NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There’s a push to make Nashville a more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly city. Metro council will discuss a bill that creates a commission that focuses on making that happen.

Councilman Freddie O’Connell is one of the bill’s sponsors and said this is not a concept that is new to Nashville.

“In fact, in 2008, I believe it was Mayor Dean actually first established a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee,” O’Connell said. “I was an inaugural member of the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee and we did some important things. We prepared commuter maps for people from all over the city and got those out into local bike shops. We did design review when paving schedules went out to make sure that you had people who were going to have lived experience on these sidewalk proposals or bikeway proposals.”

While he supports the Vision Zero initiative, which is focused on ending pedestrian deaths, he feels this commission would serve a different purpose.

“We do want this to supplement the work that’s being done on Vision Zero, but my personal goal would be to say, look, even in Tennessee, we’re watching other peer cities outpace us on all of these fronts, from transit to Bike Ped facilities and safer infrastructure.”

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The commission would have thirteen voting members. Eleven members will be appointed by the mayor and all members will serve without compensation. The commission will be made up of multiple people from different backgrounds in Nashville, including non-profits and a local universities. They’d then promote bicycle and pedestrian safety, infrastructure and other efforts to the Mayor and Metro council.

The bill stated there needs to be continued development of infrastructure to improve walkability and bike-ability in Nashville with more and better bike lanes, bikeways, and greenways. It added that the availability of shared micro mobility alternatives should be promoted including bicycles, electric bikes, and electric scooters.

O’Connell said people also want more sidewalks and efforts to ease traffic congestion.

“It’s an important forum for citizen accountability too because then you can kind of come in and say, “Well, look, we were promised a sidewalk in this area along this stretch six years ago, it still hasn’t been delivered. Why is that?” And then we get to start asking some of those questions to departments and make sure we’ve got regular progress here,” said O’Connell. “But it does affect congestion. I mean, I I’d rather not be sitting in my car in traffic, personally.”

The bill will be up for a first reading during Tuesday’s Metro council meeting.