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Mayor Barry Unveils Three-Year Action Agenda for Transportation in Nashville

May 24, 2017

Moving the Music City sets course for MDOT and MTA around goals for safety, mobility, livability

Mayor Megan Barry today charted a near-term path for delivering on her administration’s transportation goals with the release of an ambitious Action Agenda, “Moving the Music City” (updated May 26). The Agenda lays out a mayoral vision, with specific projects and programs, for transforming Nashville’s streets into people-friendly public spaces – targeting improvements for transit mobility, safety, walking and bicycling, smart-city technology, maintenance, and organizational capacity.

The document builds on the Mayor's first- and second-year transportation investments by providing Metro departments and agencies, partners, and citizens with a detailed blueprint to improve travel in a growing city to ensure Nashville is a safer, more livable and prosperous place in the years to come.

“Nashvillians are ready for the great visioning work we’ve done –through countywide planning efforts such as NashvilleNext, nMotion, and WalkNBike– to spring to life. Because of the growth we’re seeing, they’re ready for the city’s streets to begin physically changing for the better, faster,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “This Action Agenda will serve as an important guide for Metro’s hard-working transportation professionals. These are folks who are committed to completing our streets and ensuring Nashville’s transportation system is efficient, humane, and supportive of our larger goals for improving health and air quality, creating jobs, and preserving our strong and diverse neighborhoods.”

Metro’s Transportation Action Agenda sets the course for ambitious, immediate next-steps to be pursued by Nashville MTA and a new Division of Transportation established within the Metro-Nashville Department of Public Works. Tactics fall under umbrella policy strategies of importance to the Mayor and her administration, and the public at-large. Major goals in “Moving the Music City” include:

  • Bring MTA’s nMotion plan to life by committing to: increased access to frequent bus service, safer pedestrian connections to stops, prioritized space for transit on city streets, and the advancement of larger, longer-term projects (such as rail) now by embracing quality growth and initiating design work;
  • Drive down severe and fatal crashes with a Vision Zero traffic-safety program, with a heightened focus on reducing pedestrian fatalities. Actions include building upon the Mayor’s Intersection Improvement Program, assisting neighborhoods with calming vehicular traffic, and partnering with the Metro-Nashville Police Department on data-driven, preventive enforcement of traffic laws;
  • Make walking and bicycling safe, attractive, essential options for short trips by launching a “quick build” project-delivery program, creating a connected, low-stress bikeway network in the city’s urban core, and removing hostile barriers to walking and biking such as construction zones;
  • Encourage greater efficiency and innovation in transportation through projects and partnerships on better data collection and information delivery, new technology demos, car-sharing, and “smart” parking and signals.
  • Keep our existing system in a state of good repair through investments in roadway repaving, electric-hybrid replacements for aging MTA diesel buses, sidewalk reconstruction, optimized signal timings and a Metro traffic management center.
  • Increase Metro’s capacity to deliver on the Mayor’s Action Agenda by launching a Division of Transportation within Metro Public Works, prioritizing quality communication with citizens and stakeholders, upholding NashvilleNext’s growth scenarios, and securing dedicated revenues for transit.

“nMotion charts a detailed path for making transit in Nashville a more convenient and viable option,” said Steve Bland, CEO of Nashville MTA. “We’re excited and committed to delivering on specific goals derived from nMotion as outlined in the Mayor’s Action Agenda, such as increasing Nashvillians’ access to frequent bus service and making transit more visible and legible, while building a bridge to longer-term projects such as light-rail service on four of Nashville’s historic pikes.”

“Moving the Music City” follows this spring’s release of draft recommendations around sustainability from Mayor Barry’s Livable Nashville Committee, where transportation goals played a key role. Greater-Nashville is currently growing by approximately 82 new residents a day, increasing demands placed on streets and urgency around the need to shift trips from Single Occupant Vehicle to mass transit, walking and bicycling. With more than 5,880 lane-miles of roadway spread across Davidson County’s 532 square-miles, Metro’s transportation network comprises the city’s largest, most significant public space and offers countless opportunities to move people and improve quality of life and place.

“This Agenda gets the ball rolling on adding to our choices for getting around congestion, while squarely addressing significant challenges around safety and efficiency,” said Mark Sturtevant, Interim Director of Metro Public Works. “A unified, more people-friendly approach to mobility can make a dramatic contribution to sustainably and equitably accommodating growth. Public Works is proud to assist Mayor Barry and the citizens of Nashville with charting new directions for our city's transportation system.”

This morning, the Mayor presented “Moving the Music City” to transportation professionals from cities across the state at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s 2017 Sustainable Transportation Awards and Forum.

The full document (PDF) is available on the Mayor's Office Transportation and Sustainability page.