Dangerous Donelson intersection could see improvements, councilmember pushes for change

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Pedestrian and driver safety has been a top priority for city leaders, including Metro councilmembers as Nashville waits for the approval of Mayor John Cooper’s $1.6 billion transportation plan.

Councilman Jeff Syracuse, who represents District 15, has been advocating for changes to a dangerous Donelson intersection for years. But so far, no luck with moving forward.

“This is an area that really needs re-engineering from an infrastructure perspective,” he said. “It’s such a challenge with our historical neighborhood.”

  • Donelson intersection
  • Donelson intersection
  • Donelson intersection

The need for safer streets is top of mind for Syracuse, especially after another pedestrian, 21-year-old Preston Scott Skinner, was killed after being struck by a car while walking along the street.

Three years ago, the councilman put in a capital improvement request to facilitate a study of the area by the Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT).

The four key points include:

  • Get a sidewalk installed on the south side of Lebanon Pike from Bluefield Avenue to Graylynn Drive (a portion of it has been completed, but only after a lawsuit settlement following the death of a pedestrian in 2010)
  • Moving the 1970 Donelson Veterans Memorial from a median to the new library
  • Installing a sidewalk stretching from McGavock Pike to Old Lebanon Pike
  • A full redesign of the intersection of Lebanon Pike and Old Lebanon Pike

“The vision for this area is to make it a walkable village,” Syracuse said. “This is a perfect project that needs to be done to improve quality for drivers and pedestrians.”

Several of his constituents have approached him with their own concerns.

“I hear a lot about how unsafe it is and a lot of near misses,” he said.

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Currently, NDOT is reviewing his proposal to determine what is feasible. Once he receives a report back, they can put a dollar amount in the capital budget. There is no set timeline, but it could certainly take some time, possibly even a year or more, to reach the next steps.

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