Residents Learn About East-West Connector Transit Plan - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Residents Learn About East-West Connector Transit Plan

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Nashville's plans for a Rapid Transit System are moving forward and residents are learning more about how this new system will affect the so-called main street of the city.

If Mayor Karl Dean has his way by 2015, West End will look completely different from what you see now. It will be more pedestrian friendly, have more of a streetscape and most importantly, the middle two lanes will be for Rapid Transit Only.

On Tuesday around 100 people filled the Downtown Nashville Library to learn more about the prospect of a Rapid Transit System in Nashville.

"I live in hermitage and I came a long way to be at this meeting," said Viv Procek.

Procek moved to Nashville from Cleveland where a similar system already exists.

"I have seen the BRT in Cleveland it has brought a lot of development. It's a fabulous system," she said.

Planners believe Nashville residents are ready and in need of the new transit system.

"We in Nashville pay the highest part of our income towards transportation than any other region in the country," said

That could change if East-West Connector bus rapid transit buses move into town. The plan is to run them along West End and Broadway where congestion is highest for commuters.

"There are a lot of vehicles 24/ 7 it's hard to cross west end in a car, it doesn't feel safe walking on west end," said

While they won't be traveling at high speeds the buses won't stop for traffic lights in fact they'll have the ability to change a red light green.

"That doesn't mean the vehicle can be a mile away and change the signal. We are not going to break west end, we are not going to let traffic suffer for transit,' said

But left turns will be a thing of the past on West End, it will be u turns only for drivers.

"I don't know about you all I was trying to make a left on west end avenue and that is a pretty hard thing to do," said

As far as the price it could be around 2.50 to park and ride.

Of course a project of this scale won't happen without money. That is what Metro will try to secure in the next several months, asking for federal funding to cover at least 50 percent of the costs. They hope to find out by Christmas whether this project will be included in the next Presidential Budget.

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