mayor and Public Works to not allow sidewalks and bike lanes to be indiscriminately blocked:

The bill states that

it is in the best interest of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to authorize the Director of the Department of Public Works (the Director) to adopt rules and standards addressing the care to be taken by such permit applicants with regard to bicycle and pedestrian safety and accessibility in the public right of way and to require that a temporary traffic control plan be submitted by such permit applicants when the duration of such permits will exceed twenty (20) days.

Walk Bike Nashville, an advocacy organization, sent out an email to supporters asking them to “contact your council person to let them know that you strongly support ORDINANCE NO. BL2016-240 and the accompanying Public Works Regulations.”

The legislation, sponsored by Councilmembers Burkley Allen and Jeremy Elrod, will go through its second reading at this evening’s council meeting.

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Pizza delivery driver involved in fatal hit and run

A pizza delivery driver hit a pedestrian in the dark on Nolensville Pike Saturday night, and shortly thereafter left the scene of the accident.  The pedestrian, Stephen Moseley, died that night at the hospital.

The driver, Jay Jackson, reported to police that he felt an impact on his van, got out to find a man sitting up and surrounded by bystanders, then left the scene.  Police caught up with him later at his workplace.

Police investigators are still trying to determine the fault of the accident, as Moseley had been drinking, was crossing away from a crosswalk, and was wearing dark clothing on a dark rainy night.  Although it is the responsibility of the driver to make every reasonable effort to stop for pedestrians, police believe that because of the conditions, Jackson may not have seen Moseley.

 

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