Navigating Nashville’s Growth: Can a New Mayor Sell the City on Transit?

In big cities, growth is either the problem or the solution, depending on who you ask. Some residents aspire to join the ranks of even-bigger cities, with all the emblems of success: taller buildings, lusher parks, smarter restaurants and flashier trains. Others want the opposite — to be unlike other cities and somehow manage to avoid unaffordability, crime, homelessness, congestion and runaway development. Sometimes the same people want both things…

Many Nashvillians complain about worsening traffic, a lack of public transit options and flaws with even basic infrastructure such as sidewalks in many parts of the city. O’Connell promised during his campaign to make all those things better. The rallying cry of his campaign was, “I want you to stay.”

O’Connell is spending a lot of his early political capital on public transit. The mayor plans to revive efforts to generate new, dedicated funding for transit.

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