Beacon Center Releases Alternative Transit Proposal

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jul 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 20:21:10-04

A private think tank released an alternative mass transit proposal. The Beacon Center believes adaptive traffic control systems are the answer.

"They're not sexy, they're not special, but they work, and they're very cheap and have been proven to make travel time more reliable, safer, they prevent accidents, and a lot faster," said Ron Shultis.

At a price tag of $100,000 dollars per intersection, he thinks it's more practical than other multi-billion dollar transit plans

"All the traffic lights in Davidson County are timed, so whether it's 2 o'clock, 5 o'clock, middle of the night, they're on a set time sequence," Shultis said.

Sometimes, you're sitting at a light forever waiting on it to turn. The assistant director at Metro Public Works is not confident that adaptive traffic controls work.

The Beacon Center said national studies prove otherwise.

"Think of it as like mission control in NASA but for traffic...," said Shultis.

Second, the Beacon Center believes ramp meters should be installed on interstates to help traffic flow.

"It's like a traffic signal on a ramp, it would alternate between red and green and allow one to two cars to enter the freeway at once," Shultis said.

Large cities utilize ramp meters. In LA, they shortened commuter travel times.

We reached out to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Currently, there are no ramp meters in the state of Tennessee. However, a Metro Public Works employee said they are discussing installing one along with TDOT on I-24 between Murfreesboro and I-40.

Third, Shultis thinks people should work from home.

"In Santa Barbara, California, they removed 90,000 trips per year by having their government employees work remotely where possible as well as working with business leaders to make that part of a regional strategy,"Shultis.

Roughly 9,500 local government workers commute every day in Davidson County.

"The reason why we have traffic is everybody has to get to work around 8 o'clock, 9o'clock at the dot," said Shultis.

Finally, he recommended forcing truck drivers hauling freight to use I-840. Studies show that the majority of big rigs on our roadways aren't delivering to the metro Nashville area.

"Atlanta already does this with I-285, if you're not ending in the downtown area, take 285 around the city to make travel time faster for commuters," Shultis said.

For their additional ideas, you can view the rest of the plan by clicking here.