Nashville making improvements to Riverside Village - WSMV Channel 4

Nashville making improvements to Riverside Village

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

An East Nashville neighborhood has a lot to celebrate.

Crime is down and business is booming in the Riverside Village area.

But the surge in visitors could create a different type of danger for local families. Now there's a push to fix it.

Plans are mapped out for the next phase in the makeover of Riverside Village in the heart of Inglewood.

"This is the big stretch of sidewalk we are finishing up," explained Metro Councilman Anthony Davis. "This is coming up McGavock down that way.

"It should be close to $500,000 when this project is complete. There's a lot of concrete. Sidewalks are expensive these days."

It took Davis almost a year meeting with Public Works, Mayor Karl Dean and budget committees to get the funds from the mayor's capital spending budget.

Up to this point, private money has made this area more appealing. For example, a family-friendly courtyard was once a junkyard.

Riverside Village was a much different picture in 2005 when Dan Heller moved here.

"There was a lot of things going on that you wouldn't want in any neighborhood," said Heller.

The community banned together to add some lights to the storefronts, remove the bars from the windows and now small business is booming. Unfortunately, that created a new issue for Riverside Village - lots of traffic.

The intersection of Riverside Drive and McGavock is a gateway between East Nashville and Madison, and there are no crosswalks, sidewalks or curbs.

"It is nerve-racking seeing cars come so close to people or kids who are waiting for buses," said Heller.

A turn signal is already helping with traffic flow in the area.

"We are going to go ahead and start pouring some concrete here soon," said Davis. "The surveying is complete. It is on the capital plan. It should take, hopefully, less than six months.

"We want people to know that there is another hotspot like Five Points or the Eastland Avenue area. Riverside Village is right there and it's Inglewood's hot spot."

Riverside Village residents are also planning for a new urban green center in the next few months. That should compliment other businesses already in the neighborhood.

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