The growth in and around Nashville means more and more traffic along major corridors like Old Harding Pike in Bellevue.
But the problem goes beyond traffic to safety concerns.
Without a sidewalk, Walt Willey takes a walk along a busy stretch of Old Hickory Pike.
“Extra careful,” said Willey. “Walking is a little gamey, so I mean a bike would be impossible here.”
That risk is soon to be addressed thanks to a new engineering study.
“It’s critical that we get this done,” said Dave Rosenberg, Metro Council Member for District 35.
Rosenberg requested and funded the study last year.
“Probably the biggest thing we need to get done is the sidewalk near the schools to make safe for the children,” said Rosenberg. “That’s going to be one of the more expensive things.”
But that’s just one of the study’s recommendations.
It also calls for:
-Traffic signals at Bellevue Road, Colice Jeanne, and perhaps Hicks
-Improvements to the phasing of the traffic signal at Sawyer Brown/Beech Bend
-Extending the eastbound left turn lanes at Morton Mill and Poplar Creek
-Extending the westbound left turn lane at Temple and evaluating the signal timing
-Extending left turn lanes at Learning Lane or installing a roundabout
-Sidewalks along the entirety of the corridor
-Bike lanes from the greenway to Sawyer Brown
Rosenberg said implementing the bike lanes will be the most feasible.
“Bike lanes from Sawyer Brown to the greenway is probably very easy and an inexpensive lift,” he said.
That’s because the city already has the space.
The most expensive – sidewalks at $150 to $200 a foot.
Rosenberg said the study, by Metro Public Works, will tackle current and future traffic that’s only going to cause further stress on the corridor.
“I think they’re not only necessary to support the kind of growth Bellevue has enjoyed, but I think if they want to continue that growth – absolutely have to,” said Willey.
Rosenberg said the total upgrades are estimated to cost around $8 million and will likely be funded in the Metro Capital Budget in the fall.
It’ll then go through design and work will likely begin sometime next year.