Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Strand of Micro-Parks: One Idea For Making Salemtown A Little Greener and A Lot More Civic

Salemtown has great recreational and green space centralized at Morgan Park, but a Civic Design Center (CDC) report's recommendations would transform seeming dead ends around the neighborhood into a string of micro-parks that would connect with Nashville's established greenway system.

The northern boundary of Salemtown looking east along Coffee St. from the 7th Ave., North terminus toward 6th, 5th, and 4th Avenues. Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello
The CDC's report maintains that Salemtown, bounded as it is by the interstate, could benefit as a whole neighborhood from creative thinking about its northern boundary. I discussed the features of the northern boundary previously. 4th Ave., North, 5th Ave., North, 6th Ave., North and 7th Ave., North all terminate at the I-65 loop. The CDC's creative option proposes "small neighborhood parks and gardens" be placed where each of these avenues terminate. In their report they say that the Salemtown residents whom they consulted suggested that these micro-parks could be points along a neighborhood greenway.

Looking north at the street truncation from the intersection of 4th Ave., North and Coffee Street. Will it be transformed from a "dead end" to a living end? Photograph by S-townMike. Posted by Hello
Current challenges to putting a system of peripheral micro-parks in Salemtown include funding and garnering support from Salemtown residents. I also was not sure how parks would fit at the 4th and 5th Ave. truncations, where houses currently stand on either side of the streets. However, the report shows a sketch of the 4th Ave. park fitting in the small space between the guard rail on the street and the highway wall.

This sounds like a positive solution to develop space that is currently not very functional given the awkward truncation of north-south arteries. Micro-parks would beautify Salemtown and they would give it more public space for families. It would also seem to clarify the northern boundary of our enclave. However it excludes any plans for the fractured sliver of Salemtown that sits north of the highway and south of MetroCenter. How does that part of Salemtown get integrated into the CDC's vision?

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