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Amazon Grows in Ever Expanding Nashville Urban Jungle

by Rich and Laura Lynch

It takes only one look at the "Nashville Crane Watch" to understand that the five-year trend of unconstrained growth in Music City remains unabated. One of the most anticipated construction projects called Nashville Yards is well underway in the Gulch at the former home of Lifeway Christian Resources.

Amazon Grows in Ever Expanding Nashville Urban Jungle
Nashville Yards grows from the ground up in the ever-expanding Music City landscape.

Nashville Yards - already referred to as the "gateway to downtown" - will eventually become a 17-acre downtown district with shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, apartments, offices and hotels. The flagship operations that will help define the community will be the Amazon Center of Excellence along with a stunning 25-floor Grand Hyatt Hotel that will itself house a new 4,000 seat entertainment venue.

Amazon Nashville will be located downtown at the future site of Nashville Yards and will create 5,000 jobs. These new career opportunities will include a mix of technical roles such as Software Development Engineers and non-technical roles for candidates at all skill and education levels. In addition to direct positions at Amazon, the company expects that their $230 million investment will help create thousands of additional jobs in areas like construction, building services, hospitality and retail.

Also, the online behemoth is expected to erect a new warehouse a few miles southeast of the city in Mt Juliet. The proposed plan calls for a 3.6 million square foot, five-story industrial building that will accommodate an 80,000 square foot facility and more than 1,200 hundred jobs are expected along with it.

While that's all well and good none of this seems to address the other thing Nashville in now known for as much as hot chicken and country music. Has anyone seen the traffic in this town lately? Regular blue-collar Nashvillians experience a terribly broken and a snarled morning and afternoon rush hour every working day of the year - with no relief anywhere in sight.

Nashville residents have already rejected an ill-conceived $5.4 billion plan that would have taken 25 years to implement and was offering only a few short routes that would have run an outdated slow rail-line on top of the city's already congested roads. Surely, there has got to be another way.

Taking a lead from Amazon we looked to the Internet for examples and possible solutions to the gnarly Nashville gridlock. Music City is relatively small and that limited space is already extremely built out to accommodate the exceptional growth that's here and still coming. The Cumberland River and inter-states that wrap the metropolis also provide a unique set of problems that make any type of people moving improvements extremely challenging.

But, then we discovered many advanced "city building" video games and online simulations that have become very popular in recent years. Many of them involve the overlaying of a "monorail" system on top of existing city layouts to ease traffic burdens and improve the overall flow. Perhaps a coordinated effort by some of the best minds in local urban planning could take a look at these programs to see if they might point a way to a long-term fix that uses technology while providing a modern transportation solution. Heck, Amazon knows a considerable amount about moving packages and they stand a lot to gain from providing their future employees an enjoyable experience in Music City. Maybe moving people isn't that much different? They should get on this now!

Even better, the school children in Nashville and surrounding regions have the most to gain from improving the blight of our ongoing urban sprawl and they have the most to lose by their elder's incompetence and inability to prepare for the outsider invasion that has occurred here. A well-considered curriculum should put this issue front and center in our school systems and our youngest Nashvillians would be getting a valuable education in civics, society and urban planning that will serve them well for the rest of their days.

It's their future after all and they are the ones who are going to have to deal with the big mess that all this out of control construction and growth has created. I'll be the first one with a ticket in my hand. Bring on the Music City Monorail system.

Is the Music City Monorail the answer to our traffic woes?

Related Links: For more information on NASHVILLE YARDS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Nashville Yards | Nashville Crane Watch


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