NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Traffic isn’t just a pain in the neck for commuters, it’s a headache for employers as well and something big businesses are paying attention to.
One Metro city councilman explained why job access is a top-of-mind concern for both commuters and the businesses that employ them.
“You can be out there at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and you might very well be stuck in stop-and-go traffic, so it is a noticeable change as Nashville’s growth rate has accelerated and there’s no question it’s on the minds of both employers as well as employees,” said Metro Councilmember Freddie O’Connell.
O’Connell feels the pain of Nashville commuters.
Traffic has gotten so bad, it’s become a major factor in where to look for work.
“I spent several years commuting to Cool Springs and I didn’t have any other option but to be in my car. I checked it, it was a two-hour bike ride, and it’s like this is not gonna work well.”
Prospective employers are betting on smart land use under the assumption that the city is going to do the necessary work to improve transit options.
“They know that people working at these companies have to have somewhere first to live and that that place that they’re choosing to live either has to be affordable enough or accessible enough to those jobs If it isn’t and you’ve got an entire workforce that lives an hour away from where their job is located then suddenly it becomes much more difficult to recruit that workforce in the first place. It is something that I can tell you, again, I’ve talked to the EDC office to the chamber and then frankly to a number of large employers that it is top of mind consideration.”
Nashville has the huge advantage of being a southeastern city with three major interstates running through it. Unfortunately, they come into the downtown loop and a normal commute time easily doubles– leading Nashvillians to put their foot down, and say enough is enough.
In a poll posted to WKRN.com asking if you’ve turned down or left a job in Nashville because of traffic, a whopping 68 percent said yes.
When taking a look at some of the comments, Robin Milliken said that after commuting for years, she took a job with no benefits and a lot less money but she can get home in 15 minutes.
Another commenter mentioned they too commuted to Nashville for years using Interstate 24 West, and in the afternoons, it took almost three hours to get home.
“After spending a lot of my money on so much gas from sitting in traffic so long, I quit my job and work closer to my home town.”
Because no one wants to spend their precious time sitting in traffic.