Drivers question effectiveness of proposed choice lanes

Governor’s transportation plan would allow driver’s to pay to ride in a special lane.
WSMV4's Danielle Ledbetter reports.
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 6:07 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Gov. Bill Lee signed the Transportation Modernization Act which allocates billions to transportation projects in the state on Monday.

A big part of the governor’s plan is choice lanes.

“It’s strange they’re trying to put 10 pounds of flour inside a five-pound bag, and it just won’t work,” Nashville resident Bryan Whittemore said referring to the city’s growing population.

More people mean more traffic.

“It’s crazy. Traffic is incredible. You have to anticipate leaving an hour early for anything, it doesn’t matter where you’re going,” Whittemore said. “It’s going to take you an extra hour than what it used to take.”

Emari Wood agrees it’s taking him a bit longer to get where he’s going these days.

“As the population grows in any given area, you’re just going to have to learn how to be patient,” Wood said.

“I see it coming down to the haves and the have nots, and what if you don’t have that money to get through the express lane,” Whittemore said of the proposed choice lanes.

However, he doesn’t think these lanes are the answer to reducing traffic.

“It doesn’t seem right. We have a government. We have utilities. We have a system in play already and if it’s not working you got to upgrade, you got to do something, but paying to drive in a lane is not a solution, it’s not,” Whittemore said.

Whittemore believes the answer is educating drivers and being considerate of others.

“If people would pay more attention,” he said. “They’re so self-centered and they’re in their little bubble. If they could pop their bubble and consider the next guy, traffic would move a lot better.”

“You have to think about others and not just thing about yourself,” Wood said. “Just learn how to be patient and that’ll reduce road rage and people killing each other on the road.”

Wood believes there’s always another route.

One woman that WSMV4 spoke with said she would gladly play to use the lanes.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said Monday it doesn’t have a timeline yet on when choice lanes could be instituted, and it is still identifying where the lanes will go.