Metro Nashville officials have released their preliminary Metro Nashville Transportation plan, and it proposes, among other things, upgrading the city’s bus system and creating a Nashville Department of Transportation.
The plan that Metro officials sent to The Tennessee Star Monday did not specify total expenses, but The Tennessean assesses it will cost more than $1.5 billion.
Mayor John Cooper’s Senior Advisor for Transportation and Infrastructure Faye Q. DiMassimo said Monday that the mayor also wants to modernize the city’s traffic management system and invest in more sidewalks, bikeways, and greenways.
“Prior to COVID limitations on in person meetings, we held Council Member conversations and 11 Community listening sessions along with numerous in-person and virtual stakeholder group meetings,” DiMassimo said in an email to The Star.
“The results from 2,608 participants are attached with the highest priorities being transit, sidewalks, state of good repair, and from a technical analysis perspective the traffic management modernization foundational to all.”
The plan also proposes transit centers in North Nashville and Green Hills.
As reported two years ago, Davidson County voters defeated a $9.2 billion transit plan by a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent. Former Mayor Megan Barry proposed that plan. Then-acting Mayor David Briley also supported it.
Also as reported in 2018, Ryman Hospitality Properties CEO Colin Reed said he was never on board for that plan.
“I had some of the same concerns that the ‘antis’ had,” the Nashville Business Journal quoted him as saying at the time.
“The notion of tearing up the middle of Broadway for an extended period of time, building a tunnel underneath and bringing it up somewhere on Broadway, concerned the living daylights out of me. Building rail lines in the middle of highways concerns the life out of me. This was a huge amount of money. What we have to fix is morning-time rush hour and evening-time rush hour. That’s where our problems reside here. I felt like this whole evolution we’re seeing with self-driving cars, self-driving busses, that sort of seemed to me to be silent in the plan.”
The transit system’s downtown tunnels would have run under Fifth Avenue North and partially under the historic Ryman Auditorium.
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