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Get connected: Nashville’s 10-year plan to improve downtown traffic

Connect Downtown is currently in the draft phase, meaning there’s still time to provide feedback before the plan is finalized.

vision zero nashville tn

Here’s the lowdown on Connect Downtown. | Photo by Pexels

Nashville’s Connect Downtown project team released a draft action plan that seeks to improve mobility and address traffic congestion in the downtown core.

What this means: It’s the last chance to provide feedback before recommendations are finalized early next year.

The big picture

In its draft form, the 10-year action plan — a collaboration between NDOT, WeGo Public Transit, TDOT, and the Nashville Downtown Partnership — recommends focusing on five “big moves” to improve mobility in the downtown core.

Manage congestion: Upgrade signals and convert select streets to one-way or two-way travel. The Traffic Management Center (opening in early 2024) will monitor traffic flow in real time.

Improve safety: Advance Vision Zero projects and programs to make downtown’s streets safer.

Move more people: Prioritize buses on key corridors and increase service. The plan calls for new mobility centers in SoBro and on the East Bank (similar to WeGo Central) + three new Transit Priority Corridors (areas with dedicated bus lanes and transit priority signals).

Create complete networks: Develop safe, separated, and connected spaces for walking, biking, rolling, and scooting facilities. Think: wider sidewalks and advancing WalknBike projects.

Maximize the curb: Curb management for deliveries, service vehicles, and passenger pick-up and drop-off. Think: Digitizing curbside regulations and studying the use of “microhubs” to manage distribution in select areas.


Proposed areas where select streets could be converted for one-way or two-way travel. | Graphic via Metro Nashville

What’s next

Connect Downtown’s projects will be completed in three phases, beginning in 2024, though the timeline isn’t “rigid.” This means starting with “quick wins,” or programs that are ready for implementation, as more complex projects are designed.

Projects are expected to be paid for through local funds, competitive grant funds, developer contributions, and future partnerships. However, the project team notes that Nashville will require a “significant increase” in transportation funding to fully implement the plan.

Ready to get connected? Residents can provide input via this survey on Connect Downtown’s project website.