Downtown musicians frustrated with taxi cabs in loading zones

Posted at 9:18 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 22:18:59-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) -- — It’s part of what draws people to downtown Nashville, but local musicians say the ability to perform live music along Broadway is being impacted by parking problems.

Musicians say taxi drivers are often parked in loading zones instead of designated taxi stands, and this makes it harder for them to unload their equipment and get to their scheduled performances on time.

It has been an ongoing issue for years, but some said when the sidewalks along lower Broadway were expanded to accommodate more pedestrians, the battle over loading zones has heated up.

“We want taxi drivers to be accountable,” said Dave Pomeroy, President of the Nashville Musicians Association AFM Local 257. “Right now, they are getting a free pass and it’s not okay.”

Many musicians have started taking photos of taxis parked illegally in loading zones and sharing the information with Metro Police. Others said often times when they ask the drivers to move, they get rude and threatening responses.

“All we are trying to do is allow musicians to be professionals and get in and out of their place of work,” said Pomeroy. “This is a place where people who create are respected, and we can’t lose that or there won’t be any more Music City.”

A meeting was held at the musicians union hall Friday afternoon for union and non-union memebrs to discuss how to work with city leaders, Metro Police and the taxi drivers to find a solution that works for everyone.

Musicians said they were willing to take legal action against the taxi cab companies if necessary, but hoped the issue could be resolved in another way. They suggested increasing communication, and adding more signs to clearly mark loading zones.

A spokesperson for Metro Police said they are aware of the issue, and understand the frustrations. They said flex and patrol officers in the downtown area are being told to keep an eye out for cabs parked illegally in loading zones, and issue tickets or citations.

No one at Metro’s Transportation Licensing Commission, which regulates taxi cabs, could be reached for comment.