NASHVILLE, Tenn. - People at the Metro Nashville Planning Department want fewer commuters to drive to work solo for one week in order to educate people in their transportation options.
Nashville Connector will have a "Commuter Challenge" from Oct. 22 to 28. During that time, they hope Nashville commuters, 84% of which drive alone to work, will try another option to get to their destination than driving their car.
"We're not expecting to change everybody's behavior and we're not expecting everybody to do something different everyday of the week but if people just try one or two days try something other than just driving alone, it will have an impact,"said Miranda Clements, director of Nashville Connector.
This is the beginning of transportation demand management in Music City. TDOT has been eyeing starting such a program in the city for years. Nashville follows cities such as Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis, all of which have their own programs.
"Everybody knows that traffic is getting worse and as the population is projected to increase to a million in the next 25 years, it's just going to get worse. So, yes we have had a lot of interest,"said Clements.
The initial goal is to get businesses to encourage their employees to use alternate transportation. One company that already does this is Barge Design Solutions. They have an indoor bike rack for employees who want to bike to work.
"[It's an] easy way to get to work, easy way to get some exercise,"said Justin Graham, a software engineer at the company.
Graham is a Nashville native and bikes to work from East Nashville several times a week. He said he has seen the traffic get worse over the years. He believes that if more people commit to other forms of transportation, traffic could get better.
"At least gives somebody an exposure to do it one time and they might find that it works for them and they might do it more often,"he said.
Clements recommends a number of different ways to get to work. They include taking the bus, carpooling, riding a bike or scooter or even walking.
"It's been found across the country as an effective way to handle congestion and reduce the number of single occupancy trips,"she said.