Titans Game to screw up Thursday afternoon rush hour traffic

With a Tennessee Titans game scheduled for a 7:25 PM kickoff tomorrow at Nissan Stadium, authorities have decided to seal off some downtown streets and bridges at 4 PM.  The Woodland Street bridge will close at that time to everybody but pedestrians and shuttle buses (and, one presumes, bikes).  MTA buses that normally use that bridge are instead being redirected to the James Robertson Pkwy and Jefferson St bridges.

Additionally, the Korean Veterans bridge will close to car traffic heading into East Nashville as the game nears its end.  There are other MTA routes that will be on detour for (apparently) all day Thursday, but it’s not clear from the city’s press release what other streets will be closed.

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MTA’s EasyRide not so easy to set up

Several months ago, Stephen Yeargin tried to get his company set up with with Metro Transit Authority’s (MTA) EasyRide program.  This program allows employers to pay for their employees’ rides on public transit in and around Nashville.

Already, such large institutions as Vanderbilt, the state government, and Metro participate in EasyRide.  Employees from these institutions receive special MTA cards they tap on the fare box (or, in the case of Vanderbilt, swipe their Vanderbilt ID badges) when boarding a bus or the Music City Star.  But the program is actually available to any employer who wants to participate — though Mr. Yeargin discovered it’s more difficult to set up than it should be.

Earlier: Nashville MTA may get new fare payment system

It took him seven months to get EasyRide for his company.  He found that there’s practically no information on MTA’s website and that MTA required multiple letters of credit for his employer (a burden for small companies).  Many companies won’t bother jumping through all these hoops, he frets, when they should be trying to increase ridership through initiatives like this:

I believe the only barrier to more folks using EasyRide is the operational inefficiencies of signing up for the program. Signing up companies is the easiest way to grow ridership, and thereby improve transit in the region.

Moreover, the customer service representative he spoke to at Music City Central seemed to know little about EasyRide.  “I think that’s only for Vanderbilt and State employees,” the representative told him.

Mr. Yeargin made five recommendations for improving the the signup for EasyRide, from getting rid of a required in-person presentation to having fewer steps in the application process.

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The Tennessean to sell downtown offices in prime spot

A sizable chunk of hot new real estate is about to open up downtown.  The Tennessean has announced that they’re putting their North Gulch office and printing operation up for sale.

The 10 acres in three separate lots that the newspaper’s parent company owns in the area could be worth $87 million, land broker Fred Kane estimates.  In a piece of journalism in which they report on themselves, The Tennessean notes that there are two other high-profile developments going on near them: the Lifeway campus (which they sold already but still occupy) and the development next to I-40 that will be anchored by a Whole Foods store.  Like Lifeway, The Tennessean is seeking a sale in which they will continue to lease the property from the new owners for up to 1.5 years while they get their new digs ready.

The newspaper hopes to find a new location downtown for its reporting and business operations, while it’s seeking some cheaper real estate in the suburbs for its printing presses.

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Flipping the floor at the symphony

The main concert hall at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center can be converted over into a ballroom.  The seats are moved, section by section, to an area below the room.  The whole process takes about an hour and a half.  Watch it in this short time-lapse video:

One person noted on Reddit that they’ve worked on this process before:

I’ve been part of what they call “flipping the floor” many, many times. It can be a pain in the ass, like when something breaks down during a flip at 3AM after a 15 hour work day, and the floor needs to be flat for a 9AM event. There have also been some pretty big f***ups over the years.. like people rising up the lift from the basement before the section of chairs had completed rolling back into storage… yeah that was fun.

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