Nashville Transit Bill is contentious`

William T. Robinson, Jr.

It is not debatable that Nashville has a serious traffic problem, but the solution to solving this dilemma has citizens at odds. The position certain people may take on this issue may depend on what they feel they have to gain or what they feel they are not getting or losing. We all agree that Nashville has a chronic traffic problem and needs traffic plan, but we must not act precipitously, emotionally and irrationally by offering an expensive band-aide solution that is not guaranteed to be beneficial or effective in the long run.

No doubt, we must collectively study extensively and come up with a plan that the whole city can embrace, addressing their concerns and needs, especially if they are to help pay for it. Speculatively, it may be assumed a group basically looking at the economic gains and profits to be made by private investors and businesses devised this proposed plan. This may explain why you have some citizens feeling their areas of interest were slighted.

Too many citizens feel pressured, feeling that the proposed Transit Bill is literally being forced down their throats. They are questioning whether they are getting facts or being delivered fake news. They are leery of past esoteric agendas promoting personal gain for designated areas and businesses.

The main concern with a growing number of citizens is that the proposed Transit Bill isn’t really feasible and realistic in addressing the strained traffic problems occurring in this city, especially as it relates particular areas. A resounding number of pundits, and independent studies claim this proposed costly bill being pushed and promoted will do little if anything to remedy Nashville’s congested traffic problem in key areas already inundated with traffic congestion, e.g.: Bordeaux, Antioch, and Trinity Lane.

Areas on the outer boundaries of downtown claim they don’t see how this plan helps lighten traffic while coming and going from the city—or help their particular areas economically. These concerns are warranted if all residents of Nashville are expected to help pay for the Transit Tax with proposed exorbitant taxes, which will help those already struggling to make it in the ‘It City.’

Of course, businesses along the designated routes will flourish economically with the new infrastructure’s 26 miles of light rail. With the influx on incoming passengers taking advantage of the proposed changes, especially tourists visiting downtown, many will benefit and profit. But we have other areas of Nashville claiming that only downtown and the areas surrounding it will benefit financially. The traffic congestion in their areas will only continue to be compounded. Added bus routes and continuous bus service in some of these outlining areas will still be subjected to heavy traffic laden streets and routes.

One can’t help but wonder if some of the citizens pushing the Transit Bill proposal on commercials and ads are cognizant of the position they are taking by literally guaranteeing the Transit Bill will work. Playing on people’s emotions and frustrations is a common practice in pushing agendas that may not necessarily be beneficial to the public. But I guess when you are getting paid, you do as you are told.

Let’s acknowledge that this growing chronically congested traffic problem is making us all a little crazy. But we must come up with a plan that we all can agree with addressing the problems the whole city is experiencing. As it stands now, the Transit Plan being pushed is not the answer, according to many Nashvillians. Too many factors exist that voters find disturbing, including: cost to the taxpayers; who truly benefits; and effectiveness.

Not supporting this pending Transit Bill during a referendum on May 1 doesn’t mean voters are against working to solve our ever-growing traffic problem. Many people desire a plan we all can agree on, because in plain terms: “they are not feeling this specific transit plan.”