Controversy brews around proposed rapid transit system - WKRN News 2

Controversy brews around proposed rapid transit system

Posted: Updated: June 27, 2013 11:47 PM CDT

Just a few weeks ago, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean approved a plan for a new rapid transit system to cut down on traffic and connect two sides of town.

Some Nashvillians, however, say they were left in the dark about the massive plan.

The NAACP, the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership and Black Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum earlier Thursday to discuss the project, called AMP.

AMP, formerly known as the East-West connector, will connect east and west Nashville with stops along Broadway and in the West End area.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority claims it will cut transit times.

However, people who reside in north Nashville, which is a predominately African American community, are concerned the project will nix major streets like Charlotte Avenue and Jefferson Street, hurting any kind of opportunity for economic growth.

The mayor's office and MTA officials were on-hand to give north Nashville residents a better idea of the proposed project.

"We want the route to be appropriate. If the route is going to serve people for transit, it needs to be appropriate for who want and wish and need to use transit," explained John Arradondo with Nashville chapter of the NAACP.

He continued, "If it's going to be appropriate for economic development it needs to be appropriate for some of the areas that might need a little more assistance with economical development."

"There's been some information that has not been entirely accurate, so we're trying to get out the word what the project is and what it means," said Jim McAteer with MTA.

The proposal is not a done deal.

The city is counting on nearly half of the $174 million funding to come from the federal government.

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