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rookzie

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rookzie last won the day on May 19 2016

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About rookzie

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  • Birthday 09/11/1951

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  1. That practice has annoyed me, since I returned to Nashville in late 1992, particularly "Dr. D. B. Todd Jr. Blvd." To me it still remains as 18th Ave., from Charlotte to Clay Street, as it had been prior to the renaming. And "Reverend Dr. Enoch Jones Blvd". is an even bigger atrocity, considering how narrow it is ─ a Chihuahua with a wolfy bark. It should be all of Madison St., as part of the historically named "presidential series". I'm OK with major nationally adopted names such as "Rosa Parks" and "MLK", although I admit that I had to look up MLK to see just where it was, when I tried to find Grainger Supply Company a month ago. I found out that it simply had been a renaming of lower Charlotte near 11th Ave. Not trying to sound racist (of all dudes), but, as opposed to other sub-districts, that pattern of renaming seems prevalent among the predominantly Black sub-communities, as with the much shorter segment of 10th Ave. South between Caruthers and Gilmore avenues ("D/Elder W. W. Harris Ave"., most likely a posthumous tribute to a member at the nearby Greater Christ Temple Church). The portion of Wharf Ave. north of Lafayette St. (Cameron - Napier area) was "rediscovered" as "Charles E. Davis Blvd"., honoring a current Nashville native and former Vanderbilt and NBA basketball player. I had been familiar with that portion of Wharf Ave. during the 1960s, prior to the completion of the southern portion of the inner loop (I-40) through South Nashville, and which used to connect directly with Hermitage Ave. and into downtown. It was "cordoned" off (truncated), by the planning of I-40 during the late 1950s. BTW "Dr. Walter S. Davis Blvd." was named after the President of what later became TSU (Tennessee State University). Dr. Davis (a long deceased friend of my parents) had been president of Tennessee A and I State College (Agricultural and Industrial), which became Tennessee A&I State University right after I had been born. A trivial fact is that I was born in Nashville, instead of in Dover, DE, my parents' home, because Dr. Davis offered my father a position at "A&I" during the early summer of that year 1951. Dr. Davis tenured from 1943 to 1968, the year that the school name was changed to the current TSU. Davis, who had been an athletic coach and professor at A&I during the 1930s, also hired John Merritt (also a former family friend), who had been head football coach during the early 1960s through the early '80s. As I had mentioned in a previous post, the closing of Centennial Blvd. through the TSU campus was what resulted in the renaming of the closed eastern stub of Centennial to "John Merritt Blvd.", and the creation of a new alignment named after the former university president. Back to the naming/renaming of streets into Boulevards with long-aSS names, I think it's a matter of grandiosity and being over-formal in the application requests for renaming. IMO it's OK to honor persons with moderation, but Metro should have some policy to limit the application to simplified, generic format and syntax in naming convention, without all that "Reverend Doctor Elder" redundancy and "Jr/Sr" title. For one, the printed characters have to be reduced in font size to fit on a standard street sign, making me have to squint just to read the freakin thing. Otherwise the freaking sign has to be made bigger, which in turn makes the streetscape look tacky. It's bad enough that the city had two separate and parallel roadways of McGavock Pike between Curry Rd. and Murfreesboro Pk. Finally in July 2018 Metro Bill BL2018-1252 was passed to change the name of the longer segment (extending to Harding Pl.) to “Knight Valley Drive”. Of course, there remain streets scattered throughout the city with duplicate primary names (e.g. Craighead Ave, Craighead St.), largely the result of expanded corporation limits with the city-county consolidation of 1963.
  2. In part, the isolation of Centennial Blvd. was the direct result of the I-40 interchange network at 46th near Alabama Ave. and the city's decision to close off Centennial Blvd. between 39th and 40th avenues. Centennial Blvd used to serve as a direct connection to the North Capitol sub-district, providing a path straight through the main campus of TSU (Tenn. State Univ.) and aligning with Jefferson Street at 28th Ave. Indeed this had been problematic with commercial industrial vehicles, particularly petroleum tank semi's, passing through that point, en-route to or from river terminals and the state highways. In this respect, Centennial had been somewhat of an arterial (along with Charlotte Ave.) for the Cockrill Bend industrial area. Additionally, the absence of direct conveyance for motorists between certain major job centers and the neighborhoods adjoining the western-most portion of Jefferson Street and beyond only became exacerbated, when Tennessee State University was granted permission during the early 1990s, to permanently close John Merritt Boulevard (formerly the eastern end of Centennial Boulevard) at 33rd Ave., for construction of the university's Floyd-Payne Student Center, opened in 1992. While construction of an entirely new roadway, Walter Davis Blvd., and the realignment of 28th Ave. north of Jefferson St. (to form Ed Temple Blvd.) were undertaken to allow Centennial Blvd. traffic to bypass TSU, this might have had the unintended effect of further disconnection of the Nations and North Nashville from activity centers closer to the urban core. On another note, Jefferson Street itself has become a major source of gridlock with induced demand at 18th Ave (D.B. Todd), 10th, and 8th avenues, mainly the result of severe reduction of surface-road connectivity with the construction of I-40 during the late 1960s. That actually had been predicted by the former Tennessee Highway Department during the planning of urban I-40, when change from the initially proposed more socio-economically neutral path paralleling Charlotte Ave to the current alignment through North Nashville had been finalized without notice. Some concessions offered during the construction to help compensate for the predicted increase in surface congestion were never implemented (for reasons beyond this comment). Before Jefferson Street could have been capable of accommodating former traffic lost through changes just cited, choke points would have to be addressed that now cause traffic nightmares, during weekdays and now even weekends. So historically the reasons become apparent that Centennial Blvd. would be somewhat sequestered today. It's a shame that contiguous North and West Nashville in the Centennial Blvd area, remain invisibly separate from each other to this day. That may change within one or two generations, with increased density and new activity centers rise within the Nations. The demands on the infrastructure and may evolve with an urge to re-establish a more seamless connection to downtown to relieve pressure on the interstate and on Charlotte Ave.
  3. The payment system is intended to become systemwide eventually ─ not just for the Star, where it will make its début. I never cared for "Music City Star" as a brand, although admittedly I never had an alternative in mind. It just doesn't have a "ring" to it, anymore than does the name New Knoxville, OH. The public responds more favorably to imagery of figures and shapes ─ not just words alone. In a manner of speaking, the word "Star" as part of a corridor or service in name and in print looks sort of tacky. From what I recently heard from a different dialog as a reliable source, the new name for the train service was supposed to be called the "WeGo Star", as it seems to be called currently by popularity, but from I heard, I believe that that idea reportedly was to be dropped, when it was discovered that there was already WeGo Star but as a motorized scooter made by an established Asian scooter company. The new name is now, simply, the "Star", from what I was told from an inside source. And "WeGo" is not original, as some decision-makers might have thought. Maybe they just assumed that Nashvillians would be too run-of-the-mill to ever catch onto the fact that "Wego" (lower-case 'g') is a bus system in Niagara Falls, ON, and which has already around over half a decade before the decision to change to the WeGo brand down here. A graphic of of musical notes ─ some array of staff, treble cleff, and a note or two ─ would be a great thematic enhancement IMO. Along with that, a more imaginative moniker such as "Rhythm" (as in "Ride the Rhythm") would be more head-turning than "WeGo". At least one of the three EMD (ElectroMotive Division of GM) model F40PH units was recently returned from the North, after being outshopped a second time (under RTA ownership since 2005) for another projected 15 years of service. These units were built originally during the mid-1970s through around 1985. Also the existing passengers cars, referred to as "bi-level gallery commuter" cars are very old ─ with carbon-steel bodies, some of that vintage of which were built during the 1950s and '60s (for the Chicago and Northwestern RR, before being inherited by Chicago's RTA, rebranded as "Metra"). Received third-hand, they have long outlived their cost-effective serviceable life. The RTA has to vote this fall on approving part of a Capital Improvement budget, to fund replacement cars. Hopefully, both local and state government leadership can become more conductive to prioritizing such expenditures, beyond the capabilities of the RTA alone. Also, it is my understanding that the replacement cars will be of stainless steel bodies, but not brand new. Instead, they too are to be refurbished, including their trucks (wheel bogie assemblies). I do not know whether or not they will be equipped with restrooms; the current fleet does not have restrooms. Not withstanding the mixed sentiment about the name WeGo, the name Music City Star never quite made it as an appropriate name for a commuter service and evoked a lot of confusion with Nashville visitors, many who thought it a was a tourist operation that served country music venues. The new color scheme should unify all facets of Nashville public transit, since local and regional transit was well overdue for a rebranding. .
  4. Thanks for the post, which I hadn't noticed until this day 9-16-2019 I made a long sought pilgrimage to MCS (Michigan Central Station), when I visited Detroit last April for a course at Wayne State Univ. It has been one of my favorite of North American iconic passenger train stations. Originally serving primarily the New York Central and Baltimore & Ohio RRs, Amtrak abandoned it in 1988. It’s now being restored by Ford Motor Company, which acquired it in 2018, after it survived several near-misses at demolition since then. The then-owners before Ford Motor, the Morouns, put in plain windows in 2015, after being forced by the Duggan administration (of Detroit). That at least stopped further weather-element intrusion. Now they'll all be ripped out by Ford, since they're not historically correct for Ford's planned restoration. If Ford is successful in consortium with the state of Michigan to get intercity passenger rail into MCS, then it would be in line with the proposed return of service via the former MC tunnel (I believe now utilized by CN) to Windsor and Toronto. But such service couldn’t include the existing connection north, from the North End via Milwaukee Junction to Pontiac. It also would mean that the Qline streetcar would need to be extended with a new route via Michigan Ave (US-12), from downtown through Corktown, in order to serve MCS and make the Qline functionally and civically more attractive. That in turn would require capital improvement funding from the city, applied with fed and state matching, and maybe even a public-private. partnership with Ford. The Michigan Central Station (MCS), in Corktown, Detroit. -4/09/2019- (my photos)
  5. The downtown streets indeed are narrow ─ too narrow to accommodate LRT in dedicated lanes with motor traffic without undue disruption. Even compared to Memphis, which has a much larger gridded infrastructure, Nashville's downtown roads pretty much have been restrictive in R.o.W. and in intersection corner geometry. Of course, back during the first half of last century, Memphis had been a much larger commercial and industrial base scale than had Nashville. Memphis waxed "big" commercially and with its infrastructure, during the early 20th century. Historically then, Memphis’ surface transport needs were considerably more than those of Nashville. While Memphis’ plans for light rail seem to have been deferred indefinitely, Memphis also has a much less broken and misaligned street grid, than does Nashville. And although Memphis has only streetcars, its three lines actually have performed reasonably well in mixed traffic. This doesn’t compare to LRT as a true rapid mass mover, but it does run along both narrow and relatively wide streets. I also realize that almost a mile of Main Street is reserved just for the streetcar (trolley). Portland’s [OR], MAX is a good example that shows that a city can still run LRT along some stretches of narrow streets and get people into and out of the core. No, in practice that’s not as efficient as having a dedicated pathway, as does San Francisco’s former streetcar lines converted to LRT, some of which have center-running trains such as the N-Judah line. Plus SF MTA moved the downtown portions of its LRT lines into a tunnel, which it refers to as the Market Street Subway. Portland, as well as Memphis, also has a better continuous street grid than does Nashville. Most of Portland’s downtown streets traversed by MAX are narrow, and Portland has does not use a central terminal, instead using Pioneer Square and Pioneer Place as a main meeting point. The roads serving these interchange points – Yamhill, Morrison, 5th and 6th streets – are as narrow as some side streets of downtown Nashville, and in some cases these are even narrower than some of Nashville’s downtown side roads. Yet Portland’s traffic-control strategy has meant that it has had to designate these streets as one-way, to get people “MAX’d” into and out of downtown, while running in mixed traffic. Once away from the central core, MAX then whisks away on dedicated R.o.W. It also must be conceded that Portland has more river crossings than Nashville. Portland opened the Tilikum Crossing car-free bridge nearly 4 years ago, to serve transit, cyclists, and pedestrians, and it has discussed building an additional bridge for general traffic use. The point in all this is that, while a tunnel would be ideal to handle the grade-separation problem, in conjunction with circumventing the use of jammed, and narrow streets, a compromise could be worked out for downtown Nashville, since the narrow streets are not going away. If a tunnel is no longer considered, then Nashville will have to figure out how to utilize its narrow streets for LRT – just as has Portland – if it ever plans to implement LRT accessible to and from downtown. Either a tunnel or a combination of tunnel and elevated, as with the limited Detroit People Mover (DPM) and its much larger-scale, more comprehensive brother Sky Train (TransLink of Vancouver, BC), would be the more costly extreme to handle disruptive events, which currently are on the brink of choking downtown Nashville to death.
  6. We'll just have to wait for the assessment of damage from the fire Thursday morning (today) in the vacant Neuhoff plant. I remember ops in that building from way back. Either it would be or it would have been an interesting transformation for adaptive re-use, as sprawling of masonry structure as it is. -==-
  7. I sincerely appreciate the analytical points made by ruraljuror, titanhog, Neigeville2, and of course the Smeags. I wish that Metro leadership had been listening to and taking to heart you three along. I said to myself some 40 years ago that there definitely is enough blame to to be shared for lack of long-term preparation, and that was one of the biggest reasons that I had trouble adjusting to Nashville upon return from a long absence in late 1992. The use of the referendum for transit was only made possible by state legislation approved in 2017, under Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, which allows cities to raise six types of taxes and to dedicate that additional money to transit. Of these options, sales tax yields the greatest amount of revenue over a much more diverse base. The large funding potential and its sustainability over time, are reasons that many transit plans nationwide rely on sales taxes. One reason that even a “seemingly nominally small sales tax increase (½ % initially) because it is paid in large part by people other than Davidson County residents, thereby including participation from out-of-state patrons. While flexibility exists in how the tax money could utilized for transit, Metro could not be allowed to channel some of this transit tax money and spend it on something else, because it would have to be dedicated funding for transit. In addition to the sales tax increase, the referendum of 2018 proposed 3 additional types of tax assessments: ¼ percent surcharge on hotel/motel tax, escalated to three-eighths of a percent in 2023 20% surcharge on the rental car tax 20% surcharge on the business tax Since the referendum was defeated, that Metro might consider another referendum indeed is an option, which so far seems potentially on only one mayoral run-off candidate’s agenda. (the other has articulated that he does not intend to revisit such a proposal) Of course, to expect more “favorable” results, a referendum will require handling with a more focused and forged plan of promotion and defense, according to what others recently have stated. But a sales tax increase makes it that much more regressive, meaning that low and middle-income residents feel its impact the most. To mitigate that effect on the income-poorer, Metro would offer free and reduced fares, based on income, similar to the ORCA LIFT reduced fare program of Seattle’s King County Metro. Other cities, such as Norfolk, Va. have helped to drive their capital improvement budgets for advanced-capacity transit with a plan built around a property tax increase, a practice which is not uncommon. However, the state’s IMPROVE Act doesn’t permit a property tax increase to be dedicated to transit, as it does a sales tax increase. Comparing the property and sales tax options, property taxes already have been in high demand, paying for schools, public safety, and other city essentials, so some say apportioning a property tax millage to support transit can impede funding the long-term needs of Metro, especially as demographics continue to be dynamically fluid. Others say that with recent historical leniency in challenging assessments of private property in Metro, sufficient latitude exists to raise the property tax and still fund the essentials. That always makes nudging property tax a balancing act, with the "high-wire" never following a linear path. With the recent passing of David Koch (yet I wish death on no one, lest it happens to me untimely), the time cannot be more critical to again attempt to examine the "alignment of the stars", since predictable consequences have long been visible on the horizon. [Edited for syntax]
  8. The proposed reductions and eliminations of service (WeGo), some of which have been implemented and then reinstated during past administrations, will act as a regressive tax structure. It "taxes" those who need it the most─the transit-dependent─by eliminating routes of low ridership, such as Rt. Nº1, 100 Oaks via Vine Hill. The income-poor out by Bransford Ave (Rt. Nº1) would be impacted, and the elimination of several other routes would mean no more One-Seat passage between downtown and many outlying points, even with rerouting of a few existing routes to accommodate parts of eliminated routes. As far as the now-Free-Ride Blue Nº60 route is concerned, Bland proposes elimination of the Downtown portion, which also serves MCS train commuters (Riverfront) into downtown (primarily state workers), while reinstating the Fare-based Nº29 Jefferson Street, made free two years ago (and overlaid with the Blue Circuit), when Nº60 was extended from Downtown to the TSU Main Campus (John Merritt Blvd). Perhaps the Nº61 Green Circuit Free Ride (Gulch) will be rerouted to include Riverfront. Elimination of vital Sunday service on some routes (e.g. Nº21, 25) will impact Sunday commuters (e.g. medical workers), as well as students who might otherwise shuttle among Trevecca, VU, TSU-Main, Meharry, and Fisk. Highly lamentable for a city still erecting and embracing the corporate world. Raising fares is not necessarily a bad thing, although it does nothing to offset the increasing disparity between the have and have-nots, in terms of personal mobility. Again, no dedicated funding source, beyond the cities annual operating budget. Perhaps it needs to get "Worser" and "Worster" (with loss of public confidence) , before it can get any better. A beefy, rather than a skeletal, bus network needs to be in place, before any rail-based component is instituted─airport or otherwise.
  9. I can see some rationale for construction of an airport-downtown starter light rail line with no intermediate stops, from the standpoint of initial cost outlay and even time constraints for development. It is, however, not as cost effective (or, let’s say, as “investment efficient”) to operate such a line, as it would be with no fewer than two additional stops—even for an “express” run. IMO an express run could serve optimally with three stops, excluding the initial terminus. It almost would have to serve more than those intending to travel the entire route. That said, factors leading to such a decision to build an exclusive starter line might include individual altruistic benefactors offering outright but conditional capital, or corporate entities consorting in creative financing, in the form of P3s (Public-Private Partnerships). It very well could be devoid of any normally qualifying intergovernmental aid (federal or state), until service eventually could be expanded to conform to more inclusive guidelines. Any local govt. funding for operations likely would have to come from the General Fund of a given fiscal year and from non-sales tax revenue. While it might be faster to develop a zero-stop light rail line, I would hope that long-range planning would be incorporated into it. Otherwise it could end up as another costly boondoggle with huge cost overruns of expansion brought on by inadequate foresight. A zero-stop start-up would need to entail much of the same nominal planning as for a full-service infrastructure — power distribution stations, service facility(-ies) and intermediate, interstitial track crossovers (to handle obstructions due to equipment failures), and associated signaling on dedicated RoW. Just another of my 2 cents.
  10. As old as I am and fortunately continue to amble around (while staying old), I continue to ride the city bus on occasion in places other than just Nashville. Even “big-small” towns like my former hometown of Champaign-Urbana, IL, back in the early 1960s, had sidewalks in just about the entire corporation limit, encompassing nearly 35 square miles. As a child (when parents could trust kids riding alone), I recall sidewalks everywhere that the then-modest-to-moderate bus system served, even to the extreme boundaries, where the city abruptly ended, and even houses on the frontal streets facing the county farmland had streetlights and sidewalks. Of course, my recent trip to Detroit this month showed the typical presence of sidewalks throughout that old city, not just downtown and Midtown. For riding DDOT, I did put on my “urban” appearance there, so I could feel “at home”.
  11. Didn't know you were still around (as if I should talk..) ; glad to hear from you.
  12. Yes, and that's what happened with First Baptist Capitol Hill in 1968, where that parking lot now sits on the SW corner of 8th (Rosa Parks) and Charlotte. I recall the bitter fight during high school. I'd hate to see that beautiful brick and limestone-quoined-window church education building razed.
  13. I reckon it doesn't hurt too bad to dream that big. Thing is, Brightline has been hosted on existing RoW of FEC Industries (Florida East Coast RR), the only pre-existing U.S freight carrier (since FEC passenger service ended in 1971) to be pro-actively enterprising to promote new passenger-rail service (formerly "All-Aboard Florida"). Now that Virgin operates Brightline and has recently acquired the unfunded XpressWest efforts to run from Victorville to Las Vegas, Virgin has hit the ground running with the prospect of construction seemingly imminent. That line would use the median of I-15, as well as federally owned land. In the case of Nashville, and even Chatta., the issues of land-use and ownership seem to trump any realistic notion of ever seeing something like Brightline, even on the distant horizon, unless you look at that horizon from outer space. It would, however, take the financial mettle of Virgin to move forward with such an initiative, even though several years ago, independent preliminary planning was undertaken to determine the optimal route for the concept from ATL to Chatta. No CSX was involved with Brightline, one reason that it was able to happen at all. Hell, I'd settle for that engine and two cars I used to be able to ride between Nashville and Atlanta, until 1970. But even that never could happen again─not with the existing infrastructure, not anywhere close. It used to dump you off at Forsyth St. downtown ATL.
  14. Is that your coach, Mr. Bond??!! That's a gorgeous model U got ThaR! Reminds me of a 72-foot (compartment; 80-ft overall) Southern Pacific "Sub" (suburban coach) used from the 1920s through the '60s, sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Harriman" coaches. The blue-and-cream sort of reminds me of Reading Lines (Philadelphia and Reading).
  15. That's not to be unexpected in the least. Every rail-based line developed since early post-WW-II years in the nation, has encountered the "advocacy". You're not going to have chicken or beef without the salmonella, unless you cook it properly.
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