January 6, 2017

Teens get a bike route in Nashville

Yes Magazine - North Nashville was once a “mobility desert”: A highway dissected the neighborhood, and public transportation left many areas without service. For young people, the burden was especially heavy.

“When you get dropped off of the school bus, you’re pretty much confined to your neighborhood,” says Dan Furbish, who runs Oasis Bike Workshop, which provides students with bicycles and mentoring. He finds that many kids have not visited parks just 2 miles from their homes.

To make the case for better neighborhood mobility, Furbish’s class of middle and high school students mapped their movements around North Nashville, tracking the spaces they visited most and the barriers that kept them from getting around, such as the lack of crosswalks and paths. They developed suggestions for connecting North Nashville to the rest of the city, eventually sharing their findings with urban planners.

After meeting with the class, city planners incorporated a new bicycle lane along Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. Although the lane stretched only 2 miles, it created a bicycle route across the interstate, connecting North Nashville to downtown.