Last summer, we blogged about an ongoing discussion among city officials regarding plans for new bus rapid transit here in Nashville. (Click here to read that article.)
In short, the project, dubbed 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.
Backers of the proposed East-West Connector envision thousands of residents zipping across town on subway-style buses, getting on and off at dedicated stations.
The bus rapid transit project would ease traffic congestion and spur more pedestrian-friendly development along its route. Like in other parts of the nation, bus rapid transit will be an economic boon, supporters say.
However, some voices have raised question about how much of an economic boost it will be for Nashville, especially in the West End area that is already home to some of Nashville’s most expensive real estate.
A group of those vocalizing such thoughts include residents along Charlotte Avenue, who say their part of town would make for an ideal candidate for improved bus rapid transit. Their area, they explain, has property values seven times less than along West End, and has a great need for the economic revitalization.
The chosen location from East Nashville to West End was perhaps decided upon because of the 170,ooo some employees along the route, including those working at Vanderbilt University and its medical center and other large metro hospitals.
While officials don’t seem keen on changing the location of their first go at bus rapid transit, Charlotte Avenue supporters hope their voices can help raise support for the city’s second mass transit to be located in their neighborhood.
What do you think? Are you in support of the East-West Connector, or would you rather see one along Charlotte Avenue?