Transportation Planning Meeting

I received this from the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.  FYI…

Rutherford County Mayors to Host Community Conversation with Area Citizens on Landmark Regional Transportation Plan

Rutherford County’s political leaders Mayors Bragg, Burgess, Dover, Erwin, & Tune in partnership with the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, invite their constituents to learn more about major regional transportation planning efforts and important changes to public policy therein, at a “Community Conversation” next week tomorrow. Members of the public will have the opportunity to hear an in-depth presentation and submit questions and comments on proposed infrastructure investments to support the overall livability, sustainability, prosperity and diversity of the region, as well as that of Rutherford County.

WHO:  Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg, Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess, Smyrna Mayor Tony Dover, LaVergne Mayor Ronnie Erwin, Eagleville Mayor Sam Tune; city & county planners; transportation planning professionals with the Nashville Area MPO; Rutherford County citizens, business & community leaders; representative from the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee.

WHAT:  Community Conversation led by local political leaders and planning experts on short, mid, long-term transportation improvements for both Rutherford County & the Middle Tennessee region as a whole.

WHEN: Tues., Nov. 16th, 2010; 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

5:00-5:30 p.m. Open House with refreshments served; 2035 Plan visuals on display for public consumption and conversation with MPO planning staff.

5:30-7:00 p.m.  Presentation of 2035 Regional Transportation Plan (major policy initiatives) to Rutherford Co. residents, with commentary from Mayors Bragg, Burgess, Dover, Erwin and Tune, followed by Q&A.

WHERE: Smyrna City Hall, Council Chambers, 315 S. Lowry Street; Smyrna, Tenn. 37167

WHY: Governed by mayors & county executives from five-plus Middle Tennessee counties, the Nashville Area MPO is currently finalizing a major update to its multi-billion dollar regional transportation plan that includes a vast scope of federally-funded transportation projects. The MPO sets aside money for projects that support significant policy initiatives such as mass transit including modernized options for Middle Tennessee such as streetcar or Bus Rapid Transit, as well as walkable/bikeable communities, and roadway technologies to keep people & goods moving through the region.

The plan depicts an innovative vision for regional transportation, but must also establish a path to realistic financial feasibility. As fuel prices rise, and demand for energy independence scenarios continue, what happens in the transportation sector is critical to everything from regional quality-of-life, to business and job recruitment and retention. This region is also expected to grow by another one million people over the next two decades; the plan presented on Nov. 9th attempts to address how those people might commute or use our transportation system to carry out their daily activities.

8 comments for “Transportation Planning Meeting

  1. Alderman Chris Farme
    November 17, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I attended this meeting last night for Mayor Mosely. She had planning commission meeting to attend. The meeting addressed the mass growth and congestion on our roadways now and in the next 25 years. We are expected to have a population of about 410,000 in Rutherford county by 2035 according to the projection chart the MPO has established. Their answer is to look at future projects just as a Rapid Transit Bus route from Murfreesboro to Nashville. The plan is to maintain our roadways and fix some of the roads we already have without adding more roads. They have compared Middle Tennessee to areas such as Denver. The impact of widening roads would have a backwards affect on our economy due to taking away from businesses ie: their parking, store fronts. With the plan they are looking to possibly do this would add to businesses by working with them to establish more bus stops.

    The plan is to also make our communities more walkable and bicycle friendly. With doing this also they hope to make a healthier communitie. They stated Tennessee ranked last in childhood obesity, they are hoping that this will make everyone more active and cut down on the obesity.

    According to their charts roughly 75% of us spend more than 20% of our income on transportation. We as Tennesseans spend more time in our vehicles than the average person in an area our size due to traffic congestion. By making Public Transit more user friendly and convienent this will hopefully cutdown on the congestion on the roadways.

    The comprehensive plan they have will decide how to spend roughly $5 billion on roads, bridges, transit, walking and bicycling over the next 25 years. There are 2 more meeting coming up before the end of the year if anyone is interested in attending one.

    Their website is http://www.nashvillempo.org
    For more information on the plan you can contact: Michael Skipper,ACIP, Executive Director: skipper@nashvillempo.org

    My numbers and statistics may not be exact it was a lot to take in, during the 2 hours. I just wanted to pass on as much as the information as I could. This extensive plan includes several other surrounding counties and addresses how they plan to establish transit according to projected population growth.

    I also have some maps and the most cost effective plans they gave us. If interested in seeing them let me know or I can try to get them to Kathy and she may be able to put them on here.

    Thank You
    Alderman Chris Farmer
    615-403-0941

    • Sarah N
      November 17, 2010 at 10:38 am

      Thanks for all the good info, Chris! I wanted to attend, but these things are tough to get to when you have a toddler and a husband who works retail. I am very, very interested in the part about making our communities more walkable and bicycle friendly. I can scan those maps and PDF them if need be.

  2. Alderman Chris Farme
    November 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Sarah I will try to meet you or Kathy today or tomorrow and let one of you scan the info I picked up.

  3. michaelinLV
    November 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Chris, thanks for the info! I agree and disagree with some of it, here goes:

    – I like the ideas of sidewalks and greenways. I would like to be able to walk from my house to Sonic/Chili's/Logans but currently cannot do that without walking through the street since the sidewalks end where Smyrna begins. Too many sidewalks in La Vergne are this way because they end where the contractors obligation ended. This should be addressed.

    – As far as widening non-interstate roads, I think some roads should be widened. We have discussed Chaney and Old Nashville having the potential for commercial use if they were 3 lanes with a middle turn lane. I agree, widening any area roads beyond the current 4-5 lanes could have an impact on busienss growth for businesses that have limited parking in front of the building.

    – I disagree with the assertion that making communities more walkable will help congestion. I don't have any links, but I've read studies that say the same thing. I live a mere 2 miles from Kroger, but chances are slim I will walk there since I will have a cart full of groceries that I can't easily carry home. And you could build a sidewalk from my house to my office in Nashville, but it would be a waste because I cannot walk 20 miles to work! Making communities more walkable is great from the perspective of health and recreation. but unless you implementwider sidewalkks that will accomodate low speed vehicles like golf carts, it will have no measurable impact on traffic.

    – Interstate 24 should be widened. Currently there are only 4 lanes each way on I-24, the most heavily traveled corridor in Middle Tennessee. However, on I-65 through Williamson and up to Sumner county, you have 5-6 lanes. Widneing the interstate would be expensive and would cause more traffic delays, but is something that coulld/should be planned and done over stages to minimize the impact on trafic.

    It takes me typically 25-35 minutes to make my commute, although to offten when traffic is bad it easily takes an hour. I enjoy driving, but like everyone else would rather be moving and not ideling.

  4. Ivy
    November 17, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    My uncle used to bike 20 miles one way to his office. In Minnesota. Winter and summer. That man is a trooper. Now his office is a mere 7 miles from his house. He still bikes. The idea of that just blows my mind. Not that this really has anything to do with anything else, I'm just random like that today.

    • michaelinLV
      November 17, 2010 at 9:46 pm

      Now wait, he rode a bike (bicycle)? Or he rode a bike (motorcycle)? Not to get too personal here, but if he rode a bicycle 20 miles each way, I hope he owned some stock in lotrimin!

  5. November 17, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    The only thing I'm chiming in on is that I wish Smyrna would add a light at M'boro Road and LaVergne's Jefferson Pike. That's one dangerous intersection.

    My husband would like to see the stop lights timed better so we don't stop at every single one (those of us who drive 45 mph anyway) and perhaps even to put the Dick Buchanan light on blink during non-rush hours. That sucker is waaaaay toooooo loooooooooong,.

  6. jenn
    November 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Speaking of lights and widening roads. What about the light on ONH and Jefferson Pike (i think), where the abandoned building, Shell station, tobacco/convenient store is. It's a real headache when people have to make a left turn. Whether if you're coming from Smyrna or heading to smyrna, if you are behind a car that needs to make a left you might as well forget about making through the intersection. You can't move until that car turns……uuuhhgggg. Why not tear down the abandon building and make OHN wide enough for at least a turning lane just for that intersection. That's my 2 cents.

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