The forum will be the first of a yearlong series of public events called Assembly Required, which will be organized by the Scene and designed to promote civic engagement with topics of community-wide concern. The Amp event will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, 41 Peabody St.
Ever since Mayor Karl Dean's administration proposed the 7.1-mile bus rapid transit line through the heart of Nashville, it has been hailed by supporters as a solution to Davidson County's looming traffic problems. Yet it has also drawn criticism for its route and intense opposition for the impact it may have on traffic, businesses and neighborhoods.
That makes The Amp a timely and important topic to kick off the new series, Scene editor Jim Ridley said.
"Public transportation may be the most transformative issue the city faces over the next two decades — one with the power to change neighborhoods, businesses and demographics," he said. "All of us have a stake in heading off the logjam that awaits us without action. We want this forum to address the question: Where is Nashville headed, and do we need designated lanes to get there?"
Chris Ferrell, CEO of Scene parent company SouthComm, said the series fits well with the role of the newspaper.
"We take very seriously the role of the press in fostering communication about important issues for our community," he said. "The strategy around public transportation is important for Nashville, and I'm glad SouthComm can facilitate this opportunity for the community to engage in the conversation."
Stop Amp will be represented by attorney Diane Neall and Vanderbilt professor Malcolm Getz. The Amp Coalition will be represented by Nashville Chamber of Commerce president Ralph Schulz and a member of MTA's design team for the project.
Scene news editor Steve Cavendish will moderate. Cavendish is the former editor of The City Paper, a regular contributor to NashvillePost.com and the current president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The event is free and open to the public.