Mayor Cooper Announces Full Funding for New Traffic Management Center

Federal Transportation Grant Will Pay for Smart-Technology Hub to Increase Safety, Reduce Drive Times

Sky view of Nashville, TN (Photo by: Tanner Boriack | Unsplash).
Sky view of Nashville, TN (Photo by: Tanner Boriack | Unsplash).

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville will fully fund a new traffic management center with federal dollars, Mayor John Cooper today announced, as the city continues to improve transportation in neighborhoods and reduce drive times along busy corridors.

A $3.65 million grant –  a state award of federal dollars, with no matching local funds required – will fund a technology-driven hub, where the Nashville Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT) can better manage traffic signals, gather traffic-flow information, and share updates with drivers in real-time – all to improve safety and reduce congestion.

Since Nashville adopted the Metro Transportation Plan in December 2020, the city has secured eight grant and partnership awards – for a total of nearly $44 million in fewer than two years.

“Today’s achievement affirms our transportation strategy: have an adopted plan, leverage that plan to unlock state and federal funding, and recruit and retain experts who will focus solely on delivering results for residents,” Mayor Cooper said.

“With every step, we take forward on our transportation plan, we must thank residents – nearly three thousand in all – who stepped up and contributed their ideas for it,” the mayor added. “This is an example of city government doing its job: solving problems with practical, achievable strategies and bringing our community together.”

About the Forthcoming Traffic Management Center

At the hub – located at 700 Second Ave. S. – NDOT engineers and technicians will use advanced traffic signal control systems, sensor-based traffic monitoring technologies, and other tools to monitor traffic and better manage congestion.

The center will be a clearinghouse for traffic-flow updates, which NDOT will share in real-time on roadway dynamic message signs, on social media, on, and with partners like the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and other Metro agencies.

“We’re so grateful to TDOT for awarding us the federal CMAQ grant, and we know this new Traffic Management Center is going to transform the way we manage congestion here in Nashville,” said NDOT director Diana Alarcon. “Our department is committed to providing residents with a complete, connected transportation system, and managing traffic is a major component of that.”

About the Grant

TDOT selected Nashville for the grant, which is funded through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. A funding agreement now heads to Metro Council for approval.

“Nashvillians expect and deserve for their city government to make practical, steady progress on the issues that affect their daily lives,” said Burkley Allen, who serves on Metro Council as a District Council Member At-Large and was an early supporter of the Metro Nashville Transportation Plan.

“Traffic and transportation are at the top of the list of those key issues,” she added. “Today’s step forward for a traffic management center in our city shows what’s possible when we focus on priorities and work together.”

Councilmember Zach Young – who chairs the Council’s transportation and infrastructure committee – experiences Nashville’s pressing transportation needs when he’s on the job as a real estate agent.

“I travel all over Nashville for work– including some of our busiest roads, like Hillsboro, Dickerson, and Gallatin,” he said. “So I can fully appreciate that traffic is back up to pre-pandemic levels. We need to move quickly on projects like the traffic management center to keep Nashville working for our residents and visitors.”

About NDOT and the Metro Transportation Plan

Since the city adopted the Metro Nashville Transportation Plan in December 2020, Nashville launched its first-ever local department of transportation and has secured nearly $44 million for transportation and infrastructure projects in neighborhoods and along major corridors.

The plan – to which nearly 3,000 residents and local organizations contributed, with community feedback and ideas – is the city’s strategy for creating a safe, state-of-the-art, all-modes-of-movement transportation network in Nashville – everything from reducing pedestrian and traffic fatalities to building sidewalks more efficiently, repairing neighborhood streets and better connecting the city’s bikeways and greenways.

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