The main update for the Neighborhood News section directly relates to the changes happening at the Public Works department. Mark Macy served as the Interim Director of Public Works for a couple of years. He is a talented engineer and also served as the Chief Engineer of the department. He recently stepped down from his Interim Director position in order to return his focus on the many important responsibilities of being the Chief Engineer. Mayor Barry appointed her Director of Infrastructure, Mark Sturtevant, as the new Interim Director of Public Works. The Mayor directed Mark Sturtevant to perform a top to bottom review of the department and how we can address the increasing needs our communities all across Davidson County are experiencing as we continue to experience rapid growth. The NashvilleNext plan called for looking into creating a local Department of Transportation so that we can begin to focus on how we will build a much needed improved transportation infrastructure. Mark is working hard on creating efficiencies at the department in the short term and also planning for what the future structure of the department will be.
What does that mean for our neighborhoods? Two things that I am focused on have experienced delays because of these changes and I am working hard to support the good people at Public Works as these changes occur and we create an improved 21st century Public Works department.
The first is sidewalks. Mayor Barry signed an Executive Order updating our efforts to create “complete streets”. This means everything from the design to ensure NES poles and other elements are not anywhere near the actual sidewalk by increasing the width of the separating grass strip to ensuring the width of the actual sidewalk will be wide enough to accommodate future growth for pedestrian safety and accessibility to transit options. I am focused on moving the south side Lebanon Pike sidewalk from Bluefield Avenue to Graylynn Drive forward, as well as the Fairway Drive sidewalk project connecting Stanford Montessori to the current Donelson Library, which will improve the crosswalk across Lebanon Pike.
The second is implementing Traffic Calming measures in our neighborhoods. The current program is managed by a contractor for Public Works, who works very hard and has a very overflowing plate. I hope to move the Donelson Hills traffic calming elements forward, begin on Lincoya Hills, Maplecrest and move on to other neighborhoods as well. Ever since being elected, I have heard from many of you who experience major challenges with speeding and do not feel safe walking their streets at all. I realize that I will not likely be able to get sidewalks inside our residential neighborhoods during my time as our Council Member, but I am focused on doing what I can to improve the situation.
Saturday, October 1st will be Mayor Barry’s Fall Green & Clean event. Neighborhoods are encouraged to organize to clean up, spruce up and beautify our communities. Our District 15 Beautification Commissioner Naomi Regensburg has been working to organize this day in Donelson. See flyer below for details and to be part of the effort.