The way a local community looks and feels, is designed, planned, managed, etc. is specific to that community. It reflects the ‘local flavor’ which is informed by history of place, geography, demographics, culture, and personality. It stands to reason that in creating any infrastructure, each community deserves to develop and design it to their liking according to what fits their needs and common aesthetic. However, according to a front page story by the New York Times, this is not always the case. (Also see some responses gathered and shared here at Passenger Transport).
It looks like a ‘campaign-in-a-box’ exists and is used over and over to defeat local transit-related ballot measures. Good news is Nashville is not alone. Bad news is our transit referendum, and quality of life, fell victim to outsiders’ interest and it will be anyone’s guess as to how long before another viable plan is ready for public debate.
We cannot change the past, but we can be more informed moving forward. Next time we will know and be prepared. Until then, we believe Americans, Tennesseans, Nashvillians should have a choice as to what they build when, what is available in their local area, and how they pay for it.