The executive board of the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization on Wednesday adopted a new Regional Transportation Plan — a document that will guide the allocation of what could be nearly $6 billion in federal, state and local funds throughout a seven-county area during the next 25 years.
While preparing the plan over the past three years, the MPO — which comprises political leaders and planning experts from its city and county member jurisdictions across the region — listened to thousands of citizens and business leaders, looked at what other metropolitan areas nationwide are doing to improve their transportation systems and conducted a detailed trends analysis of where Middle Tennessee is headed in terms of population growth, traffic congestion and land development patterns, MPO officials said in a release.
Through the 2035, MPO plans and programs will draw on four broad principles, or strategies, for future growth: livability, prosperity, sustainability and diversity. Within these four principles are elements involving affordable housing, public transportation and environmental issues.
“The MPO mayors, working in partnership with their constituents, the business community, state and local agencies, transit authorities, and planning experts from across the region, have accomplished something remarkable in today’s adoption of this Plan,” MPO director Michael Skipper said in a statement.
“We’re now better prepared to absorb the population growth that accompanies continued efforts to grow our local economies — bringing us new jobs and additional prosperity — without sacrificing Middle Tennessee as we know it today,” Skipper added. “Diversifying our transportation investment strategies to more seriously support alternative modes such as transit, walking and biking will help us to conserve open space and fuel, manage congestion, and connect people with the places they want to go [including] work, school, shopping or entertainment.”