Proposed Mixed-Use Project on Murphy Road
The proposed mixed-use project on Murphy Road at West End has gone through major revisions in response to concerns expressed by the three adjacent neighborhoods. The height has been lowered to match the Highwoods Tower across the street, and the office component has been replaced with a residential tower. This breaks up the mass of the building and reduces the traffic impact of the project. Council Member Ed Kindall, in whose district the project actually sits, has agreed to defer the public hearing a second time to allow for a community meeting to present the new design. Therefore the currently scheduled January 3 Council public hearing will take place on February 5. Plans for the community meeting are being finalized and will be announced as soon as they are definite. Information on the project will be available on the HWEN website at HWEN.org.
21st Avenue Corridor Study Updates
The 21st Avenue Corridor study is moving to the next phase. After receiving input from neighbors and property owners through the charettes, community meetings, and steering committee discussions, the Planning staff is drawing up documents to implement the vision that was laid out.
The common themes that emerged were: a. strong desire for a better pedestrian experience along 21st b. interest in more mixed use along the corridor adding some retail to the currently allowed office/residential mix c. willingness to allow some building forms not allowed under the current OR20 zoning if they are paired with better sidewalks and are sensitive to the adjacent residential properties d. preservation of the local businesses at the existing commercial node at Blair Planning staff are continuing to work on a draft corridor plan and that a Urban Design Overlay (UDO) along with base zone changes will be used to implement the vision set out in the plan. Planning will be back out in the community for feedback in the beginning of February.
Traffic Calming on Belmont Boulevard
Belmont Blvd traffic calming measures are gradually being implemented as weather conditions allow. The Traffic and Parking Commission voted last month to lower the speed limit on Belmont to 25 mph. (Note that this will be done on all local streets county wide within the next year, but the signs on Belmont will be the first to be changed in our neighborhood.) Intersection improvements, including safety enhancements at crosswalks, will be added when we have a long enough warm spell to put paint on the street. The protected bike lanes at the northern, non-residential part of Belmont will be coordinated with the construction of Belmont’s Performing Arts Center, described below.
Brush Pick-up starts in HWEN on January 4. Correct placement of the pile is important to ensure that it is picked up. Instead of chippers, Metro Public Works uses knuckle boom trucks equipped with a mechanical arm that lifts brush piles up and into a trailer that’s pulled behind the truck. This method of collecting brush is quieter and safer than using wood chippers, and allows Metro to provide quicker and more efficient service. Neighbors need to leave enough room for the mechanical arm of the knuckle boom truck to operate. In general, height of the pile doesn’t matter, but all brush needs to be close enough to the curb or roadway for the truck to reach it. Only the driver travels with the truck; there are no other crew members to move piles or separate items that don’t belong in a brush pile. Brush piles should not be placed close to mailboxes, utility poles, fences, trees or other stationary objects. Place only limbs, branches and true yard waste by the curb for brush crews. Lumber, household trash and other types of debris found in your brush pile means it won’t get picked up.
Christmas Tree Recycling Drop-Off
Once again Metro is offering a Christmas Tree drop-off at Elmington Park, Richland Park, and Sevier Park. Trees will be chipped for mulch instead of ending up in the landfill. There are a number of individuals and groups will can help neighbors with their trees for a fee or a donation. Preston Taylor Ministries is available here.
Coffee With Burkley Allen
I will be holding Council Office Hours on Saturday, January 12, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Portland Brew. Please stop by, and we can have a conversation about zoning issues, budget questions, elections for the Community Oversight Board, or topics of your choice. I’ll also have up useful Metro websites for demos on reporting code violations or looking up development information.
FREE Art Workshops!
The Centennial Arts Center is offering free art workshops on January 14 and 15. Classes include drawing with Etch-a-Sketch and Glaze Mixing. There is no cost, but registration is required. More information is available at the Centennial Art Center by clicking here, or by calling 615-862-8442.
I-440 Paving & Widening
I-440 paving and widening begins in earnest this month. Soundwalls are under construction around Elmington, Sharondale, and Linmar Avenues. Ramp improvements at 21st (westbound 440) and Murphy Road (eastbound 440) are underway and should last through March. Relocation of light poles between Murphy Road and Hillsboro will begin soon and last through March. Removal of the median and concrete rubblization begins in February.
Nashville Reads book club
The Nashville Reads book for 2019 is “Hidden Figures”. This is the book that inspired the movie about a group of remarkable African American women who served as human calculators and helped make possible the first space flights during the midst of the civil rights movement. Book club discussions will take place throughout the spring, and I hope to continue the trend of having one at Bongo Java led by our own very capable Irma Paz Bernstein. The author is coming to Nashville February 19 for an event at the Downtown Library. Start reading now so you’ll be ready for the discussions.
Healthier TN Neighborhoods Program
The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness is currently seeking Nashville neighborhoods to participate in the Healthier TN Neighborhoods program. The Foundation’s primary initiative, Healthier Tennessee, strives to increase the number of Tennesseans who are physically active, promote a healthy diet, and reduce the number of people who use tobacco. HealthierTN works with neighborhoods in Nashville to develop sustainable health and wellness initiatives in their respective communities to ultimately become designated as a “Healthier Tennessee Neighborhood”. The Foundation offers grants and other promotional materials to participating communities and HealthierTN is designed for neighborhoods of all shapes and sizes in Nashville. If you, or someone you know, is interested in leading this initiative in your neighborhood, please contact Kate Kennedy, the Nashville Neighborhoods Director for Healthier Tennessee, at email@example.com or 615-610-1880 ext. 830.
Parklets Are Coming To District 18!
Metro Public Works, Metro Planning, and the Nashville Civic Design Center are partnering to create District 18’s first Parklet, which will be on 12th South in front of Jeni’s Ice Cream. This initiative will turn a single parking space into a tiny park to provide a space to sit and enjoy the energy of 12th South.
New Parking Design on Acklen Avenue
Once again, District 18 is on the leading edge of new traffic and parking innovation with the recently installed back-in angled parking in Hillsboro Village in front of the Acklen Post Office and Belmont Methodist Church. Most drivers seem to have gotten comfortable with the new design, which allows for much safer loading and exit of the parking space. The proper use is to pull just past the space and back into it, similar to parallel parking, only easier. A few drivers are still pulling in frontwards in front of the Acklen Post Office, which now involves pulling across on-coming traffic entering and exiting the space. This is not an appropriate use of the space, and is not safer for anyone. Drivers are encouraged to circle the block if necessary to get the car oriented the right way to back in.
Belmont University Performing Arts Center
Preliminary construction for the Belmont University Performing Arts Center site is currently underway, starting with work to relocate utility lines under Belmont Blvd. This will displace street parking between Bernard and Compton Aves for a few weeks. Additionally, excavation blasting for the relocated roadway has begun and will last approximately through mid-January. During this time, blasting will occur up to three times each day—at 9:05 a.m., 11:05 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. Thru traffic on Bernard and Compton will be halted ten minutes prior to each blast until an all-clear signal is given. Compared to blasts for past construction projects on campus, the intensity of blasts will be significantly lower. To assist retail neighbors during this period of utility construction, a series of promotions are being offered to those who live in the neighborhood. As retailers confirm their promotional offerings, they will be shared. All retail dining locations along Belmont Blvd will remain open during the construction period. Please make an extra effort to patronize them while they are putting up with the inconveniences that are inevitable with construction.
Traffic Calming Program
Metro Public Works has re-structured the Traffic Calming program into two application periods per year, opening on January 2 and on July 8. For the first period from January 2 – January 22, Public Works will be accepting new applications to request traffic calming treatments. If a neighborhood has a current application, they will not need to reapply. Their application will be re-evaluated with those received in January. Public Works has a list of the current applications. After January 22, applications will be objectively scored based on crash history, measured speed, and bike and pedestrian considerations. Public Works will then move into project development with the top-ranking neighborhoods based on this analysis. For more information on Traffic Calming, visit the following links:
- Traffic Calming program website
- Application form
- FAQs (including information on the process re-structure and how neighborhoods will be chosen)
Zero Waste Updates
As Metro moves toward sending zero waste to the landfill, keeping recyclables and compostables out of the waste stream is an important part of the solution. However, it is important to put only the correct materials in those diversion streams. Nashville’s biggest recycling contaminant is plastic bags. Most people don’t realize that putting recyclables in a plastic bag or even putting plastic bags in the recycling cart is a real problem. The bags get caught in the sorting machines used to separate cans from cardboard and plastic bottles and frequently shut the entire operation down. To help educate the general public, Metro Public Works has started recycling route audits, which will decrease contamination in the Curby recycle carts. Residents may start seeing some red OOPS tags on recycling carts in their neighborhoods on pick-up day. These carts will not be picked up until the plastic bags are removed. Plastic bags can be recycled at most grocery stores.
Metro Public works has expanded residential food waste drop off to all convenience centers. There is no charge to drop off this material or recyclables at the centers.
Public Works continues to have free weekly composting workshops. Neighbors who attend the one hour workshop receive a free backyard composter. Click here to learn more about the free workshops. Visit the Recycle Center - if you attend the one hour workshop you receive a free small recycle bin for inside your home. Click here to learn more.
Nashville International Airport Updates
The airport’s new Parking and Transportation Center (referred to as “Terminal Garage” on airport signage) opened on Dec. 20. Visitors to the airport may need to relearn their way around.
The center offers:
- 2,200 short-term parking spaces (Levels P2-P6)
- a parking space guidance system
- electric vehicle charging stations
- tire inflation station
- vehicle locator kiosks
- pay-on-foot kiosks
Ground transportation pick-up will relocate to the Parking and Transportation Center (Level 1). Commercial vehicles including WeGo Public Transit buses, hotel shuttles, charter buses, limousines, taxis and ride app vehicles will pick up on the ground level. Signage will direct travelers from the terminal to the Ground Transportation Center on Level 1, and to designated pick-up areas once inside. Drop-offs will continue on Levels 2 and 3 of the terminal. The names of several airport parking lots also changed in December. Parking rates will not change.
- Long Term A is now Terminal Lot A
- Long Term B is now Economy Lot B
- Economy is now Economy Lot C
Demolition of the Short Term Garage will begin in January to make way for a larger garage, airport administrative building, pedestrian plaza and potential hotel. The Short Term Parking Garage entrance closed on Dec. 20. The exit will remain open until Jan. 6. Vehicles remaining in Short Term at that time will be towed (at no cost) to the new Terminal Garage.
The pedestrian walkway between Terminal Lot A (formerly Long Term A) and the terminal will close due to construction, effective Jan. 7, 2019. The airport’s courtesy shuttle will continue providing convenient transit to/from the terminal.
I hope everyone’s 2019 gets off to a good start. I am looking forward to getting lots done in the new year together. Please let me know about your questions and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-383-6604.
Metro Council 18th District