NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Changes along the Eighth Avenue corridor through Melrose could be coming later this year after the Metro Planning Department completes a traffic diet study this summer.
District 17 Councilman Colby Sledge told News 2 the study is being done to keep people safe along the road as the area continues to grow.
At the Urban Juicer on Eighth, the goal is to make the best smoothie possible for drivers on the go
“We are a grab-and-go restaurant, and we serve a lot of people who are on their way to work,” said owner Celeste Krenz.
However, she is worried the potential changes outside from the study will make traffic anything but smooth.
“I think we would discourage people from coming to this street at all.”
The Metro Planning Department is studying the corridor from Division Street to Berry Road. Sledge says the road needs to be safer for drivers, bikers, and walkers.
“We want to make Eighth Avenue safer for everybody,” he said.
According to a traffic study in 2014, nearly 21,000 cars travel Eighth Avenue daily. The study is looking at three different scenarios that include leaving it how it is when they repave it, adding bike lanes, and adding a turn lane that changes with the flow of traffic or putting in a traditional turn lane down the middle.
Right now, if you want to make a left hand turn going in either direction on Eighth Avenue South, you have to stop and potentially hold up traffic.
But if you drive along the road on Wednesday, you will see signs that show many people fear the change would create gridlock and discourage people from visiting.
“It has already slowed down in the last two years, and I think doing this would. This is kind of a highway,” said Krenz.
“If we did look at re-striping differently, we would do that in almost a temporary way to see if it would work,” explained Sledge over the phone on Wednesday.
The slower traffic and those avoiding the area worry those who depend on the steady line of cars during the day.
“There’s a lot of restaurants that depend on the traffic.”
Councilman Sledge intends to hold two more discussion meetings with business and home owners in the area this summer.
The Metro Planning Department hopes to finish their study by the end of the summer and make recommendations later this year.