Aggressive drivers, poorly paved roads and inconsistent bike lanes are just a few of the many reasons one might hesitate to bike to work. It’s challenging to feel safe on a bike in a city built for cars, especially when any movement toward alternate forms of transit seems to receive impassioned backlash — even drawing, during the 2018 transit referendum campaign, the Koch brothers’ eye of Sauron to Nashville.
While the issue once caused many Nashvillians to simply throw their hands up in dejection, succumbing to a life of single-passenger car trips and road rage, this year a passionate community of cycling enthusiasts has worked hard to make Nashville a more bike-friendly city. Through grassroots Twitter campaigns and great work from nonprofits like Walk Bike Nashville, bike advocates are waging all-out guerrilla warfare on the gas-guzzling behemoths we have become so dependent on, and while we still have a long way to go, their efforts are already making a lasting impact.
Driving down 12th Avenue South, I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement observing the progress on the concrete-protected bike lanes being installed there, spearheaded by alternative-transit advocate and District 17 Councilmember Colby Sledge. E-bike share programs have become increasingly popular, and with the introduction of a dockless e-bike pilot program, that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. With this increased attention to Nashville’s lack of bike-centric infrastructure, Nashville is beginning to feel a little safer on two wheels.
Editorial Intern, Nashville Scene