METRO COUNCIL UPDATE

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Allen, Burkley (Council Member)

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Oct 11, 2021, 8:46:37 AM10/11/21
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METRO COUNCIL UPDATE 

October 2021 

EVENTS 

Hillsboro Village celebrated its 101st birthday on Saturday, October 2, with a great festival.  21st  Avenue was closed off between Blakemore and Fairfax for music, children’s activities, food trucks, and pedestrian access to all the great businesses in Hillsboro Village.  In addition the Bradley Recording Studio and the Bradley family were honored with a Metro historical marker in a ceremony on the site of recordings made by Kitty Wells, Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Rex Allen, Minnie Pearl, Rod Brasfield, and Pat Boone between 1953 and 1955. 

 

Neighbors can clean out your house by taking no-longer-needed items to  Creation Care Recycling Day at West End United Methodist Church, 2200 West End Avenue, Saturday, October 16 from 9 a.m. - 12 noon.   Bring items to the parking lot off of 23rd Ave South. People can bring electronic items, fabric, clothing, household items, furniture, books, appliances, linens, shoes, jewelry, accessories, medications, and documents for shredding.  There is a charge for disposing of monitors and televisions, but everything else will be accepted at no charge.   The event happens rain or shine.  This is a great way to clean out your house, provide a second life to items you don’t need, and keep them out of the land fill.  More information is available at http://www.westendumc.org/events/creation-care-recycling-day/ 

Brush Pick-up for Area 6 Brentwood, Crieve Hall, Grassmere, Abbay Hall, Sidco, WeHo begins Oct 5.  On October 14, pick-up starts in Area 7 Edgehill, 12th South, Battlemont, Green Hills. On October 21, pick-up begins in Area 8 Green Hills, Hillsboro West End, Belmont Hillsboro, Percy Warner, Devonshire.  October 29 is the beginning of pick-up for Area 9 Bellevue, West Meade, Hillwood, White Bridge, Cherokee Park, Richland West End, Sylvan Park, Sylvan Heights, Hadley, Fisk, Watkins Park. Neighbors can confirm dates on the Public Works website at https://www.nashville.gov/departments/transportation/brush-and-yard-waste-collection.  Remember to put leaves in compostable bags and place brush piles away from utility poles so the machinery can pick them up safely.  

 

Metro Council and school board districts will be redrawn this fall through an interactive redistricting process led by the Metro Planning Department. As population grows in differing amounts around the county, some district lines will have to be shifted to restore equal representation in each district. An online report shows the results from the Census, including Nashville’s overall growth levels and some context from other peer cities. It also has interactive maps to allow residents to explore the distribution of population, growth rates, and race and ethnicity throughout the county.  Finally, the report includes District-level results for Council and School Board and the Planning staff’s preliminary approaches to balancing population in different parts of the county.  The report can be found here: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/2fa5389b2ccd4171a83c3c45208953fc 

 Redistricting Workshops will be held by Metro Planning throughout the next month.   

The initial draft map is anticipated around October 15.  Once draft maps are ready, Planners will host community meetings and provide online opportunities to review, comment on, and adjust district boundaries. Planning is looking for input on neighborhood and institutional boundaries and other common interest factors that should be considered.  For more information visit https://redistrict.nashville.gov/ 

 

At the same time the State legislature will be redrawing state district lines for the Tennessee legislature and US congress.  This process has historically not been as interactive, but there are opportunities for citizens to weigh in on what areas should be kept together.  In particular, there is a possibility that Davidson County could be split into multiple different congressional districts.  Citizen groups can submit alternative maps, but they have to include the entire state.  Some statewide groups like the League of Women Voters (https://www.lwv.org/voting-rights/redistricting) and Civic TN (https://civictn.org/redistricting) and working to compile input into a comprehensive citizen directed plan.   Redistricting plans proposed by third-party organizations or non-legislators must be submitted to the Select Committee on Redistricting by 12:00pm CST on Friday, November 12, 2021.  Outside plans must be submitted via sitting members of the House of Representatives and must comply with these rules. For more information, please click on the “Documents” tab at this site.  

 

 

ISSUES 

Metro Parks and Walk Bike Nashville are gathering information from other cities and from Nashville citizens about how we want to treat Electric assist bikes (E-bikes) on Greenways.  While Metro Parks rules prohibit motorized vehicles on greenways, this covers mopeds and electric scooters, but technically not e-bikes.   TN State law specifically excludes e-bikes from the category of motorized vehicles, and defines them separately as devices with fully operable pedals for human propulsion and an electric motor less than 750 watts (about 1 horsepower).  There are three specific classes of e-bikes defined in state law: 

Class 1 – the rider has to pedal, but can have electric assist, which can go up to 20 mph 

Class 2  - the rider does not have to pedal, and can have electric assist up to 20 mph 

Class 3 – the rider has to pedal, but can have electric assist, which can go up to 28 mph                                                                                                                  

Tennessee state law currently allows Class 1 and 2 e-bikes on greenways unless the legislative body of a city (in our case the Metro Council) specifically prohibits it.  To help us make an informed decision, the Council has called for a study of peer cities and a community engagement process.  With more information in hand, the Council will work with the Parks Board and Greenways Commission to determine if updated rules are in order now that ebikes are becoming more common and are replacing pedal-only bikes in the bike share program.  Check the Greenways website for a link to the survey and let us know what you think.   

SIDEWALKS AND BIKEWAYS SURVEY
A lot has changed since Nashville last updated its strategic bike and sidewalk plan (Walk n Bike) in 2017. The Nashville Department of Transportation wants your input on sidewalks and bikeways for the five-year update. Please share your feedback on the Nashville Walk n Bike Plan update 
survey. It takes about 5 minutes to complete.  More information is available at https://www.nashville.gov/departments/transportation/walknbike 

 

Metro Planning is continuing with its East Bank Planning Study to develop a community vision for growth in the 338 acres on the east bank of the Cumberland River across from downtown.  The area is currently a mix of industrial, parking, and sports uses.  The study is proceeding in phases, with the first phase focusing on infrastructure.  Key factors considered are resiliency and flood mitigation; mobility networks that support equitable access for all users and travel modes; and open space networks that support equitable access to the river through public greenway systems and parks.  Future phases will deal with Site Planning & Development and Economic & Social Strategies.  More information is available at  

https://www.nashville.gov/departments/planning/long-range-planning/local-planning-studies/east-bank-planning-study 

 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone six months old and older get a flu vaccine, preferably before the end of October. Flu shots are available at most doctors’ offices and at CVS and Walgreens.  Walk-ins are available, but scheduling an appointment may save time.   Many businesses have programs for their employees.  For example, Vanderbilt has created multiple ways for eligible students, faculty and staff to receive a free flu vaccine now and throughout flu season at the Student Health Center and Vanderbilt Health Clinics.  Flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines can be taken at the same time.  Vaccination is still seen as the best way to avoid serious complications from disease. 

  

Nashville General Hospital and Neighborhood Health have partnered to create the “Nashville Takes on COVID” campaign to get more Nashvillians vaccinated and masking and make COVID a thing of the past.  Supporter are asked to post consistently to spread factual information about how to beat the virus.  Please join me in this campaign so we can protect vulnerable people like our children and so we can get back to normal.  Here’s what you can do now: 

  

  1. View the Brief Video Content:  Here is an example of the brief video content from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which we will incorporate in the campaign: 

     Do the COVID vaccines protect against the Delta variant?  (57 seconds at https://bit.ly/3k9Amcl) 

     
  2. Sign the Pledge:  A number of organizations have signed the “Nashville Takes on COVID.”  You can read the pledge below and sign on at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PVD2KDR. 

      
  3. Add Your Logo:  Email your logo to Verno...@NashvilleHA.org to add to the list of partner organizations. 

     
  4. Share the Webinar:  The recorded webinar is available at https://youtu.be/UeeS5aOwSOs.  Please share this along with http://NashvilleTakesOnCOVID.org, where we have posted all materials to date. 

      

    People need accurate information to make decisions about their own health and our collective health, and this is a great way to help spread factual information.  

 

Metro Action Commission (MAC) manages rental assistance funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury for COVID-19 impacted renters. Funds are available for 12 months of past-due rent and utility bills.  Access to the application is on the HOPE portal. Representatives from MAC can provide application assistance over the phone or in person at their office.   

  • Call (615) 862-7368 to speak to a representative Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • Visit MAC at 800 2nd Avenue North Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

    General Session Court has also set up a Diversionary Housing Court for eviction cases to work with tenants and landlords to access the HOPE funds.  This can ensure that landlords get paid and tenants get to stay housed and avoid an eviction on their record. 


Fall brings a special set of challenges to Metro’s storm water system.  Keeping leaves and debris out of the street can go a long way to keeping the system functioning well.  In the older parts of Nashville, the storm sewer and sanitary sewer were built in the early 1900’s as a combined system.  Leaves that get into the system make their way to the sewage treatment plant and add a lot of unnecessary load to what has to be treated and disposed of.  In other parts of the city everything in the storm drain goes straight to the river including leaves, sticks and trash.  Please remember not to blow your leaves into the street.  Metro will pick them up if they are bagged in compostable bags, which can be bought at most hardware stores.  This is also a great time of year to Adopt-A-Storm-Drain.  Pick a storm drain near you and commit to keeping it free of sticks, leaves, and trash to keep our water ways clean and help prevent flooding on your street during heavy rains. Metro Water will also help in this effort through their maintenance and street sweeping programs. You can report clogged drains at hub.nashville.gov. The Street Sweeping Schedule is published monthly on Metro’s Open Data website.  https://data.nashville.gov/Beautification/Metro-Water-Services-Current-Street-Sweeping-Sched/p9iq-sxk3 .  Click on the “View Data” button, and then filter by your district.  You should be able to find your street and when it will be swept.  Moving cars off the street on sweeping day will help Metro Water Services get debris and leaves off the street before they end up in the storm sewer system and clog it up.  


WeGo is implementing fall changes to the bus routes.  The changes reflect customer input and feedback and include expanded service hours and improved frequency of service with more buses on select routes. 

Monday-Saturday service from 5:15 a.m. to 12:15 a.m.: 

• 3 West End/White Bridge 

• 4 Shelby 

• 7 Hillsboro 

• 22 Bordeaux 

• 23 Dickerson Pike 

• 50 Charlotte Pike 

• 52 Nolensville Pike 

• 55 Murfreesboro Pike 

• 56 Gallatin Pike 

• Access 

Saturday service from 5:15 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.: 

• 5 West End/Bellevue 

• 8 8th Avenue South 

• 14 Whites Creek 

• 17 12th Avenue South 

• 18 Airport 

• 19 Herman 

• 28 Meridian 

• 29 Jefferson 

Sunday service until 11:15 p.m.: 

• 3 West End/White Bridge 

• 4 Shelby 

• 5 West End/Bellevue 

• 7 Hillsboro 

• 8 8th Avenue South 

• 14 Whites Creek 

• 17 12th Avenue South 

• 18 Airport 

• 19 Herman 

• 22 Bordeaux 

• 23 Dickerson Pike 

• 28 Meridian 

• 29 Jefferson 

• 50 Charlotte Pike 

• 52 Nolensville Pike 

• 55 Murfreesboro Pike 

• 56 Gallatin Pike 

• Access 

Expanded service hours: 

• 6 Lebanon Pike (until 9:15 p.m. on Weekdays) 

• 42 St. Cecilia/Cumberland (until 9:15 p.m. on Weekdays and 8:15 p.m. on Sundays) 

• 76 Madison (beginning at 7:15 a.m. and ending at 8:15 p.m. on Saturdays) 

Route adjustments 

• Route 5 West End/Bellevue will use the same routing on To Downtown and From Downtown trips. 

• Route 22 Bordeaux will have a long-term detour using Rosa L. Parks Boulevard and Garfield Street made permanent. 

Frequency improvements 

• 3 West End/White Bridge 

• 5 West End/Bellevue 

• 7 Hillsboro 

• 8 8th Avenue South 

• 9 MetroCenter 

• 50 Charlotte Pike 

Phase 2 – Spring 2022 Service Changes 

Phase 2 service changes will be introduced in Spring 2022 after the completion of the Hillsboro Transit Center 

and the arrival of additional buses. 

• Additional frequency in the late evening/night will be implemented on routes 3 West End / White Bridge, 22 Bordeaux, 23 Dickerson Pike, 50 Charlotte Pike, 52 Nolensville Pike, 55 Murfreesboro Pike, and 56 Gallatin Pike. 

• Additional frequency improvements on routes 6 Lebanon Pike, 7 Hillsboro, 14 Whites Creek, 17 12th Avenue South, 19 Herman, 28 Meridian, 29 Jefferson, 42 St. Cecilia/Cumberland, and 50 Charlotte Pike. 

• Route 79 Skyline will begin service. 

• Route 17 12th Avenue South will extend to the Hillsboro Transit Center. 

• Access on Demand will extend its hours to 8 p.m. 

For additional information, riders can visit the Customer Information Window at WeGo Central, call Customer Care at 615-862-5950, or visit WeGoTransit.com. 

 

NES will begin its Power of Change program in the coming year.  Starting in January 2022, all NES customer bills will be rounded up to the nearest dollar for those  customers who do not ask to opt out.  From a single penny up to ninety-nine cents each month, the most any customer could contribute per year is less than $12.   100% of the funds collected will go towards the Home Uplift program for making home energy upgrades. NES partnered with TVA to create this program that will save money on utility bills and improve residents’ quality of life.  Eligible homeowners can receive up to $8,000 in energy-saving upgrades such as insulation, duct sealing, low-flow shower heads and more. Homeowners with incomes at or below 200% of poverty level can apply at https://www.nespower.com/programs-and-services/energy-assistance/.  Communication to customers regarding the Power of Change program began October 1st.  Customers will have the option to opt-out of the program before it starts, as well as any time in the future.  More information is available at  https://www.nespower.com/power-of-change/ 

 

I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the arrival of fall.  I’m optimistic that the change of seasons will bring new opportunities, and Nashville can move forward to being a great place to live and work for everyone.  Please contact me with your thoughts and suggestions at burkle...@nashville.gov or 615-383-6604


Burkley Allen
Metro Council At-Large

Council Committees - Budget and Finance - Chair
                               Affordable Housing - Past Chair
                               Transportation and Infrastructure
Women's Caucus Chair
Greenways Commission 

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