A Senate bill which would stop The Amp under its current design passed overwhelmingly today and the Stop Amp Coalition thanked (among others) Americans for Prosperity for their support.
[...] Amp supporters are pinning their hopes on the House version of the bill, which does not include the provision banning the center-lane design. They're betting that Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell, who has said the state shouldn't fund the project, is less willing to support such strict design regulations.
Wednesday was a day of one step forward and one step backward at the General Assembly for supporters of the proposed Amp bus rapid transit line. One measure passed would not allow The Amp to run down the middle of any state highway, while the other would give state lawmakers the chance to decide on funding when Metro asks for it rather than during the design process. Steven Hale has the rundown of the bills, the thinly veiled criticisms and the talking points.
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman and U.S. Congressional candidate Jim Tracy wants to edit the the state budget to ban it from funding bus rapid transit projects on state highways.
Tracy’s self-described “tightly drawn” language would essentially ban the state from allocating any money for the Nashville Amp, a signature yet embattled project spearheaded by Democratic Mayor Karl Dean.
“What’s it called, Amp? Those signs that says, “No Amp,” or “Yes on Amp,” those? It would affect that… No funds can be used for that,” Tracy explained to North Nashville’s Sen. Thelma Harper in the Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday in explaining his amendment.
“No, no use taking no vote, Hell, if you already know what you’re going to do,” Harper replied.
Under the current plan, Nashville was seeking $35 million in state funds to go with $60 million from Metro as well as $75 million from the federal government.
Major Republican political contributor and financier of opposition against the Amp, Lee Beaman, was on Capitol Hill today, and other die hard opponents have walked the halls of Legislative Plaza for weeks making their opposition to the Amp project known.
Transportation Commissioner John Schroer had cast doubt the state would be willing to help fund the Amp project in November, a plan to run a bus rapid transit line along West End to East Nashville.
House Speaker Beth Harwell had also said she was unwilling to fund the project this year, which led to Gov. Bill Haslam saying he would follow the speaker’s lead.
A high-ranking official with a national design firm has penned a letter saying that the fix may be in on the contract for the big downtown riverfront development project. This is not an episode of Nashville.
"In hindsight, perhaps the skeptics were right," McMillan adds later on. "We were shocked that the contract is to be awarded without any interviews. This is highly irregular for this type of project and indeed we had competitively interviewed on all other previous contracts in the City."
Officials with Metro Public Works have kicked off a multimodal mobility study focused on downtown parking, traffic and street designs among other topics. The work is expected to take until next spring and includes an Oct. 10 open house at the Music City Center. An online survey is part of the study; check it out here.
POSTDATA: WARRANTY DEEDS