Mayor Megan Barry, Metro Public Works Director Mark Macy, and Council Member Bill Pridemore announced a new program for ongoing improvements to intersections throughout Davidson County to improve both safety and mobility for all modes of transportation.
“When intersections aren’t functioning well – whether for cars, pedestrians, buses, or bicycles – we pass up an opportunity to reclaim our streets as public spaces that connect communities and connect our citizens with the places they need to go,” said Mayor Barry. “At every intersection where a crash has occurred, we need to figure out what we can be doing today to prevent it from happening again while also improving mobility for everyone, regardless of age or ability.”
Traffic mobility at intersections can often be a challenge due to incomplete street grids, substandard infrastructure, or improper alignments. Moreover, intersections serve as safe crossing passage for pedestrians and should be consistently designed and programmed with these users top of mind. Mayor Barry’s intersection improvement program will design and install safety features, road realignments, new medians, road reconstruction, sidewalks and crosswalks, ADA-compliant ramps, streetlight improvements, traffic signal upgrades, and restriping for bicycle accommodation at key intersections throughout the county with a demonstrated need.
“We started with locations where Metro Police crash data indicated there were some challenges that can be addressed with infrastructure improvements, and then we strategically stitched together existing resources to address intersection safety and capacity through improved planning, design, and construction,” Macy said.
Today’s announcement features specific improvements at:
NEELYS BEND ROAD & CHEYENNE BOULEVARD – Nearly 10,000 vehicles travel Neelys Bend Road daily, and around 8,000 transit customers ride MTA’s #76 Madison Connector (which services Neelys Bend) each month. Over the last 3 years, the intersection of Neelys Bend Road and Cheyenne Boulevard has seen crashes resulting in either injuries or property damage. Traffic congestion around Neelys Bend Elementary and Middle Schools is heaviest during the morning commute and is expected to worsen with anticipated new growth in the area. Metro Public Works plans to extend turn lanes on Neelys Bend Road, install a new traffic signal, and improve the walk to school for children and caregivers in the surrounding community by applying new pedestrian curb ramps at each corner. An additional proposed improvement includes realigning Neelys Bend Circle with Neelys Bend Road.
DR. D.B. TODD Jr. BOULEVARD & ALBION STREET – Nearly 12,000 vehicles travel Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard each day, and recent counts place an average of 250-300 people walking during peak commute hours at the nearby intersection of Jefferson Street and D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard. MTA’s #19 Herman route also travels this intersection, carrying approximately 28,000 riders per month. Rapid-transit infrastructure and service is also proposed for this location in both Scenario 1 of MTA’s nMotion mass transit strategic planning study and the Northwest Corridor Transit Study. Over the last 3 years, the intersection has seen crashes resulting in either injuries or property damage. Metro Public Works will update traffic-signal technology, with new ornamental poles reflecting the historical context of nearby Meharry Medical College and Fisk University. Repaving, new signal timing, and turn lanes will help to relieve auto congestion, and pedestrian safety will be enhanced with new crosswalks, curb ramps, and countdown signals.
In addition to the two intersections outlined above, 13 other intersections are slated for strategically aligned safety and mobility-focused improvements during this initial phase of the intersection improvement program, for a total of 15. Locations and details of those projects will be released following further review by Public Works and consultation with the Metro Council members in the affected districts. After project lists for the initial phase of intersection improvements are accomplished, more locations throughout the county will be identified for the next phase of the project.
“This countywide intersection improvement program is not just about safety and mobility. It’s one piece of my administration’s push to improve Nashville’s overall quality of life,” said Mayor Barry. “Not only do intersection bottlenecks have the potential to harm our local economy, but the data we have on accidents that occur at these locations present us with an opportunity to make sure everyone can safely and efficiently access and travel our roads.”