Cooper wants sidewalks open amid construction projects
A new city policy will not allow construction projects to block sidewalks or bike lanes for more than a week without a plan to maintain pedestrian and cyclist access.
- Mayor John Cooper announced last week that permits to block city rights-of-way would only be granted for up to seven days unless the developer found an alternative to keep those spaces open, like constructing scaffolding over a sidewalk.
Flashback: The previous policy allowed developers to get renewable 30-day permits to block a public right-of-way.
Why it matters: Cooper called the new policy an effort "to make it easier and safer to get around our city" despite widespread construction.
- The announcement follows the passage of the Vision Zero Action plan, which seeks to reduce injuries and deaths on Nashville roads.
By the numbers: The city has already approved 31,000 right-of-way permits so far this year. Cooper said construction projects account for nearly 90% of sidewalk and bike lane closures.
- Developers with existing 30-day permits can work with city officials to develop an alternative plan when their permits expire.
Yes, but: The new policy will allow developers to apply for a variance if they want an exception.
The intrigue: Cooper's announcement found him once again revisiting the neighborhoods-first language that defined his mayoral campaign.
- "For too long, Metro government has focused too many resources, say, on Lower Broadway and the surrounding area downtown and not nearly enough on making Nashville a better city for families and residents," he said.
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