NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Thursday morning, a small group of people gathered inside bike shop Cumberland Transit, preparing for a quick ride.
They rode down 31st Avenue North in Nashville’s West End.
“If you have folks who design and engineer bike ways who don’t actually use it, it’s easy enough to look at a map and simply say, ‘Oh, I want to put this here,'” said KJ Garner, the founder of a Nashville nonprofit, Bike Fun.
Garner is leading the charge by hosting this community ride. Their goal is to ride down this street and gather feedback about the new pilot bikeway project the Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT) recently installed.
“It is really pleasurable to see a government entity actually taking feedback from people who live, work, and play in the areas that they are trying to change and develop,” said Garner.
As NDOT currently works to resurface the roadway from West End Avenue to Park Plaza, they also wanted to use this opportunity to incorporate enhancements that could improve pedestrian safety.
“I do not feel safe, but I do feel heard,” said Vicki Stinnett, who was part of the group riding Thursday morning.
As an active cyclist, Stinnett worries about her safety on the road, hoping the city will work to improve its infrastructure.
“We definitely need a much higher awareness of pedestrian and biking, and I will include the WeGo system and the bus stop,” she said.
After noticing a variety of issues, including cars parked in bike lanes, the group gathered back to Cumberland Transit to discuss their ride.
“For myself, I was listening and seeing how I could bring that back to my neighborhood, and then for future conversations be able to improve my direct neighborhood,” said Stinnett.
As ideas were shared, Garner and others hope their feedback will help improve Nashville’s infrastructure and make it a safer city.
“We really need to be working on making our situations better for people who don’t have a car, don’t use a vehicle, and want to get around town on foot or by bike,” she said.
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NDOT currently has a survey up and is gathering feedback from other cyclists and community members about how they can improve this bikeway.
You can share your feedback here.
NDOT is hoping to have this pilot project finished as soon as possible.