Managed Lanes Preliminary Feasibility Assessment

Study Overview

The purpose of this assessment is to profile potential managed lanes concepts for the Nashville area, along with the unique mobility benefits that they can provide, and to determine which of those concepts might be viable in the Nashville region. Managed lanes currently exist on multiple roadways in the region.

The full report introduces the concept of managed lanes, discusses the various types of managed lanes and their operation, describes current managed lanes in the Nashville area, and identifies facilities that could provide a good opportunity for a pilot program showcasing the potential for added managed lanes in the Nashville area.

Major Findings

The lane management strategies that could be deployed in the Nashville region is broad, and ranges from relatively simple tools to more complex strategies, nearly all of which have been implemented successfully in other urban areas. Their applicability to Nashville depends on operational and geometric characteristics of the roadways, public acceptance, and the region's goals. 

The report explores the applicability and efficacy of the following types of managed lanes:

-High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes
-High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes
-Express lanes
-Truck Only Toll (TOT) lanes
-Truck Restricted lanes
-Bus Only lanes
-Reversible lanes
-Hard Shoulder Running
-Bus on Shoulder
-Ramp Metering


This Preliminary Feasibility Assessment outlines potential opportunities for lane management in the Nashville region, and no options should be discarded at this point.  The steps recommended in this assessment build on existing managed facilities in the Nashville region as well as additional strategies that can be brought online without extraordinary cost. 

Short Term 

  • Work with TDOT to improve HOV performance/enforcement on the region's existing and planned HOV lanes.
  • Identify potential transit improvements to combine with managed lanes techniques.
  • Begin dialogue with TDOT regarding creation of a facility-specific operational study to determine viability and desirability of Hard Shoulder Running on the Inner Loop. 
  • Consider studying the application of ramp metering to the regional freeway system. 

    Medium Term

  • If feasible and desirable, implement Hard Shoulder Running, Dynamic Lane Assignment, and Variable Speed Limits/Harmonization on the Inner Loop.
  • Consider direct access ramps for HOVs/buses at appropriate interchanges.
  • Conduct comprehensive design and operational study for managed lanes in the Nashville region and incorporate recommendations into the MPO's plans and programs. 
  • Consider HOT operation for HOV lanes. 

    Long Term

    As short and medium term plans are implemented, insight into the integration of managed lane strategies in the Nashville region will be gained, and specific facility/strategy pairs for future study and implementation are likely to become evident. 




  • Managed Lanes Preliminary Feasibility Assessment

Completion Date

  • 2015


  • Parsons Brinkerhoff

Study Partners

  • Nashville Area MPO
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