Proposed Gateway Corridor gets new energy

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 2:11am

The on-again-off-again Gateway Corridor project connecting East Nashville to downtown is on, again, coinciding neatly with the proposed new Convention Center.

Metro Public Works held a public meeting Tuesday at the Adventure Science Center to discuss extending the Gateway Boulevard, which currently ends at Fourth Avenue South, four more blocks to Eighth Avenue South.

The proposed road will end at the intersection of Eighth Avenue and Lafayette Street just south of where the proposed $635 million Convention Center, which is in the predevelopment phase, will be located.

The Gateway Corridor, which includes Korean War Veterans Boulevard Bridge, was completed in 2006, ending at its current location. The original purpose of the corridor was to link East Nashville to downtown and incorporate a mixed-use residential and business district along the way. The first phase of the project cost approximately $40 million, according to Metro Public Works information officer Gwen Hopkins-Glascock.

“Ending it at Eighth seems to be the most feasible, realistic and logical plan,” Hopkins-Glascock said.

It was the second public meeting to discuss renewing the project, which will be funded exclusively with taxpayer money. Public input following the first meeting in November concluded the road should end at Eighth Avenue and not at 13th Avenue as originally proposed nine years ago.

Following the first public hearing in November, 26 people were asked their feelings about the project. Fifteen said ending the corridor at Eighth Avenue was the best idea. Only one of the 26 questioned was against extending the corridor.

Concerns were expressed that the new proposal runs contradictory to the original corridor plan because it does not fulfill the east-west connectivity requirement since it stops short at Eighth Avenue.

“It seems to be a service road for the Convention Center,” said Shelby Smith, owner of Lafayette Street’s Madison Smith Naturally car dealership. “It does nothing for east-west connectivity. There is a tremendous opportunity to connect some very active uses on the west side like the Gulch area.

“Of course Demonbreun Street is over-congested as it is. You can’t go on that road during rush hour. Imagine when the Convention Center is unloading [at rush hour].”

Metro Director of Engineering Mark Macy countered that the immense development of the Gulch and SoBro areas since the original proposal in 1998 makes extending the corridor to 13th Avenue South very difficult.

“It would have a huge impact if you put it over the Gulch, you’re going right through one of those brand-new buildings,” Macy said.

Among the issues still to be considered is how to terminate the Gateway Boulevard and tie it into the intersection of Eighth Avenue South and Lafayette Street.

Metro Public Works will have its supplemental Environmental Impact Statement completed in about a year, Macy said, at which point it will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for approval.

The project will affect residences and businesses located all along the proposed corridor.

Among those is Rocketown, the mixed-use skate park, concert venue and coffee shop, which operates as a faith-based youth outreach center. The proposed Gateway Boulevard would run through the north side of the Rocketown building.

Those who wish to make a comment about the proposed Gateway Corridor can do so at www.nashville.gov/pw/gateway_project.

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By: ripryman on 12/31/69 at 6:00

The road should be referred to as Korean Veterans Blvd. as this was passed by the council a couple of years ago.

By: nvestnbna on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Not to take anything away from giving names to roads, buildings, etc. This thoroughfare has been billed since early on as the 'Gateway' to the City. Since being named KVB, it seems we are diminishing it's significance at each step. Originally, it was to provide critical East-West connectivity and now it appears it's primary purpose will be to be a service facility for a Convention Center, with woefully inadequate access from/to the west.Councilmember Ryman is correct on both counts, 'Gateway' is probably no longer an appropriate moniker for the $50 million(this new phase) thoroughfare.

By: catcars on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Rip is incorrect. The project in the Federal Government's mind is called the Gateway Corridor Project. We cannot change that name. The road is however named Korean Veterans Boulevard.It's unfortunate our Council named a road after the Communists our soldiers fought. I did not know that we had a large north Korean population in Nashville to honor.If they were trying to honor American soldiers who fought in the Korean conflict, they should have named it Korea Veterans Boulevard, not Korean.It's a shame the Council screwed up this name so royally. It should go back to Gateway.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You're arguing semantics, most people understand the name as meaning veterans of the Korean War. But in keeping with true government tradition, the council should meet and debate this non-issue immediately.

By: shinestx on 12/31/69 at 6:00

So who are the idiots responsible for changing the street names in town without so much as consulting the residents and businesses affected? And this name just cries out "stupidity!" I mean, how many war veterans in America are Korean? Or do you mean Korea Conflict? So are these dolts on the Metro Council going to change my street's name? Nashville does not need more street names. We already have too many streets with multiple names as it is! It would actually be nice if Metro Council actually did the job they're elected to do.

By: shinestx on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Looks like I was typing at the same time that Catcars was. Great minds...! LOL Actually, it's most people who notice the same thing.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Naming--or mis-naming--the road & bridge after the veterans of the Korean conflict (never officially a war) is a foolish shill. Why must we recall that stupid imperialist spasm that has kept the people of Korea separate for sixty years?I refer to the bridge as the Gateway Bridge & the road as the Gateway Road, since it isn't a boulevard--though hardly any of Nashville's boulevards are boulevards.Pushing it to 8th Avenue seems, at first glance, a means to knock down a lot of older buildings, which are still useful to serve the new convention center & make the 8th/Lafayette intersection much much messier. Is the convention center going where the Greyhound station is?One thing about this proposal: One could get from the prostitutes of East Nashville to the strip clubs around Lafayette Avenue (& vice versa) much much more quickly. THAT should bring in the tourist bucks!!

By: nvestnbna on 12/31/69 at 6:00

"Is the convention center going where the Greyhound station is?"Yes, the council approved a site that will rear the entire new north side of KVB or Gateway, hence the 'service facility' description.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I am sure that since we are in America, and that when we talk about veterans, we all know that we are talking about American Veterans, the name Korean Veteran Blvd. will be understood that it is American veterans that are being referred to and memorialized. It is very similar in concept to the Vietnam Veterans Parkway in the Rivergate area. Whether or not one is opposed to war, the failure to recognize what some people have done for this country, and for your ability to protest, or condone, war, should not be tolerated. If you don’t understand that, take some refresher courses in American History, or, better yet, visit the VA Hospital or a Veterans Home and talk to and LISTEN to what these people have to say. Or, if you are enough of an arsehole, tell them what you think!

By: catcars on 12/31/69 at 6:00

They do not call it the Vietnameese Veterans Boulevard in the same way they should not call it the Korean Veterans Boulevard. It should be Gateway Boulevard.If we stick with KVB, it should be Korea Veterans or Korean Conflct(or War) Veterans Boulevard. If you go to a veterans event, you will never see anyone wearing a hat or T-Shirt calling themselves a "Korean Veteran," unless they are a member of the forces that fought against America.I was in the car last week with a client driving downtown and he asked if we had a big North Korean population that we were honoring. I had to tell him that our councilman who sponsored this bill was a moron and did not know proper grammar or how to pay repect to his fellow American Veterans. It's a slap in the face to those who served our country so greatly.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Lou, I am second to NO ONE when it comes to demanding that we fulfill every iota of our contract w/ former soldiers.However, open your eyes: There is no soldier alive today who has worked for this country. All of the military activity in which America has involved itself over the last hundred years has been fought elsewhere.Moreover, the large military activities of the last fifty years were disgraceful imperialistic exercises. I am in favor of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C. It says, loudly, "Never Again". How unfortunate that so few listen.I don't see the point, however, of naming a bridge or a bypass for a group of former soldiers. We should honor such men & women by providing them w/ the care that we promised, by helping them find other, more useful, work, and by ending wars, rather than making more of them.Let's honor peace-makers, not poor tools of imperialists. Let's glorify those who have worked against war, not those who misguidedly fought. Glorifying war is not helping. Showing war for the revolting exercise it is--that would help.When the V.A. hospitals & veterans' homes are empty, then we may have a civilized world.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

cat -Have you asked those that served in Korea what they think about the name? Rip Ryman, the first poster here, is a Korean Veteran. Call him up and ask him what he thinks. I know him personally, and he will be more than happy to have any type of discussion you wish about the matter.

By: gdiafante on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Yet I don't hear those veterans complaining, do you? In fact, other than the few posters here, I have never heard anyone complain. Probably because (1) most people understand it's named for U.S. veterans and (2) there are so many other more important issues to care about than the name of a road.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

MJB – Sometime in the future, when we are dead and gone (hopefully the far future) the Korean (insert name here) Blvd will be a reminder to others what our country was about and that people died for the honor of their country.Soldiers don’t have the option of justifying a war, or where they do battle. But they do deserve every honor we can bestow upon them. The health care and/or benefits should be a given and not even questioned. The honor of their memory will always be subject, depending on whether you are a veteran, a relative of one, or a person that just recognizes the sacrifice they made. Or, in some cases, if you are a person that does NOT understand who they are!

By: shinestx on 12/31/69 at 6:00

MJB, you're words are simply wrong. To say that there were no battles fought on American soil in the last 100 years reflects your much broader ignorance of American history. Does the name, Pearl Harbor, mean anything to you? Of course, after reading your true agenda, I wouldn't expect you to be bothered by the facts. To say that veterans like myself are not working for our country is literally correct. However, while it was work sometimes, it was always a labor of love for me and my brothers and sisters in service. We don't ask you for praise, just ask that you don't run down the last great hope for humanity, the USA. But of course, that is your right.

By: JeffF on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I am taking this a different direction. The convention ceter needs a new road but they need it to be "off their books" so as to not alert onlookers of the true price of the facility. Getting another agency to extend a road that they otherwise would require is a way of hiding the cost (extending it to only their location is foolishness on their part). There will be countless other examples of this when taxpayers will be asked to build access streets and sidewalks, move utilities, install and pay for additional lighting, build an attached hotel, build parking facilities, increase police patrols, and move current streets underground. The half billion dollar estimate funded only by "visitors" is a lie. Also don't forget that any money going to the MCC will be coming from somewhere else (school, Metro General, etc.)we will have to make sure that we make that up from somewhere. Of course the MCC will be the first new convention center anywhere that meets consultant expectations, pays for its own operations, and defeats every other new and current convention center in the competition for the dwindling number of conventions. Nashville will accomplish what every other city has failed to do and have a truly successful convention center (providing none of us are watching or we change the definition of "successful" to match that of the minimum wage paying bar and hotel owners in downtown)

By: airvols on 12/31/69 at 6:00

This is just stupid, it needs to connect back to the interstate as a direct route to assist with traffic flow with major convention and sporting events. Where are the PLANNERS?

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Lou, we have been agreeing on so many issues recently that I hate to argue w/ you, but I must not yet you glorify fighting, killing, maiming, bleeding, & dying. There was no honor in the Korean conflict or in the Vietnam conflict or in the Persian Gulf massacre or in the current occupation of Iraq. There was honor when our troops were helping maintain peace in the former Yugoslavia, and, if the world didn’t ignore Africa, there could’ve been honor in the U.N.’s work in Somalia. When American soldiers work toward peace, then I support them whole-heartedly. As for the soldiers’ options, it is everyone’s option whether to join the military or not. We can blame soldiers for joining & making it easier for plutocrats to line their pockets w/ the soldiers’ lives, which is what has happened in Iraq over the last five years.I agree w/ you that future generations will note the names of such roads & bridges. I hope that these generations will have even better educations than we & will know that such names are signs of sadness & a primitive past beyond which they will have matured.I further agree that soldiers’ benefits should not be questioned. That is one of the many reasons that I am angry w/ Bush-Dick, who persistently shortchanges our soldiers. One small example: What is the year in American history with the most suicides of soldiers? 2006: 106 soldiers killed themselves. Has Bush-Dick increased the number of therapists & counselors in Iraq & Afghanistan? No.As to the personal aspect (a veteran, relative of one, &c.), let’s stick to the issue & not get involved w/ the ad hominem. You have no idea of my past, my family & friends, &c.Texas, Pearl Harbor, in 1941, was a U.S. territory, taken from the native Hawaiian people. It was “American soil” only in the sense that Americans occupied it—to serve the military, not to help the Hawaiians.I never “run down” the U.S. THIS IS MY COUNTRY. I was born & reared here, and I try to make it better every single day. Don’t impugn my love for this country. I have not impugned yours. I would love for America to be a hope for humanity. It is for that that I work.Thank you, Jeff, for getting us back on the subject. This proposal is questionable, like the new convention center, built on an already busy street, itself.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

MJB – I think we have grown to the point of having different opinions, without having to belittle or berate each other. We both know that there are a few topics that we feel adamant about, albeit on different sides.The honor I speak of is not that of killing, maiming or dying. I don’t think any veteran would tell you that they wanted to, enjoyed, or took any pleasure in their duty. The honor is for the courage to face those fears, those obligations, and those realities. To simply say that they had a choice to do or not to do is just an unrealistic and simplistic view.And I was not questioning how you came to your views. I was just relating where the views came from.As to the CC, it is a waste of time and money. Nashville is not a convention town, it is a tourist town. There is a BIG difference.

By: NewYorker1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

This corridor should be named after me, "Fierce Diva".

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

That’ll work!

By: NewYorker1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I have to admit, I don't see how anybody can go to war and put their life on the line for ANY country. I had some guys ask me if I would go to Iraq to fight and I told them "What do I have to do with that? That war in Iraq has absolutely nothing to do with me, so why in the world would I go put my life at risk." My name is not a part of any of that mess.

By: NewYorker1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Now that I think about it, I couldn't even shop in Iraq. Wearing sheets is a bad look. Talk about a fashion nightmare.

By: ycartrob on 12/31/69 at 6:00

wow, and I thought I had a lot of time on MY hands? You people need to get outside and get some fresh air.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

It’s damn cold outside! This is a lot more fun!!

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Let's backtrack a little.....This Gateway project, or whatever name it now goes by, was (as stated here already) intended to connect I-24/65 and I-40/65 through downtown. Now it is a Convention Center service road. The giant useless turd that has been thrown into this punchbowl is the Convention Center itself. Some of you may remember when the 'brain trust' that runs Nashville contemplated building a Gateway TUNNEL, UNDER the 750-mil White Elephant Center.Imho, the MCC will go down in history as one of this city's greatest blunders, by far eclipsing other notorious events such as electing Bill Boner as mayor. And it has apparently removed common sense as a factor in designing the Gateway corridor.

By: NewYorker1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Wow! that's harsh Time for Truth The bright side is, I'm still beautiful.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

My understanding was that the Gateway bridge would replace the former bridge to/fro East Nashville (Shelby Street bridge) & downtown. It does that. End of story. I.s-24, -65, & -40 are already linked. If people are trying, from I-24 East, to get into downtown, then they can use the Kelly Miller Smith bridge to the north, the Gateway to the south, or, if adventurous, can use the Main St. or Woodland St. bridges. Ain't this enuff?Let's get past this. There's important national news: The House may cave to the 'phone cos. & give 'em immunity to spy on us. IT'S A BAD IDEA. Call Jim Cooper. Tell him to vote against it.

By: NewYorker1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

revo-lou, my baby is cold. Can I bring you a warm blanket, some pillows, some hot soup and a bottle of Remy V.S.O.P.?

By: NewYorker1 on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Or you guys can do what I do to cross the water. I just on water because I'M the Alfa and the Omega baby.

By: Time for Truth on 12/31/69 at 6:00

MJB, the FIRST Gateway plan was to connect with the new Demonbruen Street bridge. Of course that road would have to traverse areas in the footprint of the 750 Mil Turkey so that is off the table. Later plans called for a new bridge, perhaps in addition to the Demonbruen Street Bridge, but the untimely demise of the old bridge forced a reactive plan of immediately replacing that existing corridor.Remember back when the Gatway corridor was originally conceived, the MCC was just a dumb idea floating around the Chamber of Commerce.

By: revo-lou on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Cranked up the fire, good to go. But don’t let that stop you!

By: shinestx on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Just got back to this board after a long day in the office. MJB, you've done a thorough job of impugning yourself and showing your disdain for your country. Yes, it is your country... unfortunately.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Tex, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, as Samuel Johnson wrote. I suggest that you attempt an argument w/ reason, facts, & substance, rather than this impotent claim that others don't love America as much as you.(By the way, you sent us Bush-Dick. You have a lot to answer for.)

By: shinestx on 12/31/69 at 6:00

You're welcome. Oh, and you're Dim heroes did "cave" as you put it. Them thar bad ol', profit takin' phone cumpnies... wha' thayr agoin tuh spy on li'l ol me and mah woomin. Are you feeling the least bit foolish for supporting your "Dim"agogues yet? I bet you keep using your phone.I also got a kick from your comments throughout the day... and your imploring everyone to move onto an "important topic"... yet this unimportant topic apparently kept you busy all day. G'night MJB, may you love your country, whatever country that may be.

By: shinestx on 12/31/69 at 6:00

I can't say I wasn't warned about arguing with a fool. I'm certain that your idea of "reason" is far different from that of most people. Maybe that explains your "love" for your country. Your words speak for themselves.BTW: I'm so happy that you're still seething with anger after seven years of G.W. Bush, your juvenile names for him notwithstanding.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Wanting to rescue the country from what Bush-Dick has done to it is the desire of all patriotic Americans, Tex.I don't know why you consider me a supporter of the Democrats. This Democratic congress has been almost as bad--and certainly a bigger disappointment--than the twelve years of Republican congresses that preceded it. As for Bush-Dick's desire to increase unwarranted spying while making 'phone companies immune from invading their customers' privacy, you are mistaken, however, about it. The House has not gone along w/ Bush-Dick & the Senate. There is still time for those of us who despise Bush-Dick's & McCain's fearmongering & who love our rights to change this bill.As for keeping me busy all night, not at all. I just returned from a very good movie, THE DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY, and I encourage each of you to see it.