County Mayor Rogers Anderson to Host ‘Williamson Moves’ Transportation Summit
State, local leaders shift transit solutions into high gear
According to the latest Williamson County Trends Report, 37 percent of residents commute northbound to work in Davidson County, while 27 percent of Maury County residents commute to Williamson from the south. With so many workers commuting across Middle Tennessee, afternoon rush hour can have traffic at a stand-still.
Williamson County’s rapidly-growing population is also a major cause of traffic congestion. By the year 2040, Tennessee’s population will rise to 2 million, and Williamson County’s population of 201,486 is expected to double. As one of only two major highways passing through Williamson, that will be a lot of people traveling on Interstate 65.
Regional and state leaders want to get serious about addressing the traffic congestion, but TDOT officials say current revenues are not keeping up with growth and long term infrastructure demands.
“Tennessee has $6 billion worth of approved projects that are unfunded,” Governor Bill Haslam said during his Aug. 13 transportation meeting at Williamson, Inc. The meeting was part of his 15-city statewide tour to discuss with local leaders solutions that will fix roads, highways and traffic congestion.
Williamson County has five road projects underway amounting to $27.8 million in expenditures, although $250.1 million still remain unfunded, according to TDOT’s presentation during Haslam’s meeting.
At the county level, Mayor Rogers Anderson is planning a “Williamson Moves” transit summit on Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tractor Supply headquarters in Brentwood. The invitation-only event will bring together approximately 150 business and government leaders to begin seeking multi-modal solutions. Among those invited and expected to attend are the mayors and city managers from the county’s six municipalities, officials from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, State Senator Jack Johnson, State Representatives Glen Casada, Jeremy Durham and Charles Sargent, Williamson, Inc.’s President and CEO Matt Largen and board members, and representatives from TMA Group, Franklin Transit Authority
“This is not about politics,” said Doug Hood, the county’s retired parks director of 23 years who was appointed by Anderson to organize the summit. “We want to have an open, frank discussion to find out what is being done and get this critical issue in the forefront of leaders.”
The summit will feature keynote speakers including Gov. Haslam, representatives from the Middle Tennessee Regional Transportation Authority and Gresham, Smith and Partners, and Dr. Alison Premo Black, senior vice president and chief economist at the Washington, D.C.-based American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
Hood said “Williamson Moves” will be the first of many discussions and wants the Williamson Chamber to lead ongoing conversations within the business community.