Wedgewood-Houston Placemaking

September - October 2019

The map above shows where potential TURBO Placemaking installations could go. The areas highlight are base on locations selected through multiple neighborhood engagement sessions and local stakeholder meetings.

Three top priority locations were selected at the Wedgewood-Houston Neighborhood Design Workshop in May of 2019.

SNAP Intersection: The intersection of Humphreys and Martin was selected as the top priority for the neighborhood because of its proximity to SNAP (one of the oldest neighborhood organizations in Nashville). Highlighting this as an important place using art and traffic calming bulb-outs could signify to passerby that they are in a celebrated part of the neighborhood.

Some discussions at the Design Workshop centered around the potential of a neighborway on Martin St. Neighborways are a type of bikeway that creates a safe biking route by slowing down traffic on the street instead of installing separated bike lanes. These projects can be accomplished without removing any driving lanes or many parking spots—rather, through calming traffic on neighborhood streets. A Martin Street Neighborway could be a great tool to implement placemaking along this part of Wedgewood-Houston. Designing tactical urbanism installations at critical intersections can make people feel safer when walking and biking on Martin. As art is an important piece of this community, ground murals could be included into the designs of these traffic calming methods. The Martin Street Neighborway could be an indicator to people that they are in Wedgewood-Houston.

Chestnut Train Bridge Intersection: During the workshop the neighborhood identified the Chestnut St and Hagan St intersection as a dangerous crossing and an important connectivity piece of the neighborhood. Leaving the Wedgewood-Houston, the bridge is one of the few crossings over the rail road tracks. This presents an opportunity for an artistic “gateway treatment” of some kind. Another challenge at this intersection is the amount of automobiles that roll the stop signs at this intersection. This creates a challenge for some people crossing here, even when they are in marked crosswalks. Because this intersection is so wide it may be able to accommodate a traffic circle.

Alley Activation: At the Neighborhood Workshop, activation of a connected alley network throughout Wedgewood-Houston was important to the people in attendance. The opportunity to create a fun active art alley was very exciting to the group. The SNAP and Train Bridge Intersections are almost directly connected by an alley where a display of public art and interactivity could showcase the creativity of the neighborhood.

Wedgewood-Houston Base Line Public Life Study

August 2019


This study examines how pedestrians, cyclists, and other active street users interact with public space in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. Many citizens have submitted TURBO Work Orders identifying the need for better pedestrian and cyclist upgrades in this area, as new businesses take root. 

This study seeks to identify the most strategic locations for future TURBO interventions, as well as set a data baseline to measure future improvements. 

Using pens and clipboards, volunteers recorded pedestrian traffic at each corner for one 10-minute period each hour plus 2 additional counts, for a total of 6 samples per corner. Each time a pedestrian crossed a plane shown on the map, they were counted once. If they crossed both planes at a corner, the first plane they crossed was counted. Data was digitized using ArcGIS, with the thickness of each color band reflecting the number of travelers counted at that plane in a given hour. 



ARTS & MUSIC AT WEDGEWOOD-HOUSTON is South Nashville’s monthly art walk. Each first Saturday, beginning commercial art galleries, artist run collectives, open studios, maker spaces, and pop-ups open their doors to art lovers across Nashville. 

Intersections with a high density of art galleries and bars such as Gray & Hagan, as well as Houston Street, experienced the heaviest foot traffic. Pedestrians were evenly distributed across the four zones at the beginning of the night. After sunset (around 8:00 pm), they shifted heavily towards Houston Street, where there was a live band and food trucks, as well as the intersection of Martin Street and Merrit Avenue, where Diskin Cidery is located. 

Intersections next to parking lots saw especially high traffic, suggesting that many art crawl attendees arrived there by car. Intersections facing the neighborhoods, such as Martin St. & Merrit Ave and Chestnut Street & Hagan recorded much less foot traffic. This hints that few people walked to the art crawl from nearby. The data show consistent North / South traffic along Martin Street, and East/West traffic along Houston Avenue. Very few cyclists were recorded: a total of just 5 over the study. Scattered thunderstorms occurred early in the evening which may have limited foot and bike traffic through about 8:00 pm. Rain is a normal part of the climate in this neighborhood, however, so this data still holds valuable insight. 

Observed pedestrians were 52% Women, 48% men. Across both genders, 56% were between 20-30 years old, 38% 31-64, with just a few teenagers and children. This suggests that this time of day and event is most popular with young adults, followed by older groups. However, few families and children use this space during this time of day. 

We Are Wedgewood-Houston: Neighborhood Design Workshop

May 2019

Converge partnered with TURBO to host a neighborhood design day to identify areas of concern in Wedgewood-Houston related to public space and traffic improvements. During the session, representatives from TURBO, part of the Nashville Civic Design Center, worked with attendees from the neighborhood to choose priority locations, and design possible interventions that improve neighborhood safety, mobility, and creativity. This input will inform a future installation with TURBO, Converge, SNAP, and interested neighbors to pilot solutions at the chosen locations in Wedgewood-Houston.

Community Feedback

December 2018

On November 7th 2018 NCDC/TURBO hosted a reception and community engagement session at Diskin Cidery with residents of Wedgewood-Houston, to solicit suggestions for public space improvement projects in the neighborhood. Residents talked with NCDC staff during an open-house style session, which included opportunities to record project ideas on a neighborhood map and category list.

Map of Wedgewood-Houston community feedback

Map of Wedgewood-Houston community feedback

Neighborhood feedback in project categories

Neighborhood feedback in project categories

Neighbors’ feedback generally centered around enhancing neighborhood accessibility and safety, while improving entrances into the neighborhood through placemaking projects. Other suggestions included more access to existing and future greenspace, installing B-Cycle stations and bike infrastructure, activating Wedgewood Houston’s numerous alleys, and creating parklets throughout the neighborhood.

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TURBO will continue working with neighborhood leaders and interested neighbors to prioritize the project list, and begin identify funding to support the installation of demonstration projects. Through this process, TURBO hopes to build momentum for larger and more permanent improvements to the neighborhood that enhance Wedgewood-Houston’s Safety and Mobility, while showcasing the neighborhood’s vibrant Creativity.


Martin St Demonstration

November 2018

Pop-up crosswalk to illustrate to Wedgewood-Houston Neighborhood what TURBO installations can look like

Pop-up crosswalk to illustrate to Wedgewood-Houston Neighborhood what TURBO installations can look like

TURBO Demonstration Planning

November 2018

TURBO is prepared for a demonstration pop-up crosswalk and mural at Diskin Cidery, in support of NCDC's 2018 Annual Luncheon Reception. The reception was centered around tactical urbanism and include a brief presentation from Luncheon keynote speaker Mike Lydon, an internationally recognized planner, writer, speaker, and advocate for livable cities.

NCDC installed the project prior to the start of the event with assistance from neighborhood volunteers as needed. The crosswalk included artistic components, including two large “ light bulbs” to illuminate the crosswalk, and draw attention from passing cars to promote safer speeds.

NCDC installed the project prior to the start of the event with assistance from neighborhood volunteers as needed. The crosswalk included artistic components, including two large “ light bulbs” to illuminate the crosswalk, and draw attention from passing cars to promote safer speeds.

The crosswalk will be constructed using materials shown below

The crosswalk will be constructed using materials shown below

Materials include:

Flexible Delineators

Guerilla Tape

Clear beach balls

Mobile stage lights

Cement tube

Modular bump-outs

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TURBO's crosswalk featured brand-new modular curb extensions, with large artistic "lightbulbs" and projected lights to enhance the safety and visibility of the crosswalk. Leading into the crosswalk will be an abstract mural on the plaza space next to Diskin. Using cornstarch, water, and food coloring, TURBO volunteers will be installing the mural to add an artistic flair to the reception guests' experience while showing the power that mural's can have towards creative placemaking.

Aerial view of a vision for Diskin Plaza that will be activated with temporary paint

Aerial view of a vision for Diskin Plaza that will be activated with temporary paint