Mayors and county executives from across Middle Tennessee demonstrated their commitment to a new way of thinking about transportation policy and programs with the adoption of Middle Tennessee Connected. This regional transportation plan rests on the view that transportation infrastructure is more than just a tool to improve mobility - it is a significant contributor to the overall health, sustainability, prosperity, and character of a place - be that a small community or a large metropolitan region.
THE REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN IS
MIDDLE TENNESSEE'S GATEWAY TO FEDERALLY-FUNDED
TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS AND SERVICES.
REPRESENTS THE REGION'S COLLECTIVE PRIORITIES FOR STATE AND FEDERAL FUNDS
Prepared by the Nashville Area MPO on behalf of its member jurisdictions, the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), titled Middle Tennessee Connected, spans the next quarter century and represents the collective transportation goals of city and county governments, transit agencies, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). Its purpose is to identify how those partners intend to invest federal grants to improve mobility across Davidson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties. The plan also represents the region's top priorities for state funding as the Tennessee Governor and TDOT prepare the annual three-year work program for the Tennessee General Assembly.
A FISCALLY-CONSTRAINED PLAN
The RTP includes a balanced budget. It presents a list of transportation improvements that can be constructed or implemented over the next 25 years with anticipated federal funding, based on current annual appropriations. The plan schedules projects over three planning horizons including a short-term (2016-2020), mid-term (2021-2030), and long-term (2031-2040). Projects included in the short-term horizon also comprise the MPO's regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
KEEPS TDOT AND LOCAL AGENCIES ELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL FUNDING
Since the 1962 Federal-aid Highway Act, federal legislation has required metropolitan area transportation plans to be developed through a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive planning process. This plan serves to satisfy federal regulations outlined in 23 CFR 450 and ensures that TDOT, transit agencies, and local governments are eligible to use federal transportation funds to construct or implement improvements to roadways and transit routes.
SUPERSEDES THE 2035 REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN
The MPO is required by federal law to update its regional transportation plan every five years to account for changes in transportation needs that result from shifts in regional economic conditions, real estate development trends, funding availability, and public policies. The 2040 RTP supersedes the 2035 RTP which was adopted in December 2010.
Elements of a Regional Transportation Plan
The Regional Transportation Plan is a comprehensive set of strategies aimed at improving the livability, sustainability, prosperity, and diversity of Middle Tennessee through investments in all modes of transportation and in close coordination with land use planning. Read below about the planning efforts of the Nashville Area MPO and its partners.
Roadways are the most visible and productive component of our national, state, and regional transportation infrastructure. The greater Nashville region benefits from easy access to three major U.S. Interstates. However, those facilities demand constant monitoring, maintenance, and management to ensure an acceptable level of service for a growing region.
Public transportation in the United States is a crucial part of the solution to the nation's economic, energy, and environmental challenges – helping to bring a better quality of life. In increasing numbers, people are using public transportation and local communities are expanding public transit services. Every segment of American society – individuals, families, communities, and businesses – benefits from public transportation. Major initiatives are underway in Middle Tennessee to take advantage of those benefits.
Walking and bicycling are important modes of travel in our region. Everyone is a pedestrian, and people make pedestrian trips on a daily basis, whether that means walking from the transit stop to work, walking from the parking lot to the store, or walking with children to school. Walking and Bicycling provide great forms of exercise. Bicycling, once seen primarily as a form of recreation, is now viewed as an inexpensive, quick and eco-friendly form of travel. Our region is supporting the growth of walking and bicycling and the Nashville Area MPO is working with local, state, and Federal government to ensure that walking and bicycling are viable transportation options in the greater Nashville Region.
The Nashville region occupies a strategic location within North America. It is within 650 miles of half the U.S. population and sits at the nexus of major highways and rail routes. This location has made the region a transportation hub for many industries, which have produced enormous benefits to the many communities throughout the area. However, this position as a crossroads also brings the region a set of challenges associated with various aspects of transportation, particularly highway congestion and air quality, as the major sources of those problems originate outside the area. The need to influence the overhead flow of through traffic becomes a clear priority for a metropolitan area wishing to control its own development destiny.
The Nashville Area MPO realizes its works should consider the varying scale and diversity of communities across the region. The MPO is increasing its efforts to knit transportation improvements and public/private investments so that they merge as seamlessly as possible into the community; and supporting the provision of mixed-use development so that transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, are viable options to the single occupancy vehicle.
More and more transportation, and polices that guide the expansion of transportation infrastructure, are increasingly linked to a variety of environmental issues. By federal law, the Nashville Area MPO is responsible for ensuring that the region's plans for transportation infrastructure conform to National Ambient Air Quality standards, but more than that, regional decision makers need to be aware of the affect that transportation has on water quality, wildlife habitat, natural and socio-cultural resources, and climate change.