Nashville voters have said no to transit in a decisive fashion.
Nearly 65% of the vote was AGAINST the transit plan referendum.
The plan, originally proposed by former Mayor Megan Barry, would cost the city $5.4 billion and would be paid for by a slight sales tax increase against Nashvillians. In a statement, Mayor David Briley assured voters that he would immediately go to work on a plan that works better for everyone.
“We all can agree that we have to do something about traffic and transportation, but voters didn’t get behind this plan. My responsibility as Mayor is to get back to the drawing board and find the common ground to develop consensus on a new way forward. Our transportation problems are not going away; in fact, we know they’re only going to get more challenging as we continue to grow. I’ll get back to work tomorrow on finding a solution for Nashville that we all can agree on.”
He did warn that a new plan would likely take 6-8 years to develop and likely would be even more expensive, but the hope is to create a plan that reduces commuter traffic on the interstates and provides an option not only for downtown congestion, but for suburban families wanting a more efficient transportation method to and from work.
Reaction to the plan's defeat has been mostly positive
I voted against the transit plan this morning. Not because I am "Against Transit For Nashville", but because this plan sucks out loud.— Wesley B. Hartline (@WBH_Politics) May 1, 2018
We need a better plan. Nashville needs it for the next 30 years of growing our city. We aren't Atlanta, Chicago, DC.
But we might be one day.
Just walked almost the whole downtown tunnel track while I was at lunch... it took me less than 20 minutes. Why do we need a $936 million train tunnel downtown? #nashvilletransit #findrealtrafficsolutions— Stephanie Whitt (@stephannwhitt) May 1, 2018
Although there are definitely some outspoken pro-transit voices out there.
I'm moving out of #Nashville because people think improving mass transit is going to kill the city instead of making it a popular city like Atlanta, San Francisco and other major cities. Thank you for making Nashville horrible for the rest who is for the #TransitForNash plan.— Professor Inari (@DeathLioness) May 2, 2018
The overarching theme of the day wasn't "No transit", but "Make Better Transit". I happen to agree. Personal opinion: Nashville needs an effective mass transit system. But I'd rather wait on one that's effective than rush one that doesn't help what seems to be the main problem: interstate traffic.
Here's hoping Mayor Briley and the Nashville government get to work on a better plan that pushes the city forward.