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Walking & Bicycling

Walking and bicycling are important modes of travel in our region. Everyone is a pedestrian, and people make pedestrian trips on a daily basis, whether that means walking from the transit stop to work, walking from the parking lot to the store, or walking with children to school. Walking and bicycling provide great forms of exercise. Bicycling, once seen primarily as a form of recreation, is now viewed as an inexpensive, quick and eco-friendly form of travel. Our region is supporting the growth of walking and bicycling and the Nashville Area MPO is working with local, state, and Federal government to ensure that walking and bicycling are viable transportation options in the greater Nashville area.

Quick Facts

  • 40% of car trips are less than 2 miles.
  • It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk one mile.
  • It takes about 10-15 minutes to bicycle two miles.
  • Health professionals recommend that adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and children get 60 minutes a day.
  • Walking and bicycling provide the most convenient ways to access public transportation.
  • 90% of transit users in our region walk or bicycle to the transit stop.
  • 1/3 of transit users get their daily recommended physical activity just by taking transit.
  • 25% of respondents to an MPO survey on bicycle and pedestrian habits respond that they currently walk or bicycle to work or errands at least once a week.
  • 56% of regional roadways in the greater Nashville area score a C or better for bicycle safety.
  • 88% of regional roadways in the greater Nashville area score a D or worse for pedestrian safety.
  • 14 cities and county governments in the MPO region have a bicycle or pedestrian plan and 16 have a greenway master plan.

Current Initiatives

Nashville Area School Siting Symposium (2010)

2013 Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts

The Nashville Area MPO conducts regional bicycle and pedestrian counts as part of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project. The third biennial counts were conducted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013. The counts were conducted at 33 locations throughout the MPO region (Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Wilson and Williamson Counties). The counts are conducted by volunteers who count for one or both two-hour periods from 7-9am and 4-6pm. View the 2013 final count report, volunteer training, and press release.

In 2004, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Pedestrian and Bicycle Council initiated the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project (NBPD). The project began as a response to the lack of national walking and bicycling data. The NBPD concept is to provide materials and instructions to agencies such as the Nashville Area MPO to conduct counts and surveys in a consistent manner, provide standard count dates and times, provide a location where information can be sent, and make the information available to the public. For a summary report of the 2011 counts and a chart with both the 2011 and 2009 count data, click here. View the press release from the counts.

Nashville Area School Siting Symposium (2010)

Nashville Area School Siting Symposium (2010)

Our region faces unique challenges when siting schools: funding, land availability, transportation, and coordinated planning. The inaugural Greater Nashville School Siting Symposium seeks to offer strategies that our region might employ for locating schools in ways that benefit entire communities - moving beyond the "big box" method of acquiring land and facilities. Working together, and identifying creative solutions, school districts, cities & counties can locate schools that take advantage of existing resources, are easily and safely accessible, and are genuine community anchors.

Nashville Area Complete Streets Symposium (2010)

Nashville Area Complete Streets Symposium (2010)

Imagine streets designed to support neighborhoods, in addition to serving as transportation routes. Across the country, communities with Complete Streets policies are ensuring their roadways work - not just for drivers - but for transit users, pedestrians & bicyclists - as well as seniors, children, and people with disabilities.

Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Study (2009)

Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Study (2009)

The Nashville Area MPO completed the first Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Study in November 2009. Read more about existing walking and bicycling facilities in the region and find out which areas have higher demand and better suitability for additional facilities in the future.

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

The Nashville area MPO works closely with the Tennessee Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School Coordinator and the Safe Routes to School Network Organizer funded by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Find out more about Safe Routes to School, learn how to start a Safe Routes to School Program at your school, and see which Tennessee Schools have been awarded Safe Routes to School funding from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Public Education

Public Education

The Nashville Area MPO works with local partners to provide education for motorists, bicyclists, children and law enforcement on the rules of the road for walkers and bicyclists. Find out more about the Safe Routes to School - P.E. Teachers Training Program, the Bicycle Street Smarts class for the general public, and the Law Enforcement Officers Guide to Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety.

Share the Road License Plate

Register for a special issue Share the Road license plate. Help spread the word about the 3-ft law while providing support for initiatives to better educate both motorists and bicyclists across the state. 1000 pre-registrations are needed in order for the Department of Safety to approve the new license plate. Please support Tennessee cyclists by registering today!

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