Davidson Street Multi-Use Path ribbon cut
Sidewalks, bikeways celebrated during Mayor Dean’s tenure

Cutting the ribbon: (l to r): Council member Karen Bennett; Public Works director, Randy Lovett; BPAC Chair Mary-Pat Teague; Council member Peter Westerholm; Mayor Dean; Council member Burkley Allen; Council member Erica Gilmore; Council member Freddie O’Connell.

Cutting the ribbon: (l to r): Council member Karen Bennett; Public Works director, Randy Lovett; BPAC Chair Mary-Pat Teague; Council member Peter Westerholm; Mayor Dean; Council member Burkley Allen; Council member Erica Gilmore; Council member Freddie O’Connell.

Mayor Karl Dean and Metro Public Works, joined by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, recently cut the ribbon on the Davidson Street Multi-Use Path, the newest addition to Nashville’s bikeway and walking paths. The 1.75-mile stretch is Nashville’s longest path for pedestrians and bicyclists that is protected from car traffic through use of lane delineators. It also incorporates the first crosswalk that uses infrared radar technology to detect pedestrians and bicyclists and stops vehicle traffic so they can cross Davidson Street into Shelby Park.

“We’ve been committed to making the healthy choice the easy choice for the past eight years,” Mayor Dean said. “The Davidson Street Multi-Use Path, which connects Riverfront Park to Shelby Park, embodies that commitment by literally paving the way for pedestrians and bicyclists to travel between these two beautiful parks within a protected pathway. Nashville is embracing and building the green infrastructure that helps make healthy activity so easy to do.”

The Davidson Street Multi-Use Path project, Nashville’s latest roadway project using a Complete Streets approach, features a protected path that aims to improve safety and road conditions for people who walk, bike or drive. The addition of the Davidson Street Multi-Use Path is an important step toward the goal of making Nashville a more walkable, bike able, livable and healthy city.

“I want to thank Mayor Dean for his leadership and sustained commitment to investing in our pedestrian and bike infrastructure during his time in office,” Public Works Director Randy Lovett said. “As this project highlights, we truly have become a city that encourages active transportation options and lifestyles, and we continue to seek Complete Street solutions that can accommodate every mode of transportation in effective and safe ways.”

The event began at the East Entrance of the Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge with a ribbon-cutting program celebrating the opening of the Davidson Street Multi-Use Path and Nashville’s bicycle/pedestrian enhancements during the Dean administration.

Following the ribbon-cutting celebration, Mayor Dean led event attendees including Council member Peter Westerholm, Council member Burkley Allen, Council member Freddie O’Connell, citizens, members of Walk/Bike Nashville, and other active transportation groups on an approximately four-mile round-trip bike-ride to Shelby Park along the new path. Nashville BCycle provided bicycles.

The project was led by Metro Public Works Engineering Division, and the project team included Collier Engineering Co. and Roy T.Goodwin.

Nashville has more than 1,070 miles of sidewalk, with approximately 200 miles added during Dean’s tenure. The Dean administration has invested some $82 million in sidewalks. In the Fiscal Year 2016 capital spending plan, the administration budgeted $25 million for improving and expanding sidewalks, the largest one-time sidewalk investment made by any Metro administration.

Dean invested in 97 miles of the total 147 miles of bikeways across Nashville, including shared routes and dedicated lanes. Fifty miles of paved, bike-able greenways and 67 miles of bike lanes have been added to the bike network through joint efforts between Metro and TDOT. Altogether, Metro’s investments in its bikeways program totaled approximately $9.9 million during the mayor’s tenure. In 2012 and again in 2015, Nashville received a Bronze Award and designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. The city had never received this honor before 2012.

Additional information on the Davidson Street Multi-Use Path is available on the website at www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Capital-Projects/Davidson-Street-Multi-Use-Path.aspx

More information on Nashville’s sidewalk and bikeways programs can be found by logging onto www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Getting-Around-Nashville.aspx