News & Notes

May, 2018

May 17, 2018

Middle Tennessee's farmland is vanishing, and so are billions in economic benefits 

A 2016 report tallied the progress: 120,000 acres of open land had been developed in Middle Tennessee since 1999. Of that, 55,000 acres — a swath about twice the size of Murfreesboro — were formerly farm and forest land.

Now, a local group has estimated the financial value of the elusive benefits of the region's 3 million acres of verdant space – forests, wetlands, agricultural fields, urban parks, golf courses and more – for the first time.

Open spaces annually contribute tens of billions of dollars in benefits to the region but are routinely undervalued, according to the 75-page report sponsored by the Cumberland Region Tomorrow and prepared by researchers at the University of Tennessee. 


May 8, 2018

NOTICE: Transportation Policy Board Meeting Location Change pdf
Due to renovations at the Music City Central the MPO's Transportation Policy Board (TPB) has moved its meeting to the Bradley L Barrett Training Center at the Tennessee Banking Association office located at 211 Athens Way, Nashville TN 37228. To view the location in Google Map click here. For more information on the TPB meeting schedule click here

May 7, 2018

A look for lesson's learned:  Nashville's Next Transit Referendum Must Focus on Mobility, Not Development 

One of the most important lessons from successful transit referendums is that many were not successful on their first try. Key to the success of referendums is persistence. Measures that failed before can pass given different circumstances and adapting the plan based on voter preferences. 

The next plan should be focused on mobility, not on development. While the rejected plan included a massive investment in bus frequency and routing, this policy should be at the heart of the next proposal. Indianapolis, which recently held a successful referendum to increase transportation, asked for only a fraction of the money that Nashville did in a proposal that emphasized the increased connectivity for residents in ballot language, and messaging to voters in the lead up to the election.

April, 2018

April 27, 2018

Opinion | Debate on transit plan is healthy, but let's stick to the facts  

Extensive public debate over the merits of the Let’s Move Nashville Transit Plan is healthy – particularly when the stakes for our community are so high.

But facts still matter, and some claims made by groups opposed to the plan are flat out wrong or misleading which does everyone living in, working in, and visiting Nashville a great disservice.

Everyone wants what is best for our great city. But facts still matter, as do the people of Davidson County who will only continue to be disserved by the perpetuation of spun-up rhetoric in this debate.

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.

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