Nashville Traffic, Soccer and HOCKEY!

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Okay, instead of a separate blog for each subject here, I decided to merge them together.  Yes, merge – as in what drivers here do NOT do in traffic here.

Let’s start on that first…the bad and ugly about living in Nashville.

Today it took me about 25 minutes to get to work.  Yesterday it took an HOUR and TWENTY minutes to get there.  The reason for the traffic mess was due to a construction project that wasn’t completed in time for the morning commute.  I don’t blame the TDOT workers for the mess because those folks have a thankless and hazardous job working to fix and maintain our roads.   My issue is with the mayor without any good plan to fix this, yet trying to get a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise here along with a stadium.  I can just about guarantee you that NO ONE stuck in the traffic mess yesterday was thinking about soccer or the stadium plans.  We were all wondering about this grandiose plan to fix the traffic situation.  I know every major city fusses about their traffic issues but Nashville is a little different.  The city is going faster than its infrastructure to support the growth.

Yesterday, the traffic report said there was one word to describe the commute on I-40 travelling from the west:  “Awful”.   It was awful.  There are only two alternate routes to take when I-40 Eastbound is a mess and those alternate routes weren’t any better.  There’s got to be a better way to fix the problem now.  Whoever designed the highway system here needs to be beaten severely with a stick.  Nashville has no interstate bypass routes.  Interstates 24, 40 and 65 all converge in Nashville.  Why is that?  And the enter/exit ramps are like nothing I have ever seen.  They are so poorly designed for the volume of traffic here.   With all the talk of building a soccer stadium at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds I can’t help but to wonder how they are going to get people in and out of there?  If you ever go there for anything you know what I am talking about.

Here are a few things I would suggest from just a citizen’s point-of-view:

  • Build an interstate bypass around Nashville so that the semis won’t have to roll through downtown.  I’m sure they all dread having to come through Nashville.
  • Commuter Rail.  You’ve got the Music City Star train but it only comes from the East to Downtown.  This is nothing really.  Even if you live over there, the schedules need to be better.  Expand it for the high volume areas such as from Murfreesboro, Hendersonville and Franklin.
  • Downtown Rail.  I know we have the free Music City Circuit bus routes for downtown but get the buses off the road.  There’s already too much crap downtown for these buses to deal with like the peddle taverns, go carts, party buses, etc.   Why not create a people mover rail like they have in Miami?  It is very clean, convenient and free for people to take around downtown areas.  It’s not a major subway system and very efficient.
  • Funding revenue from parking vendors.  Take the funding from these parking vendors who price gouge the people who work downtown.  They jack up the prices when there is a special event downtown.  Jack them up by taking some of their greedy money.
  • Funding revenue from traffic violators.  The traffic cops really need to sit at the entrance/exit ramps and they will get a boost in revenue for red light violators and lane blockers.
  • Redesign the entrance/exit ramps.  I don’t know what to suggest here but there has GOT to be a better way.

Now for the good news….HOCKEY IS BACK!

The Nashville Predators open the 2017-2018 season tonight in Boston.  I have been more excited for the start of the hockey season than I was for the kickoff of the National Football League (NFL) season a few weeks ago.  I think this is the first time in my life I have ever felt this way.  Last year’s Nashville Predators run to the Stanley Cup final was an awesome experience.  I think the team will do pretty well but I won’t go as far as to say they will return to the final.  It’s a long season.  Nashville went absolutely crazy over the Predators last season.  It was amazing to see so many fans fill the streets of Nashville (and create additional traffic headaches) during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The Predators should finish at least second in the Central Division standings.  It’s a tough division so they will be battle tested once again when the playoffs start in April.  I have always been a football fan but I have to admit that hockey has become a real close second.  There is a lot more action than football.  The only thing that keeps hockey from being my number one is the fighting.  I don’t like the fighting at all and most of the time there isn’t as much as at other times.  It’s still a great sport to watch in person.  Watching it on TV doesn’t do it justice.  My wife was never a fan until I took her to her first game.  Now she loves it.  She knows the players and is right there watching the games.  Until we moved to Nashville, I never really had a favorite hockey team to follow.  I liked the Atlanta Flames and New York Islanders when I was younger but I never got into it much until we moved to Nashville.  The Predators are definitely my favorite hockey team now.  For a guy to have Predators’ bedroom slippers and wear them proudly around the house, you know I have to be a fan!

 

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