South Nashville neighborhoods call for traffic calming
Most of the time, Lisa Shadrick enjoys living in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, but over the years the need for higher safety standards has grown.
Specifically, the traffic problems in Antioch became “exaggerated”, she said, and her concerns began when Shadrick called the police after discovering that a vehicle had crashed through construction barriers. in a ditch near his house. Within 12 hours, two more accidents followed, including a high-speed vehicle that hit a pole and cut power to his neighborhood. At the time, she was at home with a newborn baby.
“We ran out of power for hours and I was like, ‘Great, I have no way of warming a bottle,’” Shadrick said.
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Since then, she worries about having an accident just walking out of her driveway. By day cars use his neighborhood to cut off traffic on Nolensville Road at high speed, and at night drag racers do the same. So when she learned that Nashville officials had chosen District 30 for their “traffic modification” program, Shadrick made sure to attend every town hall meeting, along with many of her neighbors, all in. the search for a better quality of life.
Engineering strategies vary by area, but tend to include roundabouts, speed bumps, and other strategies to encourage motorists to slow down.
In October, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced a $ 568 million capital spending plan, including $ 275 million for school and transportation improvements. As part of this, $ 2 million has been allocated to city-wide traffic calming projects to slow traffic and create safer conditions for neighborhoods like Shadrick’s which faces high volumes. traffic.
“As Nashville continues to grow, traffic increases and many of our residential streets are experiencing an increase in speed and through traffic,” said Cortnye Stone, Metro spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Transportation. Nashville Multimodal Infrastructure.
“Quality of life and safety are priority concerns for the department.”
More than 200 neighborhoods applied and neighborhoods had to meet certain criteria to be selected. Factors included the history of car crashes on the street, as well as data collected on the number of cars speeding through the neighborhood and the lack of pedestrian housing. Only the top-rated neighborhoods were chosen, and Metro Nashville officials focused on 24.
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Among those 24 is District 30, an area full of drag racing, a type of reckless driving that has caused many problems with traffic congestion and accidents over the years.
Since this summer, consultants and district council members have met with residents to enable public input. The traffic calming sessions were extremely popular and in District 30, more than a dozen neighbors regularly met with consultant and council member Sandra Sepulveda to discuss improving the quality of life for residents of the city. ‘Antioch.
During a session, residents expressed concerns about reckless driving and asked what needs to be done to move the project forward.
“We’ve all had mailboxes affected,” said one resident.
Although the residents of the neighborhood were involved in the design and installation of the project, they now had to mobilize 70% of the neighborhood for construction to begin. It requires physical knocking on doors. Only landlords could approve the traffic calming, but residents demanded that tenants be allowed to have a say in the project.
A retired man willingly volunteered to get the signatures, as did Sepulveda.
“I haven’t done a door-to-door since [District 30] elections, ”she said.
Due to its popularity, Metro Nashville officials plan to announce 25 more calming projects this week, allowing more neighborhoods to apply.
(READ MORE: Plan to ‘calm’ traffic on ML King Boulevard, Bailey Avenue gets a positive response)
“The moderation of traffic in neighborhoods is extremely desirable and extremely popular. Residents are concerned about the speed on their residential streets and how irresponsible driver behavior impacts the safety and quality of life in neighborhoods, ”Stone said.
And although Shadrick’s Street was not included in the original map for the project, Shadrick said she would continue to attend the meetings, hoping Metro officials will change their mind.
“I would like not to be hit while turning into my driveway with my child in the car or walking towards my mailbox,” she said.
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