NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Government officially launched the Nashville Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure at an event on Wednesday.
Mayor John Cooper was joined by a number of guests, including Metro department staff, TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright, FHWA Tennessee Division Manager Pam Kordenbrock and Metro Council members.
The event marked an important milestone in the early implementation of the Metro Nashville Transportation Plan and the city’s journey toward an efficient multimodal transportation network that works for everyone and prioritizes safety.
“In a city on the move, we must keep our people on the move – safely and efficiently. We know what has to be done, because Nashvillians have told us: better bus service; more sidewalks, bikeways, and greenways; and less congestion on safer, well-maintained roads,” Cooper said in a news release. “The people of Nashville helped us create a right-sized, people-first transportation plan, and NDOT is going to deliver it.”
A department focused solely on transportation was a priority for Cooper during his 2019 mayoral campaign and was again recommended in the Metro Nashville Transportation Plan, adopted in late 2020 by Metro Council. The department recently received significant funding increases in both the 2021-2022 capital and operating budgets, with over $120 million in transportation related capital funding, and 42 additional positions added.
With many cities moving toward independent local transportation departments, the advantages are clear: efficiency, sustained focus and accountability. As Nashville continues to grow, building out a 21st century multimodal transportation network that prioritizes safety and equity will be key to maintaining quality of life for Nashville residents, and a department dedicated to these issues is essential to carrying out this vision.
“Nashville’s success as a city is reliant on a smart, future-oriented and performance-oriented department of transportation,” NDOT Interim Director Faye DiMassimo said in a news release. “As an economic hub for Middle Tennessee, it is incumbent upon Nashville to address the transportation challenges we face and be accountable to the residents of the city.”
“TDOT is excited about enhancing our partnership with NDOT,” Bright said in a news release. “We look forward to working closely with Nashville on local land use decisions and community visions as it would pertain to a more effective statewide transportation system. The city’s growth requires a focused approach to addressing transportation challenges, and our success in addressing these challenges relies on both local and state-led solutions.”
The department will house a variety of transportation-related right-of-way functions including road maintenance, traffic signal management, paving, sidewalk construction and maintenance, bikeway construction and maintenance, bridges, capital roadway improvements, stop signs, pavement markings, parking and permitting. The department will also soon house a Traffic Management Center (TMC) for modernizing traffic signal management that is currently under development. The TMC is currently in the design phase and staff is working to expedite its implementation. Greenways will continue to be managed by the Metro Parks Department, and the transit system will remain under the separate authority of MTA/WeGo. NDOT will not handle solid waste functions. Solid waste has moved to Metro Water Services and will be managed out of that department moving forward.