By MATT MASTERS
Representatives with the South Corridor Study held a public input meeting at the Brentwood Library on Tuesday where they hosted community members and leaders and addressed questions about the proposed changes that address transportation needs in Davidson, Williamson and Maury Counties.
As previously reported, the monthslong study is spearheaded by the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) — an infrastructure planning organization made up of local leaders representing 13 Middle Tennessee counties — in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and WeGo Public Transit, formally known as the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee. The GNRC has recruited the aid of WSP USA — an engineering firm — to conduct the study at a cost of $1,000,000.
Through WSP USA’s early research, they’ve projected Nashville’s south corridor will, by 2040, increase in population by 76 percent, see roadway volume increase by 86 percent, and time spent driving increase by 113 percent.
About 30 people gathered at the start of the meeting that was scheduled to last for two hours, and included a short presentation by Project Manager Doug Delany with WSP USA, the lead consultant agency on the project.
Delany said that this is the second round of community input through each of the proposed communities that would be affected by the project, with a third round of proposals and community input to be held in the fall.
“Tonight’s meeting and the meetings we’ve got planned all week are about getting that public input. What we’ve heard so far as well as the different options that we’re exploring for the corridor in terms of transit and transportation improvements,” Delany said. “As we move forward we’ll start to narrow those options down even more and also start to look at more detailed analysis, cost, the functionality of station locations and all of that.”
Community members were free to move around several stations with maps that detailed current transportation services and proposed changes and options that consultants said may or may not be the best fit for certain areas, such as buses and light rails.
All of the discussed and displayed topics are based off of previously submitted comments from community members across the three counties. Delany described the project as being at the halfway point of the public comments phase.
Brentwood resident Donna Rae Dickerson has lived in Brentwood for 23 years and while she said she didn’t attend the first round of community input meetings, she said that she does have a background in transportation planning and has seen first-hand the changes in traffic congestion in Brentwood.
“I used to be a transportation planner,” Dickerson said. “I think cost is going to be the challenge and convince for parking locations and even the consideration of sharing parking lots and getting mass transit involved.”
The South Corridor Study will host another open house on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Brookdale Senior Living in Franklin and on Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Building in Columbia.
More information about the South Corridor Study can be found at southcorridor.org./
Rachael Long contributed to this story.