WILLIAMSON, INC. TO LAUNCH MOBILITY WEEK SEPT. 12-16 TO REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY
Community-wide Mobility Week brings together businesses, schools, commuters and government to tackle county’s biggest problem
FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Williamson, Inc., the chamber of commerce and economic development office, is leading the charge in Williamson County with a new campaign to get cars off the roadways. Mobility Week presented by Nissan, launching Sept. 12-16, 2016, is a county-wide initiative focused on providing practical, everyday solutions to help reduce traffic congestion. Through a series of daily initiatives, Williamson, Inc. is challenging large corporations, small businesses, schools, local government, and commuters and residents to “activate” during the week by trying out a menu of alternative solutions available at www.willcomoves.com.
“Mobility Week is about changing behavior to reduce congestion and improve circulation in peak hours in Williamson County,” said Matt Largen, president and CEO of Williamson, Inc. “It’s about urging companies, large and small, to allow employees to have flexible schedules, work from home, and create a carpooling/ridesharing program. It’s also about bringing awareness to the community of the great resources already available that solves these issues. And finally, it’s about getting the school systems involved.”
By 2040, the Middle Tennessee region will welcome nearly one million additional people. Williamson County is one of five Nashville-area counties predicted to lead the state in population growth. As a by-product of this growth, traffic congestion has become the single most important problem threatening the county’s continued economic success.
Large Williamson County-based corporations, such as Nissan, are getting involved in this campaign because of the impact traffic plays on their employees—who often commute from neighboring counties—and the ever-growing presence of technology in finding transit solutions.
“As areas across the country, like Williamson County, are experiencing rapid growth, we need to understand how transportation is changing and anticipate what needs will arise in the years ahead,” said Tracy Woodard, director of Nissan Government Affairs. “Nissan’s vision for the future of transportation is both zero fatalities and zero emissions. Our development of intelligent mobility such as autonomous drive technology can assist in solving traffic flow issues and can help avoid accidents. Additionally, the all-electric Nissan LEAF has helped reduce carbon emissions since we initially debuted the vehicle in 2010.”
In Williamson County, there are seven backlogged road projects, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Even if all seven projects were started today, TDOT wouldn’t complete them until 2034, which does not take into account the countless traffic and environmental studies underway to begin new projects.
“We know that transportation funding and infrastructure is a large factor in fixing congested highways and roadways, but we need short-term solutions,” said Largen, president and CEO of Williamson, Inc.
Each day of Mobility Week will promote a different way to activate with a variety of options that companies and individuals can adopt for a day.
Monday is School Day, which encourages parents, teachers, administrators and students to carpool, walk or bike to school, and ride the bus as well as looking at altering school start times. Williamson County Schools will host a series of community meetings to discuss the pros and cons of reversing the schedule of start times for elementary, middle and high schools. WCS students will compete in a PSA video contest that informs the community about an important transportation issue. The winning video will be shown at the 2nd Annual Transportation Summit. Franklin Special School District officials will perform walkability audits to determine the best paths to school.
Tuesday is Food Truck & Rideshare Day, focusing on peak noon-hour traffic by offering in-office, on-site, curbside, and walkable lunch options at corporate centers in Franklin, Brentwood and Cool Springs.
Wednesday is Flex Work Day, which encourages employers and commuters to explore the benefits of flexible scheduling, working remotely and compressed work days in the workplace.
Thursday will convene leaders from the business community and local government for the 2nd Annual Transportation Summit, a half-day, solutions-oriented conference at The Factory in Franklin starting at 7:30 a.m. This is a follow-up to last year’s Williamson Moves Summit hosted by Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson. Exhibitors will be in attendance to showcase mobility-friendly products and services, including: College Nannies and Tutors, Enterprise Holdings, Franklin Tomorrow, Grand Avenue, Hytch, Meridian Business Center, Nashville Elf, Nissan, TMA Group/Franklin Transit Authority, and the UPS Store of Cool Springs. Breakfast will be provided by Puckett’s Restaurant & Grocery, and lunch will be provided by Fooda. For the full agenda, speakers’ lineup and registration information, visit www.willcomoves.com/schedule/#thursday.
Lastly, Friday is PARK(ing) Day, an annual worldwide event to transform parking spots into temporary, vibrant public parks. More than 20 companies will have PARK(ing) spaces on display throughout Williamson County, and locations can be viewed on the interactive map or on the Mobility Week website. To encourage friendly competition, companies will compete for the Golden Cone Awards and receive bragging rights in the following categories: creativity, engagement, informative, sustainability, best overall and the grand prize, the People’s Choice Award. The public is invited to vote for the best beautification project on Williamson, Inc.’s Facebook page. To participate in PARK(ing) Day, email Patrick Cammack at email@example.com.
DAILY KICKOFF CELEBRATIONS
Monday, September 12: School Day
Hosted by Franklin Tomorrow
Freedom Middle School, 750 New Highway 96 W., Franklin, TN 37064
Free and open to the public.
Franklin Tomorrow will host the kickoff celebration with a FrankTalks lecture on the new Safe Routes to School grant awarded to Franklin Special School District to build more sidewalks. Special guests include State Trooper Jesse Horn, City of Franklin Director of Engineering Paul Holzen, and Williamson County Schools Transportation Director Jeff Fuller. More info here.
Tuesday, September 13: Food Truck & Rideshare Day
Columbia Avenue Block Party
Hosted by Harpeth True Value Center
203 Downs Blvd., Franklin, TN 37064
Harpeth True Value Home Center is inviting food trucks and nearby restaurants to provide lunch under tents along Columbia Avenue near Downtown Franklin. Dawg Daze food truck will be stationed at Tractor Supply Company’s store support center, Yayo’s OMG will set up shop at Harpeth True Value Center, and Delta Bound Mobile Food & Catering will be located at H.G. Hill Realty. Prices vary for lunch, but admission is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, September 14: Flex Work Day
Williamson, Inc. will celebrate a company that has flexible workplace policies for their employees, including flexible scheduling, remote working and compressed work days. Time and location TBA. Visit www.willcomoves.com for updates.
Thursday, September 15: 2nd Annual Transportation Summit
7:30 a.m. – noon
The Factory at Franklin
230 Franklin Rd, Franklin, TN 37064
Single Tickets – $85, Company Tables – $1,500
Breakfast is provided by Puckett’s Restaurant & Grocery, and lunch is provided by Fooda.
For the full agenda, speakers’ lineup and registration information, visit www.willcomoves.com/schedule/#thursday.
Friday, September 16: PARK(ing) Day
Public Square, Downtown Franklin
101 3rd Avenue South, Franklin, TN 37064
The City of Franklin is blocking off an entire quadrant of metered parking spaces near City Hall on Public Square in Downtown Franklin to host the kickoff celebration. Stop by for this festive, family- and pet-friendly event with live music.
Mobility Week is presented by Nissan and sponsored by the TMA Group and Barge, Waggoner, Sumner, and Cannon, Inc. For complete details about how to get involved in Mobility Week, visit www.willcomoves.com or call 615-771-1912.