NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Monday, Nashville Mayor John Cooper signed six new laws after months of heated debate surrounding license plate readers, entertainment vehicles, and noise on Broadway.
License Plate Readers
After a six-month pilot program, license plate readers (LPRs) will now be fully implemented, but not without concerns.
“We were very disappointed. We know that we tried to build a relationship with Council, and from the beginning, we have condemned the use of license plate reader technology and for years we’ve been very vocal about the use of this technology,” said Luis Mata with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC).
Since the initial pilot program, advocates with TIRRC have been advocating against the use of LPRs.
“We will not stand for the massive data gathering from our communities because we know that external factors will stop at nothing from getting their hands on the data,” Mata said.
However, those in favor of the technology describe it as an “important crime-fighting tool” used by Metro police. One benefit brought up during the months of discussions surrounding them is using the devices to crack down on street racing and stolen vehicles.
Housing Catalyst Fund
Mayor Cooper signed a resolution approving a $19,500,000 grant agreement to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
The purpose is to create the “Housing Catalyst Fund” using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
This ordinance limits the number of entertainment vehicles that can operate downtown, allowing the Metro Transportation & Licensing Commission to determine the number that best serves “public necessity and convenience.”
Traffic Bill of Rights
This ordinance requires traffic impact studies that precede significant property developments to assess the impact of developments on surrounding traffic to now include more expansive multimodal transportation analysis.
It also adds performance bond requirements so that a development’s conditional improvements materialize.
This ordinance requires speakers and amplifiers located within 10 feet of a door, window, or other opening to be oriented inward to spare the streets and sidewalks from excessive noise as a safety precaution.
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“There’s kind of become this bizarre competition between some of the bars where one person turns up their outside speakers, and so another person does, then another person does, then another person does and then it just becomes completely unbearable, even when you’re on stage,” said Sasha McVeigh who often plays downtown. “Hopefully this is going to help combat and it’s going to make it easier for everybody involved.”
Food Waste Reduction
A resolution to support municipal leadership on food waste reduction and encourage Metro Government and community-wide target of a 50% reduction in food waste from 2017 levels by 2030.