NASHVILLE, TENN. (WSMV) - After almost a year of delays, downtown's first bike lane is finally moving forward with construction.
Located on Commerce Street between 2nd and 9th Avenues, the bike lane will take about two months to complete-- weather permitting-- and will cost $100,000.
Currently, people who bike or use scooters downtown are having to dodge cars and pedestrians, but this new project will give bikers their own lane and keep the streets more organized.
"It’s time for Nashville to make this kind of investment in options other than driving alone to work," says Lindsey Ganson, Director of Communications for Walk Bike Nashville. "Right now, we have no protected bike lanes in downtown Nashville and we need a safe space for people to bike. And actually, protected bike lanes don’t only make it safer for people biking or scooting, it also makes it safer for drivers and for pedestrians."
Statistically, protected bike lanes in other major cities have helped reduce downtown car traffic and resulted in fewer bike-related accidents.
The Commerce Street project has been in the works for a while, but has been delayed for nearly a whole year. Mainly because of existing business who say a bike lane would cause a change of day-to-day work flow.
"The hold up has been a few business owners on 3rd Avenue do not want to move their loading zones a few feet," says Ganson. "You need to move loading zones off main streets to side streets to allow for this kind of bike infrastructure."
However, Walk Bike Nashville says this is a great first step in making Nashville's downtown more susceptible to bikes like other major cities our size.