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Belle Meade residents voice concerns at community meeting focused on transportation and traffic

Traffic concerns top of mind for Belle Meade residents amid proposed development plans
Posted at 9:04 PM, Jan 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-22 12:42:00-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Over the course of her 30 years living in Belle Meade, Louise Seawright has seen a lot of change, but the biggest change may be on the horizon.

"The thing that's staggering to all of us neighbors is the size of these projects," she said.

Seawright was one of many residents who packed into the dining hall of Montgomery Bell Academy for a community meeting. NDOT employees, council members and city planners were in attendance.

The meeting focused on current traffic issues, how proposed development would impact traffic, and possible mitigation efforts. A traffic engineer with the firm KCI Technologies discussed findings from a traffic impact study for the proposed Belle Meade Plaza development.

The discussion included two other possible developments known as the "Harding Town Center" site between Publix and Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West and the "4416 Ridgefield Way" site.

But more development could come with more traffic — at least, that was the concern for many who live in the area. They say Harding Pike — central to where the proposed developments would be — is already a busy road.

"I feel like those kinds of problems are going to happen anyway, and what we need to do is get ahead of it and plan," said Belle Meade resident Will Krugman.

After the PowerPoint presentation, attendees broke off into groups to share their concerns and ideas.

"It's a situation that out here in West Nashville we haven't had as much attention because we haven't had the development pressure that other areas have had, and so to be able to get our frustrations with traffic on paper before development starts telling us how they're going to fix problems, we need to make sure they know what the real problems are," said Metro Council Member Kathleen Murphy.

Now, as the road to development begins, neighbors hope they'll be in the front seat of the planning process as changes continue to come to the area.

"I just wanted voices like mine to be heard," said Krugman.

Residents are invited to learn more and provide feedback through this link.