Mayor Karl Dean stepped up Nashville’s efforts to make their streets safe and comfortable for all users yesterday, issuing an Executive Order to formalize a Complete Streets approach in the city.
“For decades Nashville roads were built with only cars in mind,” Dean said. “We have come a long way in recent years in terms of adding sidewalks and bikeways, and making mass transit more convenient for people to use. This Executive Order will ensure that now and in the future we continue to take all reasonable measures to develop new and reconstructed streets in a way that makes all of these modes of transportation more accessible. It’s important for the health of our citizens and for our city’s long-term sustainability. And I could think of no better time to move forward with this policy than during Walk Nashville Week when the entire city is focused on the importance of walking.”
Mayor Dean doesn’t just talk to the talk, he walks the walk. Just before signing the Executive Order, he participated in a Walk to School Day event with Tulip Grove Elementary – just one of many events for the 12th annual Walk Nashville Week. He’s also shown true commitment to Complete Streets through the city’s budget, which dedicates nearly 60% of its local transportation dollars on walking, bicycling, and public transportation infrastructure.
Complete Streets has been a hot topic in Nashville lately: Patrick Willard, director of advocacy for AARP Tennessee, submitted an opinion piece to the Tennessean urging the adoption of a Complete Streets policy to help improve pedestrian safety. A few days earlier, the City Paper ran an article describing how building complete streets can power economic growth in the city.
The new policy was recommended by a number of organizations, including the Mayor’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Nashville Livability Project, the Healthy Nashville Leadership Council, and the Mayor’s Green Ribbon Committee on Environmental Sustainability. The National Complete Streets Coalition visited the Nashville region in early 2009 with a two-day Complete Streets Workshop.
Read more about Nashville’s new policy and the amazing work they plan to do in the city’s press release.