Since moving to Nashville in 2014, I have heard and read several things about the growth of Nashville and never ending complaints about the traffic. There have been talks about the “25-year plan” and light rail as well as express buses. Nashville already has a commuter rail called the Music City Star which I used when I first moved here and lived East of downtown. Even with the convenience and ease of riding the Music City Star, the traffic for those who do not ride the train to/from that direction is still a pain. When you travel from points east to downtown you have to deal with 24/40 split and 40/65 split. Since there is no Interstate by-pass around Nashville, that means everyone has to go there.
So what’s the answer right now for improving Nashville’s traffic headaches?
More roads? More buses? Light Rail?
The #1 way to improve Nashville traffic is for drivers to obey the traffic laws. Every driver in Nashville should take a refresher course on traffic rules. Here are some of the simple things that most Nashville driver’s need to do:
- Stop At Red Lights – The most elementary rule in driving. If the light is red you MUST stop! If you think I’m exaggerating this problem, try driving on one of the streets where traffic exiting the Interstate has a traffic light.
- Use Your Turn Signal – Unless we live in a city where everyone has ESP, it is a necessity to put yourself out and operate that device on the steering wheel that lets everyone know where you are going.
- Get Off The Phone – Who are you talking to? You are in the car and behind the wheel so DRIVE!
- Be Patient – Gosh people don’t you think ALL of us are trying to get somewhere too? Impatience is one of the big things Nashville drivers are lacking.
The main thing about driving is to simply do what you are supposed to do. Simple. Just obey the rules. While this wouldn’t solve Nashville’s congestion issues it would make things flow a lot smoother if everyone would cooperate. Somehow the Music City was deemed the “Friendliest City” in America last year. I can’t imagine this was based on Nashville drivers. Maybe they mistook that gesture for meaning they were Number One!
Here is my unofficial ranking of the worst commutes in Nashville:
- I-24 between Nashville-Murfreesboro
- I-65 between Nashville-Madison-Goodlettsville-Hendersonville
- I-65 between Nashville-Brentwood-Franklin
- I-40 between Nashville-Donelson-Hermitage
- Downtown-Hillsboro Road
- Downtown-Lebanon Pike
- Downtown-Gallatin Pike
- Lower Broadway (anytime)
- Downtown-Charlotte Pike
- Downtown-Belle Meade
When is rush hour in Nashville? It seems to start around 2:30 p.m. and starts to thin out around 6:30 p.m. during the week.
Whenever and wherever you travel just remember to be patient and do what you are supposed to do.