Some Question Effect Of Mayor's Affair On Transit Plan

Some Question Effect Of Mayor's Affair On Transit Plan
Posted at 2:43 PM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-11 12:52:42-05

Some have said they’re worried about the future of the transit plan that was heavily pushed by Mayor Megan Barry now that she has admitted to an affair with her police bodyguard.

One professor at Vanderbilt University even attributed a lot of the transit plan’s success to the mayor’s popularity.

"Without the mayor's forceful personality to present the case for the transit plan in many different communities across Davidson County, the transit proponents will have to address the opposition and address the details and be more forthcoming about the problems in the plan that they're putting forward," said Dr. Malcom Getz.

Metro Council Member Jeremy Elrod, a primary sponsor of the transit ordinance, said they don’t plan on changing everything.

"I'm sure it will complicate things," he said. "I don't think it complicates [the] fact that traffic is a problem and that we need to address it. No matter what happens yesterday or what may be coming out in the days ahead, we need to address our traffic issue and our transportation as a whole in our city."

In a statement from Transit For Nashville, they again outlined their support for the light rail plan:

“The transit plan reflects the input of thousands of Nashvillians and the growing want and need of a solution to our ongoing traffic problem. These problems are not going away and the priorities to solve the city’s traffic problem stay the same. This is Nashville's Plan and we continue to move forward.”

Following the admission of her affair, multiple people spoke up about the transit plan, including Metro Councilman Steve Glover, who declined to comment on the mayor’s personal life.

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“On the political side, I think we have a number of massive issues in front of us,” Glover said, referring to Metro General Hospital and the proposed transit plan. “I think meaningful and deep conversation among Nashville taxpayers is what’s needed at this point.”

The mayor's transit plan has promised increased bus routes and a new light rail, including a downtown tunnel.

The mayor has proposed the $5.4 billion transit plan to be on the May ballot, where voters will decide if they want to pay higher taxes to create dedicated funding for a mass transit proposal.