Nashville Planners Release ‘Connect Downtown’ Plan

The city’s transportation department aims to make moving through downtown Nashville smoother and safer.

1 minute read

November 12, 2023, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View from street level of brightly neon-lit bars and theaters on Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

Ayman / Adobe Stock

The city of Nashville’s Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT) is releasing a mobility plan dubbed Connect Downtown that aims to smooth out the “mess of Ubers, scooters, one-way streets and jaywalking, without clear arteries connecting east to west or north to south” that characterizes downtown Nashville. 

As Eli Motycka reports for Nashville Scene, the city is playing “a clunky game of catchup” to adapt infrastructure to new mobility modes and needs. “A damning report from Forbes last month put even more heat on city leaders to figure out the city’s transportation growing pains. The national business magazine ranked Nashville as the country’s hardest commute, estimating that residents lost 41 hours over 2022 to traffic and congestion obstacles.”

Planners are working on long-term projects including a pedestrian-only zone and an “aspirational” bus rapid transit (BRT) line to the airport, as well as shorter-term improvements such as bike lanes. “If it seems like bike lanes are suddenly popping up everywhere, it’s because they’re riding a combination of modern urban design principles and a planning department trying desperately to help Nashville catch up,” Motycka explains.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023 in Nashville Scene

Aerial view of Eugene, Oregon at dusk with mountains in background.

Eugene Ends Parking Minimums

In a move that complies with a state law aimed at reducing transportation emissions, Eugene amended its parking rules to eliminate minimum requirements and set maximum parking lot sizes.

December 3, 2023 - NBC 16

Green Paris Texas city limit sign with population.

How Paris, Texas Became a ‘Unicorn’ for Rural Transit

A robust coalition of advocates in the town of 25,000 brought together the funding and resources to launch a popular bus service that some residents see as a mobility lifeline—and a social club.

November 30, 2023 - Texas Monthly

SMall backyard cottage ADU in San Diego, California.

San Diegans at Odds Over ‘Granny Towers’

A provision in the city’s ADU ordinance allows developers to build an essentially unlimited number of units on single-family lots.

November 29, 2023 - CALmatters

Silver and red Washington D.C. bus.

DC Launches 24/7 Bus Service

Starting December 17, 14 Metrobus routes will run around the clock to better serve essential workers and visitors.

7 minutes ago - Mass Transit

Aerial view of mobile home park with mature trees in Rochester, New York.

New York Strengthens Protections for Mobile Home Park Residents

Modular home owners will get the first right of refusal when park owners want to sell residential parks.

1 hour ago - Spectrum News

Aerial view of Palo Alto, California at sunrise.

Palo Alto Expands Church ‘Safe Parking’ Program

The city is considering adding commercial lots to the program, which provides safe parking and amenities for people living in cars.

December 6 - ABC 7 News

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

"Rethinking Commuter Rail" podcast & Intercity Bus E-News

Chaddick Institute at DePaul University

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.