Saturday, September 8, 2012

We've Come a LONG Way

. . The third question on the League of Women Voters questions to Hendersonville’s mayoral candidates is “What will you do to maintain and expand Hendersonville’s green space and greenways?
. . The answer to this question and other questions submitted to State and US legislative candidates and to Hendersonville’s aldermen and mayoral  candidates will be published on September 15’th on  It reminds me of another often repeated quote, “You’ve come a long way baby!
. .On October 24, 2006 members of the Hendersonville Greenway Sub-committee of the Hendersonville Tomorrow Committee submitted a 24-page plan of its 20-year vision for the city to a meeting of the aldermen and mayor.  Little did the committee know or expect the influence it would have. They are grateful for the support these plans have received. 
. .The vision began in 1999 when mayor Hank Thompson authorized the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan for Hendersonville.  Compared with leaders of other cities in Tennessee, he was well ahead of almost every other city in Tennessee.  In fact even today, Hendersonville remains only one of six cities out of three-hundred –and-forty-seven (347) cities in Tennessee to have a Complete Streets Policy in which our roadways are planned for safe passage of ALL users.   This policy is the highest strived-for-ideal of advocates across America and Hendersonville already leads the way.  That’s pretty remarkable vision for the city by the lake.
. . The sub-committee consisting of Frank Bower, Jamie Clary (alderman), Bruce Day, Doug Depew, Tom Evans (Chair), Cathy Haley, David Hardin, Gary Sylvester, and Timothy Whitten (city planner) didn’t have to reinvent anything.  They just updated maps and promoted Hank’s initial work. Mayor Foster and his staff made it happen. 
    Some of the accomplishments since 2006 are:
·         Formation of FOGBEES Cycling Club in 2006 by sub-committee
·         Construction of the Hendersonville’s first greenway in 2010
·         Incorporation of sub-committee’s Bike/Ped Plan into the City’s 2009 Long Range Land Use and Transportation Plan and inclusion of the Complete Streets Policy.
·         Award of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant for construction of our second greenway route in 2012.
·         Award of a Safe Routes to School Grant in 2012  
·         Road safety improvements requested by the sub-committee
·         Explosion of bicycling in Hendersonville.
·         Leadership to form Bike Walk Tennessee, the state’s first bike and pedestrian advocacy 501c3 non-profit corporation.
·         Representation on the Nashville Region’s Metro Planning Office’s Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

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