8th Avenue South traffic study nearing end - WSMV News 4

8th Avenue South traffic study nearing end

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

A traffic study along Nashville's busy 8th Avenue South corridor is nearing its end this fall.

Metro Planning is considering whether to reduce the number of lanes along the road from four lanes down to two lanes with a turning lane, adding in bike lanes and sidewalks.

For some, that's a win for pedestrian and cyclist safety. For those behind signs posted along the road, that's not an option they want.

"I think it's a waste of government money and a waste of time, and it will be a huge source of frustration for people that travel to downtown to work, people traveling away from downtown," said David Purcell, the owner of Pour House Burgers, Bourbon and Brews.

Since March, Metro Planning began considering different options to fix 8th Avenue's traffic nightmare. On Friday, News 4 learned TDOT is working with Metro Public Works to figure out possible lane structures.

Purcell sees the cars build up outside his restaurant, and he thinks reducing lanes forces drivers to find shortcuts.

"The one thing that I think has started to be a concern of surrounding neighborhoods is what will happen when the backups become even larger than they are right now," Purcell said.

Community meetings over the summer brought up the possibility of moving bike lanes to adjacent streets instead of taking away traffic lanes. Walk Bike Nashville told News 4 earlier this year that a change is needed.

“It’s almost impossible to cross the street. Four lanes in particular are really dangerous,” said Nora Kern with Walk Bike Nashville.

News 4's Briona Arradondo asked some business owners if they think a compromise could work out between reducing lanes and alleviating congestion.

"I'm not sure that there is a compromise," Purcell said. "The compromise really needs to be take care of the taxpayers and make it easier for traffic to flow."

Metro Planning did not give an exact date for when the study here will be finished this fall. The city will figure out what could be the best solution and submit those plans to TDOT, and the state will have the final say on what happens to the road.

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