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Comment Archives: stories: News: City Limits

Re: “After the shock-and-awe images coming out of Ferguson, eyes turn to Nashville's $4 million in surplus military hardware

This sort of thing has happened before. Circa 1967, the Tennessee National Guard conducted exercises that simulated raids on urban black neighborhoods. Hundreds of Tennesseans signed a petition calling for an end to these exercises.

Gov. Buford Ellington defended them, saying they were necessary because Martin Luther King's followers were "people who want to start riots."

Read Rick Perlstein's book "Nixonland" for more on how the Vietnam War came home to America's streets.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bob on 08/22/2014 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

That's interesting Jeff. I ride downtown daily. I commute to work from Bellevue. My office is on lower Broadway (Commerce Street actually), so I'm on West End, 3rd-10th Ave, Commerce, Church, sometimes Charlotte..

I've never had a problem with the police. In fact they've been supportive and friendly in those encounters where they do say something.
If there's a bike lane, I use it unless I have to avoid something. Otherwise I take the lane, especially downtown on those narrow streets.
I center up in the lane - often cheating toward the driver's side tire track.

I had way too many flat tires when I first started commuting to keep riding in the ditch.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ehs on 08/22/2014 at 3:03 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

Two cops have yelled at me to get off the street when I was riding my bicycle downtown as far toward the curb as I could go. City bus drivers are constantly pulling in front of me and cutting me off at bus stops. So don't tell me the city gives a rat's ass about bicycle commuters. They can't even make their own employees behave. And that cop's comments in this story are insulting.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by jeff.woods.566790 on 08/22/2014 at 2:38 PM

Re: “After the shock-and-awe images coming out of Ferguson, eyes turn to Nashville's $4 million in surplus military hardware

State and local law enforcement would accept fighter jets if they could get it free or fairly low cost. The equipment these departments have is by request of department heads, through good or bad information, and is approved by usually Elected Representatives.

If you don't want Military Equipment, and attitudes that go along with it, in your neighborhoods or streets then say something to those responsible.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by NeverFear on 08/22/2014 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

Being the "it" city and all, we should be aware of the movement in other cities against bike lanes. These efforts in cities like New York, Seattle and Portland are organized by cyclists--not motorists. As a cyclist who has been riding Nashville roads for 25+years, I can say that the argument against bike lanes makes a lot of sense. Bike lanes relegate cyclists to their own lane (a lane usually filled with rocks and other debris), when in fact they have as much right to the roads as cars do. Cycling down Woodmont Boulevard is far more dangerous today than it was before bike lanes were striped. Almost all motorists ignore the three-foot rule using the mere presence of a lane for bicycles as justification. It's downright scary. A true bicycle-frendly community isn't determined by the number of bike lanes but rather the belief that all roads are meant to be shared by cars and bikes alike, with both parties obeying traffic laws and using common sense along the way.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by noitall on 08/22/2014 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

No kidding. I was almost hit last night by a driver making a left turn on Broadway without checking and while speeding. Reckless driving should be taken more seriously than it is.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by twh on 08/22/2014 at 1:26 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

The way motorist ignore the speed limits, fail to use turn signals, go out of turn at 4 way stops - if they stop at all, turn right on red without stopping, fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, "text" while driving, follow to closely, pass on double yellow, ignore the 3' foot law, among other things, I have to wonder how they aren't subject to the same rules of the road.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ehs on 08/22/2014 at 12:25 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

I don't know what the solution is. There are many drivers on the roads who accomplish everything they have to do in a day by being in a constant hurry, especially when behind the wheel of a car. Their time management skills may be lacking, but they are going to drive too fast and be careless at a minimum. And some roads with bicyclists do not lend themselves to smooth traffic flow as noted above. (I have to smile at the idea of not getting rear-ended in Nashville - that must be the #1 cause of wrecks in this city!)

Now that we have a greenway in my neighborhood, some of the people riding bikes, especially those who are not recreational riders, treat pedestrians in exactly the way car drivers treat bicyclists - speeding, zooming by much too closely, scaring the living daylights out of pedestrians, and getting angry if they have slow down or move over.

As for bike lanes, I have a good friend who is an avid bicyclist. He says that it is usually dangerous to ride in the bike lane due to the gravel, broken glass, and other debris that collects on the sides of the roads. In my neighborhood, which has bike lanes that are seldom used, people park their cars there and pile their yard waste for months waiting for the brush pickup that we get 3 times a year here in Metro Nashville.

I really wish that people were courteous as a rule, but many years of jogging/walking in the Warner Parks has taught me all too well not to expect that. The best I can come up with is to anticipate the worst behavior and always be looking for my escape route (defensive walking, I guess you'd call it) and on my part to be as kind and polite as possible.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by tnxplant on 08/21/2014 at 9:52 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

@trying to share the road - During the nearly 200 miles I rode on rural roads in southwest Louisiana this past April, drivers would give a quick "honk" and then pass us if it was safe to do so. That particular ride, Cycle Zydeco, is well publicised and people come to expect random bike riders during the week. My fellow riders and I learned to distinguish between a friendly honk and a not-so-friendly one but it was still startling sometimes. I agree with twh above - opting to not pass on roads and hoping for drivers behind you to be paying attention would be a great start.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by KJ on 08/21/2014 at 9:25 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

@Play Fair - I certainly didn't intend to sound defensive. I would totally wear latex body paint whilst on a bike (that would be fun, getting those looks! and no wind shear!) and I agreed with your irritation at that particular cyclist. I have definitely been irritated by other cyclists (mainly in shared greenway situations, when they are overtaking with pedestrians ahead and behind as well as not notifying in a passing situation). I was simply stating that common sense and courtesy should be exercised by all, but unfortunately that isn't always the case. The last time I rode my bike through Percy Warner was at the tail end of last year's Tour de Nash and I swore up and down those hills the whole time.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by KJ on 08/21/2014 at 9:20 PM

Re: “After the shock-and-awe images coming out of Ferguson, eyes turn to Nashville's $4 million in surplus military hardware

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1 like, 7 dislikes
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Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

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0 likes, 8 dislikes
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Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

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0 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by baihehuao on 08/21/2014 at 9:04 PM

Re: “A guerrilla urbanist demonstration this weekend in The Nations shows Nashville the streetscape of the future

Tobin: That's my bad. I must not have looked hard enough for a start date, since all of the information I could find was about last year's event. For the record, Nashville's PARK(ing) Day started in 2012 with seven parklets along Lower Broadway and 2nd Ave., though last year's PARK(ing) Day was substantially bigger. Another is planned for September 19, with 28 spots total: http://www.civicdesigncenter.org/calendar/…

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lance Conzett on 08/21/2014 at 6:27 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

KJ - I mean spandex - my bad. But feel free to wear latex though it doesn't breath well.

And I never said "all" were bad - I just relayed an experience I had that scared me and made me mad. The guy was a total jerk. That doesn't mean all cyclists are total jerks. But anyone - walking, driving riding a bike/horse/pig who thinks they own the road and that they don't owe courtesy and safety to others is a jerk. I don't see why you feel the need to get so defensive unless you that describes you.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Play Fair on 08/21/2014 at 6:14 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

As a cyclist, I'd like you to pass me safely. I'd also like the drivers behind you to drive attentively so they can slow down without rearending you. I assume that's what you want too?

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by twh on 08/21/2014 at 5:50 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

Ooo, I hadn't thought of wearing latex when I ride. I think I'll look into that.

;)

@Play Fair - there's certainly "bad" cyclists just like there are "bad" drivers and "bad" pedestrians. Mostly it comes down to common sense and courtesy especially when in a shared roadway/walkway situation.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by KJ on 08/21/2014 at 5:37 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

As a driver, I encounter cyclists on a daily basis and do my best to give a wide berth when passing. Nashville is hilly, and there are many stretches of curvy roads without adequate shoulder (Granny White and Tyne come to mind). A biker going uphill is maybe doing 10-15 mph tops, and it is unsafe for me to cross the double yellow to pass them because I can't see around the curve/over the hill. I've been nearly rear-ended by a driver who was unaware that I was having to reduce my speed so much, and have also had people behind me end up passing me and the cyclist. I'd like to hear what cyclists think about this situation and how they would like drivers to handle it.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by trying to share the road on 08/21/2014 at 5:34 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

Percy Warner has some plenty dangerous stretches. I don't like using it as a training course because of the sharp curves, steep descents and poor paving

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by twh on 08/21/2014 at 4:50 PM

Re: “Can cars, bikes and pedestrians share Nashville's roadways without someone ending up in the hospital?

Let's get some things straight.
1. Radinger is not the first bike/ped coordinator. Toks Omishaken was.
2. John Forester, though he did great things for cycling years ago, bike-specific facilities are indeed better than not. They're not perfect, but they encourage less skilled bicyclists to ride.
3. What happened to Molly was horrible. But, the fight to stop drunk drivers and hit-and-run's is not a bike/ped problem. Are cyclists more vulnerable than people in a metal cage? Yes.
4. There are some bad eggs on the police force that think bicyclists don't belong. I can't say that's a wholesale problem. We also have some skilled accident investigators that are getting much better at bike/ped investigations. If our DA's would prosecute a few bad drivers that negligently hit bicyclists, we might be able to get through to the general public. Thanks to the accident teams with Bike Walk Tennessee, Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation and Walk/Bike Nashville, we are hopefully getting through to them.
5. And finally, bikes belong on the road. Motor vehicle drivers will have to learn. Much of road funds are paid by property, income and sales tax. Most road damage is done by the heaviest vehicles. Bicycles have near zero impact on road conditions.
OK, I'm done for now.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Pat C on 08/21/2014 at 4:41 PM

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