As Nashville Mayor Megan Barry argues in favor of a tax increase to fund mass transit, she’s now taken a shot at critics of her plan. In a talk Monday to the Rotary Club of Nashville, the mayor called out what she considers three myths being pushed by opponents to her plan.
As her foil, the mayor referred to “cynical blog posts” that she says are spreading misconceptions.
Among them, she says: the idea that transit ridership has been falling; that Nashville isn’t dense enough for light rail; and that autonomous vehicles could solve traffic problems.
She batted at each of those with a whirl of statistics. And she said that what unifies those critiques is a faulty belief that congestion could lessen over time, even if Metro doesn’t do anything.
“We’re not going to leave our future and the future of our city to chance. We have to create this change and we have to attack it head on,” she said. “Traffic isn’t going sort itself out.”
Alongside the soaring language and stats, the mayor also threw some elbows — saying critics are “disingenuous” and in denial about how a city can act to change traffic conditions.
It’s all part of a case that she wants to make to voters before a likely referendum in May.