News & Notes

March, 2018

March 16, 2018

Opinion: Could you imagine 'No Tax For Interstates'?   

The year is 1956. Congress has just passed legislation to create the visionary Interstate Highway System.

This new, stop-free mode of travel promised to revolutionize transit. However, what the engineers could not foresee was the degree to which America’s interstates would also shape the culture and economy of the country in the second half of the 20th century.

In Nashville on May 1, we face a decision to approve another revolutionary plan for transit. This decision will almost certainly have the same radical and far-reaching significance on our Nashville culture in the 21st century as interstate highways had in the 20th.

March 14, 2018

Nashville MTA launches pilot program for new door-to-door service 

Nashville MTA has launched pilot program “Access on Demand” that aims to give those with mobility constraints more options for their transportation.

“Access on Demand” is similar to paratransit service “Access Ride,” but takes it one step further.

It’s a door-to-door taxi service, with no additional pick-ups or stops.

It also cuts down the reservation time from 24 to two hours prior to the desired pick-up time.

Amanda Clelland, Public Information Officer for Nashville MTA, said the pilot helps close the gap for those who can’t drive and gives them more independence.


March 13, 2018

Smart Growth America presents , Intersections: Creating Culturally Complete Streets in Nashville April 3-4 featuring Janette Sadik-Khan 

With decades of experience in transportation issues within the private and public sectors, Janette Sadik-Khan is undoubtedly an expert. But after six years spearheading some of the most pioneering approaches to people-first street design while leading the transportation department in America’s most populous city, today she’s also a bit of a legend. She’ll be sharing her insights with participants at our conference  

March 13, 2018

Frist donation to expand Nashville's greenways system  

More than 50 acres of land along the Harpeth River in Bellevue has been donated to Metro Parks.

According to WPLN Nashville Public Radio, the 51-acre donation from The Dorothy Cate and Thomas F. Frist Foundation will allow for a 2-mile extension of the existing Harpeth River Greenway. The donated land is located in a river bend near Morton Mill Road.

Metro had eyed the property for nearly a decade.



March 8, 2018

La Vergne population nearing 35,000, special census shows  

Results from a recent special census should net the city of La Vergne more than $230,000 in additional federal funding, according to a news release.

Final results recorded the total number of residents is 34,423, a 6 percent increase over the last federal census in 2010.

The new total resident count should bring in approximately $233,045 more in annual state shared revenue.


March 1, 2018

Why Nashville's airport CEO is committed to mass transit – no matter what voters decide in May  

Nashville International Airport is going to be ready for transit, whether or not the city's residents decide to build it.

As part of the airport's ongoing $1.2 billion expansion plan, the airport plans to use its own funds to build a connection to a proposed light-rail line along Murfreesboro Pike, part of Mayor Megan Barry's $5.4 billion transit proposal. Voters will decide whether to approve the mayor's funding plan, which includes a slate of four tax increases, in a May 1 referendum.

Speaking at the Nashville Business Breakfast Tuesday, Metro Nashville Airport Authority CEO Doug Kreulen urged attendees to vote "yes" for the plan. But should the results go the other way, Kreulen said the airport still intends to use its ongoing expansion to increase the airport's accessibility by multi-modal mass transit — even if it's an airport CEO years from now who ultimately makes the connection.


February, 2018

February 28, 2018

As "affordable" housing moves out, transportation erodes affordability  

More than half of the Tennessee communities where housing is currently considered affordable are actually unaffordable when transportation costs are factored in, according to new research from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA). “Seven out of every 10 census tracts are considered affordable when you look at housing costs alone, but only about two out of every 10 census tracts would be considered affordable when transportation cost are included as well,” said Muhammad Yadudu, research advisor and author of THDA’s Transportation as a Key to Housing Affordability Issue Brief. The effect is especially pronounced in rural areas of Tennessee and among low- to moderate-income households, according to the report.

February 22, 2018

City leaders working to devise regional transit that works for commuters  

The wheels are turning on transit plans across Middle Tennessee. Now that Nashville’s "Let's Move" transit plan is on the ballot in May, leaders from Metro's surrounding counties are wondering how their residents fit into the proposal.  A study by the Regional Transit Authority is currently underway looking at how Montgomery County and other counties can hook into the proposed transit plan in Nashville. It considers options like a dedicated bus lane on I-24 and using existing railroad tracks for a commuter train from Clarksville to Nashville. 

February 15, 2018

City of Spring Hill Approved for I-65 Interchange at Buckner Road Extension

Spring Hill is now on track to eventually see a new Interstate 65 interchange constructed at a proposed extension of Buckner Road to provide much needed access on the Williamson County end of town. In a letter to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has given conceptual approval to TDOT’s request for I-65 interchange access at the proposed Buckner Road Extension on behalf of the City of Spring Hill. To create this important gateway, the City plans to extend Buckner Road nearly a mile east to I-65. Currently, Saturn Parkway (S.R. 396) is the only I-65 interchange leading into Spring Hill.

This significant approval means the City has eight years to begin construction on the interchange, and allows the project to proceed to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) phase, an environmental analysis of the project; subsequently, the project also will move into the design phase. The initial estimated cost for the overall project is roughly $28 million.


February 1, 2018

Nissan launches partnership with local carpooling startup  

Franklin-based Nissan North America Inc. and Hytch — a carpooling startup founded by local entrepreneur Mark Cleveland — want to pay you to share a ride.

The automotive giant will now pay Hytch users 5 cents for each mile they share a ride with another person within Middle Tennessee, including if they're taking mass transit, the companies announced Tuesday. Nissan will also pay 1 cent per each mile Hytch users share within the state of Tennessee. Payments will be made to all Hytch users, not just Nissan employees.

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