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No. 419: The War On Cars

No. 419: The War On Cars

⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ Cars · Beer · Guns · Taxes · King Crimson · Music · Much More!

I like my truck
I like my girlfriend
I like to take her out to dinner
I like a movie now and then
...but I
love this car.

Toby Keith, 'I Love This Bar' (Redux)

In Nashville, you need a car. It’s prohibitively costly or egregiously time consuming to navigate the city in any other manner. Tennessee, in fact, is among the most car-centric states in the union. According to a study from, Memphis is the most car-dependent metro area in the country, with Nashville close behind it at number two.

Another study ranks Nashville second in cities with the highest rate of car ownership. According to this study, 96 percent of households in Nashville have access to a vehicle—and for good reason.

Nashville is among the least densely populated cities in the country, with an average density of 1,505 people per square mile. Compare that to, say, Seattle, Washington—among the least car-dependent cities in the country—and its 9,248 people per square mile, and it's easy to understand why cars are so necessary for Nashville residents.

Even despite these very firm realities, there continues to be a loud contingent here clamoring for bus line expansions, umpteen bike lanes, new sidewalks, and all manner of bright fluorescent road markers in an attempt to inch the city toward becoming some kind of walkable utopia.

To study this contingent’s work, try pulling onto Belmont Boulevard from any of its numerous side streets without pausing momentarily to assess the carnage of signs, markers, and lines as you divine your next move. I throw up a prayer every time I pull out into this miasma of confusion, hoping I don’t plow over a biker or t-bone a Belmont student.

What’s surprising about this whole debate is how reminiscent the progressive position—abolishing the personal automobile in favor of mass public transit—is to the conservative approach to such issues. The reasons they give are multitudinous, but lately, they’ve mostly hinged on the environmental benefits of packing people like sardines onto buses and trains.

From Davis Hunt

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GOP leaders push to yank Music City Center funding (Channel 5) Republican Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson officially filed SB 0648, which terminates future increases to the Metropolitan Government Tourist Accommodation Tax and previously authorized privilege taxes that were used to fund the downtown convention center that opened in 2013.

Amtrak routes connecting Cincinnati to Nashville, Chicago, head to feds (NBJ) New passenger rail routes connecting Cincinnati to Chicago, Cleveland and Nashville have been submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration, another step in significantly expanding the region’s anemic Amtrak offerings.

Memphis deactivates the unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols (NPR) The Memphis Police Department announced Saturday that it was disbanding the specialized unit whose officers stopped and beat Nichols on Jan. 7. Nichols died in the hospital three days later.

Avian flu hits West Tennessee farm and 267,000 birds are destroyed (Lookout) The first sign of something awry was the road closure on the two-lane country road that goes right past Will Burton’s Weakley County farm, his fields, barns and the one-story house he shares with his fiancee and three kids.


HOLD MY BEER This year’s filing deadlines are January 31st for the state House and February 2nd for the Senate. In the last week, the bills filed by both Tennessee state representatives and senators have jumped from around 400 in each chamber to about 750. Here are a few bills that have popped up, and some we anticipate cropping up later this week.

GRAB THE GUNS Gun control legislation has already made its way onto the docket, but given the recent media fire surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols, Democrats are also expected to bring forward police reform legislation before the deadline. Senator London Lamar introduced SB17, which creates programs to reduce gun violence in communities: including a youth employment program, violence intervention program, and a gun safety program. Companion bills HB237SB10 have also been filed to require enhanced or concealed handgun permits t in certain counties. According to WPLN, groups such as Moms Demand Action Tennessee actively advocate for red flag laws to be introduced.

TAX THE RICH Considering his progressive politics, it’s no surprise that freshman Rep. Justin Jones (D-52) filed a few saber-rattling bills. As evidenced by his “arrest” at the Tennessee State Capitol in 2019 for assault and disorderly conduct, Jones is an activist first, a legislator second. Since his narrow victory, he’s since filed both HB747 and HB478. The first creates a "CEO Pay Disparity Tax Act", which imposes an additional 0.1 percent surcharge on companies whose top executive is paid at least one hundred times more than the median income of the company's employees.  The second is coined the "Tennessee Tax on Wall Street Act", which imposes a 4 percent tax on all purchases of financial securities made by Tennessee residents, except for retirement accounts and savings plans.


  • Butchertown Hall owner eyes WeHo restaurant (Post)
  • Downtown commercial building listed for sale (Post)
  • Investment company pays $8.5M for Hillsboro Pike site (Post)


View the full calendar here.

🌱 Antiques and Garden Show at the convention center, all day Friday through Sunday.

🐔 It's Nashville Hot Chicken Week. Get deals and vote for the best hot chicken in Nashville.

👨🏻‍🌾 Check out our Nashville farmer's market guide and our 2023 southern festival guide.

🎧 On our Spotify: Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of our favorite bands in town this week, On the Radar, a playlist of the best bands in town in the future, and Nashville Sounds, an ever-growing sample of the local music scene.


📽 In the Court of the Crimson King @ The Belcourt, 3:45p, $12.50, Info
+ "This portrait of the prog-rock band (King Crimson) is like an episode of The Office but with huge drum kits, grizzled roadies, and rapturous fans"

🎷 Jazzy Monday @ Helen's Hot Chicken, 8p, $13, Info

💀 Grateful Monday @ Acme Feed & Seed, 8p, Free, Info

📽 In the Court of the Crimson King @ The Belcourt, 8p, $12.50, Info
+ "This portrait of the prog-rock band (King Crimson) is like an episode of The Office but with huge drum kits, grizzled roadies and rapturous fans"

🎸 Guthrie Trapp @ The Underdog, 8p, Free, Info
+ Blues/jazz guitar

🎻 Tall Poppy String Band @ Dee's Lounge, 8:30p, Free, Info

🕺 Motown Monday @ The 5 Spot, 9p, $5, Info

🎹 Jazz Jam @ The Villager, 11p, Free, Info


🎸 Lotus @ Brooklyn Bowl, 2/16, 8p, $20, Info

🎙 Weyes Blood @ Brooklyn Bowl, 2/22, 8p, $23+, Info
+ Folk-pop, a modern Joan Baez

🎻 Billy Strings @ Bridgestone, 2/24-25, 8p, Info

🎻 Billy Strings @ Ryman, 2/26, 8p, Info
+ Only eligible if you purchased a ticket to one of his previous nights' Bridgestone shows

🥁 Os Mutantes @ The Blue Room, 3/1, 7p, $25, Info
+ Brazilian psychedelic rock band, part of the Tropicália movement of the late 1960s

🕺 Lettuce @ The Brooklyn Bowl, 3/17-18, $32, Info
+ Funk

🎸 Goose @ The Ryman, 3/31-4/1, Info
+ Funky jam band

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