News & Notes

April, 2018

April 20, 2018

Editorial | Nashville transit plan a bold step forward  

Nashville will be fundamentally transformed after May 1.

And, in the end, it is about the future of this city: How it looks and whom it serves moving into the future.

After weighing multiple arguments, sponsoring a debate, reading the 55-page plan, holding eight meetings with diverse stakeholders and attending multiple forums, The Tennessean Editorial Board recommends that Metro Nashville voters approve the plan.

This presents a bold vision that looks generations ahead and will solidify Nashville’s place as a leader, trend-setter and destination.


April 18, 2018

Nashville Business Journal: Nashville must pass transit plan 

Nashville didn't crawl out of the Great Recession. It shot out like a cannonball into rarefied air.

The city’s transformation over the past 10 years has been so mind-boggling that it’s hard to imagine where we’ll be 10 years from now.

Nashville has worked hard to foster the growth that makes us the envy of our peers. We are progressive and strategic. We’ve purposefully promoted our brand. We’ve intentionally courted high-caliber jobs and companies.

The resulting boom has brought new jobs, new money and new investment to our city. It has also created significant challenges to absorbing so much growth. At the top of the list: traffic. If we don’t get a handle on traffic soon, it will choke off Nashville’s success.

On May 1, Nashville voters will decide whether we’re willing to protect the growth we’ve built. We need a sweeping regional transit system, and Nashville’s plan before voters is the first step forward.


April 16, 2018

Bill to end emissions testing in six Tennessee counties up for debate 

Drivers in six Tennessee counties could potentially keep more money in their wallets thanks to a bill to end emissions testing.  SB2656/HB1782 seeks to authorize counties that have met the Environmental Protection Agency's standards on air pollution to do away with emissions testing as long as they are "in attainment."  The bill goes before the House on Monday (4/16) then the Senate Finance Ways & Means Committee on Tuesday.


April 12, 2018

Outlook Williamson dives into labor, transportation, real estate  

The jobs are here - but you need enough qualified people to fill them.

That was the overarching message at the 5th annual Outlook Williamson event Wednesday, the county's annual summit that provides a big-picture perspective on Williamson County's economic health and forecasting future trends. 

Speakers and business leaders spoke during the event about not only how the county's economic has grown in recent years, but also on the strides taken to ensure that growth is sustainable. 


April 12, 2018

Contracting Opportunity with the Nashville Area MPO
The Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) has re-issued RFP 2018-01 requesting proposals from firms and/or individuals capable of providing transportation planning services to conduct the Regional Smart Mobility Assessment on behalf of the Nashville Area MPO. RFP and schedule can be found through the title link. 

April 11, 2018

Seattle Transit Officials Applaud Nashville Plan  

"The cost of doing nothing is so much extraordinarily higher (than the tax increases)," said Commute Seattle Executive Director Jonathan Hopkins, who estimates the cost of congestion is $3 billion in Seattle.

Hopkins is closely following Nashville's plan. And he says he's a big fan.

"Putting trains where you haul lots of people, putting buses where you haul a little bit less of lots of people, and connecting them all in a really thoughtful way," he said, listing, "the neighborhood centers and the tunnel to get them out of traffic. To me it just sounds like best practices."

Critics argue the 5 light rail lines cost too much and the massive bus expansion won't do enough to help congestion. Plus it will take up to 15 years to complete.

Hopkins says Seattle fought the same battles over its light rail, street car and commuter line.

"This is pretty typical of opposition. They'll say it does too much, it doesn't do enough, it's too late so let's do nothing," he said.

April 11, 2018

Governor Haslam and TDOT release 3-year transportation plan  

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer released TDOT’s annual three-year transportation program, which includes funding for nearly 200 road projects statewide. 

The program features approximately $2.6 billion in infrastructure investments for 143 individual project phases on 116 projects, including highways, bridges, transit, railways, waterways and aviation projects.

April 10, 2018

Nashville transit vote:  In Seattle, officials say transit success leads to more demand 

After three ballot initiatives concerning transit investments, Seattle transportation officials say the city faces a new challenge: excessive demand for bus service and light rail.

"As we built more transit, the demand has increased for us," said Mike Harbour, deputy chief executive officer at Sound Transit in Seattle. "Our biggest challenge over the next 20 years is beating that demand and having adequate capacity."

Harbour was among three Seattle officials visiting Nashville this week, invited by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce to share their city's transit experiences as Davidson County voters consider the $5.4 billion "Let's Move Nashville" transit plan. 

April 10, 2018

Still not sure how you'll vote in Nashville's transit referendum? Catch the debate.  

On Tuesday — the day before early voting begins for the referendum — representatives from the two groups leading the charge for and against the plan, Transit for Nashville and No Tax 4 Tracks, respectively, will debate their positions.

The 6 p.m. debate will take place in front of a live audience at the Nashville Public Library and for viewers watching online, though all tickets to attend the event have already been claimed.

The debate will be streamed live on and on


April 3, 2018

Nashville Mayor David Briley signs 'Declaration of Transportation Independence' for Nashville

With one month until Nashville's contentious vote on a $5.4 billion transit plan, Mayor David Briley on Monday signed what he called a "Declaration of Transportation Independence."

Think of it as a non-binding Bill of Rights when it comes to commuting in Nashville. 

Briley signed an oversized version of the document Monday night, capping a half-hour conversation with Janette Sadik-Khan, a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation who advises on transportation issues professionally. 

"What I think independence truly means for Nashville, for our city, is to find a way to untether ourselves from this mythology that freedom means being in a car," Briley said. 

"It means everyone having all of the options on the table so they can move around safe and independently." 


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