August Update

August 1, 2017

MTA fare reductions take effect August 1. Mayor Barry announced at the State of Metro address that the transfer fee for the Metro bus system would be eliminated. In the past, changing buses required buying a second ticket. Now, bus riders can request a transfer when they pay their $1.70 fare on a bus, and they will be given a ticket that can be used on any bus for the next two hours. This will also affect the day pass, which will be reduced to $3.25, the week pass $16, and the monthly pass, which will be reduced to $55. More information is available here.

HWEN Walking District: Traffic in HWEN is about to slow down. Metro Public Works (MPW) and the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) have partnered to launch the city’s first-ever Walking District in the Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood (HWEN). The speed limits on local residential streets within the Walking District will be reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph, and the speed limit on residential collector streets (like Blair and Natchez Trace) will be reduced to from 35 mph to 25 mph. The speed limit signs in the Walking Districts will be replaced with the new reduced speeds and will be accompanied by speed limit pavement markings. Additionally, Walking District signs have been installed at the neighborhood entry points. MNPD will be patrolling the area and providing enforcement as necessary. Midtown Hills Precinct Commander, Kay Lokey, says that officers will be reminding motorists of the new speed restrictions at the onset and then transition to speeding citations as necessary in the effort to slow folks down in these residential areas. The goals of the Walking Districts are consistent with Nashville’s commitment to Vision Zero, a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. One of the underlying foundations of Vision Zero is that higher vehicular speeds contribute to higher chances of fatality in the event of a crash. Before and after data will be compared to determine the impact of reducing speed limits and the effectiveness of achieving calm traffic in neighborhoods. In this pilot project, MPW will study the new traffic patterns for six months and then decide if the Walking District will become a permanent solution. Neighbors can help make this a success by being aware of your own speed and serving as pace cars as you drive through the neighborhood.

The 12th South water main replacement project continues with stormwater work in the alley near Beachwood. The contractor will be moving the laydown yard early in August to a site northwest of the intersection of Battlefield and Granny White Pike, per TDOT’s request.

Hillsboro Village Crosswalk — Metro Public Works has met with interested property and business owners to discuss options for a new Hillsboro Village Crosswalk to provide a safe pedestrian crossing on 21st Avenue between Blakemore and Acklen. There are several designs under consideration around the Belcourt intersection. The crosswalk will include a signal, which would operate only when activated by pedestrians. Data show that this is the safest option for a road that operates as four lanes during rush hour traffic.

Solar Eclipse — Nashville is the largest city on the path of a rare opportunity to see a total solar eclipse on August 21. The moon will begin blocking out part of the sun around noon, and totality will last from 1:27pm until 1:29pm. During the partial part of the eclipse, special eclipse glasses are required to look at the sun to avoid permanent eye damage. Those can be bought at the Adventure Science Center and even in some grocery stores. At totality, the sky will actually darken like twilight and the sun can be viewed directly. During those two minutes of total eclipse, it will be possible to see the sun’s corona and loops of high temperature flares. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience I hope everyone takes advantage of. (Just be sure to view the event safely.)

Neighbors are invited to a Council Community Engagement Meeting on August 22 at West End Middle School to learn about increasing transparency in Metro Government, providing more opportunities for citizen input, and additional opportunities for residents to engage with the Council. The meeting begins at 6:30pm.

Urban Runoff 5K — Metro Water Services is holding its annual Urban Runoff 5K on Saturday, August 26 at Shelby Park for fun and fitness and to raise awareness about stormwater issues. The race is in conjunction with The Water Quality Festival, taking place 6:30am - 10:30am. The Festival celebrates clean water and green infrastructure and includes kids’ activities, bounce house, photo booth, and hands-on education. For more information, email jennifer@tnstormwater.org or Elizabeth.Wilson@nashville.gov.

A community meeting is scheduled to talk about a proposed 25th Avenue sidewalk and 4-way stop at Ashwood Avenue. The meeting will be at Martin Center on Monday, August 28 at 6pm. Metro Public Works will present information on possible locations for sidewalks along this school route and answer questions. 
The Eakin field project discussed in meetings earlier this year fell under this year’s budget ax, so the field improvements did not take place this summer as expected. It is still in the pipeline for implementation but will be subject to adequate funding.

Greer Stadium Mixed-Use Project — A number of neighbors have contacted me about the proposed mixed-use project on the old Greer Stadium site. Because this site sits next to historic Fort Negley, there are still a number of questions about how to provide the best possible historic preservation and education opportunities at Fort Negley and how to use open space in an area that is surrounded by interstates and industrial zoning. The process has been slowed down to allow more community information and input opportunities. There will be a public hearing held by Metro Parks on a date still to be determined. Further information will be available in the September update. In the meantime, neighbors can get more detailed information here and here.

I appreciate all the folks who came to my office hours last month; I will have another session in the fall. It is always good to learn what is on everyone’s mind. Please contact 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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