New Sidewalks Planned for Harding Road in South Nashville
City leaders have agreed to put new sidewalks in the budget for a stretch of Harding Road in South Nashville that is notoriously dangerous for pedestrians.
According to a report by wkrn.com, the area was the site of a deadly pedestrian accident in 2012 that claimed the life of a Nashville father who was walking to buy groceries for his family.
The report also states that while city leaders have spent several years planning and researching the feasibility of adding sidewalks to the road, the Metro Public Works began the Harding Place Sidewalk and Pedestrian Enhancement Project in 2014.
The project will be completed at the end of 2017 and involves three phases:
- Phase 1
This phase was completed at the end of 2014 and added 3,200 feet of sidewalk to the road.
- Phase 2
This phase was scheduled to begin in February but was delayed. It is designed to add sidewalk from Nolensville Pike to Interstate 24. Metro Public Works officials say that Phase 2 will begin in early 2016.
- Phase 3
Phase will extend the sidewalks in this area from Danby Drive to Nolensville Pike and will begin in fall 2017.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation is helping to finance the project with grant money.
What Are the Safety Benefits of Sidewalks?
Communities with sidewalks encourage active lifestyles by giving residents clear paths to walk around town. Sidewalks are much safer than simply walking on the side or shoulder of the road due to several factors, including:
- They provide a physical barrier separating pedestrians from vehicles.
Because sidewalks are raised surfaces that are often several inches higher than the road, sidewalks make it much less likely that pedestrians will be struck by vehicles that drift out of their lanes. The raised edge of the sidewalk prevents most tires from easily driving over and onto the sidewalk itself, protecting pedestrians from unseen and unexpected vehicles.
- They provide a mental barrier separating pedestrians from vehicles.
Due to their different colors and raised nature, sidewalks create a visual and mental barrier for drivers that alerts them to areas of the road where they shouldn’t drive. Because of their distinct appearance, drivers immediately recognize sidewalks while driving and will exercise caution to avoid them and avoid any pedestrians.
- They protect pedestrians from bicyclists.
Although most people think of pedestrians being struck by vehicles is the biggest concern of city planners, pedestrians can also suffer severe injuries when struck by bicyclists. In most cities, sidewalks are areas that designated for pedestrians only. However, bicyclists and pedestrians often share the road in areas without sidewalks, such as roads with paved shoulders, and that can put pedestrians at high risk of being struck by bicyclists traveling at high speeds.
- They protect children from running out into the street.
Children who are too young to understand the boundaries between the shoulder of the road and the road itself benefit immensely from walking on sidewalks. Because sidewalks are clearly different from the roadway, even very young children can understand the differences in the two areas and are much likely to stay on the sidewalk when walking with their parents or guardians.
At Matt Hardin Law, we know how important sidewalks are to many communities in Tennessee and the Nashville area. Not only do they encourage a more active lifestyle, but they’re also vital to protecting the health and safety of pedestrians throughout the state.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, call our Nashville car accident lawyers today by dialing (615) 200-1111. You can also fill out our free online form to get in touch with us. We’ve helped countless victims just like you get compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Don’t wait—contact us today and get the help you deserve.