Mayor John Cooper announced new safety regulations for right-of-ways near construction during a press conference in Nashville on Aug. 19, 2022. Share:
In front of Vanderbilt University, along the bustling West End Avenue, metal bars enclosed a sidewalk with planks of wood on top Friday morning.
It’s a standard feature in some construction projects, but temporary walkways are often absent in projects around town — enough that Nashvillians have routinely used the hashtag #DontBlockMySidewalk.
The city intends to shift this dynamic soon, however, with new safety requirements for developers.
Under current regulations, developers obtain a 30-day permit to obstruct public walkways or bikeways. These permits are then renewed indefinitely.
That will no longer be allowed. The city will now require projects that will block right-of-ways for more than seven days to construct a temporary walkway or bikeway.
“It’s really about no longer having the right-of-way encroached,” said Diana Alarcon, the director of the Nashville Department of Transportation.Nashville has issued 31,000 permits this year to developers seeking to block right-of-ways. The city will work with current permit holders to get them into compliance during permit renewal processes.The city recommends that people who witness right-of-way obstruction report it through hubNashville , which currently gets two complaints per day, on average, regarding sidewalk issues.