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2023 Mayoral Candidate:
Jim Gingrich

Transportation Vision


1. What is your vision for multimodal transportation and mobility, including public transit in Nashville?

Years of unrestrained and unchecked growth without investment has congested our streets and made our mobility unsafe. As Mayor, I see dealing with our transportation, congestion, and infrastructure as a critical component in dealing with our unrestrained growth. Last year, we had 25% more pedestrian deaths than the year before. And the time we spend in traffic is up to 9 hours from 2021. We must find ways to alleviate congestion and commute times. We must strengthen our relationships with surrounding counties and find a regional solution that works for those commuting into Nashville. We must also address the basics: increase the frequency of buses, the number of transportation hubs, expand the number of routes and dedicated bus lanes, upgrade our fleet, and improve our roads.

It is unacceptable that our families and children are risking their lives to move around their community. We need to urgently deal with the fact that we have an unacceptable rate of pedestrian deaths. We need to be more adept at identifying intersections that are particularly dangerous, building sidewalks, and increasing the accessibility of buses, and using analytics through an upgraded traffic signal system.

2. What is your plan for multimodal transportation and mobility improvements, including public transit, in the first 100 days of your administration?


I can't keep track of the number of transportation studies we've done. And each one tells us the problem is worse than the last time we studied it. And because our career politicians have kicked the can on finding real solutions to our congestion so many times, unfortunately we cannot do things in a sequential order. There are several things we must begin to take action on immediately. We must have a long term sustainable solution and that will take time to build, but there are some things we can do day one to improve transportation and mobility:

  • Improve sideways and bikeways

  • Improve our roads

  • Use a modern traffic signal system with timed lights to give us analytics on problem spots and have a rapid response to those issues

  • Uniform maintenance of our infrastructure across the city

  • Increase the frequency of buses, the number of transportation hubs, and the hours of operation

  • Expand the number of routes and dedicated bus lanes

  • Upgrade our fleet

  • Focus on busy thoroughfares such as Murfreesboro Pike and Dickerson Pike, and employ rapid transit options where possible

3. What is your strategy or approach for funding the multimodal transportation, mobility, and public transit infrastructure in your vision above?


In the business world, you are not afraid to spend as long as there is a clear return on that investment. Currently, our city is spending 60% more per resident than we were a decade ago, but our transit, public transportation, and infrastructure isn't 60% better. Asking people to pay more and giving them less is not how to run things.
First and foremost, we must look at our current budget and make sure we are currently spending every penny in the most impactful and efficient way possible. Then, using data and analytics from modern infrastructure we build, we can determine the effectiveness and return-on investment, and adjust our approach where we need to while continuing on with measures that work. We must also look for new funding sources through infrastructure grants, federal dollars, working with our neighboring towns and counties on shared costs to expand regional transit opportunities, and building back the relationship with the state and continuing to advocate for state funding.

4. How will you work with community organizations, advocates, and neighborhoods to shape and build support for your vision?

For far too long, career politicians have shut the community out of decision making. Government works best when decisions are made by those that govern. My office will have a head of community and stakeholder engagement whose sole purpose will be to engage with organizations, individuals, advocates and neighborhoods to build plans together before we make any big decisions.

5. When making transportation decisions, how will you balance the needs of our diverse neighborhoods and people, respecting context, history, and identity? 


There are neighborhoods and people who feel that Metro has forgotten them and prioritized out-of-town developers and special interests. They need investments now, but should also be involved in how those investments are made. Working with the office of community engagement and neighborhood leaders, we will make neighborhood driven investments.

6. Given Nashville’s history of inequitable transportation investment, how will you keep these investments equitable?


Everyone deserves a seat and voice at the table. Unfortunately, that has not been the case across Metro and it's apparent in our investments including transportation. Out-of-town developers and special interests have dictated what gets invested where. That will stop with my administration and we'll put neighborhoods first.
We must look at data already provided to us and analyze where we need more investment, but we must include stakeholders and communities during that process. And continue to pair data with community engagement during the decision making process.

7. Rank the following:

  1. Higher Frequency Bus Routes - bus arrives every 5-10 minutes

  2. Hours of Bus Service - longer hours up to 24/7 service

  3. Neighborhood Mobility Hubs - decentralize the transit system by adding more transit/mobility hubs around the city (i.e., Hillsboro & North Nashville Transit Centers)

  4. Crosstown Routes - support existing crosstown routes and add more where it makes sense to increase one-seat rides

  5. Traffic Calming - speed humps, bulb-outs, trees, roundabouts, etc.

  6. Traffic Signalization - coordination of traffic signals to manage the speed of vehicles and efficiency of through traffic

  7. Pedestrian Infrastructure - Sidewalks, crosswalks, HAWK signals, lighting

  8. Park and Rides - permanent, safe parking for those riding the bus into downtown

  9. Greenways

  10. Protected Bike Lanes - (Mobility Lanes)

  11. Regional transit solutions - WeGo Star (commuter rail), other regional commuter/express bus options

  12. Transit Priority Corridors - Bus Only Lanes, Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, etc on identified corridors like Murfreesboro Pike

  13. Transit Oriented Development, TIFs, etc.

  14. Traffic Enforcement - focused on speeding and reckless driving


8. Explain your rankings (optional).


Because our career politicians have kicked the can on finding real solutions to our congestion so many times, unfortunately we cannot do things in a sequential order. My ranking reflects what can be done quickest to improve the lives of Nashvillians, but we must address all these issues day one.

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