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Everything posted by Neigeville

  1. I agree to an extent - in general there are so many checks and balances in our system from the federal level down, a few bad actors can block things to the point nothing gets done. And taxpayers aren't buying government like consumers or shareholders, because gov't's duty is to the common good. But I do feel this input process allows people to bring small, very local issues to the attention of planners that they might otherwise not learn about, such as the Aquinas entrance/exit issue. It also allows the public to feel vested in the AMP. After all, most of the people at the meetings have been in favor. Some of the notes people were writing on the maps were just like "Too expensive!" or whatever, but a lot of them were things like, "Sidewalk improvements should emphasize making it safer and more pleasant for pedestrians to cross 440", which is a good point. BTW once this is built I think the added trees and sidewalks and whatnot will make it a big hit with the people on the route, although they may not like sitting in traffic while two lanes sit empty beside. There's only going to be a bus every 10 minutes so the lanes are going to look really empty which could be a big PR problem.
  2. Turns will be restricted to certain locations, so you will sometimes have to go past your destination and make a U turn. This is a change but since left turns on major streets are a prime cause of accidents (especially of cars hitting pedestrians) this is really a benefit IMO. I'm not sure the opponents completely understand the proposal.
  3. I hate to get involved in this, but I must mention there is such a thing as class and it is not coterminous with race. Pet peeve of mine, our nation's endless public discussion of race is often used as an excuse to not talk about class. Interstates and other large capital projects unfortunately victimize poor neighborhoods for very practical reasons. Look what happens when you build thru affluent areas: 440 was incredibly expensive, 840 was delayed by lawyers for years. And it's unfair to take that pearl-wearing fool as typical of the entire district.
  4. I'm very excited, this area has always seemed so underdeveloped. Hopefully we're going to see a rapid transformation, with all the land that has been rezoned for higher density and mixed use around there. Tony G alone is already bringing hundreds of new residents and at least one restaurant into an area of a few blocks. And I like the glass.
  5. In the over-simplified mentality of some libertarian teenager, it is the customer's fault when they agree to the terms. Realistically, the question is how easy it is to understand the terms. If they're charging something no reasonable person would pay because they hope people won't figure it out until it's to late, that's not a legitimate business, it's a scam and they shouldn't be allowed to operate.
  6. I'd take this with a grain of salt; it was written by Joel Kotkin, who always has an ideological axe to grind.
  7. It's also exactly the kind of small, non-noxious industry that should be part of genuine mixed-use urban development. I hate to see downtown devolving into nothing but luxury housing and expensive restaurants. That's not a real city.
  8. As far as the tower goes, it's got a little more going on than most of the boxy gray towers downtown; it could use some more color (maybe the glass will be bluer or greener than in the illo) but I like it and I like the terraces or balconies facing onto lower Broad, echoing the open windows and rooftops there. My only real concern is too much blank unfenestrated space filled with that orange lattice-y looking stuff, and not enough openings along Broadway. If that black box at the far end up the hill on Broadway is another opening (maybe that's the AA Music Museum? or an IMAX, an IMAX downtown would be cool), that's still a long uninviting gap you have to walk past. The setback at the corner seems too big, but maybe it can be filled with street food vendors or something. And if they are going to echo the orange-y stuff on the MCC, it wouldn't hurt to have just a touch of curvilinear form which is a theme at the MCC, CMHofF, and the Arena right across the street.
  9. A comment visitors make is that Nashville seems to be just bars, bars and more bars. I'm hoping whatever this turns out to be, creates a sense of more variety in things to do and a more diverse crowd doing it. It needs to activate the hell out of the street, but I'd rather it was unabashedly modern and not try to echo the historic brick buildings of lower broad in any way. To me DT is about liveliness, diversity and the past living in the present rather than in some restrictive historical district. And if there's going to be tastefulness or restraint they need to keep that away from the street, confine it to the upper floors, the Broadway streetfront needs to signal fun, with some neon and whatnot. I don't really care what the upper part looks like but it is a good place for a tall hotel or a high rise housing component.
  10. It's going to take a mixture of allies and ramming. There's almost always a fight over a rapid transit system when it first starts, and Nashville is reaching a phase where a lot of older people and longtime residents are suddenly figuring out the city is changing beyond recognition and it's alarming them. They don't want to think of Nashville as a big city with an urban character.
  11. All 4 look good but for my money 505CST is way the best. I feel like if it gets built it would encourage more cutting edge design in Nashville. The view from Church street, with the glassed in bulge of trees about 10 stories above street level, is really striking.
  12. They said they were looking for ways to make it cheaper. I think the 2nd mast would make it more visible from the Gulch side, easier for drunken conventioneers to find their way back. As far as bicycles, I thought I heard the Gulch side was going to have those grooves you put the bike wheels in to guide them down the ramp. I've seen this in Denver, and I think it's a good idea here. There's no way I want bikes divebombing at full speed into that narrow landing area and running over pedestrians.
  13. I guess my reply wasn't very focused on parking, except in the general sense that the old neighborhoods function well with very little parking actually available. Most households in older parts of Chicago seem to only own one car, many own none, whereas if you can't walk (or if there's no center so destinations are scattered) you've got about 3 times as many cars to park because everyone who can drive has to. It occurs to me that from Atlanta we can learn not to build a big stadium cut off from neighborhoods by Interstates and huge sheets of surface parking, but, oops, we already did that. It seems obvious that the Braves stadium could never became an integral part of a vital neighborhood the way Wrigley Field is. I can't imagine the Cubs moving to the suburbs. Wrigley itself hardly has any parking-the Cubs website ( http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ballpark/transportation/index.jsp ) informs us: Cubs fans are strongly encouraged to use public transportation going to and from Cubs games. It looks to me like the Sounds stadium proposal will have structured parking and no surface lots, which is a good thing. I'd like to see the LP field area develop like a bigger version of that, with intense mixed use development on the East Bank, and flocks of commuters walking over the pedestrian bridge in the morning and evening.
  14. A Chicago mistake I'm aware of: there is a large amount of recent high rise housing in downtown Chicago but what I've seen are essentially vertical suburbs: the buildings are set back a bit from the street, no retail or restaurant space on the ground and nothing adjacent in terms of food/drink/entertainment. I visited someone in one of these buildings and when it was time for the Indian buffet a few blocks up the street we took the elevator to the parking and drove the few hundred yards to the restaurant. The ground floor of this building is an aquarium housing a bored security/concierge person. There's nothing keeping you from walking except that psychological effect of empty streets, laziness, and habit, all forces stronger than reason. That was north and a ways from the lake, but once when I passed thru Chicago recently I had time to kill and strolled around the near south near the lake and found the same thing. They must have to walk a half mile for a cup of coffee. I think Nashville's complex building requirements already avoid most or all of this, we seem to do high rise housing pretty well although we have yet to develop a system of corner shops which Germantown and the Gulch obviously need. Another mistake Chicago has made in my opinion is putting trains in highway rights of way. The platform is already a 10 minute walk to/from the nearest possible destination. Obviously it's cheaper, but it reduces the usefulness. I've often heard this system admired by drivers who don't use public transportation. (I like elevated trains personally, I like the way they look although I guess that would be a hard sell in Green Hills where they would mar the view of the strip malls.) Even if we end up with nothing but BRT lite on West End, Charlotte, Nolensville, etc. it would be way better than a train running up the interstate. The old neighborhoods in Chicago are great with their three-flats and courtyard apartments, sidewalks, shopping within a few blocks of housing, etc. But much of suburban Chicago, even the most recent, is remarkably high density but still car dependent.
  15. Chicago's like that, at least the parts I know, and it's not that bad. You just have to start looking for a space about 3 blocks from your apartment. People in Nashville are so spoiled when it comes to cars and so used to abuse when it comes to walking.
  16. Me too, except the parking structure, which ought to be clad in something a little less parking structure-y. And I'd add balconies on the lower floors, although they wouldn't be great for the shape of the building, I personally think the views from lower floors onto busy streets are much more interesting than the tiny distant trees and whatnot you see from the top.
  17. The Google cars are not just driving on the freeway, they're already driving in traffic and at least in some ways doing a better job than humans. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/10411238/Googles-driverless-cars-are-safer-than-human-drivers.html http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/science/10google.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 We're not completely there yet but personally I have far more faith in robot drivers than in most of the idiots on the road. Their attention never lapses and they have instant reflexes.
  18. This is one of those technologies that will have all sorts of unanticipated side effects. For example, what's the distinction between an autonomous taxi and an autonomous rental car? They will both be cars you summon from your cellphone and then use for whatever you wish for as long as you wish. The need for parking will be greatly reduced--I don't want to pay for a car that just sits parked 95% of the time when I could just pay for the part I use and walk away. The car can go pick up somebody else. Even if it's a car I own, I don't have to park it downtown--it can go home and pick me up later, perhaps after being used by another family member, or go park itself someplace cheap a mile away. But those (like me) for whom driving cars is a chore taken on out of necessity, rather than something they actually want to do, will probably find the options for car rental, car pooling, truck rental to move large things, etc. vastly expanded and way simpler and cheaper than owning the damn thing and taking on the maintenance, etc., now that the car can deliver itself on demand and return itself when you're done with it. It'll be like having an invisible chauffeur bring the car around wherever and whenever you want. Who wants to deal with parking, tires, oil changes, registration, etc. Even people who own autonomous cars may want to put them up for rent for fixed periods when they're not using them; there will probably be websites for this. What effect will autonomous vehicles have on public transit? I doubt fixed-route transit in dense areas will be much affected--the people pouring into Manhattan every morning for example simply wouldn't fit if they were all in single occupancy vehicles. On the other hand bus transit could be revolutionized. I think banning non-autonomous vehicles from freeways will happen sooner rather than later. We aren't going to let non-autonomous vehicles clog up the highways and slow down everybody else when their owners could just rent a self-driving car for a half hour if they find surface streets inadequate. And we're not going to spend billions building 6 lane highways when we don't need to. All in all, I think autonomous cars, trucks and buses are going to be a completely different creature from the cars we know now, in the same way that a smart phone is nothing like a landline, and in ways we can't guess. Did anyone guess 20 years ago what phones would be doing now? Will trucking companies want to pay drivers if they don't need to? Even delivery companies may work out ways to do their business without drivers--they will certainly have a huge financial incentive to do so. Thousands if not millions of people will eventually be put out of work by this technology. Many aspects of life will change.
  19. Even if you assume he likes the visibility, that's no reason to store acres of inventory on the site. I wouldn't be against the showrooms being there if he sold most of the lots to someone who would put it to good use. Another thing I don't understand is the White Castle on the corner of Broadway and the Interstate with about 150' setback line. Who owns that?
  20. I wonder if any of our developers are aware of these spurs and their creative possibilities. Back in the days of electric streetcars, developers used to build and operate the street car lines when they built the subdivisions, but since the government went whole hog into supporting automobiles, dealing with transportation has been less a part of the developer's portfolio. I think a mixed use development with a little tram or monorail or even a low-flying gondola system, nothing huge or regional, just connecting the development to downtown would be a really cool idea. Metrocenter could use something like this if we're going to see mixed use development there, as seems likely. Every improvement to public transport doesn't have to be a vast, regional commuting strategy.
  21. Thanks for posting this, I might not have seen it otherwise. It would be nice if Nashville could find some old rights of way to do something like this with.
  22. I like the bright colors on the projects. So much of Nashville architecture is done in gloomy, oppressive colors.
  23. I have mixed feelings too because it's kind of bad. I'm not afraid to call a spade a spade.
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