Citizens have chance to shape transit decisions

Monday, July 20, 2009 at 6:12pm

MTA's Music City Central transporation hub

From tax codes providing green incentives to building contracts maintaining LEED building standards, Tennessee continues to pursue ecologically friendly solutions. However, despite Metropolitan Transit Authority’s pursuit of the same, a lack of funding has prevented any expansion of public transit services.

That may have changed when the state’s General Assembly passed legislation allowing local communities to create dedicated funding sources for their public transit. Previously, no entity had the power to seek such funding.

“Nashville is at a pivotal crossroads for public transportation,” said MTA’s CEO Paul Ballard. “Public transportation goes hand in hand with economic development, tourism and jobs growth and is a critical part of any city’s success.”

Due to public interest and lack of accessible transit, the Nashville MTA will hold its third round of meetings July 28-30 to gather input from citizens on its Strategic Master Plan.

The Strategic Master Plan is a document that the Metro Transit Authority uses to guide its decision-making. It contains long and short-term goals, as well as priorities set forth by citizens and lawmakers. The plan is currently in Phase I, which focuses on public outreach.

The meetings will be held at 5 p.m. July 28 at the North Branch Library, 1001 Monroe St.; 11:30 a.m. July 29 at Music City Central, MTA’s downtown transit hub, 400 Charlotte Ave.; 5 p.m. July 29 at Southeast Branch Library, 2325 Hickory Highlands Dr.; 5 p.m. July 30, at Green Hills Library, 3701 Benham Ave.

This third round of meetings is the last time citizens can provide input.

For details of the plan, you can download information here.


6 Comments on this post:

By: nashbeck on 7/21/09 at 7:40

We need lightrail and we need it now! It is ridiculous Nashville does not have a lightrail system connecting the airport and its communities/universities/neighborhoods.

By: JeffF on 7/21/09 at 9:43

I am amused that they are now open for public input after they have firmly entrenched themselves in the great waste of a central terminal in downtown. Public input before hand would have stopped that big waste of finite resources. Now that they got it, no one dares take it away from them. Nashville needs a real network across all of the city, enabling people to get from one neighborhood to another without the same silly hub-and-spoke system currently diving airlines into bankruptcy.

A train based system would do the same thing but at greater cost and lower ridership. But it would tickle the train hobbyist and those with a bad case of urbanista-envy who say all the other cities with overpriced and over-hyped light rail systems and want the same opportunity to bring the bloat to our own city.

Best solution for Nashville and most U.S. cities would be to get away from using public transit as an urban renewal tool and instead come up with a system that will serve as many people as possible. The number of people wanting to go to and from downtown is too limited to design a system to accommodate just their needs. Use the road network already in place and connect all Nashvillians with a usable, efficient, timely, and effective bus based system. Do not fall into the fad of trains will cure everything.

LA is going to spend $200 million dollars on a 2-mile long light rail spur to the airport because they are not proud of the buses currently shuttling passengers to the close node. That is not smart and is not what Nashville needs to get into. A flexible bus is far more efficient than an inflexible set of steel rails.

By: idgaf on 7/22/09 at 8:25

Very sensible post Jeff.

By: house_of_pain on 7/22/09 at 9:44

Trains suck.

By: courier37027 on 7/22/09 at 9:56

Yes, we need light rail to connect Nashville's American Airlines hub to Music Row. Those twice daily non-stop flights to London may bring Paul McCartney back to Nashville. We must be ready for that possibility. We must have light rail from the airport. We don;t care if Music City Star is running in the red. This issue is too important to consider financial viability. Envy--to be just like other towns--is sufficient reason to proceed.

Wait, did you say the London flight no longer exists? That Southwest is Nashville's dominant airline? And American Airlines never made Nashville's airport into the next D-FW?

By: Myth_of_the_Nob... on 4/25/10 at 12:03

Just curious,
Did any of you actually contribute your comments to the MPO or attend any of the public input meetings?