Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Another Salemtowner Tries to Enlist the Help of the Mayor's Office in Stopping Metro Action Roadblocks to the Streetscape

One of my more engaged neighbors, Jenni Leeds, forwarded me the following e-mail she wrote to Mayor Karl Dean in the wake of the costly delay to the federally-funded Salemtown streetscape project:

Dear Mayor Dean:


I enjoyed meeting you last year on your visit to ________________ for an informal meet and greet with office tenants. I am a Dean supporter, voted for you, and I work for __________, who participated in your campaign.


As a former resident of the 12South neighborhood (as a renter), I experienced first-hand the benefits of your sidewalk improvement project. The roots of a large tree in front of the house I rented had severely damaged the sidewalk and made it impassable in an area where many children played and mothers passed by with baby strollers. Within a few months of your taking office, our sidewalk was repoured and is now safe and enjoyed by many on Cedar Lane.


Last month, ______and I took a leap of faith and decided to become homeowners in Salemtown. Due to low interest rates, the tax incentive, and our great luck in finding a new-construction foreclosure, we were able to purchase our dream house. As new homeowners in an up-and-coming area of town, we have made it a priority to do our part helping Salemtown grow into a safer, established neighborhood. 


At our first Salemtown Neighbors Neighborhood Association (SNNA) meeting, we learned about:


·         Ongoing problems with the Metro Action Commission facility - visitors parking in privately owned lots without permission, refusal to take responsibility for trash generated by their visitors, etc.


·         Delays and lost funding of the Streetscape Project due to the misplacement of our application by Public Works and subsequent mismanagement of our federal block grant by MDHA.


Although it is an understatement to say that many SNNA members are frustrated by the loss of funding and missing design elements of the original plan, we were happy to see construction beginning on new traffic-calming bulbs a few weeks ago.


Today, I learned of two issues that I hope you will address:


  1. MDHA has halted construction on the traffic bulbs approved for 5th Ave. N. between Garfield and Hume upon request of the Metro Action Commission. This request was made after no representative of MAC voiced concern(or participated in any way) during the three-year Streetscape Project planning process or the Metro Council meeting at which funding for the plan was authorized. In effect, the MAC is holding up our project in the hopes of making changes to the approved plan to retain the use of three street parking spaces. I find it strange that it is permissible for MDHA to stop work on a federally funded, approved project in deference to the wishes of the MAC staff.

    Metro Council Member Erica
     Gilmore has scheduled a conflict resolution meeting for Salemtown leaders and MAC staffers at East Nashville's MDHA on June 3 at 3:00 p.m. [changed to June 3 at 5:30 at Metro Action in Salemtown]. I know that Ms. Gilmore was encouraged to invite a representative of your office to attend this meeting. If an invitation is extended, I hope you will accept.



  1. I read with great concern, a post from The Enclave, in which MAC’s Cynthia Groom is quoted. She asserts that your office made the decision not to move the MAC office to a less residential area with more available parking, and that their promised new facilities were provided to another Metro department. If this is true, are there plans for the relocation of the MAC facilities to a location that fits their needs?


Although I am concerned about this situation in my neighborhood, I do appreciate the good work you have done and continue to do every day for the citizens of Nashville. I hope you will take the time to consider these issues and determine if your office can assist in resolving them.


I look forward to receiving your reply.


Best regards,


Jennifer L. Leeds

UPDATE: Letter edited for content on request.

No comments:

Post a Comment