Nashville Transit Triathalon

This morning, Mayor Barry and some very-committed community members boarded the bus to participate in the Nashville Transit Triathlon.  This is the only time I’ve ever seen the MTA allow people to bring bikes on board the bus (and a guy next to them who just doesn’t care):

After the leg on the 56, participants walked to the Five Points B-Cycle station, then rode bikes back towards East Park:

Earlier: Three of Nashville’s grand visions will be on display in Nashville Transit Triathlon this weekend

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Three of Nashville’s grand visions will be on display in Nashville Transit Triathlon this weekend

Nashville has three big plans for improvements around the city: nMotion, for public transit; WalknBike, for sidewalks and bikeways; and Plan to Play, for parks and greenways.  And Mayor Barry will be showcasing those three plans this Saturday at 11:15 AM as she travels East Nashville (and a little bit of downtown) using three different non-car modes.  She (and a whole bunch of other people) will start at Music City Central, riding the 11 AM route 56 to Five Points Station.  Then, she’ll hoof it over to the B-Cycle station a few blocks away, where she’ll check out a bike and ride it to East Park.

I should mention that there is no B-Cycle station at East Park, so how people are supposed to re-dock their rented bikes when they get there, I’m not sure (there are only two B-Cycle stations in the whole of East Nashville, aside from one at Titans Stadium).

The event at East Park runs from 11 to 1 and will feature a number of different displays, including the chance to comment on any of the three plans.  And, there’s free food.

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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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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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Better bike lanes coming to Music Row

Walk Bike Nashville is reporting that reconfigured, safer bike lanes will be installed on 16th Ave S, 17 Ave S, and Magnolia Blvd this summer.  The changes will be installed between 21st Ave S and the Music Circle Roundabout.  16th and 17th Avenues S are colloquially known as Music Row.

For most of the route, the bike lanes will be on the left side of the streets, separated from cars by flexible bollards.  On Magnolia Blvd in the southbound direction, however, the schematic drawing appears to indicate that the bike lanes will be between the right curb and parallel parking, but still separated by bollards.

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Drawing of new traffic configuration for Music Row. Provided by Walk Bike Nashville.
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Drawing of new traffic configuration for Magnolia Blvd. Provided by Walk Bike Nashville.

The bike lanes on Music Row are some of the oldest in the city.  The current right-hand configuration, however, leaves cyclists vulnerable to opening car doors and cars pulling out onto the road from the parallel parking spots.  “We are really excited to see the city trying out innovative and cutting edge bikeway designs and are eager to see how the designs in-person,” Walk Bike Nashville wrote in its blog post.  “We are sure there will be a learning curve–both for bikes and drivers.”

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