Regional Transportation Plan Released for Public Review, Adoption Hearing Set
Area residents and businesses encouraged to provide feedback on proposed transportation investments
The Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) has released an update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for public review and comment. The Plan outlines recommendations for prioritizing more than $10.5 billion in anticipated federal grants and matching funds between 2021 and 2045. A public workshop will be held on February 4, and the plan document is available for review at GNRC.org/Transportation.
GNRC serves as the federally required Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for a seven-county area that includes Davidson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties. As required by federal law, GNRC has developed a major update to the Regional Transportation Plan. The Plan, last adopted in 2016 by area mayors and transportation officials who serve on the GNRC Transportation Policy Board, is Middle Tennessee's gateway to federal transportation funding. It is updated every five years in accordance with federal laws and regulations. The Plan establishes goals and objectives for the region and identifies federal funding priorities for investments to improve the region's network of roadways, transit services, and walking and bicycling facilities out to the year 2045.
Much of the Plan's funding is positioned to support the ongoing implementation of the IMPROVE Act passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2017. That legislation included a list of transportation projects to be implemented by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). Last year, regional mayors came together to declare 2020 as the "Year of Transportation," as local and state public officials and community leaders rallied together to address Middle Tennessee's growing traffic issues. That bold step was tempered by the emergence of the Coronavirus and the spread of the COVID-19 disease. As a result of the pandemic, leaders reprioritize resources to address the public health crisis.
The proposed update to the Regional Transportation Plan is scheduled for adoption by the GNRC Transportation Policy Board on February 17, 2021. Even with this update, GNRC's work with local and state leaders – including those who oversee city and county governments, WeGo Public Transit, and TDOT – will be an ongoing process as the region recovers from the pandemic.
How to Participate:
- To review the draft plan, visit GNRC.org/Transportation or call 615-862-8828 to request assistance with accessing the documents.
- A virtual public workshop will be held on Thursday, February 4 at 5:30 p.m. Registration is not required. Visit GNRC.org/Calendar for more information about the public workshop. The meeting will be recorded and made available on GNRC's website for continued viewing.
- A series of small group discussion sessions will be held the week of February 8 to allow those interested in further conversation to ask regional planners' questions or express their support or concerns about the draft plan. Registration for these sessions will be required. Further instructions will be made available at GNRC.org on February 4.
- A final public hearing is scheduled for February 17, 2021, at 10:15 a.m. in conjunction with the regular monthly meeting of the Transportation Policy Board. Members of the public may address the Board during the online meeting or can submit comments in writing beforehand by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about the public hearing is available at GNRC.org/Calendar.
Federal regulations require metropolitan areas in the United States to conduct continuing, comprehensive, and collaborative transportation planning by developing a long-range transportation plan. In Middle Tennessee, the RTP fulfills this requirement. The Plan is updated every five years to account for shifts in community and regional priorities, advancements in technologies, fluctuations in funding levels, increases to project cost and changes in federal laws and regulations.