Mayors and county executives from across Middle Tennessee demonstrated their commitment to a new way of thinking about transportation policy and programs with the adoption of Middle Tennessee Connected. This regional transportation plan rests on the view that transportation infrastructure is more than just a tool to improve mobility - it is a significant contributor to the overall health, sustainability, prosperity, and character of a place - be that a small community or a large metropolitan region.



Elements of a Regional Transportation Plan

The Regional Transportation Plan is a comprehensive set of strategies aimed at improving the livability, sustainability, prosperity, and diversity of Middle Tennessee through investments in all modes of transportation and in close coordination with land use planning. Read below about the planning efforts of the Nashville Area MPO and its partners.

photo: Interstate

Roadway Planning

Roadways are the most visible and productive component of our national, state, and regional transportation infrastructure. The greater Nashville region benefits from easy access to three major U.S. Interstates. However, those facilities demand constant monitoring, maintenance, and management to ensure an acceptable level of service for a growing region.

photo: LRT

Transit Planning

Public transportation in the United States is a crucial part of the solution to the nation's economic, energy, and environmental challenges – helping to bring a better quality of life. In increasing numbers, people are using public transportation and local communities are expanding public transit services. Every segment of American society – individuals, families, communities, and businesses – benefits from public transportation. Major initiatives are underway in Middle Tennessee to take advantage of those benefits.

photo: Pedestrians

Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning

Walking and bicycling are important modes of travel in our region. Everyone is a pedestrian, and people make pedestrian trips on a daily basis, whether that means walking from the transit stop to work, walking from the parking lot to the store, or walking with children to school. Walking and Bicycling provide great forms of exercise. Bicycling, once seen primarily as a form of recreation, is now viewed as an inexpensive, quick and eco-friendly form of travel. Our region is supporting the growth of walking and bicycling and the Nashville Area MPO is working with local, state, and Federal government to ensure that walking and bicycling are viable transportation options in the greater Nashville Region.

photo: Freight Movement

Freight Movement Planning

The Nashville region occupies a strategic location within North America. It is within 650 miles of half the U.S. population and sits at the nexus of major highways and rail routes. This location has made the region a transportation hub for many industries, which have produced enormous benefits to the many communities throughout the area. However, this position as a crossroads also brings the region a set of challenges associated with various aspects of transportation, particularly highway congestion and air quality, as the major sources of those problems originate outside the area. The need to influence the overhead flow of through traffic becomes a clear priority for a metropolitan area wishing to control its own development destiny.

Image: Land Use

Land Use & Urban Design

The Nashville Area MPO realizes its works should consider the varying scale and diversity of communities across the region. The MPO is increasing its efforts to knit transportation improvements and public/private investments so that they merge as seamlessly as possible into the community; and supporting the provision of mixed-use development so that transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, are viable options to the single occupancy vehicle.

Photo: Natural Landscape


More and more transportation, and polices that guide the expansion of transportation infrastructure, are increasingly linked to a variety of environmental issues. By federal law, the Nashville Area MPO is responsible for ensuring that the region's plans for transportation infrastructure conform to National Ambient Air Quality standards, but more than that, regional decision makers need to be aware of the affect that transportation has on water quality, wildlife habitat, natural and socio-cultural resources, and climate change.

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