Walk Bike Nashville and Spin partnered to create a pop-up bike lane on Commerce Street as part of the annual PARK(ing) Day celebration.
PARK(ing) Day is an international event designed to bring awareness to the function and beauty of creating spaces where public life can thrive, inspire and improve quality of life. Over ninety-five spots in various areas of the city were transformed into pocket parks, known as ‘parklets,’ for the day.
Nashville has no protected bicycle lanes downtown, making it a major barrier for Nashvillians who need to get into or across downtown. So Walk Bike Nashville, sponsored by Spin’s Streets Program, and their team of volunteers used flowers, planters, parked cars and some temporary paint to make a protected bike lane for one-day only.
According to Walk Bike Nashville officials: “Metro Nashville planned to build protected bike lanes on Commerce St. and 3rd Ave. but the project has been on hold since May when a few honky-tonk owners complained about moving their loading zones a few feet. Despite widespread community support, the project remains on hold.”
Walk Bike Nashville has collected almost 2,000 signatures in support of the proposed bike lanes.
Walk Bike Nashville hopes this one-day pop-up will get Metro’s project back on track.
“We want our city to design a 21st century downtown that has room for everyone,” says Nora Kern, executive director of Walk Bike Nashville. “Our streets need to be redesigned to create a safe space for cars, transit, people on foot and people on bikes and scooters. Downtown is expected to grow by another 40,000 workers in the coming years. No one wants to see more cars downtown—particularly those of us who have to drive, bike and walk here. Protected bike lanes will make it easier for Nashvillians to get around and through downtown without driving.”
“Our streets can do so much more than just move cars: bike and scooters can help move more people in less space, and bring new options for mobility to downtown Nashville. But to make these options real, we have to make room for them.” said Beaudry Kock, head of policy initiatives at Spin. “We want to get scooters and bikes off the sidewalk and onto high quality, safe on-street lanes, but sometimes it’s hard to visualize what that means. We think tactical urbanism is a great way to demonstrate what’s possible, and we’re really excited to support Walk Bike Nashville in this pop-up project.”
To sign the petition in support of Metro’s planned protected bike lanes, visit <www.walkbikenashville.org/core_bike_lane_petition>.