Last February, council member Erica Gilmore brought a bill for Mayor Karl Dean that would have authorized $16 million from a $20 million "designation for the maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of bridges" to build a sidewalk with terraced seating for 2,000 Gulch residents. Well, maybe not just residents, since several months later word came out that the sidewalk would be an excellent service to a few niche luxury tourists.
Guess what? Findings from a study just announced conclude that right now "there are 80 bridges in Nashville in need of structural repairs." Yet, the Mayor and my council member were willing to drop most of 2014's bridge maintenance funds on a sidewalk to serve the hotel industry. We have dozens of existing bridges that can use those funds, but they attempted to burn most of the money to build a new luxury promenade full of ambiance and attractive planters when the Gulch already has several bridges that pedestrians can use to connect to downtown.
CM Gilmore's bill is indefinitely deferred, but I assume it can be brought up any time she desires to embrace the folly of taking money away from general repair and wasting it on a very special interest. I suspect we will see future attempts to sap unsexy repair funds for sexed up infrastructure.