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Should Lower Broadway Be Closed to Traffic to Protect Pedestrians?

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On July 2, two pedestrians attempting to cross Broadway in downtown Nashville were struck by an SUV. Seconds after impact, a crowd rushed to help them. Surveillance video shows that the pedestrians walked when the Don’t Walk sign was lit up. The woman was not seriously injured, fortunately.

Between 2010 and 2014, there were more than 30 pedestrians struck by vehicles on Lower Broadway. The July 2 accident led to renewed calls for Lower Broadway to shut down to vehicle traffic completely.

Councilmember Freddie O’Connell described mixed feelings regarding the proposal. He cited concerns with Lower Broadway turning into a Bourbon Street, New Orleans-type party street. He believes that is less desirable than the boulevard feel it currently has.


A study of over 1,000 crashes in a three-year period found that Lower Broadway is one of the city’s most dangerous places for pedestrians and bicyclists. Since then, there have been several proposals to help combat the problem. One 2015 experiment stopped cars in all directions, allowing pedestrians to “scramble” all at once without the need to worry about traffic. In 2016, the city painted parts of the road blue for a temporary experiment to expand room for pedestrians, to the chagrin of drivers. Making Lower Broadway a purely pedestrian street is but the latest in a series of proposals to reduce pedestrian and biking accidents.

What do you think about the proposal?

Joshua 1:7, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”