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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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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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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Tour De Nash in pictures

Yesterday was the 11th Tour De Nash, an annual collection of organized bike rides.  Walk Bike Nashville offered 8-mile, 25-mile, and 45-mile options.

Plenty of people turned out yesterday for the event:

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Bike to Work Day will not be in a thunderstorm; it’s been rescheduled

Even though National Bike to Work Day will continue on this Friday, Nashville’s version of the event has been rescheduled to next Tuesday, May 24.  In an email to supporters, Walk Bike Nashville wrote, “While we don’t mind riding our bicycles in the rain, riding in thunderstorms is generally not recommended.”  The event’s group rides will ride in from around town (see the map to join a ride) to converge on downtown’s Public Square at 8 am, where there will be free refreshments.

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