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Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Study

A Study For the Nashville Region

The regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Study is intended to help establish a strategic vision for improving walking and bicycling opportunities in the greater Nashville region. That strategic vision fed into the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO's) overall regional transportation plan and provide the basis by which future funding priorities of the MPO are established for bicycle and pedestrian accommodations within the Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Wilson, and Williamson counties, plus the cities of Spring Hill and Springfield.

Working with local governments, businesses, non-profit organizations, and the general public, the Nashville Area MPO conducted the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Study as a mechanism to foster a better understanding of bicycle and pedestrian needs within the region. The Study provides guidance for policies, programs, and investments intended to maximize opportunities for greater walking and bicycling activity now and in the future within the greater Nashville region.

Study Objectives

  • Provide a comprehensive inventory of existing and currently proposed on and off -road bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the greater Nashville region.
  • Increase the region's understanding of how improving walking and bicycling connectivity between residential areas, employment centers, schools, retail centers, recreational centers, and other attractions increases individual mobility, enhances transit options, and promotes active living.
  • Serve as a framework for identifying and selecting bicycle/pedestrian projects for the Regional Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program.
  • Provide guidance for engineering, education, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation activities to help improve the safety of walking and bicycling.

Study Highlights

  • Regional inventory of all bicycle and pedestrian facilities, including greenways, sidewalks and bikeways.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel Demand Model that is based on 8 trip types (5 bicycling and 3 walking) on a parcel level that analyses the proximity of a parcel to land uses such as schools, parks, transit stops, work places and commercial areas.  The model has the potential to be dynamic when future land uses are input into the model and the resulting potential bicycle and pedestrian trips are run. 
  • Project evaluation methodology that incorporates seven measureable project criteria:
      • Bicycle Level of Service and Pedestrian Level of Service (A-F) on over 3,300 miles of regional roadway.
      • A Travel Demand Model that accounts for areas with highest amount of latent demand for bicycle and pedestrian travel.
      • An analysis of congested corridors in the region.
      • An analysis of High Health Impact areas with populations likely to have highest rates of health disparity and less access to personal transportation.
      • Crash rate and fatality data for bicycle and pedestrian crashes.
      • Proposed facilities that are included in a locally adopted bicycle, pedestrian or greenway plan.
      • Proposed facilities that connect with existing or planned bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
  • Unannounced count of bicyclists and pedestrians in the region at 23 locations in five counties, counted approximately 4,000 bicyclists and pedestrians on one weekday.  Counts were conducted again in September of 2011 at the same 23 locations.
  • A funding toolbox with over thirty-three sources of local, state, Federal, private and non-profit funding sources for bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs.
  • A peer review of six U.S. metropolitan regions each with fifty areas of analysis including bicycle and pedestrian planning, policies, projects, funding, prioritization, programs and procedures.
  • A complete set of design guidelines for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects including cutting-edge design trends as well as traditional infrastructure and signage treatments.
  • Suggested policies and programs local and regional governments can adopt and implement to encourage and enforce bicycle and pedestrian travel.
  • The Study received the 2010 Engineering Excellence Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies - Tennessee Chapter and the 2010 Best Project Award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers Planning Council. 

Final Report

Study Documents

Project Maps


Davidson County

Rutherford County

Sumner County

Williamson County

Wilson County

Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee Materials

Public & Stakeholder Involvement Materials

Bicycle and Pedestrian Study cover
for more information

Leslie Meehan, AICP
Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator
Director of Healthy Communities

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