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BrandonTO416 last won the day on October 18 2014

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  1. Thanks for the recommendations, it still looks like not a single place in town caters specifically to EDM, kind of making my point. However, its good to see those that do incorporate it. BTW Titan, I have always heard the reasons why people don't like EDM and I'm used to it. Too much energy, too busy, too this, too that. I strongly disagree of course, just as I'm sure plenty of people would say the same thing about my comments on country. To each their own. I just wished there were more EDM lovers in Nashville, its not quite as mainstream as it is in other areas. And as I said in the other topic, I am happy to hear projects like 505/CST is coming to fruition. Now if West End Summit could be resurrected from the dead that'd be great.
  2. Well, I haven't found any good electro/house venue in the tourist areas. Considering electro has went from underground to mainstream, its painfully missing in the Nashville music scene from what I've seen. And I've been in town several times in the past year. I will be in town soon again this coming month. This is just a personal preference, I'm not against country fans. Its fine to say Nashville is more than country, but let's also not deny Nashville's core is still country. It is big business in Nashville and its a core tourist attraction. Unfortunately I would rather have ear plugs in, but it is reality. The native TN population is quite diverse, I'm not the only one who feels this way. It is just opinion, afterall. FWIW, I am not particularly keen on hip hop either. And pop'i'fied electro often sucks. I might as well grab the ear plugs for that junk as well. Music to me is about more than just lyrics, I want to walk away feeling energized, like I have been uplifted, I enjoy a positive experience. Listening to hip hop kind of makes me depressed most of the time. Let's just say I don't see Nashville hosting Tomorrowland anytime soon. LOL If you want, google it or youtube it to know what I'm talking about. If you have any advice for venues to check out that might be of interest to me while I'm back in town, my ears and eyes are open. Tell me what to check out, I'm game for it.
  3. Yes, this many times over. I know Nashville is known for a certain style of music and it is (somewhat) native to the region. But there are a ton of natives to middle Tennessee - like myself - that never liked the country genre and its whiney, moaning, twangy sound. Listening to a lot of country is like listening to nails on slate. Hell, I like the music scene in Memphis more than Nashville. The rock and blues and soul is so much more appealing to me than the twang. I'll listen to the tunes coming out of the bars on Beale well before I will pay attention to Lower Broadway in Nashville. It is interesting you bring this up, because I just wrote about this topic on in the Coffeehouse section on Nashville in the past decade. I wrote enough there, so I will spare writing more here. LOL
  4. I have been lurking, observing the construction updates thread and noticed this topic. I've been in Canada since the end of summer, will be coming back to the Nashville area for a few months in the next week or two. As some of you may know, I spent half a year in Memphis thanks to a job earlier this year and have gotten to know Nashville again in the past year. As a native of the region who saw Nashville while growing up in the area, then spending a better part of the years between 2007-2014 away and seeing it again today, I'll give you my thoughts just on the city. In the late 90's and early 00's, I considered Nashville a failed city, not much different than a Detroit quite frankly, other than the much smaller scale of course. Just like Detroit, the only desirable areas were really newer single family homes in far flung suburbs like Hendersonville or Bellevue, just as in Detroit you have the beautiful homes and wealthy lifestyles out in Oakland County or Royal Oak and Birmingham... All there was in Nashville in the year 2000 was 2nd ave, the Broadway-Capitol corridor and that's it. You go south of Broadway and it was mostly concrete cinder block buildings and empty lots, you cross what used to be I-265 and it was so poor you'd see people walking around barefoot and cracked out on drugs. It made you ask what kind of zombie apocalypse happened here?! LOL What is now called midtown and the West End area used to be generally okay, but that's it outside downtown. And West End has always relied on Vanderbilt and its jobs core to anchor its nicer atmosphere. Today it feels like it has expanded far, far beyond that and has grown into a more diverse area in its own right. You saw demonstrations of renewal in the 1990's, like 2nd ave coming of age when I was growing up, the BiCentennial mall really cleaned up a seedy area north of town while I was in high school. But honestly, let's face it, Nashville was a kind of disgusting city. It had a few business workers in the Lower Broadway-Capitol downtown core and they left at 5pm and other than the few honky tonks on 2nd ave and Lower Broadway, there was nothing there. Since I personally can't stand country music (most of it sounds like a whining drawl fest), I had little reason to go down there. I was always seeking out electronic music venues and other things and that was never Nashville's style. Anyone who knows me knows I really didn't care for Nashville for a very long time; however, just about the time I left town in 2007 (I lived in Antioch at the time and left for Chicago that spring), something did happen. Developers took note in the city, they saw something, and the city has been transformed. There is still an awful lot of poverty in East Nashville, north of downtown, and south of downtown across the highway system, but you can tell the city is on the move and has a building boom that is hard to match, and I'd say for cities in its class it is the most booming and fastest growing urban core of its class. You don't see the same activity going on in Columbus, Kansas City, Raleigh, or even Charlotte. What I'm talking about is the sheer number of urban housing development and businesses that cater to the lifestyle of an urbanite, I'm not talking about metro GDP/GMP or how big an airport is or how many Fortune 500 companies the city has. Quite frankly Nashville's economy has not always been the greatest, Charlotte still has a larger job base, higher paying jobs, and it seems more economically well off. But Nashville has grabbed onto something most cities have not: urban housing. To be honest, I'm shocked and surprised, but in a good way. I didn't expect a city I had written off while growing up to become kind of a miniature Toronto with condos popping up as an alternative to the traditional single family house. But, that's what is happening in Nashville, and I like what I've seen. Luckily I've gotten things to work out in my life in other directions, but if I had stayed permanently in the region I grew up in, I have to say I'd be impressed with the turn around I'm seeing. Well, I don't even live in Nashville and I'm impressed so I think everyone who visits and has a connection there is impressed. At the same time, I do give it context. Nashville is not an urban paradise, it is turning the corner and becoming an impressive place very quickly. It isn't there yet, but its working hard to get there. I still think cities like Minneapolis or San Diego have more urban amenities and would opt to live in those areas over Nashville. It'll take Nashville probably 20 more years of growth at the same pace its experiencing today just to catch up to a place like Minneapolis, as just an example. San Diego has a real condo lifestyle in the center city as well, even better than Minneapolis-St Paul. I could see Nashville maybe catching up in 20-30 years if current trends remain. But, I like what I see, I think Nashville is finally becoming something. It should be proud of the past decade, but at the same time address some major issues that still exist. For example, there is no mass transit system and the arguments over AMP cannot stand, it simply cannot happen again. The next time a serious proposal comes along - as imperfect as it is - it needs to be accomplished. Don't like buses? Well swallow your pride and be happy if a real BRT system is proposed again. It is better than doing nothing. If you get a monorail started, GREAT. But whatever it is, the community needs to support it. NIMBY'ism, petty arguments over mode and style, and special interest groups need to step aside and let the city build SOMETHING. It cannot continue to grow into a major multi-million metro area AND have an urban core without a reasonable public transit system. And a commuter rail line from Lebanon to downtown that carries a few hundred suburbanites back and forth is not a reasonable public transport system. You need a viable option to park your car and get around the core without a car and so so with frequent, reliable service. All real cities have the option. This is one thing other cities are running miles and miles around Nashville on, and Charlotte is the perfect example. Not only did Charlotte see this in the 1990s, they even voted themselves a higher sales tax and added on the pennies needed to the local tax to fund their LRT system. Nashville needs this vision before it is too late. Even Chattanooga - CHATTANOOGA - saw this vision in the late 80's and 90's and built a nifty little downtown circulation system with their nifty electric bus system. And their system is FREE. Memphis' trolleys were installed in the early 90's (and yes I'm aware they are having problems with the fires that occurred, but when they rebuild the system it'll be back online soon). So many cities had the vision to create something. Why Nashville doesn't have this vision I'll never understand. Something is odd about how hard it has been to develop a viable system. That's my observation as a native of the region who comes back enough to observe what is going on. I'll be in town for a few months into the spring starting in a few weeks so I'll do a few more tours to see what is new in the last half year. I think Nashville is becoming something great, but it needs to smooth out some of these rough edges to really get all the way. And as a final note, while I couldn't see myself living in Nashville in 2005, in 2015/2016 I could say - provided a good job to pay for the urban lifestyle - yes I could actually come back on a more permanent basis. It is a city that has a feeling of positive movement, things feel like they are headed in the right direction. But in order to buy that $250-350k condo in the city, I'd have to have economic incentive to do so. And Nashville's economy is - still - all over the map. Nashville is no San Diego and pay is still quite low overall. When I was looking for work last year, I didn't find any meaningful job offer in Nashville (despite looking quite a bit) and got an offer down in Memphis first and even though that job wasn't worth keeping and I left it - at least it was a viable option for a half year. I was able to rent a 9th floor loft in Memphis and not a single potential employer in Nashville had returned so much as a phone call... So, I've yet to see this impressive economy that Nashville has so far. In order to buy a well built urban condo, you have to have that jobs base, and I never got lucky in the Nashville market on the jobs front. I certainly hope the local economy continues to improve!
  5. Love the system, downtown local transit lines are a good idea to invest in.
  6. I'm actually not anti-highway, but I've said before that it should be appropriate investments. For example, I'm not opposed to upgrading I-24 to 8 lanes/4 bi-directional all the way to Clarksville. Clarksville is growing fast thanks to its military presence, and it'll likely be a metropolitan area of 400,000 people by 2040 which is centered only 40 miles from downtown Nashville. Forward thinking has to realize this is going to be a problem and I-24 in its present form can't handle that. It takes years to plan and fund and build an upgrade that significant, and planning has to begin today. I also support a rail line like the STAR service between the two cities as well. But on the contrary, I'd support destructing the central highway system around Nashville as I mentioned much earlier here on this forum. Central Nashville is eaten alive with criss-cross Interstate highway hell. Its more dangerous driving on these merging-hell highways than it is to drive the FDR freeway in Manhattan. Anyway, the point is that infrastructure needs to be updated now, not in 20 or 30 years. Nashville needs governing bodies that fund projects and isn't put to a vote. Although that didn't seem to help AMP, the point still remains something needs to be done about transport in middle Tennessee. The highway system is a mess and there's no rapid transit system.
  7. I'm unsure why these transportation initiatives are often put up to a vote. Did anyone ever have a vote on whether TN-840 would be constructed? Did we ever vote if we wanted to repave West End Avenue? Cincinnati voted to fund and build the Streetcar they've got planned, Charlotte likewise voted for and funded the Lynx system. It seems transit initiatives always face extra scrutiny for some reason, while a mega-highway project wouldn't require a vote, these projects do. Was there a vote to expand I-65 north into Hendersonville to 5-7 lanes bi-directional? No. Did anyone vote on whether or not there should be a multi-level interchange installed at I-440 and 65? No.
  8. I agree that its sad the AMP BRT project can't go forward and be shovel in the ground, ready to construct this next year. I am still for it, but given light of Karl Dean's announcement I don't see how the project has a future. BRT honestly isn't flexible if its done as professional grade. What makes high class BRT service as good as LRT is the fact that it has high concrete platforms where people stand safely away from traffic, and the electronic traffic systems that give light priority status, provide timing and updates, etc. That can't be moved from one location to another. I'm truly technology agnostic. BRT I think would work very well for Nashville, but since Karl Dean is abandoning support (which is disappointing), I think it'd be better to get behind something all transit enthusiasts would support with a unified voice. I think a Nashville Streetcar has aspects that are more agreeable: lowest cost rail option (it doesn't cost much more than BRT), frequent service levels, and for Tennessee's new transit gestapo laws it bypasses the legislature's rules stating you can't have central street platforms. I'm sure a streetcar will face just as much anti-government opposition, but at least the transit community could get behind it with a more solid "yes" voice.
  9. When it comes to mode, here is my preference for different modes of 'rapid transit': *BRT or Streetcars for local transit/small distances in the core. *Articulated LRT or subway/elevated heavy rail for longer distances (however, LRT in this fashion has to be done correctly, it can't have any in-street portions, and it needs to be entirely and completely in its own right of way with no intersections) *Commuter trains either with electrified trains (like Philadelphia) or diesel units (like METRA or Nashville's own STAR service) for very long distances (25, 35, or even 50+ miles) Where I tend to have disagreements is when I hear people try to do everything with one technology. A single LRT line can't be a fast, commuter rail system outside downtown and then all of a sudden switch to in-street operation and maintain service levels. For in-street transport over small local distances, BRT is perfect, as are Streetcars. But articulated LRT meant to service a larger corridor? It makes the system too slow to make it a hybrid that is in-street then pops into its own ROW. I'm technology agnostic, but I'm for the proper use of technology as opposed to one size fits all.
  10. Streetcars are dirt cheap for rail transit though: they don't require huge platforms to board (look at the video earlier for reference). Just a bus-like shelter and notification that its a stop. They are often uni-directional, which saves money. And a uni-directional system allows for higher frequency utilizing fewer vehicles (that's better service/frequency for lower cost than other LRT systems). Since its a circulation system, the frequency is determined by the amount of LRV's they order and install. If they ordered 6 LRV's for the 6.5 mile system, a train would come by every few minutes. Lets say the trains average 15mph as they have to stop at stoplights, on a 6.5 mile route that means one train could come around about 2 times every hour, if you had 6 trains you could easily get that to 12 trains per hour. Since there are 60 minutes in an hour, you could easily expect a train every 5 minutes. You would never need to refer to a schedule.
  11. I'm technology agnostic. I'm thinking about cost per mile vs frequency. The truth is, Streetcars *are* light rail. They're just usually smaller vehicles, lower to the ground, and many systems operate in a unidirectional pattern as opposed to bi-directional. Streetcars are local service, they aren't intended nor are they expected to be an entire city or regional wide transit system. "Light Rail Transit" systems can also be city-wide transit systems with larger, articulated trains that are higher and require platforms to board. You also have systems that have both, in Pittsburgh the T system has high platform doors, and a low street level door up front to board passengers in areas where the T is in-street. LRT is versatile, it comes in many forms. What I'm against is building any form of LRT in street that has long distance. Why? Because its a lot of money to spend for low speed. You want lines like this optimally to never be more than 10 miles in length. If you look at Berlin, they have a massive streetcar/light rail system. But the lines usually feed into commuter rail and subway systems and are usually 5-15km long. The reason why is because in-street rail is too slow to go long distances. BUT, for a central city circulation system they're great. They need their own rights of way outside the core.
  12. ^I don't have the answers, but research can further understand what happened. Divide and conquer is a technique used by many groups. Anti-transit interests clearly were able to get pro-transit people divided. You had people who support transit - but only in the form of rail - who couldn't agree with people like me that are more agnostic toward technology. I clearly outlined how much high frequency you could get for low cost with BRT earlier in this thread, but the fact is many people out there don't care. They want rail. Divide and conquer is also useful for what you described: get people not directly affected by the project against it because they don't want resources and funding to go to it. They'd still want projects for themselves, but not dare go to THIS project. Its death by a million little cuts as opposed to a single event. Nashville doesn't have to stop dead in the water, $75 million in funding from the federal government is not pocket change. If you could get that re-allocated for a redesigned Streetcar system I'd see if something could be done as a new mayor steps into office. But someone is going to have to run on it and get ideas flowing today. Otherwise, it really will be beyond 2020 before Nashville sees any system, if at all. When I was discussing how high frequency BRT can potentially be earlier in this topic, I forgot to mention that Streetcars can have the same low cost and high frequency. Bi-directional LRT in the street really doesn't appeal to me for speed reasons relative to cost to build, but a Streetcar (which is just a lowered Light Rail Vehicle that may or may not have its own dedicated lane) certainly can be cheap enough and frequent enough. You don't have to build expensive stations and just essentially board like a bus and this cuts out tremendous costs.
  13. BTW, a Streetcar system - not a bi-directional in street LRT system - appears to be dirt cheap for steel wheels. All these projects I'm researching are impressive. Cities not that far away from Nashville are building Streetcars as we speak. Atlanta's is about to open, Cincinnati's is under construction. http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/streetcar/design-route/ http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/streetcar/streetcar-funding/ Cincinnati appears to be embarking on a 3.6 mile route at a cost of $148 million in the budget already passed. EDIT: my revised concept also bypasses the Beaman lot on West End in favor of the higher density Gulch and Midtown offices/condos to Music City Circle.
  14. I'm not being enthusiastic as much as I'm open minded about transit options as long as its done right. Observing all these battles you have to learn from the lessons they teach. 1) Some West End business elite and country club types are going to strongly oppose transit on their turf 2) You now have to expect big-money, anti-government out of state activists will try to influence local transit projects as we saw the state legislature's handling of AMP 3) The media and politicians in general across Middle Tennessee (not all, but most) really don't understand transit issues enough to properly educate or present ideas to the public 4) People have shown a disinterest in rubber wheels, even among transit supporters. I know it is illogical, I know it is absurd. But it is something that cannot be ignored. With the few facts at hand, I would adjust a project along the following principles: 1) Don't extend any rapid transport system into the same West End neighborhoods where they have not been welcomed before and focus on other corridors. 2) Have a better communications structure, educate the media and public better on what is being done 3) Any future project might as well have rail since you need to get transit supporters in a singular, unified YES voice Lets face it, AMP is dead. Karl Dean just killed it. The next mayor is going to have to pick up the pieces, and yes Nashville is going to be without a real transit circulation system in the core for years to come.
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