Tuesday, February 04, 2014

1,500+ people attended 5 BRT meetings, but the Metro Transit Authority is only going to meet with individual businesses about the Amp proposal

Those of us in rapid transit deserts can only dream.
This is truly a head-scratcher:

More than 1,500 residents participated and shared valuable input about the project. In the coming weeks and months, MTA will closely review all the public input it received from the meetings, meet with individual businesses along the route and then schedule a second round of meetings in March to share revised design plans.

I asked the anonymous person doing the Amp's promotional social media why MTA was not meeting with neighborhood associations or residents along the route (ignoring completely, of course, those of us outside the east-west corridor), but he or she has yet to reply to me. Anonymity has its privileges.

Assuming they do follow up with more than a select group of token businesses likely to tell officials what they want to hear, how do they possibly have time to meet with all of the businesses along the route from East Nashville to St. Thomas Hospital between now and the mid-March meetings?

The only conclusion that I can draw is that Metro officials are once again drawing up transit policy while privileging the voices of those with more money: business owners. I watched more than just business owners give feedback at the two meetings I attended. Nonetheless, their feedback, their votes count more than those of us who are no less affected by these biased, maddening transit decisions.


  1. Mike, they met with neighborhood associations last summer, but it was a sales presentation. The AMP team--usually Ed Cole and Cyril Stewart--represented the AMPers, and a couple of AMP opponents, usually attorney Dianne Neal and Malcolm Getz, a VU economist who thinks the AMP is based on shaky research, would make the case against it. But the AMP was presented as a done deal, and the AMPers did everything they possibly could NOT to admit that the AMP didn't yet have federal funding and/or to present that funding as a certainty.

    I attended 2 of the charrette meetings, and a lot of the same pro-AMPers and AMP opponents came to every one. These meetings were presented by AMP Yes and the Tennessean as having either more AMP supporters than opponents or an even split. The ones I attended had a lot more people who didn't want the AMP coming in or decided they didn't want it after looking at the drawings--which did not do anything to help people understand exactly how much streets would be widened, where Metro will exercise eminent domain. I saw MTA planner Jim McAteer getting dressed down by a couple of AMP opponents, and he really, really didn't like it.

    The takeaway: The only way Nashville isn't going to get the AMP is if MTA doesn't get federal and state funding. And if it does, that means the fix is in, because it's a design disaster. Stops don't make sense. Traffic from side streets not considered. Inadequate parking. Route to nowhere. - Anon3

  2. Traffic on West End west of 440 is bad two times each weekday, for about 45 minutes each time. I can drive down that stretch at 6:00 p.m. and it will be near-empty going west. I find weekend traffic to be a little worse, or more unpredictable.

    A radical solution that takes away lanes from traffic on West End (or takes away private property and/or sidewalks) is not needed.