#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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Music Row roundabout underwater this morning

A crew installing the lines for Google Fiber created a huge mess in the Music Row roundabout (at the intersection with Demonbreun St) early this morning.

Recently, according to WKRN, a fiber crew was laying its optical communication lines when they nicked the water main running underneath the roundabout.  A patch for the pipe was applied at the time, but it busted again in the wee hours of Sunday.  The street was flooded and closed off.

Public Works crews fixed the leak, patched the brick roadway back up with asphalt, and reopened it by 4:00:

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