Nashville announces slow streets effort to promote social distancing while walking, running and biking

Nashville to close 18th Ave. N. from Cass St. to 11th Ave. N. as part of its “slow streets” effort.

In an effort to provide additional outdoor space for walking, running and biking, the city of Nashville is unveiling 4.5 miles of temporary street closures in eight Nashville neighborhoods. The effort is a collaboration between Metro Public Works, the office of Mayor John Cooper, and the Metro Planning Department. The closures, which will apply to thru traffic, will allow local residents to spend time outside while maintaining 6 feet of physical distance from their neighbors. Streets will remain open to local traffic, including deliveries. Signage will be put in place beginning tomorrow, May 9th.

“As we continue to see fewer vehicles on our roads during COVID-19, Metro joins other American cities in repurposing our valuable street space, in selected locations, to provide more opportunities for our residents to walk safely distanced,” said Faye DiMassimo, Senior Advisor of Transportation and Infrastructure for Mayor John Cooper. “In addition to being a good way to get exercise, especially if you’ve been indoors all day, it can help to manage the anxiety that many are feeling during this time.”

The first eight closures will be in the following neighborhood locations:

  • 17th St. from Holly St. to McEwen Ave.
  • 18th Ave. N. from Cass St. to 11th Ave. N.
  • Bowling Ave. from Woodlawn Dr. to Whitland Ave.
  • Grace St. from Joseph Ave. to Lischey Ave.
  • Indiana Ave. from 51st Ave N. to 44th Ave. N.
  • Oriole Place from Lone Oak Rd. to Shackleford Rd.
  • Owendale Dr. from Kinwood Dr. to Mossdale Dr.
  • Straightaway Ave. from Chapel Ave. to Porter Rd.

“I appreciate our Public Works & Planning staff putting the city’s WalkNBike Strategic Plan and the many traffic calming applications received from our neighborhoods to work in selecting these open street locations,” said Angie Henderson, District 34 Metro Council Member. “This is an important step as we work to create a wider network of safe neighborways for walking and biking throughout Nashville.”

Local streets that are part of this effort will be signed appropriately and barricades will be placed at the outer limits of the closures to prevent thru traffic. Metro Public Works right-of-way inspectors will monitor the closures to ensure they are maintained for the duration. While streets will remain open for local car access, drivers are urged to drive slowly and look out for residents walking, running and biking. MPW staff will be monitoring and assessing each closure and making modifications as needed. The duration of the closures will align with Mayor Cooper’s phased approach to reopening Nashville businesses, and streets will reopen once Nashville moves from phase 2 to phase 3.

“Making our streets safer and more friendly for walking, running and biking is one of our top priorities at Metro Public Works,” said Jeff Hammond, Metro Public Works Assistant Director. “This effort combines elements of our Walk N Bike master plan and our Neighborhood Traffic Calming program, and we will continue to consider additional ways to navigate these unusual times.”