NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Biking and walking in Nashville have become a challenge for Vanderbilt student Noah Stern since he moved here back in 2016.
“It sucks that I sometimes have to feel scared while just walking to class or walking to the gym,” he said. “I would feel much safer if I didn’t have to think about those things.”
It’s a major concern Michael Briggs has been aware of as Nashville continues to grow.
“We want to really make sure that this is an issue that is at top of mind as people travel throughout the region,” he said.
Briggs is the Director of Mobility at Vanderbilt University, who recently teamed up with Walk Bike Nashville to create a new story map highlighting the pedestrians and bicyclists that lost their lives to car crashes in Nashville last year.
“Even though these happen in maybe a wreck here or there, it’s definitely a trend that we continue to see increasing,” he said.
Along with sharing these victims’ stories, this map also breaks down data and showcases some of the deadliest corridors in the city.
“If you look at other streets like Dickerson Road, Gallatin Road, [and] Murfreesboro Pike, they’re changing rapidly similar to areas like West End,” said Briggs. “There’s more people walking and there’s not the infrastructure there.”
With so many students who walk and bike through campus, Briggs says they are working to continue making the university safer for them.
“We got a lot of projects underway that are transforming portions of campus to make it more walkable and bikeable,” said Briggs. “Then we’re really wanting to get our community members better connected to other neighborhoods within town and making it easier for them to walk and cross streets.”
Things aren’t perfect, but Stern is hopeful Nashville will get better and safer for him and others.
“They’re definitely going towards the right place, but there’s so much more they can do to make walkers and bikers feel safe,” he said.
Briggs says they have long-term projects that will continue improving crosswalks and building bike lanes at Vanderbilt for students.
If you’d like to view the story map created, you can find it HERE.