Home Local News Mayor O’Connell announces decision to pursue dedicated transportation, infrastructure funding on November ballot

Mayor O’Connell announces decision to pursue dedicated transportation, infrastructure funding on November ballot

Funding would improve, expand, deliver better sidewalks, signals, service, safety

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Mayor Freddie O’Connell (c) has announced a new transit referendum.

Mayor Freddie O’Connell has announced that he will move forward with a process to place dedicated funding for transportation and infrastructure projects on the November ballot.

After getting the green light on both legal and financial aspects of the process, the administration is putting a referendum in front of the voters on November 5.

“I think most of you know how deeply personal this issue is to me,” said Mayor McConnell. “My start in public service was my appointment to the Nashville MTA board of directors. Access to transit and commuting by bike were the keys to my own pathway to home ownership. More people deserve that opportunity because this isn’t about me. It’s about the people who live here and whether they can afford to stay here. The cost of transportation is nearly equal to the cost of housing in Nashville, and it’s past time we tackle our transportation issues so that Nashville becomes a more livable city—a place you want to stay.”

‘Choose How You Move–an All-Access Pass to Sidewalks, Signals, Service, and Safety’ is the collective name of all Metro activities around promoting, passing, and implementing a transportation improvement program (TIP). The mayor and his team will engage with the community, Metro Council, and two advisory committees to craft a TIP in the weeks ahead. That work is already underway.

Nashville has more than 70 plans and studies informed by more than 65,000 pieces of input from the community developed over the last 10 years. After taking office, Mayor O’Connell commissioned one of his three transition committees to consider ‘how Nashville moves’ to quickly bring the best ideas from these plans to life. A recommendation of the committee was for the mayor to pursue dedicated funding for the city’s transportation systems.

Following the announcement, O’Connell joined the first meeting of a Community Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from across the Metro area who will provide critical feedback on the contents of the TIP and its impact on communities. A separate Technical Advisory Committee will provide technical guidance on feasibility; up-to-date opportunities; and steps needed to address walkability, connectivity, and transportation efficiency throughout Nashville.

“I wound up being able to buy a house because I had the choice of safe, convenient, and cheap transportation options—the bus, a bike, and sidewalks,” said Mayor O’Connell. “More people should have these choices. I look forward to the conversation we’re going to have about it this year and hearing others’ transportation stories.”

O’Connell is committed to making Nashville a place that works for all Nashvillians. One of his 15 ‘fixes’ that he campaigned on was bringing plans to reality. Acting on the last 15 years of transportation planning in Nashville will allow the city to reduce delays for drivers, reduce the stress of getting to work on time and allow more people to be home for dinner or a child’s soccer game and give back time to small businesses that’s often lost to a commute.

After a period of engagement with the community and key stakeholders, O’Connell will unveil a program that focuses on what he sees as critical connectors: sidewalks, signals, service, and safety.

Residents can learn more, stay engaged, and follow the process by visiting <Nashville.gov/transit>.

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