Middle Tennessee Connected - Regional Transportation Plan


Shift in Lifestyle Preferences National trends show both younger and older generations have a growing preference for homes with smaller yards located in more walkable communities that have access to good transit service. This shift in market preferences is beginning to be visible throughout Middle Tennessee, but many more residents are expected to favor mixed-use communities in the future as they look to live close to jobs, restaurants, shopping, and other quality of life amenities. Higher Cost of Living Once a major strength of the Nashville region, recent increases in housing costs have reduced discretionary income and resulted in too many long-term residents being displaced from their neighborhoods. In Middle Tennessee, the average resident spends more than half of their income on housing and transportation costs, a number that exceeds the national definition for being cost burden. This trend is expected to continue as property within existing communities becomes more expensive. It is important that regional leaders understand the role that transportation decisions play in either exacerbating or alleviating affordability issues. A Lot More Traffic Traffic volumes and roadway congestion have risen sharply in recent years due to Middle Tennessee’s growing economy. With a history of sprawling land development patterns and long cross-county commuting, today’s residents have very few options to get around that congestion. By 2045, traffic volumes are expected to increase by 26 percent resulting in a 14 percent reduction in average travel speeds and a doubling of the amount of travel occurring withing congested conditions. To enable additional economic expansion, many metropolitan areas have turned to better rapid transit options to give residents convenient alternatives to sitting in traffic congestion. Better Technology and Greener Energy It is hard to envision the future without thinking about the emergence of new technologies. Electric- powered and autonomous vehicles are the face of the transportation technology revolution, but technological innovations in communications, traffic management and operations, and data analytics will lead to cleaner, safer, and more reliable options for the future.

A Lot More People Nashville and the surrounding counties have added approximately 30,000 people per year since 2010 and the region is poised for continued growth over the next two decades. By 2045, the seven-county area will grow in population by an additional one million people, making it larger than the present-day Denver metropolitan area. Increasing Diversity The cultural diversity of a region is a hallmark of its potential for ingenuity and economic competitiveness. Over the next 25 years, the racial minority population is expected to increase at a faster rate than the total population. By 2045, nearly 4 out of 10 Middle Tennesseans will identify as a non-white minority or as Hispanic. In addition, the number of senior adults living within the region is expected to double to nearly a half million by 2045. As the region’s demographics diversify and age, it is essential to understand how transportation needs will shift as a result.

The Nashville metropolitan area is expected to

approach 3 million people by 2045.


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