The Transportation 2020+ Strategy is a strategic document designed to guide transportation decisions within the fiscal reality of the City’s budget.
Mayor Joe Pitts, the City Council, and leaders of the Clarksville Street Department, Clarksville Transit System, Clarksville Parks & Recreation, Clarksville Finance & Revenue, the City Communications office the Regional Planning Commission, and our Metropolitan Planning Organization have gathered over the past several months to study Clarksville’s priority transportation needs and develop a strategy for action.
Members of the past City Council were consulted during the ongoing planning, and members of the newly seated City Council will now join the process.
“The Transportation 2020+ Strategy was prepared to set our street and road priorities for the near future," Mayor Pitts said. "We need a roadmap that we commit to follow, in broad terms, even as we move through elections and personnel changes. Otherwise, we’ll never get where we need to go.”
Since many of Clarksville’s major thoroughfares are state highways, the planning group has worked closely with Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) officials to understand where, how, and when State Routes will be improved.
The Strategy prioritizes transportation projects into three tiers with a combined estimated cost of $462 million. These projects are tiered based on need, their ability to solve the City’s most pressing traffic and mobility problems, and the best allocation of City resources to equitably implement transportation priorities throughout the city.
- Tier 1 projects are prioritized by their ability to adhere to the City’s transportation core values.
- They are generally larger projects which are ranked as urgently needed to address traffic congestion, promote motorist and pedestrian safety, connect the community and expand transit service.
- Tier 2 and Tier 3 projects and programs focus on the community’s identifiable and expected future mobility needs.
The Strategy, found below, outlines the proposed priority improvements, estimates the costs associated with each project, and outlines options available to fund the Strategy's goals.
rEAD THROUGH THE Strategy
Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 4:30 p.m. Mayor Joe Pitts introduced the Transportation 2020+ Strategy to the City Council.
Have feedback on the proposed Transportation 2020+ Strategy?
Frequently asked questions will be routinely posted to answer questions and concerns from survey responses.
EVENTS CONCERNING THE TRANSPORTATION 2020+ STRATEGY
Here is a summary of frequently asked questions gleaned from 36 online responses so far from residents. Answers are provided by the Communications Office, based on the actual report and more information supplied by City Departments involved in shaping the Transportation 2020+ Strategy.
A: The study period is 2020 to 2040, when the Clarksville area population is expected to swell by 40 percent, or an additional 90,455 new residents, yielding a total population of 298,919. The reality is that Clarksville’s road network and transportation infrastructure must be expanded and improved because of this expected increased volume on area roadways.
A: The plan is divided into three tiers, based on priority needs, and designed to guide work over the next 20 years. Some of the major Tier 1 projects are already under way, such as planning for the Spring Creek Parkway, the Whitfield-Needmore Road project near Glenellen Elementary, and the Tylertown-Oakland Road project. Other projects in Tier 1 are clearly identified, but require funding commitments by the City Council before preliminary design can begin.
Mayor Pitts also has stressed that the Strategy is flexible and can change based on input by the City Council and residents. Because of funding limitations, it is envisioned that the Strategy will unfold sequentially over the next two decades, with the most important and critical improvements coming first, and others emerging over time.
A: It is a huge amount of money, but it is a well-researched projection of just how much funding will be needed over the next two decades to improve Clarksville’s transportation network and prevent gridlock, ensure mobility options and provide safe roads. It also is an indication of just how dramatic the City’s growth has been, how far behind we are, and how much is needed to keep pace with the true needs of the transportation system. No one is suggesting these projects will be done all at once, and the spending will be managed over decades, not in a lump sum.
A: In general, local government is funded by the taxpayers, for the taxpayers’ benefit. This is how a municipal government pays for roads, police and fire departments, public parks and recreation facilities, and so forth.
Right now, Clarksville’s property tax rate is $1.0296 per $100 of assessed value, much lower than several comparable cities, such Chattanooga at $2.277, Knoxville at $2.4638 and Murfreesboro at $1.2894. The City of Clarksville gets to keep a portion of the sales taxes collected in the City, the balance of which is directed to the State and the local school system. Overall, the City’s General Fund -- the portion used to pay for roads, public safety, parks and recreation, and debt service -- totals about $108 million per year.
Tennessee Iaw provides for property tax relief for low-income elderly and disabled homeowners, as well as disabled veteran homeowners or their surviving spouses. Tax collecting officials, including the County Trustee and the City Revenue Office, receive applications from taxpayers who may qualify. Information is available online here.
Clarksville’s rapid growth over the past four decades exerts pressure on all parts of the General Fund. More businesses and more people create the need for more police officers and police facilities, more firefighters, fire facilities and equipment, more parks and recreation facilities and programs -- and more roads and transportation infrastructure.
After accounting for all the other needs, only a portion of the City’s general revenue is available in any given year to build and improve the roads. That portion provides only enough annual debt service to enable borrowing about $40 million for road projects. Without new revenues dedicated to transportation projects, the City simply doesn’t have enough money available to overcome its pressing near and long-term transportation needs.
The latest version of the proposed Transportation 2020+ Strategy is available for viewing above or for download below.
Please note: When referencing for review or comment, please indicate the version number found on the front cover and each subsequent page.
|Full Strategy DocumentMaps|
Tiered Cost Breakdowns