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Collaboration Offers Answers to Traffic Congestion | Opinion

Updated: Nov 4, 2019



The greatest threat to the continued economic prosperity and the quality of life that we currently enjoy is traffic congestion.


The Nashville South Corridor of I-65 and US-31 experiences some of the heaviest traffic volumes in Tennessee and continues to be one of the fastest growing

parts of the nation. Transportation engineers will tell you that we simply cannot build our way out of congestion.


So, what is the solution?


I believe the answer lies in collaboration between our local officials to develop solutions that are regional in nature and include a variety of options, including highway expansions, public transit projects, walking and bicycling facilities, and technology upgrades for better traveler information and traffic management.


Local leadership and organizations including the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC), WeGo Public Transit and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) recognize this, that’s why the GNRC has contracted with a consulting team led by WSP USA, Inc. for a total cost of $1,000,000 to study the South Corridor to develop regional solutions that will address and manage traffic congestion.


Specifically, this study will be used to:

• Identify potential transit/transportation investments,

• Assess the financial, economic, and technical viability of each, and

• Identify steps to move projects forward on a short-term, mid-term and long-term basis.


What does that mean to you and me? It means that the project team needs our input to identify improvements that can be completed to address the congestion that we face today, and provide for our needs in the future.

• Are reversible lanes (a lane that changes direction during peak hours) on US-31 an option?

• Can additional rail lines be constructed in existing CSX right of way to accommodate light rail transit?

• Can rapid transit options be added to utilize existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes?

• Are there technologies available today or in the future that we should invest in?


These, and other questions will be considered through the course of this study. Your input is critical to developing solutions that will be considered and vital to finding solutions to address traffic congestion.


The best way to be heard and provide comments is to participate in the public workshops that begin next week.


You can also follow along by visiting the project website at www.SouthCorridor.org. The project team is available to come speak to any group interested in learning more. Contact GNRC staff at mlacewell@gnrc.org and the consulting team at emery.hartz@wsp.com.


Jonathan Duda lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee where he served as Alderman for City of Spring Hill from 2005 to 2017. He is Vice President for NFP, an international leading insurance broker.


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