The sidewalks in the major tourist areas of Nashville are generally wheelchair accessible. I rolled around the city in my wheelchair, seeing many different sidewalks. While the typical features, such as curb cuts and crosswalks were generally accessible, the city’s geography was difficult to contend with. Significant elevation changes in the downtown area are sure to making getting around difficult in a manual wheelchair.
What does sidewalk accessibility in Nashville look like? Let’s take a look!
Most curb ramps in Downtown Nashville are similar in design, being level with the street and featuring a yellow strip of tactile paving. The sidewalks, however, are often steep due to the surrounding geographic environment.
Most street crossings are well defined, with the typical white markings across the street. Intersections served by a stoplight also have signals for pedestrians.
Sidewalks in the city center and in most tourist areas are in a solid state of repair — I encountered few potholes and cracked pavements did not cause too much difficulty.
One issue to consider are the crowds — some streets, such as Broadway, have very high pedestrian traffic. Sidewalks packed with people are notoriously difficult for wheelchair users to navigate. If you have a power wheelchair with seat elevation, use that to increase your visibility. If not, walk with a group of friends who can keep other tourists out of your way, particularly those who may be inebriated.
In summary, power wheelchair users should have little difficulty navigating the streets and sidewalks of Nashville. Manual wheelchair users, on the other hand, will find it difficult to overcome the challenging terrain of hills and slopes that exists North of Broadway.