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In the year voters rejected a transit proposal, Nashville's rise in congestion led the nation

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

With a 20% year-over-year increase in congestion, Nashville's congestion in 2018 was the fastest growing of all US cities. This designation comes from INRIX’s 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, which also ranked Nashville as the twentieth most congested US city, a rating worse than Dallas, Phoenix, and Orlando.

INRIX, a global analytics company that specializes in mobility and connected car services, analyzes congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities across 38 countries to produce the annual scorecard.

The reported increase in congestion is not likely a surprise to our region’s commuters. We may not have considered, though, the cost of our region’s congestion, both economically and socially. The report estimates Nashville’s cost of congestion to be $694.7 million, or $1,221 per driver.

During the transit debate in Davidson County, both sides acknowledged that Nashville’s traffic will only get worse, but there was far less agreement on solutions.

Today we need a shared commitment across the region to address our mobility issues, both short and long-term. We cannot afford additional years of double-digit congestion growth.

As we explore the big solutions, here are six things you could do today:

What strategies should Middle Tennessee employ to tackle our ever-growing congestion problem

  • Plan a better commute. Tap into the resources of the Nashville Connector, a hub to figure out your best commuting options, including transit, rideshare, and bicycling.

  • Share a ride. Establish school parent carpool or set up a vanpool program with your colleagues. Use Hytch, a free smartphone app, to set up rides with friends and get rewards for doing so.

  • Use flextime. Unless your job demands a rush-hour commute, use the peak morning time for making calls and sending e-mails from home before you head for the office or your first appointment. Employ technology to enable you to answer your office calls from home or video conference with co-workers.

  • Give your employees a pass. Why just subsidize parking? Offer your employees a subsidy for public transit and rewards for rideshares.

  • Stay off your devices. Even if you use hands-free or only glance at them at a light, you are adding seconds to your response time. Delays don’t just come from distracted driving accidents. Engaged drivers make traffic flow more efficiently.

  • Reduce your miles traveled. Move closer to your job or work from home several days a week. Savor the time you will save by spending less time in your car.

CRT wants to hear your thoughts and ideas.

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