I’m stuck in Nashville traffic. And so, apparently, is everyone else in the Western Hemisphere.
Nashville scares me. The main culprit here is the highways. Nashville’s highway system is a mess because these roads were built to accommodate approximately 11 cars, whereas there are currently 229 trillion Nashville residents.
So this is a problem. A big one. Because right now I am idling in a thousand-mile line of cars, stuck in a cloud of blue exhaust, and we are moving approximately one nanometer per hour.
I think I’ve figured out the problem in this city. The problem is, everyone in the state of Tennessee is trying to use the interstate at the same time. Which is a bad idea, this is just common sense.
If we all tried to take a shower at the same time each morning, the world would run out of water. It’s the same principle. A plus B equals C.
But the traffic problem isn’t getting any better. Because nobody is doing anything about it except buying more electric cars.
Tennessee Department of Transportation reports that, on any average afternoon, in Davidson County, there are strings of electric cars longer than the ladies-restroom line at a George Strait concert.
If you took all the electric cars in the world and placed them end to end, you’d have Nashville.
“The traffic is really hard,” says my friend who lives outside Nashville and commutes to work. Each morning, he spends 120 minutes in his SUV, fighting hundreds of motorists just backing out of his driveway.
He wants a new job, but of course, there are no new jobs in Nashville, only new buildings. Because new construction is out of control here.
Nashville is one of the leading cites in the nation for adding new real estate. In the time it’s taken you to read these paragraphs, Nashville has already built two arenas and one NASCAR súper-speedway.
And they still have billions of dollars of new projects on the way. The skyline changes almost daily.
Things have gotten so bad construction-wise that as soon as one new structure is built, demolition crews arrive to tear the building down so they can begin erecting a new triplex in its place.
This town’s slogan should be “Boom!” Because that’s the only noise you ever hear. In fact, while writing this very sentence, sitting in traffic, I was interrupted by several loud construction booms.
But that’s nothing. Because bachelorette parties are the main issue facing Nashville. Bachelorettes are huge business in this town.
“Nashville is one giant bachelorette party,” said one policeman. “Yesterday, I walked into a restaurant responding to a call, and the hostess asked if I was the stripper for the private party.”
It’s true. Bachelorette parties are pretty annoying. I was downtown yesterday and I counted 39 party busses filled with bachelorette partiers. These party busses are everywhere in Nashville.
Although, in my opinion, they aren’t nearly as worrisome as the pedal tavern (sometimes called “pedal pubs,” “party bikes,” “bike bars,” or “concussion machines”).
A pedal tavern is a multi-passenger human powered vehicle. Think of it as a giant bicycle. There’s no engine, just the legs of passengers who are sitting around a bar, facing each other, singing “Sweet Caroline” and tossing back vodka gimlets.
A pedal tavern’s top speed is around 5 mph. But most of the time, they travel about the same speed as a municipal fire hydrant.
Usually these taverns come loaded with about 20 screaming people. If it’s a bachelorette party, they will all be wearing tiaras, feather boas, fashionable boots, and matching T-shirts. Often times, they will be howling swear words at passing vehicles while sloshing beer onto nearby police officers who are busy writing parking tickets to redheaded columnists.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Nashville. In fact, I like it here. This city is young, hip, exciting, and the music is pretty good. But none of these things I like are the real Nashville, according to my sources.
“If you want to experience the real Nashville,” one city official told me, “just hop on I-24, I40, I-65, or 440. That’s where everyone in Nashville lives most of their lives anyway.”