It’s become a four-letter word in Middle Tennessee.
Maybe it’s because drivers lose about 58 hours a year stuck in congestion. Or because Nashville drivers spend roughly 20% more than the national average commuting — more than $7,700 annually. Or, maybe traffic ticks people off because just one alert snarls the entire ride.
Whatever the case, Steve Glover, an at-large member of the Nashville Metro Council, weighs in, “traffic is horrendous, and we hate it!”
Glover also readily admits there’s a problem, and throwing more money at public transportation isn’t his answer.
“We have added millions and millions and millions of dollars there. Ridership continues to diminish. So at some point you have to scratch your head and say, Why do we keep adding money to something that’s not being utilized in the most effective way?” Glover said.
It seems Mayor John Cooper also feels the traffic tension.
His office announced a series of 11 public listening sessions held in various parts of town. He’s asking for the community’s input.
News 2 attended the Antioch/ Hickory Hollow meeting and found a relaxed vibe with activities.
“There is a box of money,” fake money says Joy Styles Nashville Metro Council member representing District 32, “and everyone gets to go into the box of money and get some dollar bills. They put them into the boxes to say what’s important to them.”
Nine boxes represent priorities ranging from bikeways, transit, to repairs.
Shelia Foster attended the meeting. “I gave most of my money to safety, and then sidewalks, along with widening of the roads,” Foster said.
Attendees also wrote down suggestions and concerns.
“If we find out what people want, then we can tailor what we’re doing to the needs of the people in the different districts,” said Styles.
The Mayor’s Office plans to compile the information from the sessions and release initial recommendations in late spring.
The full transportation plan will be released in September.
It’s a traffic jam, Glover hopes, starts moving smoothly again before it’s too late, “we hear everybody saying Nashville is the “it” city – rest assured we can become the was city.”