NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Some tourists and safety advocates are hoping for changes to make walking around downtown Nashville easier and safer.

One woman died, and another was critically injured while exploring downtown Nashville with their loved ones. Both of these accidents happened within weeks of each other.  

A woman remains in critical condition after being struck by a double-decker bus in downtown Nashville on Saturday evening. The unidentified woman became trapped underneath the tour bus at 321 Broadway before firefighters removed her. 

Melinda Lovelady died in a scooter accident on Oct. 3. She was visiting Nashville on a trip with her friend, daughter and son when a quick ride turned deadly.

“Crossing the roads sometimes can be a little sketchy,” Rich Lauser said.

When taking in the sights and sounds of Music City, you can count on there being traffic, especially when there’s a Tennessee Titans game.

“There was a lot of activity here on Sunday because of the game, a lot of dejected Kansas City fans,” said Lauser, who said walking around on Sunday was difficult. “I wouldn’t want to be in a car, that’s for sure.”

Director of Advocacy and Communications for Walk Bike NashvilleLindsey Ganson said they feel improvements need to be made to major Nashville roads.

“We are in a crisis. The number of people being killed or injured while walking on our streets is going up dramatically year after year after year,” said Ganson. “In order for people to make safe choices while driving or while walking, we need to engineer our roads to be safer for pedestrians and drivers.”

These improvements include adding more sidewalks and crosswalks.

“We need to allow more time for people to cross. We need more medians or what’s called a pedestrian island so on our larger roads creating a safe place in the middle of the road for pedestrians to wait if they aren’t able to make it across in the time allotted,” Ganson said.

She said she is hoping the city will eventually close Broadway from Bridgestone Arena toward the Cumberland River during the busiest times.

“Through the pandemic, we’ve seen the Metro Police Department completely shut it down to traffic at certain hours on Fridays and Saturdays, and by all reports that have been going really well,” said Ganson. “It increased pedestrian safety. It provided more space for social distancing.”

Metro Council member Robert Swope was asked if the city is considering shutting down a portion of Broadway to vehicle traffic every weekend. He told News4 that nothing is in the works right now.

Tee Jordan with Safe Fun Nashville said the starting point to help keep people safe on lower Broadway is enforcing the new party vehicle bills.

 

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