Metro Councilman proposes double-stacking Nashville interstates in new transit plan

(Fox 17 News)

A Metro Councilman introduced an alternate transit plan shortly after Nashville voters voted down the city's $8.9 transit proposal.

Nashville is growing in population and in popularity. As more buildings go up, Nashville area drivers say the same will happen to the time you spend during rush hour.

"Getting anywhere in this town, it used to be the 20 minute city," Nicholas said. "Now it’s the 30 minute, 45 minute city, just to get to where you want to get to."

With no regional commuter train service and no outer highway loop, Metro Councilman Robert Swope introduced the idea of dedicated lanes for self-driving cars on I-24, I-65 and I-40, along with double-stacked highways.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation says such a move will cost a lot of money to build.

“We think it'd be extremely expensive to do that, and we need to remember as a state we don't borrow money so it would be a pay-as-you-go project, which would make it difficult,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said in a previous interview.

Schroer also said it would take decades to complete the project.

Councilman Swope disagrees about the cost.

"Double stacking 11.6 miles of freeway, which is what it would take to basically alleviate 35-40 percent of the traffic through Nashville, has an estimated cost of $1.2 billion," Swope said. "I don’t think that’s too expensive."

Swope said the city would look for state and federal funds to make transportation improvements around Nashville, but his plan would take on a regional approach as well.

"Because you need to move people from Rutherford County and Wilson County and Williamson County not just Davidson," Swope said. "Eighty percent of the traffic in this town during peak hours is from out of county, and 35 percent of it never stops in Nashville at all."

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