If Only There Were a Way to Avoid Paying for Parking Downtown

Evidently, one of the owners of Riverfront Tavern has amassed over 400 parking tickets since 2011, to the tune of $4500. He claims it’s easier to keep getting tickets rather than purchasing a parking space.

So you want to go to one of the downtown events in Nashville. But you dread circling to find a spot, wondering what the cost would be that night ($10? $20? $50 for the whole night?), walking blocks and blocks to the venue, and then waiting in line to get out of the gridlock and back to the interstate or the arterial road to get home.

Fellow Nashvillians, I have a proposal.

See those cars on the left? There's 2. See those bike riders on the right? There are 11. 11 bikes can fit in 1 car space. Business owners, do the math!
See those cars on the left? There’s 2. See those bike riders on the right? There are 11. 11 bikes can fit in 1 car space. Business owners, do the math!

I know not everyone is going to be able to ride their bike from their home base into downtown. But what about bringing your bike near downtown and then using that mode exclusively to get around?

Nissan Stadium is right off of the Music City Bikeway. Bridgestone Arena is located off Demonbreun, which has a bike lane running up it and is easily accessible from the Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge (presuming the bridge isn’t closed for a special event… more on that some other time). Riverfront Park and Public Square Park are located on thoroughfares that are easy to get to either on foot or on a bike. So – why even bring a car into the urban core?

Let’s use the example of Live on the Green. LOTG has exploded in popularity since its inception in 2009 – so much so that traffic lanes coming across the Woodland Street Bridge are often closed to vehicle traffic. You live in Smyrna but want to come in to downtown for the concert.

  • Drive with your bike(s) and park in the free lot at the base of the pedestrian bridge at Nissan Stadium
  • Ride up the pedestrian bridge and turn right on 3rd
  • Turn right on Broadway, then left on 2nd
  • Public Square Park is just at the top of the hill. Use the Walk Bike Nashville bike valet service to park your bike and keep it safe. (Don’t forget to tip!)

Or, alternatively, you could

  • Drive without a bike and park in the free lot at the base of the pedestrian bridge at Nissan Stadium
  • Rent a BCycle from the station at the base of the pedestrian bridge
  • Ride up the pedestrian bridge and turn right on 3rd
  • Turn right on Broadway, then left on 2nd
  • Public Square Park is just at the top of the hill, and you can check your BCycle into the station to the left of the park. Check out the BCycle again before you leave (note: I am trying to confirm how late a BCycle can be checked out; if I recall correctly there’s a curfew for the bikes, but not certain how late). Update: You can only check out a BCycle until 10p during “regular” times, but for some special events they permit check-outs through 11p.

Renting a BCycle isn’t free, but it’s only $5 for a 24 hour pass – and if you check your bike in within an hour of checking it out, the first hour is free.

“But KJ,” you might say, “I don’t want to get all sweaty and hot!”

My answer: You create your own breeze on a bicycle. Your muscles are warmed up for dancing and hugging your friends. It’s been miserably hot in Nashville this summer already; why not embrace it and celebrate your freedom to move at the same time?

 

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