Stites files BRT amendment to require study of Charlotte as alternate route

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 10:54am

An amendment to Mayor Karl Dean’s capital-spending plan would require the Metro Transit Authority to study Charlotte Avenue as an alternate route for bus rapid transit.

Metro Councilman Josh Stites filed the amendment, which would tie the study to the $7.5 million in future engineering funding that Dean is seeking for The Amp, the bus rapid transit project that would run from the White Bridge Road area in West Nashville to East Nashville’s Five Points area. The funding Dean is requesting would only be available if and when the project is accepted by the federal government.

Stites said he wants to avoid focusing on the West End route without considering alternatives. Concern has cropped up in recent months as council members and community activists along Charlotte have suggested that corridor would be a better starting point for The Amp.

“My concern,” Sites said, “is we’re going to spend $7.5 million to consider the East-West connector down West End, and when they bring back the study and it’s going to say that it’s going to cause a lot of headaches, it’s going to cannibalize one of our main thoroughfares, but we think it’s good for Nashville to have rapid transit.”

Stites added, “[The] council is going to ask, ‘Did you look at other routes? Did you look at Charlotte? Did you look at Gallatin Road?’ And they’ll say ‘No, we just looked down West End.’ So the purpose of this amendment is to avoid that. So that they understand that the council’s intent — if the council in fact passes the amendment — is that we want to consider everything. We don’t just want tunnel vision going down West End.”

The mayor, along with transit officials, has insisted that West End is the only route capable of attracting federal support, because of the high density along the corridor and the potential for growth in ridership. Without federal funding, the project would be stalled.

Dean has said he hopes the initial project will be a starting point for an improved transit network around the city, including North Nashville, where some in the community have criticized the project as another civic investment that ignores low-income areas.

The council is set to vote on Dean’s $300 million capital spending plan Tuesday night.


6 Comments on this post:

By: sharko20 on 6/11/13 at 8:30

Thank you Josh Stites. Wake up Davidson County residents. Even if you don't live along the route the BRT will effect you.

By: Shane Smiley on 6/12/13 at 2:44

Thank you, Councilman Stites.
You took a stand.
This is a large decision for the taxpayers of Davidson County.
In my opinion, destroying the feel and traffic flow of historic West end is a real shame.
Charlotte pike is begging for AMP. Unfortunately, any other than the West End corridor stops the AMP's ability to carry hotel guests too and from the MCC and city core.
Make no mistake, this is a Chamber of Commerce project directly connected to the city core business model.
The tax payers will now be taking on the transportation fees associated with our hotel / tourism / convention industry.
Thank you, Josh for continuing the conversation.
You had the Historic Courthouse abuzz.
I hope you will take another stand when it comes to the Fairgrounds where 74% of your district voted to Save Our Historic Fairgrounds.
Keep up the good work.

By: Lealand419 on 6/12/13 at 10:32

Excuse me, but it appears from the other story on this subject that a Charlotte route would be way too pricey, without federal help:

"The mayor has repeatedly claimed that West End is the only route in the city that will get support from the federal government, and transit officials have insisted that they considered other routes."

By: Lealand419 on 6/12/13 at 10:35

And as for the "Historic Fairgrounds", blight and eyesore do not equal "historic". It's high time to move the State Fair and redevelop that site into something useful and attractive for the city, i.e. mixed-use.

By: Kelliente on 6/12/13 at 10:42

Do you guys even read the stories before you start in on your "I hate dat big damn gubment" bullshit? To reiterate Lealand49's citation: "The mayor has repeatedly claimed that West End is the only route in the city that will get support from the federal government, and transit officials have insisted that they considered other routes."

Besides, who the hell in their right mind would think anything running down Charlotte could be "rapid" transit. Have you ever driven on Charlotte in rush hour?

And this is NOT a story about the fairgrounds people, so don't even go there. You're off topic.

By: Shane Smiley on 6/12/13 at 4:57

You are correct, Charlotte Pike does not have the population density needed to acquire the federal funds needed to power the AMP project. I believe Gallatin Pike and/or Murfreesboro Road may have the population density with adjusted High Density Zoning.
Metro had to do some rezoning to make the proposed West End corridor qualify.
I agree that the transit officials have looked at other routes but, their focus has always been on West End for the reasons I stated above.

As far as your claims concerning the Historic Fairgrounds, I suggest you do your homework.

Kelliente, I did not say I hated the government. I simply gave my opinion concerning the reasoning behind the AMP.
As far as my comment concerning the Fairgrounds, Seeing Josh stand up for what is right is encouraging.
I hope he will do the same where the Fairgrounds is concerned. With 71% of the voters voting to keep the current Fairgrounds events in place, It is time for our City Council to stand up for the will of the people.
Standing up for what is right should be involved in all conversations.