In Monday's State of Metro Address, Mayor Karl Dean announced the launch of the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing to help alleviate one of the negative side effects of Nashville's growth and urban regeneration. Existing grants worth $3 million will seed the fund, which is named after Rev. Bill Barnes, a longtime local advocate for social equity. The $3 million and other future investments are projected to create 100 affordable housing units per year and help improve the affordability of another 200.
SEE ALSO: The full text of Dean's address
Metro public transit officials on Thursday unveiled their proposed name for the bus rapid transit line that is planned for the West End-East Nashville corridor and outlined their financing plans for the project. They see The Amp getting 43 percent of its $174 million in funding from the federal government, with the state providing for about 20 percent. And asked about community groups in North Nashville pressing for the line to cut through their community, Mayor Karl Dean said the dollars from D.C. would likely only come if the higher-density West End corridor is chosen.
The summary also highlighted BRT’s projected impact on traffic and travel times along the corridor. Projections included in the report showed that, in 10 years, an individual using BRT to travel from St. Thomas Hospital to Bridgestone Arena would arrive about twice as fast as someone travelling by car. Officials expect a ridership of more than 1.6 million in the first year of operation, based on ridership forecasts, and said that number is projected to grow to 2.5 million by 2022.
Click here to check out the full engineering and design analysis of the project.
With less than two months until they need to submit a grant application to the Federal Transit Administration, members of Mayor Karl Dean's administration and other backers of Nashville's planned bus rapid transit line have been out drumming up support. Joey Garrison writes that they also will soon have to present a plan for paying the project's $174 million price tag.
“It’s the idea of value-capture,” said Doug Tennant, vice president of URS Corp., a San Francisco-based engineering firm with a Franklin office, which MTA has contracted with on the BRT project. “If we went out there and created a new street and streetscape for West End Avenue, and created a better West End Avenue, it would enhance property values along that corridor. If you own a restaurant there, and I create a nicer environment, suddenly your property gets enhanced.”
One of Karl Dean's former political directors was arrested Monday night and charged with two felony counts as the result of a dispute with car repair shop Precision Autohaus. The owners of the shop say Derrick Tibbs last month refused to pay them for work on his Mercedes-Benz.
Tibbs has a different story, though. He told The City Paper he had to take the car off the lot in order to get a loan to cover the high repair cost. After he left, his car broke down, he said. He had it fixed for $500 by another repair shop.
Precision Autohaus claims they never released the car to Tibbs.