Nashville may now be on the road to more efficient transportation as Mayor John Cooper officially launched Metro’s newest department on Wednesday.

The launch of the Nashville Department of Transportation & Multimodal Infrastructure is a significant step toward implementation of Metro’s transportation plan, adopted by the Metro Council in late 2020.

“In a city on the move, we have to keep our people on the move, safely and efficiently,” Cooper said. “For the first time in our history, Nashville has an entire department that is focused on our transportation needs.”

NDOT’s launch is also a campaign promise delivered for Cooper, who prioritized the creation of a dedicated transportation department during his campaign in 2019.

The new department was formed from what was previously the Metro Department of Public Works. In April, the Metro Council paved the way for the department’s creation by voting to transfer non-transportation responsibilities away from Public Works. Waste management has since been handled by Metro Water Services.

On Wednesday, Cooper joined TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright and several Metro Council members to unveil the new department’s sign.

“Today is a big day going forward for our future,” Bright said. “This collaboration, I believe, is expected by our citizens and just makes common sense.”

Faye DiMassimo, Cooper’s senior adviser for transportation and infrastructure, called the department “a modern 21st-century transportation system that links communities, people and opportunities for economic success.”

NDOT will be a management center for transportation operations such as road maintenance, paving, sidewalk construction, traffic signal management, parking and permitting.

Staff is working to design a planned Traffic Management Center to help reduce congestion and modernize Nashville’s traffic signal management. Currently, 24 traffic-calming projects are under design or construction.

Cooper’s budget, approved last month by the Metro Council, included $30 million for transportation — the largest funding increase for transportation in Nashville’s history, funding 42 new positions.

Metro Greenways will continue to be managed by the Metro Parks Department, and the transit system will remain under the management of Metro Transit Authority.

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