source: Tennessean April 2017 and August 2017
Mayor Megan Barry on Wednesday kicked off a legacy-defining campaign to urge Nashville voters to approve funding for a comprehensive transit system and committed to moving ahead with light rail on East Nashville’s Gallatin Pike as the first spoke of a $6 billion multi-decade regional effort.
Barry used her second annual State of Metro address, held outside Bridgestone Arena, to say she intends to take the necessary steps to hold a Davidson County public referendum in 2018 on dedicated funding for transit. She called on Nashvillians to get behind her push.
She also went one major step further, identifying Gallatin Pike, which stretches from downtown as Main Street through East Nashville, Madison and Rivergate, as the corridor where her administration will begin work on a new light-rail system. Light rail involves electric urban trains that run on exclusive right of way.
Declaring “the time to get started is now,” Barry acknowledged some might debate where to build high-capacity transit first but said Gallatin Pike carries the most mass transit riders in the region. She said the corridor is also ripe for transit-oriented development, has an extensive network of surrounding sidewalks, and cuts through neighborhoods that have shown support for mass transit in public surveys.