Nashville to reconfigure sewer grates for better bicycle safety - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Nashville to reconfigure sewer grates for better bicycle safety

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

There's a push to fix something dangerous bordering Nashville's streets. While it could cost taxpayers nearly $2 million, that could actually be cheaper than the alternative: a big lawsuit.

Nashville is determined to become a bicycle-friendly city, and while those cyclists are busy looking out for cars and pedestrians, it could be easy for them to miss what is approaching their tires.

For decades, sewer grates in Nashville we placed so that the open slits ran parallel to the direction of the road. It's a great way to keep water from collecting on the roads, but it spells trouble for bicycles.

"The front tire could actually fall in, and that sudden stop - especially with the front end of the bike being down - could cause them to go over the handlebars," said John Kennedy, deputy director of Metro Water.

As a solution, the Metro Water Department has begun replacing about 33,000 sewer grates, making the openings perpendicular to the road, and bike-friendly, at a cost of $1.7 million.

"The metal top with the slats is about $144, then you've got the expense of installing it," Kennedy said.

The city is working diligently to replace those grates one-by-one, but is doing so without a map that shows which ones are positioned which way. It's a tedious process but an important one, especially after two serious accidents.

In 2006, a cyclist fell over the handlebars when his bike's front tire fell into a sewer grate, requiring hours of facial reconstruction surgery and sparking a $130,000 lawsuit against the city.

The same month the city was paying for that lawsuit, another cyclist had a similar accident, later filing a $200,000 lawsuit the Metro Council is set to pay Tuesday.

"We'd rather buy grates than replace people's teeth," Kennedy said.

And that's the real reason behind these changes. It's not about lawsuits. Rather, it's about bicycle safety and changing the roads.

"It's a major deal. It provides greater safety and security for cyclists in Nashville," said Keith Rawls, with Nashville B-cycle.

The new sewer grates are not as efficient at draining water from the roads, but they are much safer for bicycles.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Nashville to reconfigure sewer grates for better bicycle safetyMore>>

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Beyond Skin Deep: What our DNA tells us

    Beyond Skin Deep: What our DNA tells us

    Monday, November 20 2017 11:11 PM EST2017-11-21 04:11:50 GMT

    Have you ever thought about who you are? Not your name, or where you were born, but beyond that. Our DNA can tell us so much about ourselves and now it is easy to find out where our ancestors my have come from. Over the last month, a few of our 7News reporters and anchors have put their own DNA to the test. Not only did they each want to learn more about their family histories, but something deeper was at play. In the news industry, we see the division in the world in our stories, th...

    More >>

    Have you ever thought about who you are? Not your name, or where you were born, but beyond that. Our DNA can tell us so much about ourselves and now it is easy to find out where our ancestors my have come from. Over the last month, a few of our 7News reporters and anchors have put their own DNA to the test. Not only did they each want to learn more about their family histories, but something deeper was at play. In the news industry, we see the division in the world in our stories, th...

    More >>
  • Checking your property tax bill for accuracy

    Checking your property tax bill for accuracy

    Monday, November 20 2017 10:20 PM EST2017-11-21 03:20:28 GMT

    The homestead exemption means homeowners don't pay parish property taxes on the first $75,000 of the value of their residence. A local man complains only half the exemption was applied to his bill. But Calcasieu Assessor Wendy Aguillard says it was a clerical error that happened when he added his wife as an owner of his  home. "We've already corrected that office mistake and she and he will now have full homestead for $7500 together." To tell if you're gett...

    More >>

    The homestead exemption means homeowners don't pay parish property taxes on the first $75,000 of the value of their residence. A local man complains only half the exemption was applied to his bill. But Calcasieu Assessor Wendy Aguillard says it was a clerical error that happened when he added his wife as an owner of his  home. "We've already corrected that office mistake and she and he will now have full homestead for $7500 together." To tell if you're gett...

    More >>
  • Senator John Kennedy talks tax reform

    Senator John Kennedy talks tax reform

    Monday, November 20 2017 10:10 PM EST2017-11-21 03:10:08 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    Tax cuts that could affect you, and your businesses may finally happen soon.  The House of Representatives recently approved its tax reform bill the same day the Senate finally advanced its plan.  Senator John Kennedy says a vote can be expected by Monday which could ultimately provide $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.   "This is what the tax bill is about...more money in your wallet," said Louisiana Senator John Kennedy.  And that's what Kennedy says h...More >>
    Tax cuts that could affect you, and your businesses may finally happen soon.  The House of Representatives recently approved its tax reform bill the same day the Senate finally advanced its plan.  Senator John Kennedy says a vote can be expected by Monday which could ultimately provide $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.   "This is what the tax bill is about...more money in your wallet," said Louisiana Senator John Kennedy.  And that's what Kennedy says h...More >>
Powered by Frankly