Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mayor Announces “Open Streets Nashville” to Take Place Saturday, June 27 in Gulch

First Ever Festival to Celebrate Walking, Biking to be Held in Partnership with Walk/Bike Nashville
Metro Government press release, 5-22-2015,  NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean invites Nashvillians to spend Saturday, June 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the
city’s first-ever Open Streets Nashville festival, set to take place in the Gulch neighborhood. Open Streets Nashville is hosted by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with Walk/Bike Nashville. Mayor Dean announced the new initiative today during his finale walk as part of 100 Miles with the Mayor.

Open Streets festivals open stretches of city streets to people and close them to cars, encouraging participation in physical activity and healthy recreation. Open Streets Nashville expects to bring the Open Streets festival to many more of the city’s neighborhoods to promote a healthier city that is friendlier to walkers and bikers.

“With Open Streets Nashville, we invite everyone to experience the Gulch without any car traffic and enjoy this city street in a whole new way,” Mayor Dean said. “Through this event, we hope to encourage physical activity, promote street life, feature local businesses and highlight the environmental features of removing car traffic from a neighborhood when more people walk or bike.”

Open Streets Nashville will be a free event that is open to the public. Walkers, cyclists, families, musicians, dancers and community members from around Nashville are invited to attend and bring their bikes, strollers, skateboards, non-motorized scooters, hula hoops and dogs on leashes. Businesses will be invited to open their doors and expand into the street and sidewalk. Mini-stages, booths and tents will be erected along the route featuring games, music, food and fun activities. Metro Transit Authority will offer free bus rides from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to anyone attending the festival.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. on 11th Avenue South under the Church Street Bridge with a ribbon-cutting celebration commemorating its transformation into a half-mile Complete Street. The 11th Avenue South Complete Street project added a short stretch of greenway and a mini-park under the Church Street viaduct. It features a multi-use path with dedicated bike lane and sidewalk, ample green space and six Cross Fit stations.

Following the ribbon cutting celebration, one mile of 11th Avenue South from Charlotte Avenue to Division Street and Division Street from 11th Avenue to Eighth Avenue will be closed to car traffic. It will only be open for attendees to walk, bike and enjoy event activities for the entirety of the festival.

For more information about the event as an attendee, sponsor or participating organization, visit

During today’s 100 Miles with the Mayor walk, Mayor Dean led participants over downtown bridges and through LP Field. The walk capped of his successful 100 Miles with the Mayor campaign that had him walk, bike and paddle 100 miles across Davidson County to promote healthy living and highlight infrastructure investments made throughout Nashville in terms of new sidewalks, greenways, bikeways, community centers and other investments to encourage active living. Today’s partners included the Tennessee Titans and Music City Sports Festival. Presenting sponsor of the 100 Miles campaign was Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee.

“The 100 Miles with the Mayor campaign was about promoting healthy living by leading walks and bike rides on the sidewalks, greenways and bikeways we have invested in throughout Nashville,” Mayor Dean said. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, and all the neighborhood groups and other organizations that came out to walk, bike and paddle with us.”
Open Streets Nashville builds on the success of other community-wide health campaigns hosted by Mayor Dean, including the Mayor’s Challenge 5K Walk/Run, Mayor’s Field Day and Walk 100 Miles with the Mayor.

About Open Streets Nashville
Open Streets Nashville encourages participation in physical activity and healthy recreation by opening streets to pedestrians and cyclists while closing them off to cars. Other Open Street festivals have taken place around the country with Los Angeles and New York implementing the first ongoing festivals. The first-ever Open Streets Nashville will be presented by Mayor Karl Dean and Walk/Bike Nashville in the Gulch on Saturday, June 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information about Open Streets Nashville, visit

My Comment: Oh crap, some more of that Agenda 21 stuff - Just kidding. By the way, what happened to all the people warning us that everything from shady sidewalks to traffic calming and traffic roundabouts where part of the Agenda 21 conspiracy to kill 96% of the world's population by poisoning  us with aspartame and fluoride? Agenda 21 fear mongering was all the rage among my wingnut friends and made inroads among reasonable mainstream Republicans, even earning an anti-Agenda 21 plank in the national GOP platform and an anti-Agenda 21 resolution passed by the State legislature.  Then, about as suddenly as it appeared, it all but disappeared. I wish some of them were still around to read NashvilleNext.

I like the logo. I bet it did not cost $47,000 and it is a lot better than the new State of Tennessee logo. I wonder who designed it and how much it cost. I hope it was designed in-house and did not cost anything additional.

I have not taken part in the mayor's 100 mile program but starting April 1, I started my own self-improvement campaign which includes losing weight, drinking less, and getting in shape. One reason, I am putting this in my blog, is that if I have publicly announced it, I am more likely to have the will power to keep it up. 

We Tennesseans are generally unhealthy and overweight.  While it may not be the mayor's primary job to be our motivation coach and get us healthy, I think it a commendable thing he has done.

About sidewalks, I want more sidewalks.  I wish however, that instead of ripping up perfectly good sidewalks and putting in news sidewalks, like the city recently did on 10th Avenue South, I wish the city would build new sidewalks where we currently do not have sidewalks.  We probably spend enough money on our sidewalk program; we just waste most of it.

I am pleased with the growth of greenways. At one time communities opposed greenways when proposed along a stream or other pubic property adjoining private property in their neighborhoods.  Attitudes have changed and now most people seem to welcome them. I hope the next mayor and council will continue the greenway program. Among the new councilmen who will be elected, I hope there is a strong sidewalk advocate who will become a sidewalk expert and crusader and will consistently challenge our currently wasteful sidewalk program and force public works to aggressively expand sidewalks to streets that do not now have them.

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