Nashville’s Transit Referendum failed in 2018.
My opinion is that exactly the right thing happened.
That plan had splashes of brilliance in a sea of ill-conceived and illogical notions.
Establishing “nodes” tied into the greenways in areas in need of neighborhood development was the brilliance, albeit perhaps too “visionary”. We’re not aiming for Utopia . . . This transit system has ONE job to do well . . . Transport the workforce from the outlying areas to their jobs in the city.
The rest was a Frankensteinish amalgamation of disfunctional pipedreams.
Thankfully, the sponsors of that plan were dismal marketers. The best parts of their plan were never communicated effectively thereby resulting in the discourse being all about the money. This was an ostrich approach that failed miserably . . . “Let’s conjure up something huge and pretty and focus on getting the funding approved FIRST . . . Then we can muddle through the practicalities of spending that money on a plan that may or may not ever accomplish the ONE job we had” to begin with . . . Establish a transit system that replaces the necessity for Middle Tennesseans to use their automobiles to get from home to work and back home with minimal hassle.
Interestingly, I chose today to write this post, and coincidentally, I see a story in the news that the next transit is queued up to arrive in 2024 . . . hmmm . . . good timing! I hope they read this blog post.
I have a plan I conjured up @ 5 years ago.
This is a plan that the current “Leaders” of Nashville will indubitably NOT adopt because it’s WAY too simple. Politicians don’t understand “simple” . . . without complexity, what would they have to do?
Let’s start with assets we already have . . . Buses.
We already have a bus terminal in the heart of Downtown Nashville.
We’ve got this wonderful road (“Parkway”) called Briley Parkway (Real irony here – but truth – same name as our Mayor). Briley Parkway encircles the city and touches or is close to all 3 of our interstates (24 – 40 – 65) twice each.
Build Parking facilities at or near each of these 6 areas . . . Each of these could begin with simple parking decks and evolve to include “services” (restaurants, bathrooms, etc) and would eventually become Transit (Rail) terminals
- I 24 @ Harding Place to the southeast
- I 24 @ Briley Parkway to the Northwest
- I 40 @ Briley Parkway (White Bridge)/Charlotte to the West
- I 40 @ Briley Parkway (BNA – Airport) to the East
- I-65 @ Briley Parkway (Inglewood) to the North
- I 65 @ Harding Place to the South
Establish BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) with buses running dedicated routes directly from each terminal to the downtown hub and back throughout every day. Begin this NOW!
Now that we’ve got that rolling, let’s start building above ground Rail Transit in the medians of each of the interstates beginning at these 1st terminals and build OUT from the city to 840. (Perhaps other Terminals between Briley and 840 depending on volume.
Once the connection to 840 is complete, shift construction to bring the Rail into the city core and divert the BRT assets to inner city commute.
My plan outlined above should be a fraction of the initial cost of the first proposal because we’re using assets we already own (Buses) and building only 6 parking garages . . . no need for a tunnel under the city. The LAST phase of this plan could end up being that tunnel, but let’s not start with that.
I’d venture to say that, if we were to go with this plan I’ve laid out above, why on earth would we need to wait until 2024 to look at a different plan. This plan could be implemented tomorrow at an insanely low cost . . . Just prepare surface parking at each of the 6 terminal areas and start the BRT NOW!
What d’ya think?