NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A small group is pushing for a large change.
“This morning we had 877,” said Meredith Montgomery. “We had a goal of a thousand so we’re close.”
Montgomery is the executive director of Walk Bike Nashville and had a petition with over 800 signatures she hand-delivered to Mayor John Cooper’s office Thursday morning.
“So last year there were some major closures with the Music City Grand Prix,” she said. “There was just not good communication about what was going to happen with our infrastructure during that huge build-out period and during the weekend of the event.”
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So Montgomery and other members of Walk Bike Nashville started a petition that took a hiatus until the Grand Prix made its return this year.
“We wanted to revisit this petition, and really reinvigorate that initiative and get more people on board,” she said.
The group’s petition is pushing for the mayor’s office to create a policy that would limit the use of bikeways, sidewalks, greenways, and pedestrian bridge for private events or construction.
“We hear all the time that there’s simply not enough sidewalks and bikeways as it is and then when you limit access to one of them, whether it’s just for a weekend, or whether it’s a three-year construction project that significantly impacts how people can move through a city without a car,” said Montgomery.
District 7 Councilwoman, Emily Benedict, is supportive of the petition and hopes it can be the start to educating the community about better infrastructure for walkers and bicyclists. “We need to make sure that everybody has access to excellent transit and that means safe sidewalks, safe walkability to get to the bus, and that also means safe bike lanes so that people can move around the city,” she said.
The mayor’s advisor shared with the group they are currently working on a solution to keep sidewalks and bikeways open during construction projects.
While that’s a start, Montgomery believes if more is to come, people have to say something.
“This comes down to how important your voice is,” she said. “If this is important to you and you want to be able to walk safely through the city if you want to be able to ride your bike to work…if you don’t have a car and this is a necessity, speak up.”
The mayor’s advisor told Walk Bike Nashville they will be making a formal announcement next week about their solution to keeping bikeways and sidewalks open during construction projects.
Montgomery says their petition is still up on their website. If you are interested in signing it you can do so HERE.