My Solution to the Nashville Traffic Problem

04.22.09 | Comment?

Living in Rutherford County and working in Davidson County is the lifestyle many people choose to pursue. You get the benefit of the salary that comes with working in a big city, but none of the drawbacks. Well, none except the traffic, that is. I’m sure those of you who commute from Rutherford County into Nashville on a daily basis can empathis;, the rush-hour traffic can be absolutely insane.

As a soccer coach, I have to leave Nashville every Tuesday and Thursday to get to Smyrna as close to 6pm as I can get. That means my wife has to leave her job a little early downtown, come pick me up in Hillsboro Village, and then we join the mad rush of commuters trying to get the heck home headed Eastbound on I-24. However, without fail, every Tuesday and Thursday, traffic is unbelievably busy. It’s not even stop ‘n go, it’s stop ‘n stop. There is no rhyme or reason why it should be this way – logically speaking, you would think the traffic would be the busiest (both East and Westbound) on a Monday and Friday, the two days when people have to return to work, and the other where they can’t wait to leave. But no; for some reason, the traffic on a Tuesday and Thursday are the worst. I’ll give you a couple of examples. On Monday morning, it took us approximately 25-30 minutes to get to work and approximately 30 minutes to get home. This morning (Wednesday) it took us around 25 minutes to get to work and about the same to get home. Yesterday (Tuesday), it took us 45 minutes to get to work and an hour-and-a-quarter to get to Smyrna – an hour-and-a-bloody-quarter for a thirty-minute journey! There was no fender-bender, no police hold-up – it was all traffic congestion.

“But Internet Monkeh, surely you’re leaving different times so the traffic is different?” Nope. My wife and I generally leave the house around the same time and leave our workplaces at the same time.

I have a solution that will solve the traffic crisis, boost jobs, put money back into the local economy and help the environment – the Music City Star train needs to be available as an option for Rutherford County commuters. The current route that is shown on the RTA website has the train headed out to Lebanon from Riverfront via Donelson, Hermitage, Mt. Juliet and Martha. I pulled this copy straight from their website:

RTA has provided Middle Tennessee with commuter rail service between Lebanon and Nashville since September 18, 2006. The RTA Music City Star makes trips to and from Lebanon and downtown Nashville Monday through Friday during peak rush hours, and makes an evening run on Fridays.

Oh, really? That hub of activity that is Lebanon gets train service while the county with one of the largest housing developments in the country has to fight it out on the interstate. Don’t even mention the bus service as being a viable option – all the buses I’ve ever gotten into Nashville have always been standing room only. It’s a joke. Even worse, in bold white text in the footer of the MTA website is the text RTA is a Clean Air Partner of Middle Tennessee. Oh, really? If you’re that concerned about the environment, let’s get serious and give the thousands of commuters who travel both ways on I-24 another option. If a train can be operated to Lebanon, then surely one can be operated to Rutherford County.

I’d be interested to know from media outlets such as @wkrn if this option has ever been explored. If it has, what’s the status? If it hasn’t, why not? It’s not like it’s not needed.

If you use I-24 as part of your daily commute to the office I’d love to hear your opinion.

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