Transportation and Mobility
Middle Tennessee’s transportation system includes a vast network of roads, bus routes, rail lines, sidewalks, and bicycle lanes and serves as the backbone of our regional economy. Coordinated planning of that system is critical to the continued prosperity and livability of communities across the mid-State. Continuous and cooperative planning helps to identify investments or actions that can be taken to manage traffic congestion, improve roadway and pedestrian safety, and expand access to jobs, education, and community resources.
Today, the region is home to about 2 million people who travel on average 33 miles and 48 minutes per day over 1,600 bridges and more than 13,000 miles of roadway. Between 2010 and 2040, the region is expected to experience a 76 percent increase in population, 86 percent more volume on area roadways, 26 percent slower travel speeds, and 162 percent increase in the amount of miles traveled in congested conditions.
Since the 1960s, the federal government has required that transportation planning be carried out across political jurisdictions and between levels of government to ensure that gas tax revenues are going to the most effective projects across the nation. Within Middle Tennessee, three regional organizations exist to serve as the collaborative forum for transportation decisions.
Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
GNRC serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and lead planning agency for partners across Davidson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties. This partnership brings together representatives from the U.S. Dept of Transportation, TN Dept of Transportation (TDOT), local and regional public transit agencies, city and county mayors, and local planning and engineering practitioners with community and business advocates to prioritize investments into the area’s transportation system. In this role, GNRC leads in the development of the region’s long-range transportation plan and short-range Transportation Improvement Program and contributes to ongoing conversations about land use, economic development, environmental quality, public safety and security, and public health.
GNRC’s Transportation Policy Board has the authority to plan, prioritize, and select transportation projects for federal funding appropriated by the United States Congress via the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, and is responsible for ensuring the region is in compliance with federal planning requirements and national ambient air quality standards.
Clarksville Urbanized Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
The Clarksville-Urbanized Area MPO is the lead planning organization for Montgomery County, TN and the portion of Christian County, KY. The MPO is staffed by the Clarksville-Montgomery County Regional Planning Commission to produce a long-range transportation plan and transportation improvement program for the Clarksville metropolitan area.
Middle Tennessee Rural Planning Organization
The Middle Tennessee Rural Planning Organization (RPO) coordinates regional transportation planning for Stewart, Houston, Humphreys, Dickson, and Cheatham counties. The RPO is staffed by the Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency and is supported by the TN Dept of Transportation in the development of a rural transportation plan. The RPO advises TDOT on transportation priorities for rural communities across the mid-State, but does not produce a formal transportation improvement program.