Business, governmental and community leaders will gather in Nashville on Wednesday, May 27 for the annual “Convening the Region” Summit focusing on regional transportation system development in the 10-county Middle Tennessee area.
Cumberland Region Tomorrow, in partnership with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, will co-host the event as leaders work to gain collaboration and consensus on the development, funding and operations of a Regional Transit System.
“Ask any citizen in the Middle Tennessee area what our top challenges are and I can assure you that traffic, congestion and gridlock will be right at the top of their list,” said Pat Emery, co-chair of CRT. “But this issue is about more than inconvenience; it’s a matter of economic competitiveness, quality growth and development and working to maintain our quality of life here in Middle Tennessee. The only way we’re going to solve it is by working together – all 10 counties – in a collaborative manner to turn these challenges into opportunities.”
Organizers of the event pointed to a recent survey by Nashville-based Prince Market Research on regional thinking and issues that found overwhelming support for Middle Tennessee communities and governments to work together (81 percent) on top quality of life and economic vitality concerns in the region during the next 10 years. These include regional transportation and other infrastructure, land development, air quality and economic growth.
The survey also found that citizens and community leaders expect the top benefits of a Regional Transit System to include reduced traffic congestion, improved environmental health and more transportation options. The top barriers to such a system include lack of funding, lack of connectivity between transportation modes and lack of understanding of transit options.
In addition to the event organizers, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tennessee, and representatives from the cities of Austin, Charlotte and Denver will be on hand to discuss federal legislative activities with regard to national infrastructure improvement and case studies of regional transportation development.
“This really is an unprecedented time and opportunity for us to turn talk into action while preparing for the future growth and sustainability of this place we call home. But we can only do it if we all work together, to harness the ‘Power of Ten,’ and develop a regional system we can all be proud of. We hope this Summit will put us on that path,” Emery added.
The event will be held at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville from 12:30 until 5:30 p.m. Those scheduled to attend from Wilson County include CRT board members Sam Hatcher, Jere McCulloch and John McDearman and Lebanon Planning Director Magi Tilton.
For more information or to register, visit www.10power.org. About Cumberland Region TomorrowCumberland Region Tomorrow is a private-sector regional 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization working with the public sector to support and encourage growth planning, with an emphasis on land use, transportation, and preservation of the rural landscape and character of the region’s communities.