New Online Information Portal for Metro’s Pipeline of Sidewalk and Bikeway Projects
Mayor David Briley announces the launch of Metro’s new WalkNBike Status Tracker, an online public-information portal for the current pipeline of sidewalk and bikeway projects programmed throughout Davidson County. Nashvillians can now access detailed information on how Metro prioritizes investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, provide input on project selection, and check the current status of all projects.
The community engagement process for WalkNBike –Nashville’s new bicycle and pedestrian master plan that underwent a major update last year– highlighted a need for Metro to provide more transparency on its annual sidewalk and bikeways program. The Status Tracker was developed as a digital tool to help balance these concerns, so that residents and decision-makers could be better informed on the current status of sidewalk and bikeway projects in Metro’s pipeline, while also allowing flexibility for shovel-ready projects to advance more quickly.
“The Priority Sidewalk and Bikeway Networks laid out in WalkNBike will help us determine where to focus Metro’s limited capital resources,” said Mayor David Briley. “Constructing new projects on each of these Networks, however, requires a lot of community engagement and technical work. I’m committed to implementing WalkNBike through a transparent process; this new online tool will help us work with neighbors and Councilmembers to do just that.”
Project-development phases can include neighborhood meetings, surveys, design/engineering, Right-of-Way acquisition, stormwater review, utility relocation, mitigation of impacts to trees or historical assets, and construction. Using the online tracker, residents, Councilmembers, and businesses can now review Metro staff notes on the status of sidewalk and bikeway projects funded in Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018.
To accelerate WalkNBike’s implementation, the Metro Division of Transportation is developing a five-year work program of projects, relying on a three-step process: Constructability audits to review project feasibility; evaluation of potential conflicts with other Metro-adopted priorities and plans (i.e. nMotion) or potential private investment; and collaboration with project stakeholders. Eighty-five percent of 3,000-plus respondents to the WalkNBike survey said sidewalk projects should be prioritized according to our areas of highest need, instead of an equitable distribution of projects countywide.
“WalkNBike revealed a pressing need to make Nashville safer for cyclists and pedestrians by addressing deficits in our infrastructure,” said Jeremy Elrod, Chair of the Council’s Public Works Committee. “A multi-year, prioritized list of projects will expedite Metro’s ability to build sidewalks and bikeways in the coming years. In the meantime, and going forward, the WalkNBike Status Tracker will keep Nashvillians better informed on where projects stand as they move from the strategic plan to construction-ready.”
Metro Council’s Public Works Committee will hold a special meeting to discuss implementation of the WalkNBike strategic plan on Wednesday April 11th at 5:30 p.m. in the David Scobey Council Chamber.