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  • RTA Sets Public Meetings for Northwest Corridor Transit Study

    by Debby Dale Mason | Sep 04, 2015

    The Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee (RTA) is midway through a study to evaluate transit options between Clarksville and Nashville. One of the key components of the project is input from those who live, work and travel along this corridor. To provide updates on the project and solicit additional input from Northwest Corridor residents and business owners, RTA will host a series of open-house-style meetings.

    • Monday, Sept. 14, First Baptist Church, High School Room, 412 Commerce Street, Clarksville, 5-7 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Sept. 15, Vantage Pointe Village, 2035 Vantage Pointe, Ashland City, 5-7 p.m.
    • Thursday, Sept. 17, Nashville Farmers' Market, 900 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

    The study area consists of five corridors linking Clarksville and Nashville:  I-24; SR-12/Ashland City Highway; a combination of the existing Nashville & Western freight corridor and needed rail right-of-way; CSX Rail east of I-24; and SR-112/US 41-A, which runs parallel to I-24. The anticipated outcomes of the study are short- and long-term transit solutions to connect travelers to destinations (work, school, shopping, entertainment, etc.) and ideas to address anticipated congestion along I-24. 

    It is vital for business leaders to understand RTA's study process and provide project planners with feedback on ...

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    Category: Transit
  • Pivotal Election Sets Metro's Course For Next Decade

    by Debby Dale Mason | Jul 20, 2015

    With forums, mailers, ads and door-to-door campaigning, we are all aware that we're in the midst of one of the most important election cycles in our city's recent history. We are poised for a major turnover in our city's elected leadership – Nashvillians will elect a new mayor and vice mayor, and nearly three-quarters of the 40-member Metro Council could be new members.

    Early voting is underway for the Aug. 6 election, the results of which will position Nashville for the next decade. We encourage our members to fully understand the community and business issues important to you, as well as the candidates who are running to represent your individual and business needs.

    Last week, the Chamber released our fourth annual Legislative Scorecard, which reports how the Metro Council (as a body and individually) voted in support of our board-adopted Metro legislative agenda. Our agenda issues include support for small business, planning and zoning process solutions that lessen barriers to investment, and fighting government regulation of private business, among others. Use the scorecard to help you make more informed decisions about candidates and issues important to you and the business community. You may also want to check the Nashville Business ...

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    Category: Legislative Issues
  • Coalition: Amendment 3 Is a 'Hidden Tax' For Davidson County

    by Debby Dale Mason | Jul 02, 2015

    The Coalition for Fair Employment in Middle Tennessee, a group representing the employers of tens of thousands of workers in the building and construction industries, formed this week in opposition to the proposed Charter Amendment 3, an initiative which requires any builder or construction company working on a Metro-funded project with a budget of more than $100,000 to devote at least 40 percent of the project’s work hours to employees who live in Davidson County.

    Members of the coalition, which include the Nashville Area Chamber and a variety of engineering, architectural and construction organizations, are working to inform Davidson County voters on the proposed amendment's potential negative impact in terms of costs, construction delays and difficulty of enforcement.
    • Amendment 3 sounds good in theory, but in practice, would become a "hidden tax" on Davidson County taxpayers. Passage of this proposal would reduce the number of bidders on public projects in Nashville, add compliance costs for contractors, and lengthen the amount of time needed to staff and complete construction projects. All these factors would result in additional costs passed on to taxpayers.
    • If passed, the measure would be costly and difficult – if not impossible – to enforce. The proposal ...
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  • Flood Protection System Is a Wise Investment

    by Debby Dale Mason | Jun 02, 2015
    Five years ago, Nashville faced a crisis that tested our character as a city. We'll never forget the flooding that killed 10 people, damaged $2 billion worth of property and disrupted $3.6 billion in commerce.

    The work to mitigate future flooding throughout Nashville is addressed in our city's Unified Flood Preparedness Plan (UFPP). That plan, developed by Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon in 2013, looked at flood damage caused by the Cumberland and Harpeth Rivers and several of their tributaries, and identified 22 damage center locations that could benefit from flood damage reduction solutions. Since the implementation of the UFPP, our city has spent approximately $139 million on flood recovery and mitigation throughout Davidson County.

    As an organization that positions Nashville as an outstanding place to create jobs and prosperity, the Chamber supports the UFPP as an investment in our future. The economic loss throughout our city from a flood cannot be underestimated, particularly as Nashville is enjoying such robust growth. We know the implementation of this county-wide plan will occur over decades and cost millions of dollars, but it is a necessary investment in our city's long-term growth.

    As with any city founded along a river, we must always ...
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    Category: Legislative Issues
    Tags: flood
  • Regional Leadership Summit Examines Transit Issues

    by Debby Dale Mason | Jun 01, 2015

    The need for regional transit solutions is a top community concern, as well as one of the key priorities for the Nashville Area Chamber. Transit is a major economic development driver and has an important impact on our quality of life.

    With this in mind, Cumberland Region Tomorrow has announced that its annual POWER OF TEN summit will focus on transportation. Titled "Getting There from Here: More Transportation Choices and Connections for All of Us," the event will be held Thursday, June 18.

    The Chamber is one of the community partners of this leadership event, which attracts more than 600 key Middle Tennessee business and community leaders to learn, connect and collaborate on the challenges and opportunities facing the 10-county Middle Tennessee area.

    This year's featured speakers include:

    • Joseph Kopser, CEO of RideScout
    • Steve Bland, CEO of RTA/MTA
    • Michael Skipper, executive director of the Nashville Area MPO
    • Toks Omishakin, deputy commissioner of planning and environment at TDOT
    • Al Biehler, former secretary of PennDOT
    • Mayor Ken Moore, chair of the Middle Tennessee Mayors' Caucus


    This summit is a timely opportunity to hear from experts about regional mass transit solutions. For details and registration, visit

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    Category: General
  • Informational Session Reviews Upcoming TDOT Construction

    by Debby Dale Mason | May 26, 2015

    Originally built in 1968, the I-40 bridges spanning Herman Street, Clinton Street, Jo Johnston Avenue and Charlotte Avenue in downtown Nashville need immediate attention. To address this infrastructure issue, TDOT is planning a $62 million rehabilitation project beginning this June.

    The project is called Fast Fix 8 -- eight, because there are four twin bridges, and fast, because TDOT will make repairs using an innovative process called Accelerated Bridge Construction. Due to the expedited timeline, the construction will be finished in months, instead of years; however, it will require shutting down I-40 completely for short periods of time over 13 weekends, scheduled June 2015 through June 2016. During the 13 weekend closures, I-40 will be shut down from the I-40/I-65 split on the east side to the I-40/I-24 split on the west side. The Demonbreun Street exit will be kept open for westbound traffic only. The detour will be the same for all 13 weekends.

    As part of our commitment to being an informational resource for area businesses, the Chamber will host TDOT officials on Thursday, June 4, for a presentation and Q & A about the Fast Fix 8 project. Register today for this session.
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    Category: Transit
  • Final NashvilleNext Draft Up For Review

    by Debby Dale Mason | May 26, 2015

    The final draft of NashvilleNext, a 25-year plan to guide our city's growth and development, is now available for public review. The Nashville Area Chamber has participated in the process that includes economic prosperity as a pillar guiding the plan’s implementation.

    Over the last two years, the Chamber has encouraged business involvement in the NashvilleNext process to help shape the plan from the private-sector perspective. Input from the entire community has been crucial to the NashvilleNext process. Sidewalks/walkability, affordable housing, homelessness, congestion and regional mass transit have emerged as primary concerns. 

    To review and comment on the final draft plan, visit, and plan to attend the NashvilleNext public hearing at 3 p.m. Monday, June 15, in the Sonny West Conference Center in Metro’s Howard Office Building, 700 Second Ave. S. The public hearing, part of a special Metro Planning Commission meeting, is the final step before the adoption of NashvilleNext.

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    Category: General
  • NashvilleNext Announces Draft Plan

    by Debby Dale Mason | Mar 30, 2015
    After more than three years of planning, public meetings and presentations, the NashvilleNext draft plan is now available online for public review. As a member of the NashvilleNext steering committee, the Chamber is pleased that economic prosperity is a pillar of the plan that will guide future planning and zoning policy.

    NashvilleNext is a strategic long-range plan built on a foundation of community engagement and the open exchange of ideas. More than 17,000 participants, including those in the business community, have helped shape NashvilleNext through public meetings and community engagement. There's still time for you to be part of the process.

    Community input -- particularly from business leaders -- continues to be vital in guiding the plan for Nashville's future. Visit by April 30 to review the plan and its supporting materials, then share your thoughts via email ( or by responding to an online survey.

    Planners are also hosting five open house meetings across Davidson County where you can provide feedback in person. 
    • Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Tennessee State University Avon Williams (Downtown) Campus - Auditorium
    • Monday, April 20, 5-7 p.m., North Nashville Police Precinct and Edmondson Pike Branch Library
    • Monday, April 27, 5-7 ...
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    Category: General
  • Join Nashville's Transit Conversation

    by Debby Dale Mason | Mar 25, 2015
    Nashville's transit future is a top Chamber priority because improved multi-modal transit options are essential to our quality of place -- particularly as Middle Tennessee's population continues growing. We know we have to get transit right in our city and region if we want to continue thriving, and it's important for the entire community to have buy-in.   

    The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has announced nMotion2015, a new long-range strategic planning process that will build on the efforts of NashvilleNext. Public involvement is key to the success of this planning process.

    MTA will host a series of community meetings to engage Nashvillians in the planning process; the first two meetings will both be held Tuesday, April 7. MTA CEO Steve Bland will provide an overview of the planning process, and will also gather community feedback to help define the values and guiding principles MTA can use to develop Nashville's next-generation transit system.

    We encourage employers and employees to get involved and provide your input for nMotion2015, particularly in this important first phase of defining values and guiding principles for MTA. We will keep you updated on nMotion2015 and other opportunities for involvement as this important process continues. Below are the ...
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    Category: Transit
  • Government Strategies Rely On Business Input

    by Debby Dale Mason | Mar 10, 2015

    Both local and state government offices are asking for public feedback to help them define future strategies.

    The Mayor's Diversity Advisory Committee is seeking citizen input about ways to increase employee diversity within Metro Government. Their online survey, which is open to Davidson County residents through March 20, addresses the question of how Metro's workforce can most effectively include and reflect the changing population of Davidson County.

    Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has opened an online survey to collect feedback from Tennesseans to help shape TDOT's future public involvement strategy.

    We encourage you to participate in these surveys as a member of Middle Tennessee's business community.


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    Category: General