The portion of Harding Place between Interstate 24 on the east and Nolensville Road on the west ranks among the most pedestrian-unfriendly in all of Nashville.
Given that the vehicle-heavy road has no sidewalks, is densely lined with multiple apartment complexes and foot traffic, and often serves as a super speedway, it is baffling that pedestrians are not killed on a frequent basis.
But now a stretch of the road, from Tampa Drive on the east to Nolensville, could receive some major safety and aesthetic improvements. Four Metro Council members — Greg Adkins, Megan Barry, Jim Hodge and Ronnie Steine — are co-sponsoring a resolution that, if passed (which is likely) on third reading Dec. 7, would fund those improvements.
The resolution directs Metro Public Works to apply for a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant that would provide $1.96 million for construction of 4,800 linear feet of sidewalks along the Harding Place stretch. Metro would contribute about $491,000.
With a few exceptions — Paragon Mills, Wallace and Welch roads, for example — the numerous residential streets within the area lack sidewalks. Segments of both shoulders of Harding Place reveal worn grass and a dirt path that people have walked for years.
Hodge, who lives on nearby Haywood Lane and represents District 30, said he drives the Harding stretch every day and is concerned about pedestrian safety.
“You’ve got hilly terrain and no appreciable shoulder,” Hodge said. “There are lots of folks walking out there. I don’t know of any injuries or deaths [in recent years], but it’s an accident waiting to happen.”
TDOT funding and approval is a component of the project because Harding Place is technically considered a state highway (State Route 255). The department installed no sidewalks along the stretch of Hillsboro Road (State Route 106) during its recent re-striping of that car-heavy thoroughfare from
Sharondale Drive on the north to Crestmoor Road on the south.
The long-term plan, according to Metro officials, is to have a sidewalk span Harding Place from I-24 on the east to I-65 on the west.