Sidewalks Left Out of Nashville Development Fee System

Josh Brown reports for the Tennessean on the unintended consequences of a fee waiver meant to encourage infill development—developers are readily choosing to pay the fee instead of building sidewalks.

According to Josh Brown, Nashville has had a long history of underbuilding sidewalks, resulting in a legacy of perilous conditions for pedestrians. In fact, "[the] city's 2003 strategic plan for sidewalks and bikeways found that for every three miles of road, there was roughly just a mile of sidewalks."

The article posits, however, "that it's cheaper for builders to pay a fee that waives the requirement to build a sidewalk than it is to construct one." After some 2012 changes meant to encourage infill development, "[the] fee is now a flat rate, depending upon the size of the development, but the most a developer would pay for not building sidewalks is $500 to $1,500."

The article also noted that Nashville ranked as the 15th most dangerous city for pedestrians according to the "Dangerous by Design" pedestrian safety report released in May by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Full Story: Nashville's lack of sidewalks sparks campaign

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95