Discussion on Planned Bus Rapid Transit Project | Nashville News

Plans for a $175 million bus rapid transit project for the city has opened up a lot of discussion between Nashvillians both for and opposed to the project.

Over 100 people attended a forum in Nashville at Vine Christian Church on Harding Road recently, the first of a series of planned public meetings on the proposed East-West Connector. Opinions on both sides of the spectrum were voiced and heard at the meeting.

Among those concerns that were voiced are those who worry about businesses being hurt by the construction of the connector along West End as well as increased traffic flow that would be pushed onto neighborhood streets. Those in support of the project shared their thoughts on how investing in mass transit is important for Nashville, a city expected to add more than a million residents over the next 20 years. Mass transit would help ease congestion and spur economic development.

The project could cost up to $175 million, including bus routes and other public improvements. How the city plans to acquire the funds for the project remains unknown, however options include federal grants or specialty taxing in the district along the corridor.

The East-West Connector would run 7 1/2 miles from 5 Points in East Nashville to the White Bridge Road area in West Nashville. Buses would run on dedicated bus-only lanes, making their way through intersections with timed signals. In total, there would be 17 bus stations, each half a mile apart.

To accommodate bus-only lanes, the center turn lane would be eliminated, leaving motorists with the option to make left turns and U-turns only at intersections. The bus-only lanes would also take away any option for on-street parking.

We will do our best to keep you up to date on this evolving mass transit project in Nashville. In the meantime, visit www.thetransitalliance.org for further information about this project and all its facets.

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