Creating Places: A Citizen Observer's Look at Nashville's Built Environment

Writer's Note: William Williams' interest in the manmade environment dates to 1970, at which point the then-young Williams started a collection of postcards of city skylines. The collection now numbers 1,000-plus cards. Among the writer's specific interests are exterior building design, city district planning, demographics, signage, mixed-use development, mass transit and green/sustainable construction and living. Williams began his Creating Places column with The City Paper in February 2005. The column in its original form was discontinued in September 2008 and reinvented via this blog in November 2008. Creating Places can be found on the home page of the website of The City Paper, at which Williams has worked in various capacities since October 2000.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Creating Places: 28th Avenue Connector

Mayor Karl Dean and various civic movers and shakers held a formal groundbreaking today for the much-anticipated 28th Avenue Connector (aka the 28th/31st Avenue Connector) and I do trust the festivities were quite exciting. All sarcasm aside, the project is a big deal on various levels, including price tag ($18 million), connectivity (always good for place-making) and the potential for spurring development. With the latter, however, I don't anticipate "pedestrian-oriented" development such as boutique shops and speciality eateries. In the end, the connector likely will be used by motorists and eyed by those who develop office buildings for medical entities. That's not a bad thing – but for community leaders to predict expansive and varied infill, as they have the past two years, seems a bit overly optimistic.


  1. I like Karl Dean. I think he has done great things for our city and specifically within the built environment. However, I believe this project (along with wanting to place the Sounds stadium in Sulpher Dell) is just Dean pleasing his voters on that side of town. I honestly do not see the major implications of the connector. It's not like those north of Charlotte are on an island. Is it really a big deal to drive just another 1/4 mile past HCA and use 25th? I understand it may allow some conveniences for traffic flow by adding to the grid but, its not like a major cultural event that i believe some are making it out to be.

  2. This is just Karl Dean pandering to a segment of the voting public. Turning 31st into a superhighway adding to the gridlock that exists currently at the intersection with West End, makes no sense. Try navigating through this area from 3 - 6 pm. Some one did not do their due diligence when researching this one.

  3. What no one is saying is that 31st is the same stretch of road as Blakemore, which is connected to Wedgewood. This is creating a continuos belt from the Fairgrounds to TSU, Fisk and beyond. This is gonna up up new possibilities for bus lines and mass transit. It's really will connect parts of town. I for one think it's long over due.