Nashville Traffic Problems: Are Pedal Taverns the Culprit?


Nashville has a huge traffic problem, and it’s only getting worse. To alleviate some of Nashville’s traffic woes, the city has banned the increasingly popular pedal taverns during the rush hour commute of 4:30 to 6 p.m., according to local news reports. City officials hope that removing the plodding vehicles will increase the flow of traffic and reduce car crashes related to drivers trying to move around them. But are pedal taverns really the culprit of Nashville’s traffic problems?

Owners of pedal taverns do not think so, claiming that their rolling businesses account for less than two percent of the city’s downtown traffic during peak hours. In the face of two distinct opinions on the issue, let’s investigate what is causing all sorts of Nashville traffic problems.


Those who live in Nashville already know how great it is to live here, but more people are slowly discovering the same thing. This is part of the problem, though, as the city was not built to house so many people. The construction projects going on all around the city are a response to this influx, and it is ruining people’s commutes, according to a News Channel 5 report.

Condos, apartment buildings, and businesses are popping up all over, and roads are being shut down to accommodate the construction. Couple this with road closures due to sewer and underground pipe and wire maintenance, and some people have a hard time finding an open road to get home.

This is a good problem to have, though. Increased traffic and construction indicates that Nashville is a booming city that people want to live in. However, until the city has an appropriate infrastructure to cope with all the people, lanes and roads will remain closed off and traffic will continue to be a challenge.

Public Transit Issues

A statistic often cited by city officials is that Nashville is expected to grow by 1 million people in the next 25 years. If that means that Nashville will be adding hundreds of thousands more cars to the road, the city faces some big challenges to address. Part of the reason for that is a public transportation system not enough people use.

It is much more efficient to transport 50 people on a bus instead of 50 separate cars on the road, but this is exactly what is happening in Nashville. To fix this, city officials recently announced a long-term plan that will upend the current public transit system.

The estimated six-billion dollar plan aims to improve public transit across the region, meaning people commuting from neighboring counties can also avoid driving in the city. Building a commuter rail, a light rail, and improved busing are all part of the plan to make sure Nashville doesn’t “turn into Atlanta,” as some say.

Poor Traffic Lights

The flow of city traffic is controlled by traffic lights, but if they are not operating effectively traffic can build up quickly. In an effort to reduce the amount of traffic caused by poorly timed traffic lights, the city has a plan to install new lights at 560 intersections, including 99 in downtown.

The goal, according to the Tennessean, is to develop a countywide signal timing plan for each of Davidson County’s busiest arteries that account for rush hour traffic, as well as weekdays, weekends, holidays and special events. The system is expected to be completely installed by the end of 2017, at which point traffic should begin to move as efficiently as possible.

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How Can I Deal With The Traffic For Now?

Unfortunately, there is no magic way to deal with traffic. Finding a radio station you like or a good podcast to listen to may make the commute less stressful — but not shorter. It is important to stay calm in traffic, because increased congestion on the roads is known to cause more car accidents. This will remain an issue in Nashville until all the construction has died down, the public transit system is improved, and traffic lights run efficiently; and probably beyond that as the next cycle of construction kicks in elsewhere.