June Update

June 1, 2017

Movies in the Park at Elmington Park will run for the next three Thursdays with an extra rain date at the end. The line-up includes Rogue One, The Secret Life of Pets, and Back to the Future. Food trucks and games start at 5pm, and the movies start at dusk. The park road will be closed on those days beginning at 9pm. Parking for moviegoers will be available at several area churches, but the overflow will spill into the neighborhood. Police will be around to help prevent or ticket blocked driveways or any other potential parking and traffic problems.

Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, begins this year on May 27. During Ramadan, the Islamic Center of Nashville, located at 2515 12th Avenue S, provides an opportunity to continue building relationships with neighbors and the Nashville community through fellowship and understanding. Class and Dinner Programs take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from May 30 through June 20, except for June 8. Neighbors are invited to join for an Islam 101 presentation, which will address common questions and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in Nashville. The class is followed by a Ramadan dinner with fellowship and an opportunity to build bridges. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here.

Whitland Neighborhood is hosting an electronic recycling event Saturday, June 3, from 9am - noon at the Elmington Park parking lot, located at the corner of West End and Bowling Avenue. Computers will be securely transported and hard drives will be removed and shredded on-site according to R2 Certified Recycling standards.

Ode to Otha Street Party – Once again, neighbor Bill Ramsey will celebrate his birthday by hosting the Ode to Otha Street party June 3 from 2:00pm to 9:00pm to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. The celebration takes place in the 1700 block of Sweetbriar Avenue. $30 donations are requested at the door. Kids under 12 are free. This year’s artists will be Jude Skywalker, Bashful Mountain Broadcasters, Chip Greene, Blue Mother Tupelo, Stacy Mitchhart, Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star, Fife and Drum Band, and other Special Guests.

New bike lanes are coming to Music Row and Magnolia Blvd! Many people have asked about the new stripes that have been temporarily painted on 16th and 17th Avenues. These are in preparation for paving and permanent bike lanes to replace the previous design, which is not as safe as new concepts can make it. According to Jason Radinger, Bike Coordinator with Metro Public Works, there are a number of shortcomings in the old design: 1) the lack of buffer between the vehicular travel lane and the bike lane was not ideal for biking comfort, especially for novice riders; 2) the lack of buffer from the parked vehicles placed the bicyclists in the driver-side door zone; 3) daily delivery trucks providing services to the small businesses along the corridor blocked the bike lane and the right-side travel lane several times during the day; and 4) the parked vehicles obstructed the visibility of the bicyclist from the vehicles exiting the driveways. Safer design has been adopted nationally, and new guidelines for urban bikeways have been developed since the Magnolia Boulevard corridor bike lanes were implemented in early 2000’s. The new design involves moving the bike lanes to the left side of the traveling lanes. This design option will include providing a 2-foot buffer between the bike lane and the travel lane. Traffic delineators will be installed in the buffer to provide added protection to bicyclists. The benefits and challenges of the options are as follows:

PROS: 
• Little to no reduction in existing on-street parking spaces. 
• Places the bicyclists away from the door zones of parked vehicles. 
• Separates the bicyclists from parallel parking maneuvers. 
• Improves the visibility of the bicyclists for the vehicles exiting the driveways. 
• Provides a 2-foot buffer with traffic delineators to protect bicyclists from the moving vehicles. 
• Incorporates bike-boxes for bicyclists to stop and wait to make right-turn at the intersections. 
• Incorporates 25-foot long early exit area for experienced bicyclists to merge with traffic to make right-turns at the intersections. 
• Includes skip line with green paints across the intersection to highlight conflict areas and help guide bicyclists through the intersection as well as let motorists be aware of bicyclists. 
• Allows for an 11-foot travel lane adjacent to the parked vehicles to accommodate transit and buses. 
• Eliminates right-turn vehicular conflicts with bicyclists traveling in the bike lane.

CONS: 
• Driver expectations and unfamiliarity with left-side bike lane will likely require some time for motorists to adapt. 
• Driveways on the left-side of the street will have to watch out for bicyclists. 
• The right-side travel lane will be placed closer to the on-street parking than in the existing condition where the bike lane acts as a buffer between the travel lanes and parked vehicles. 
• Bicyclists have to get used to making a right-turn from the left-side bike lane by either merging with the moving vehicles or using the bike-boxes. 
• Bike lane width includes the gutter pan.

The implementation will not fully be seen or appreciated until the full design has been installed. There will be green color at all driveways, alleys and intersection as all these locations are considered conflict point for cyclists. Bollards, along with bike boxes, will be installed along the entire corridor similar to the Davidson Street Multi-Use Path.

Noise Ordinance Reminder – Now that the weather is great for backyard barbecues, please remember that Nashville has noise ordinances to help us all be considerate neighbors. Amplified music outside should not reach beyond your property lines. Your neighbors may have different tastes in music and will probably appreciate your observing the regulations. If amplified music is too loud, and neighbors are not willing to turn down the volume when requested, violations can be called in at 862-8600.

MNPS Next – Metro Nashville Public Schools is hosting another meeting series for MNPS Next to discuss changes that will 1) improve student outcomes; 2) make our district operations and programs more efficient; and 3) increase enrollment. Please join MNPS for one of these community meetings to share input on these topics as well as the grade structure of elementary and middle schools, the ways our school buildings support academic programs, strategies for better distributing academic programs throughout our county, the availability of optional schools in the district. Attendees will have the chance to take home a free book and free passes to the Frist Center of the Visual Arts and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Neighbors are encouraged to attend the meeting at Hillsboro High School on Thursday, June 22, which includes dinner at 5:30pm and program starting at 6pm. If you have any questions about the meetings, call the Family Information Center at 615-259-4636 weekdays from 6:30am - 5:30pm.

12th South water main replacement project is now on Sweetbriar, and associated sidewalk work will take place on Linden, Beechwood, and Sweetbriar. The contractor is planning to have the sidewalk work complete by the end of May and begin the paving immediately after.

Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will be holding public meetings this month to discuss this fall’s semi-annual system changes and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s State of Metro call to “eliminate transfer fees” for riders. In her State of Metro address last month, Mayor Barry stated that a subsidy would be included for MTA in her operation budget to eliminate transfer fares so riders would no longer need to pay for a second ride to complete their trips. The subsidy would also support the reduction in cost for other pass types, which would be adjusted to maintain consistent and effective per-ride cost for transit users throughout the fare structure. The fare change is proposed to take effect August 2017, and the new fare structure can be found here. All proposed changes are subject to Metro Council’s approval of Mayor Barry’s budget and approval of the MTA Board. These improvements are expected to provide meaningful benefits to our existing riders and to future riders. The public meetings will be held at Music City Central, 400 Charlotte Ave, on Thursday, June 15 from 11am to 12:30pm and on Tuesday, June 20, from 4:30pm to 6pm. Comments may be submitted through July 7, 2017 at the meetings or sent to the MTA Planning Department as follows: Attn: Public Meeting Comments, 430 Myatt Drive, Nashville, TN, 37115. Comments can also be emailed here. Attendance at the meetings is not required in order to comment. The elimination of the transfer fee makes riding the bus much more affordable and is also lowering the cost for the day, week, and month passes so that they are significantly lower than the cost of parking downtown. I hope everyone will write MTA in support of this.

Neighbors are invited to attend the second Belmont University Institutional Overlay Community meeting June 29 at 6pm at the Midtown Hills precinct located at 1441 12th Avenue S. Representatives from Earl Swensson Associates will present the updated overlay which has incorporated comments from the first meeting. After this meeting, the final draft of the overlay will be made available online on the university website before being filed with the Planning Commission later this summer. This document will guide the growth of the campus according to the guidelines and general campus zones agreed to.

Brush pick-up starts in BHN, Sunnyside, and 12th South on June 23, and in HWEN on June 30. Place your brush where your garbage is collected –- at the curb if your trash is collected there or in the alley if you have alley trash collection. Do not stack brush against trees, fences, utility poles or other stationary objects because the crane on the truck can’t operate around those. Do not place brush, clippings and/or leaves where they can be washed into a storm sewer, catch basin or stream and clog up drainage systems.

The council is finishing up the Budget process this month. This consists of two parts, the operating budget for day to day operations and the Capital Spending Plan for large building projects. The Mayor proposes both budgets, and the council makes adjustments and passes the final versions to be adopted. The proposed operating budget is $2.2 billion including increases for schools, housing affordability initiatives, and transit. Details can be found here.

The Capital Spending Plan is a resolution that calls for the issuance of $288 million in general obligation bonds to be used for physical assets and projects. Highlights of the capital spending plan include the following:

– Public Safety: Funds will be set aside to plan and design a new Emergency Communications Center and new Juvenile Justice Center. $15 million will be allocated for police body-worn and dash cameras. (Later this summer, another $8 million will be proposed through Metro’s 4 Percent Reserve Fund to upgrade outdated laptops and printers in police cruisers that support body and dash cameras.)

– Public Education and Youth: Mayor Barry is including $48 million for Phase 2 of the Hillsboro High School renovation that began last year, as well as $10.2 million to acquire land in Bellevue to build a new high school serving the Hillwood cluster, and $9 million for land for a new School of the Arts.

– Transportation and Transit: The Spending Plan allocates $65 million for sidewalks and paving; $3 million specifically for sidewalks that will make it easier for children to walk to school; $2 million for bikeways, and $13 million for roadway improvements, including $7 million at the Interstate 24/Hickory Hollow interchange and $6 million for the Crestmoor/Glen Echo realignment project on Hillsboro Pike. Mayor Barry recommends replacing the city’s aging fleet of diesel buses with approximately 30 hybrid buses for $17.5 million, along with a new fare collection system for $7.2 million that will make it easier for citizens to ride MTA buses. And $1.8 million will be allocated to extend the Music City Circuit out Jefferson Street to Tennessee State University so students and other residents will have a convenient way to get to downtown, Nashville Farmers’ Market, the Gulch and other areas.

– Affordable Housing: For the first time, Metro will be using general obligation bonds for the purchase and construction of affordable housing in Nashville. The new program, with $25 million in starting capital, will allow the city to buy and rehab low-income housing that is at risk of becoming unaffordable and also build affordable housing on city-owned property.

– Quality of Life: $16 million for Metro Parks, including $10 million for the Bellevue regional community center and ice rink; $3 million for soccer fields and a greenway at the Fairgrounds Nashville; $2 million for the Hadley Park tennis bubble and renovations to Antioch Community Center, and $1 million for planning and design for a Jefferson Street pocket park and renovations to Old Hickory Community Center, Sunnyside Mansion and Two Rivers Mansion. Also, $500,000 will be allocated to start planning a new Hadley Park branch library, while $2.5 million will fund repairs and maintenance on Metro Action Commission Head Start centers.

I hope everyone is having a great start to summer. I look forward to running into you out and about in the neighborhood. Please feel free to contact me with your concerns and suggestions by calling me at 615-383-6604 or by e-mailing me at burkley.allen@nashville.gov.

Regards, 
Burkley Allen 
Metro Council 18th District

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