Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Unified Transportation Plan?


The Unified Transportation Plan, also known as the Unified Plan or regional transportation plan, is a federally required plan for the greater Nashville metropolitan plannin area. Federal law requires each metro area of the U.S. to prepare a long-term plan that spans at least 20 years, identifies transportation needs and funding availability, and a fiscally-constrained list of proposed improvements to the transportation system. The Unified Plan represents the collective interests of TDOT, local governments, and transit agencies across Middle Tennessee.




Why does the GNRC lead the development of the Plan?


GNRC serves as the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Nashville metroplitan area. In this role, GNRC is the lead transportation planning agency for Davidson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties and coordinates with TDOT and adjacent planning organizations to ensure a seamless transportation system.




Does GNRC create the plan alone?


No, GNRC is responsible for the development of the plan, however the projects within the plan are submitted by TDOT, transit agencies, and cities and counties in the planning area and are based on their needs and priorities.




Is the Unified Plan important?


Yes. The Plan is the official blueprint for how the region will invest in our transportation system over the coming years. To receive federal funding - all agencies responsible for implmenting roadway and transit projects must coordiante with GNRC to ensure their proposed improvements are included in the adopted Plan. The plan includes both short and long-range projects and strategies that come together to build an integrated multi-modal transportation network that serves all Middle Tennesseans.




Why are there a lot of plans?


There are a lot of plans, but that is due to the nature of the planning process. Nearly every municipality and county government within our area has its own comprehensive plan to help manage local resources and to prepare for future growth. Those plans set land use policies and identify strategies to address needs for schools, parks, water and sewer, and

transportation. Every public transit agency has an individual plan too since each serves a different market or governing body. Similarly, TDOT has a statewide plan to generally inform residents and the legislature on how it will use the funding appropriated by lawmakers to maintain the state route system. The RTP plan unifies the most important regional transportation priorities from each of those into a single document.




Who approves the Unified Transportation Plan?


Mayors and transportation officials from across the region have authority to adopt the plan as members of the GNRC Transportation Policy Board. GNRC evaluates projects submitted for the Plan based on criteria which assess each project’s impact on the performance of our transportation system, and for its ability to address other community goals and objectives related to economic development, sustainability, and social equity.

Working with stakeholders and the public, GNRC develops a draft plan which includes regional policies and funding recommendations. The draft plan is reviewed by state and federal partners prior to its adoption by regional city and county mayors that sit on GNRC’s Transportation Policy Board.




What can I find in the Plan document?


The Plan contains statistical information about the region, projections for population and traffic growth, an evaluation of current infrastructure, and a list of projects to improve the

transportation system over the next 25 years.

The Plan also documents the project evaluation process and describes how projects will work together to address broader community concerns about quality of life. On average, the Plan contains between 300-500 projects to improve area roadways and transit service. The plan also lays out the timeline for each project and provides cost estimates and anticipated funding sources.




How long does the Plan take to complete?


The Plan takes roughly 18 months to initiate the call for projects, evaluate the projects, carryout public meetings in each county for review and feedback and to go through state and federal review. The next please is scheduled for adoption in February of 2021.





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