NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – When it comes to affordable housing in Nashville, building homes is half the battle.
The infrastructure around the developments has to match. Metro plans to use spending funds to the tune of $4 million on affordable housing, and with that has come a push for safer streets.
The latest street has Nashville’s attention, and it’s one of the city’s deadliest.
‘I’ve lived on Dickerson Pike most of my life,” said Meshach Adams. “It’s a situation I’ve lived with in high school.”
For Adams, it’s less about what people see and more about the feeling he gets when he goes back to the familiar street of Dickerson Pike.
“I would say hope,” Adam said describing Dickerson Pike. “I know a lot of folks are looking at it and eyeing it as this place of development, but what I see is my hope is that the folks that live there that it’s somewhere that could sustain the city, be a sustaining place where we can reimagine our built environment, and what it could be to where we can make Nashville truly inclusive.”
Dickerson Pike is known as being one of the deadliest streets in Nashville. According to Walk Bike Nashville, 40 people have been hit by cars walking along that strip of road over the past five years.
“The most recent crash was Ms. Pamela White,” said Adams.
White was hit in the 800 block of Dickerson Pike by a Hyundai Elantra sedan as she crossed the road. According to Metro police, she crossed an area without a crosswalk and was not in an intersection.
Police said the investigation showed the driver of another car began slowing down when they saw a woman crossing the street, obstructing the view of the Hyundai. Investigators said there were no signs of impairment and no charges were placed.
White was 62 years old, and according to Walk Bike Nashville, the 23rd pedestrian killed on Nashville streets in 2023.
“I mean, you look at the data straight in your face and everything says it’s going to continue to happen unless something is done,” said Adams.
This is why city officials are talking about progress in the area ahead of future projects.
This week, the Traffic and Parking Commission held a meeting where the Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT) proposed a new light signal be placed at the intersection of Dickerson and Whites Creek Pike.
“We do have some awareness of some safety issues here at this location and fatalities in the past,” said the NDOT representative.
The conversation comes as developers are set to build new affordable housing in the form of a seven-story building paired with skyline views and a rooftop.
“In this case, we reached out to the developer. I’m sure all of you are aware of the fatalities on that corridor, so we saw the opportunity to potentially fund something here that would make it much safer for the folks who will be moving into that pretty significant development,” said Hannah Davis with the Metro Planning Housing Division.
It’s part of a new initiative called the Community Infrastructure Project, using $4 million to make sure wherever affordable housing is being built, there is the infrastructure to back it up.