NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville’s newest mayor is hitting the ground running.
Freddie O’Connell kicked off his term Wednesday with three new committees with a focus on fixing key issues in the city.
“We know that as great as Nashville is, Nashville can be and even will get better,” said David Esquivel, one of the members of the transition team.
“I’m hoping this is a new era for Nashville,” said Odessa Kelly.
On Wednesday, in what O’Connell is calling a transition team, people across the city met with one goal in mind, focused on how Nashville will look over the next year.
“It also means the way that we continue to grow that Metro is in fact not an obstacle to delivering affordable housing, not an obstacle to getting the East Bank developed, not an obstacle to coordinated efforts to build better transit service or safe infrastructure around the city,” said O’Connell during the meeting.
O’Connell focused on big projects and bigger issues, highlighting Nashville’s East Bank.
“We know that it’s coming, but we have to do the hard work of finding how do we make sure that we don’t use it as an excuse to drop the ball on the things [that] should be our priority,” said Kelly.
The plan to transform more than 300 acres of land on the East Bank of the Cumberland River has been the center of debate. The construction of the new Titans stadium, along with creating public parks and affordable housing, are also part of the project.
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“We need every bit of incredible work we do to build out of the ground that has very little on it right now to be reflected in all 525 square miles of the city as we propel the city forward,” explained O’Connell.
Another key issue mentioned during the session focused on transportation. Data from the Tennessee Highway Patrol revealed pedestrian deaths in Davidson County are down compared to this time last year or even back in 2021, but advocates said even one death is one too many.
“We know that we have had challenges with pedestrian and cyclist safety around the city; we know that we have a lot of congestion, and so the goal of these committees is not to reinvent ideas or wheels. If anything, it’s to take stock of where we are, clear obstacles, and prepare for future success by accelerating the things we know we need to do,” O’Connell said.