Green Ribbon Committee presents goals to Dean

Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 4:07pm
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Green Ribbon Committee co-chair Dr. Randy Lowry presented a robust set of recommendations to Nashville's mayor Thursday. Jude Ferrara / The City Paper

After meeting regularly for nearly a year, the Green Ribbon Committee this afternoon presented a robust list of goals and recommendations to Mayor Karl Dean to meet his charge of making Nashville the greenest city in the Southeast.

The goals range from topics like conserving energy to improving mass transportation to building a culture of sustainability. The group wants the region to cut its energy use by a fifth between now and 2020 as well as provide each citizen with "two modes of available and accessible transportation."

The committee, chaired by Lipscomb President Dr. Randy Lowry and Ingram Industries Chairman John Ingram, listed 16 goals divided into 71 recommendations for how to make Nashville a greener city.

Caught in the tail end of a difficult budget cycle, Dean admitted some of the recommendations would be difficult to achieve. But he said it was possible the quick-win recommendations would be implemented sooner rather than later.

“I still think we can implement a lot of the recommendations,” Dean said. “The committee did a wonderful job of identifying what I call low-hanging fruit. Things that can be done with low cost or with current resources.”

Dean’s office is already moving forward with some of the recommendations. The committee recommended implementing direct funding for stormwater maintenance. Dean’s administration already approved a stormwater fee last month.

The committee focused on improving mass transportation options, as well, which Dean has already supported. Dean used Thursday’s announcement to encourage support for state legislation to enable dedicated funding for mass transit.

“I want to be the greenest city in the southeast,” Dean said. “You’ve got to set high goals. When you set high goals, you create expectations to see if you measure up to them and that’s what I’d love to see for our city.”

Among the long-term goals of the committee are building an outdoor classroom area for each Metro school and creating a smart-growth task force to incorporate sustainable design practices into Metro codes.

Click here for the full executive summary, including the recommendations. Also check back for updates.

6 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 4/16/09 at 2:11

They mention rerouting buses in order to get somewhere without having to go through downtown?

By: catenarykat on 4/16/09 at 3:57

MTA has tried cross-town routes and had to cancel them because of low ridership. There's one route like that now (?), but I can't think where. Nashville isn't laid out for a grid bus system, and the transfer points often don't have sidewalks and infrastructure to accomodate transfer areas, like they do in, say, New York City. That's probably why we have the more common spoke system.

By: Kosh III on 4/17/09 at 6:11

The current cross-town route is from Edmonson to Harding and connects with the Nolesnville Rd route. MTA is planning more routes when feasible as well as other innovations and improvements.
Bredesen is not helping. He just decided to cancel the Swipe N Ride program which allows state employees to commute on MTA at no cost. Money before air quality and traffic congestion. It's not even a comparatively large amount to do it. Guess he needs more chandeliers in his party bunker.

By: pandabear on 4/17/09 at 7:35

What about natural gas stations ?

The cars cost about 1/2 as much and natural gas
was being sold at $0.65 a gallon in Utah when gas
was $4.00 + here.

We've got a couple stations in TN, but they're private.
Wouldn't take much to add a pump to each station in
town.

Would you believe I sent this suggestion to Deano's office
over a year ago and never got a reply ?

By: Kosh III on 4/17/09 at 9:09

I believe it. I have emailed the Mayor's office with no response. Maybe if my return addess was Forest Hills.....

By: JeffF on 4/17/09 at 4:25

you would probably get a response is your email address was downtownhiltonsuites.com