NYC firm hired to study transit options for Broadway-West End

Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 4:47pm
Staff reports

The Metro Transit Authority on Thursday announced it has hired New York City-based planning and engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff to perform a transportation study of the Broadway-West End corridor.

The 12-month study, which is to identify preferred transportation investments for the corridor, is the first step in putting Nashville in line to receive federal dollars for a potential urban streetcar, light rail or bus rapid transit to commute passengers along one of the city’s busiest and most prestigious stretches.   

MTA secured a $1.18 million federal grant and matched it with $437,800 to fund the study.

Read more about the urban streetcar idea here

“I am pleased the MTA board took this action, which is the first step in making the investments that need to be made in improving the way our citizens and visitors travel along this extremely busy and vital corridor,” Mayor Karl Dean said.

According to the mayor’s office, the newly hired firm, a Nashville office for which will oversee the effort, will collect data, perform analyses and seek input from those who work, live or travel along the corridor through focus groups and other means.

Two steering committees will be formed. A Technical Advisory Committee is to include representatives of MTA, the Metro Planning Department, the Nashville Area Metro Planning Organization, Metro Public Works Department and the Tennessee Department of Transportation. A Corridor Steering Committee is to include local businesses, organizations and other stakeholders. 

“Our strategic master plan identified this corridor as one with tremendous opportunity for growth and transit capacity,” MTA board chair Freddie O’Connell said in a statement. “From the riverfront, down the heart of Broadway, through major academic and healthcare corridors, we expect the opportunities for transit-oriented development and ridership to be exceptional. So we're delighted to be embarking on this study.” 

15 Comments on this post:

By: madridia on 1/28/11 at 9:53

Yes! It's about time! Can we also see about getting a commuter train between Murphreesboro, LaVerne, Smyrna, Antioch and Downtown, please? Because rush hour traffic on I-24 is just horrendous.

By: JeffF on 1/28/11 at 12:13

Did the wheels suddenly fall off the buses at the same time a big pile of money fell from the sky? More than likely someone decided that buses were not sexy enough after seeing a trolley system running in another city we should all envy. Never mind that envy and charm is all these trolley and rail systems have going for them and they never fulfill bloated consultants expectations.

By: producer2 on 1/28/11 at 12:56

Buses sit in the same traffic as cars. I think that is the point. And if people are not riding them that you cannot fault the government for that as they do exist.

By: JeffF on 1/28/11 at 1:32

I am curious as how a trolley line taking up property equivalent to 1 or 1 1/2 lanes of traffic will cure a supposed traffic issue. It will be routed to be more a benefit to tourists instead of citizens so all it will do is compact traffic instead of alleviate it.

Did Nashville shop around for a consultant most likely to say "trolley" or are city leader really interested in finding the best solution? When looking for a convention center "consultant" they miraculously came up with the one with a 100% record of saying "build", although it record of results versus promises are below 10%.

By: producer2 on 1/28/11 at 2:13

Just like when the opposition to the MCC hired a spokesperson who has a 100% track record of saying no. so what is your point?

By: producer2 on 1/28/11 at 2:16

And again you turn your "results" to fit your means. the record of results you speak of does not have anything to do with success or failure, just if they met 100% of expectations. If they met 95% of expectations they still fall into your failed to achieve file....

By: TITAN1 on 1/28/11 at 2:35

Ole Jeff, just does not like tourists! LOL! I bet the Chamber of Commerce just loves him!

By: bfra on 1/28/11 at 2:46

producer2 - Higher ups in TN have made it a point, by actions, they do not think Tennesseans are smart enough to work out any problems. So, they must go out of State to spend all the money & get advice, so don't act so smug, you are in the group, they don't think is too smart. Of course, I could agree with them, considering the ones TN has elected to the higher offices.

By: AmyLiorate on 1/28/11 at 4:05

These consultants must be fools, anyone can see that what Nashville needs is a high speed train. LOL

By: JeffF on 1/28/11 at 4:21

Amy I am going to take your comment as a joke.

As for expectations, more times than not, the promises of increases in meeting attendance of multiples of 2 or even 3 have yielded gains of less than 3%, if there were gains at all. Once again Atlanta, Louisville, Memphis, and St Louis being reasonably close examples of the spending of hundreds of millions yet seeing little or negative growth. "We will be eligible to host 80% does not mean actually see more meetings as it turns out.

By: JeffF on 1/28/11 at 4:26

I will add that I like tourists. I just do not like spending billions on them while the problems of Nashvillians are ignored. A trolley connecting the bars, honky tonks, and hotels is not helpful. sort of like a free downtown circulator that goes out of its way to visit tourist haunts but avoids office buildings like they contained lepers.

By: Kosh III on 1/29/11 at 7:31

Rail does not work.
San Diego started a trolley service in 1981. 30 years later there are only 6 lines and traffic is far worse now.
Buses are the answer, starting with BRT service. More buses, more routes, more often.

By: producer2 on 1/29/11 at 8:15

spending million on increasing the size of their current facilities to double and sometimes triple the size of what Nashville is building. That is where they are not meeting expectations. They have plenty of folks to fill up the space the size of what the MCC will be. Nashville did it's homework, you should have done yours...

By: concernedtaxpayer on 1/29/11 at 5:48

Well this is another 1.6 million dollars that will not be going towards jobs for citizens of Nashville.

By: JeffF on 1/30/11 at 4:32

GWCC went through three separate expansions, with the last one being the one of gargantuan size. Each expansion was met by the same results, a failure to meet the promises of the consultants (and the meetings industry who loves them so much). The meeting planners hired consultants again, the predetermined solution, the congress center is not big enough to meet the needs of x% of the market (sound familiar), a larger expansion will put us in position to compete (sound familiar). This will generate thousands of next jobs (ahem?). It will cost taxpayers nothing (really?).

At which expansion should Atlanta stopped? or St Louis? Or Raleigh? Or Baltimore? or Memphis? or Knoxville? or Louisville? or San Diego? The same consultants who generated Nashville's glowing report generated many of the same type of report for these other cities. The results, a sudden realization that the market is oversatuarated with centers they themselves recommended get built.

I will bet that the people who picked this particular firm from New York did so after being presented with glossy reports this same firm generated for other cities that wanted a trolley, no matter what the truth would indicate. Consultants do not good hired by telling interested parties "nope".