Nashville officials released their much-anticipated 2020 transportation plan Wednesday, offering a series of recommendations they believe will create a more efficient system of movement and better use of public space in the rapidly-growing city.
Chief among those recommendations: the creation of a Metro Nashville Department of Transportation.
As it stands the city has a planning department as well as a public works department. The region has a metropolitan planning organization too. But Nashville itself has no transportation department.
“(T)his contributes to stagnation in terms of innovation, commitment to complete streets, active transportation, and ultimately accountability to move Nashville forward,” the report read, touting the need for the new office.
Produced jointly by the city of Nashville, the Urban Land Institute, and former Chicago transportation commissioner Gabe Klein, the report offers dozens of strategies for the city.
But this plan is unusual in its scope. Often cities and regions produce big, sweeping planning documents that are intended to cover timeframes of 10 years or more. Instead, in the new “Gear Up 2020” document, leaders offer immediate, short-term steps the city can take in less than four years that are still expected to have big impacts.
The recommendations come as Nashville, one of the fastest growing cities in the country, is rapidly adding population but also experiencing growing pains as a result of the expansion. It follows the high profile cancellation last year of “Amp,” the proposed bus rapid transit system that would have provided an east-west connection across the city.
The new study warns that (continue reading)