Grassroots Effort To Park AMP Bus Growing - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Grassroots Effort To Park AMP Bus Growing

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by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Opposition to Nashville's proposed bus rapid transit program AMP is growing as a grassroots group gains more members. But proponents maintain AMP is a necessity.

Members of the group have started placing bright red and white signs on their properties to show their opposition to the proposed project.

"We are definitely not against mass transit, we just don't think this is the right plan for Nashville," said member Lonnie Spivak.

AMP is a 7.1-mile dedicated rapid bus lane that would stretch from Five Points in East Nashville to St. Thomas West Hospital. It would use wheeled vehicles that operate much like subway trains with multiple doors to allow quick boarding and exit. It could cost as much as $175 million.

Opponents have several reasons for disliking the proposed bus rapid transit plan.

"Some of it is not in my backyard. Some of it is financial, how is the city going to pay for it. Some of it is what it does to the neighborhoods and traffic flow, the businesses," Spivak explained.

According to Spivak, AMP would actually increase traffic along with West End corridor and hurt businesses.

"Taking away so much regular automobile traffic will really make the corridor a bigger mess than it is now," he said. "The traffic up and down West End will become so bad and unbearable, that businesses, and everything, will start leaving the corridor."

While opposition to AMP is growing, supporters of the project already has a strong backing in the community.

Anna Grimes has a home just off of West End Avenue, near the proposed Cherokee Park AMP station.

"There are other congested areas out there, but not as congested," according to Grimes.

She said rapid transit is the next piece in the puzzle for a growing city like Nashville.

"What makes a great city, is a great transit system," Grimes said. "And underscore the word system. We're not talking about one thing, we're talking about starting with one thing and using that as a catalyst to improve all of it."

Grimes said AMP will play a crucial role in sustaining the growth Nashville is currently experiencing.

"If we don't, then all of this great economic development, we as a city have been enjoying, can get stalled out," Grimes said.

Earlier in August the Federal Transportation Administration approved Nashville's request to apply for $75 million to help fund the AMP project.


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