Public works to expand block of Broadway sidewalk by 8 feet - WSMV News 4

Public works to expand block of Broadway sidewalk by 8 feet

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A pilot project estimated to cost between $250,000 and $300,000 is looking to improve crowding and pedestrian safety on Broadway.

Metro Public Works has announced a plan to expand the sidewalk by 8 feet on the north side of Broadway between Third and Fourth avenues.

"Y'all are welcome to look if you want," said Kristen Thorbjornsen of Halo Missions, talking to people walking by her cart on Broadway. "We work with broken and used guitar strings, and we turn it into a piece of art therapy for women in transition from an addiction to drugs and alcohol."

In her time showing and selling those rings and bracelets made from guitar string, Thorbjornsen has come to know how crowded the sidewalk can be. A big change is coming to her spot on Broadway.

In addition to the expansion of the sidewalk, Public Works is planning to place large barriers called bollards in place of the current metal fencing.

"Those will be more solid planted in the ground," said native Nashvillian Byron Glover. "The ones now are more flimsy. If a car were to hit this, it could knock it down."

Glover said he also likes the idea of having more space.

"Friday night, Saturday night, it's pretty packed," he said. "It's constantly full. It's constantly narrow. Maybe that extra space will free it up, get some more people."

Thorbjornsen has some worries.

"I'm wondering what'll happen with the loading zones because from where I'm standing, an additional eight feet would be the loading zone," she said.

A Public Works spokesperson said there will continue to be space for loading and unloading after the project is finished. The rep went on to say the extra space and new barriers are a move for better pedestrian safety.

"For safety issues, I think that would be the way to go," said Thorbjornsen.

Metro officials expect to start work early next month. They're holding another meeting to discuss the pilot project on Friday.

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