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856 On the Streets

Secret Sidewalk Marked for Replacement

During some recent walks, dog walks, runs, and bike rides, these are a few interesting observations ...

Secret Sidewalk

We live in an old neighborhood near downtown Nashville. For some reason the streets in our neighborhood have very long blocks, or long sections of road without intersecting streets. Drivers must plan a route to the end of the block, but walkers have another option. There is a neighborhood secret ... a special sidewalk that connects four of the streets in the middle of the long blocks. All the neighbors call the passage, the secret sidewalk.

Since we have lived in the neighborhood, we have used the sidewalk regularly. We walk Jake, the big dog, on the path at least once a day and I make the passage part of my daily run, but we must be careful using the path. The sidewalk is in a sad state of repair. There are cracks, steps, uneven tread, lifted slabs, and encroaching vegetation on the sidewalk. I have always felt sorry for anyone who tried to push a stroller or had a child riding a bike over the fragmented concrete.

A longtime resident of the area shared with us - about ten years ago I asked Mr (Forgot-his-Name) about the sidewalk, he said that it was built 58 years ago and hasn't been touched since!

A few years back the Mayor, initiated a sidewalk improvement project. Many sidewalks in the neighborhood were fixed, but not the secret one. Maybe, the project planners didn't know it was there!

Then to my surprise, a couple of weeks ago as I walked with Jake, I met a contractor, who was marking the secret sidewalk. The secret walkway was finally slated to be repaired! They are planning on removing the old sidewalk and repaving it. Chalk one up for the neighborhood, the walkers, (and the Mayor)!

Neighbors Tied Up Their Ornamental Grass to Keep It from Obstructing the Sidewalk


Sidewalks are pedestrian passageways. They are as important to walkers, runners, stroller pushers, etc, as roads are to motor vehicles. Friends visiting our house often remark about the number of walkers and runners who pass our house on the sidewalk. We just smile as we agree.

It is great to live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, but sidewalks do require extra work and attention. Residents with sidewalks must help maintain barrier free access by eliminating obstructions along the course.

A few suggestions ...

  • Do not block the sidewalk when parking.
  • Keep hedges and trees trimmed so the limbs and vegetation does not encroach on the sidewalks.
  • Stack yard refuse in the street, keeping the sidewalks clear.
  • Position trash and recycling cans in the street.


School is back in session. A few weeks back as I was running near a university, I saw students wandering the streets looking for ??? It didn't really matter what they were trying to find, it just surprised me that all of them were using their smart phones to navigate while they walked. They were not looking at their surroundings, instead they were just hoping the Map App knew how to get them to their intended destination.

Happy Sidewalk trails


other On the Streets from the Journal

other On the Streets from the Journal

On the Streets - Halloween 12 - 723

On the Streets - Christmas - 744

On the Streets - Late December - 750

On the Streets - February - 774

On the Streets - Spring - 794

On the Streets - Blimp - 801

On the Streets - Sidewalks - 856

On the Streets - Halloween 13 - 878

On the Streets - December - 890

On the Streets - Christmas '13 - 896


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