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Traffic Study Recommends Christmas Lights Show Stop

Posted at 10:47 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 00:05:13-04

A hot-button issue was addressed Wednesday night at an annual holiday traffic meeting in Nashville --- who decided to end an annual Christmas lights show near Opry Mills.

People attended the two-hour holiday traffic study meeting at Texas Troubadour Theatre.

Jellystone Light Show Canceled For 2017

The first hour addressed questions about the cancellation of Dancing Lights of Christmas show at Jellystone Park. The show which has gained popularity since it started seven years ago.

Part of the study recommended the popular Dancing Lights of Christmas show end to reduce traffic. About 45,000 people attended the event last year.

Mickey Sullivan, Executive Vice President of Gresham, Smith and Partners, said people looked at traffic during last Christmas season and tried to find out what was causing most of the congestion.

"Our study recommended something be done with the Christmas lights show because of the traffic," Sullivan said. 

Sullivan said there were also traffic problems getting into the Opry Mills Mall because of the configuration.

Metro Councilman Jeff Syracuse added that event organizers also have not submitted a traffic plan proposal to Metro Public Works. Something he said they were allowed to do since the beginning of the year. 

"I'm not shutting anybody down, I'm simply not spending our tax dollars on time and effort to put together a plan for them. I don't necessarily want to lose them or to hurt anybody's business but this isn't something that happened overnight," he said.

Donelson resident Alexanderia Honeycutt wanted more answers.

"I'm not necessarily fully supportive of the light show this needs to continue. My biggest issue is what's good for the goose is good for the gander and so if you're going to require one company  that comes in for 12 weeks out of the year to get a permit because they're in the right-of-way, which they are, than Ryman and Mills needs to get a permit because they're in the right-of-way when they're on Briley Pwky and when they're on McGavok Pike," Honeycutt said.

Ryman Hospitality and Opryland Hotel, Opry Mills and Gresham, Smith & Partners discussed the holiday traffic plans and also shared an overview of the long-term infrastructure study recommendations.

Representatives from Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Hermitage Precinct and Metropolitan Nashville Department of Public Works also attended the meeting.