NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A department dedicated to the needs of Nashville commuters launched Wednesday.
The Nashville Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure or NDOT will handle all road maintenance, traffic signal and sidewalk work in the city.
The department takes the place of Public Works.
"Public Works was 80% solid waste and only 20% transportation when transportation is more important than that and we need successes in both areas," said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. "We need to do solid waste well and we need to do transportation well. So separate them and recruit really great transportation professionals and then get on with it."
Solid waste has moved to Metro Water Services and will be managed out of that department moving forward.
As a new department, NDOT is creating 42 new positions that are transportation-related, like engineers.
The mayor is promising that this department will focus on bringing Nashville roads into the 21st Century.
"We're a long way out away from the only tool you had was a stop sign. There are a lot more tools available in a modern city than a stop sign," Mayor Cooper said.
Transit advocates hope NDOT takes on busing and light rail projects.
"It is time to get serious and intentional about our transportation system," said Jessica Dauphin, President and CEO of Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee. "If we don't improve transit, we are further harming traditionally excluded populations."
According to the mayor, the new department will not be plunging into any large-scale transit projects right away.
"Ultimately you can't have a transit plan until you collect people on sidewalks to get to centers, to then be able to move them, so you've got to have sidewalks first," Mayor Cooper said.
NDOT now manages all Metro-owned rights-of-way in Davidson County and is responsible for transportation-related functions in this right-of-way.
Residents with any Metro-related questions or concerns should contact hubNashville by calling 311, downloading the app, or visiting hub.nashville.gov.