NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A group of East Nashville business owners and neighbors say they need a safer way to cross a busy street.
Main Street, which turns into Gallatin Avenue at Forrest Avenue, in East Nashville is a main thoroughfare.
As more restaurants, businesses, offices and people move to the area, residents say it’s become harder to get around.
“I used to carry my grandkids across the street to go to the store,” said long-time resident Delano Ridley. She lives on Ninth Street and says she won’t walk across Main Street anymore.
“It wasn’t any problem, but now with so much traffic, so many businesses, you can’t do it. I get in my car and I’ll go around the block just to go to the store,” she said.
Residents want a crosswalk and traffic light at Ninth Street and Main Street. However, the idea has already been disapproved by Public Works.
“A crosswalk for Ninth and Main Streets is frequently requested, but it is not a direct crossing, so it would be dangerous,” said Councilman Brett Withers.
Ninth Street doesn’t directly intersect Main. It has two intersections that run parallel to each other and that’s one reason why the project was disapproved.
The other reason, Withers says, is that $156,000 worth of improvements at McFerrin and Main have already been made, which is a block away.
The improvements include a crosswalk, ADA ramps, new traffic lights and signage.
Withers admits, however, that the crosswalk at Eight and Main needs improving, including signs and increased visibility.
But there’s a bigger issue at hand.
News 2 asked three council people that are responsible for the five mile stretch of Main Street/Gallatin Avenue if they think more crosswalks need to be installed.
Scott Davis, Anthony Davis and Withers agreed that the road needs about six new traffic lights and crosswalks to make it safe for people to cross.
“It is expanding so fast and we do have so many businesses and we do have so many people who do want to be biking and walking,” said resident Sam Jump. “To be able to harvest that in a safe way, to cultivate that kind of mentality, that would really help out.”
Withers says they are trying. The improvements to Gallatin are on hold, pending the outcome of the Transit Funding Referendum in May.
News 2 also pulled the numbers and found out more pedestrians have died this year compared to last.
So far this year, 15 people have died walking in Davidson County.
Last year, 17 people died walking in total.
One of those people was walking at Gallatin and Greenwood avenues.