News & Notes
October 21, 2016
Say Hello To America's Longest 'Rails-with-Trails' Bridge
This coming weekend marks the official opening of Big River Crossing, a reworking of the Harahan Bridge, a Union Pacific railroad crossing over the Mississippi River. After almost six decades without being used, the old wagon ways on the bridge have been converted into pathways for bikes and pedestrians. Big River Crossing rolls out for almost a mile over the Mississippi, making it the longest rails-with-trails bridge in the country.
October 20, 2016
'Driving' solutions for Nashville’s aging adults
When its time to give up the keys, senior citizens need to keep moving. Senior Ride Nashville could be the solution.
October 19, 2016
Frequency, walkability keys to great Nashville transit
These principles are the cornerstones for translating nMotion’s multi-decade vision into an action plan. The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority’s nMotion proposal offers an inspiring vision of a city and region reconnected by public transportation. The $6 billion plan calls for high-capacity bus and rail lines within the city and connecting Nashville to Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Gallatin and more. But if the public debate focuses entirely on the giant price tag and impressive-looking lines on a map, it will be to the detriment of more subtle and important changes needed to make Nashville more transit oriented.
October 10, 2016
Music City Star solid at 10 years, but more impact wanted
The Music City Star celebrates its 10th anniversary Sunday prompting Regional Transportation Authority CEO Steve Bland to joke commuter rail needed the decade “to become an overnight success."
“I think truthfully commuter rail is probably what you might call a spoke in the wheel, if not the hub of the wheel,” Wilson County Mayor and RTA Board Vice Chair Randall Hutto said. “It sets the stage for how transit could look in the region.”
October 7, 2016
Nashville area’s success hides shaky vital signs
Confucius said, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” Transportation has been at the center of that success, beginning with the Cumberland River. Nashville became a railroad hub, and then one of the few Interstate highway system hubs. But location, location, location is just a part of what has made the region prosper. We don’t need a report to tell us that we have problems to address, or what those problems are, but the Vital Signs 2016 report gives perspective to those problems both in how big the problem is here and how it compares to other cities.
October 6, 2016
I-65 Corridor Study Public Meetings
Current issues on the I-65 corridor regarding safety, congestion, maintenance, freight, and transit availability will be discussed at important public meetings on October 18th at the Nashville Public Library from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., October 25th at Portland High School Auditorium from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m., and November 15th at the Williamson County Public Library from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
October 5, 2016
Mayors voice optimism, urgency on regional transportation
When asked what her top legislative priority was for the state of Tennessee this year, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry did not hesitate.
“Transportation,” she said. “It’s so critical to our economic vitality for the Nashville region. Mayors speaking with one voice is going to be incredibly important to move on the transportation funding.”
Other mayors from across Middle Tennessee, who gathered for a Mayors Caucus on Tuesday, are largely in agreement. While solving congestion issues has been a rallying cry for regional mayors for several years, local leaders say there is good reason to be optimistic that progress will be made on funding in the coming year as constituents’ frustration with traffic rises.
October 4, 2016
Health, education, traffic woes threaten progress in booming Nashville
In a city full of doctors, hospitals and health care businesses, residents face higher chronic disease rates than the national average. Meanwhile, the percentage of those with academic credentials beyond a high school degree is lower than Nashville’s peer metropolitan cities, and the region's traffic woes are expected to double by 2040.
These data points help illustrate Middle Tennessee’s most critical issues that the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce policy officials wants local leaders to focus on, according to its 2016 Vital Signs report. In addition to health and education needs, transportation remains a key priority for the region.
October 3, 2016
Musk Mars vision can inspire Nashville’s transit future
SpaceX CEO and Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to transport people from Earth to Mars in 10 years. So, if humans can get to the red planet in a decade, why can’t the Nashville area build a comprehensive mass transit system in less than 25 years?
September 29, 2016
Tennessee infrastructure gets 'C' on report card
Tennessee's public infrastructure is in mediocre condition and in need of heavy investment, according to an engineering report card released Tuesday. The state’s bridges, roads, dams and other critical facilities received an overall ‘C’ grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers.