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'Bus Only' Lanes Get Green Light On M'Boro Pike

Posted at 7:53 PM, Dec 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-27 21:07:59-05

Traffic has long been a popular topic of conversation in Nashville. City leaders hope new bus only turn lanes will help on one busy Davidson County road. 

Officials said "bus only" lanes will be implemented on Murfreesboro Pike in 2017. 

Ronnie Swanson told NewsChannel 5 reporter Alexandra Koehn that he takes the Murfreesboro Pike line to his granny's house. He said the ride takes about 40 minutes. 

"Traffic. Oh boy, there's a lot of traffic. Too many red lights and stop signs, but those are cool because of safety," he said.  

Swanson liked the idea of the bus only lanes, saying it would not only reduce his ride, but help traffic flow smoother. 

Bus rider Melissa Owen wondered if cars would hit more traffic due to less lanes.

"I think it would be great, but I'm a bus rider. For the car riders, I don't know how it would be for them," she said. 

MTA representatives said traffic lights will be changed out with the new technology.

Buses will have the capability to cue lights to turn green instead of red. Information on that technology can be found here

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"The lanes are already too small, it would cost an ungodly amount of money, and then of course it would change the landscape of the city to add lanes," said Owen. 

A grant was given to Nashville a couple years back to cover about $10 million of the cost. Local taxpayers would have to pay the rest of the cost, which is estimated to be just over $3.7 million. 

The cost would also include ground work for safer pedestrian crosswalks. 

Hecter Sims said the "bus only" lanes in Los Angeles did make his trips quicker.

"It helps with traffic. Helps traffic run smoothly, and gets you there a little faster and on time," he said. 

The plan would includes safer pedestrian crosswalks on Murfreesboro Pike, the second busiest bus route in the city.

The project on Murfreesboro Pike should be completed by 2019.