Neighbors discuss walking district pilot program - WSMV News 4

Neighbors discuss walking district pilot program

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

An effort to end pedestrian fatalities is taking shape across the Metro area.

Walking districts aimed at slowing drivers down have popped up in three different neighborhoods.

It is part of a pilot program, and is a new concept for Nashville. For the next six months, police and public works will study traffic patterns before deciding whether to make the changes permanent.

Neighbors say the concept is great. But, many believe more needs to be done to get drivers to slow down.

“These streets have been historically race tracks,” said Cleveland Park resident Cory Ripmaster.

Ripmaster enjoys walking with his family around the neighborhood. For years, he complained about drivers going too fast.

“What they do is they get in our neighborhood and they see an open road, and they push the gas pedal down," explains Ripmaster.

Now, a sign right across the street from his home warns drivers to slow down.

Cleveland Park, Hillsboro-West End, and the Una neighborhoods all have these same signs. They are designated walking districts.

Within the districts, speed limits on local residential streets are reduced to 20 mph from 30 mph. On residential collector streets, the speed limit was lowered to 25 mph from 35.

Metro public works heard complaints from residents. They hope this pilot program will make drivers more aware of people walking in these areas -- many of which include school zones.

Metro police say they will patrol the areas, reminding drivers of the new speed limits at first. But over time they will transition to writing tickets, if drivers continue to speed through the walking districts.

The goal of this pilot program is part of what's called Vision Zero -- aimed at eliminating all traffic fatalities.

Before and after data will be compared to determine what impact reducing speed limits had in these walking districts.

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