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rookzie last won the day on May 19 2016

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About rookzie

  • Birthday 09/11/1951

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  1. Generally, locomotive-hauled trains require gentle gradients for both adhesion and safety, but such trains for short consists (as for the WeGo Star with a locomotive at one end only), can handle somewhat steeper grades. A main advantage with both LRT and HRT and even commuter railroads which run exclusively EMUs (self-propelled electric multiple units) is that the gradients can be significantly steeper, although not like roller coasters ─ of course. These can be around 7%, whereas with freight lines it usually is limited to less than 1.5%. When I was a kid living in NW DC during the late '50s and early '60s, we used to sneak and use the streetcar as our "ski-lift", for street roller-skates. Two of us at a time would sneak up and grab onto the rear of the streetcar, as it ascended (Upshur Street on the old Nº 74 route to Soldiers Home). We'd brave it even further by cocking our skates to follow the flangeways of the street rail. Since there were no turns (or switches), we didn't have to worry with getting thrown off by a switch point or by the swing of the jackknifing rear end on sharp turns on the way up. Of course, we'd sometimes get shoo'd off by nosey porch onlookers and following automobiles, but it did save us time and energy from having to walk up that street, in order to cruise back down. (and to think I'm still here now...)
  2. ...Just as I've said in at least one previous post, with respect to rapid transit in Metro. With the necessary lead time in planning and and engineering, it just about would be time for me to meet the "Deep-Six", before any sizable segment would be up and running. There have been even much more start-up projects in other regions much more robust than any single portion of previously proposed LRT (light rail transit) lines for Nashville. WMATA's (DC-MD-VA) first opening (start-up) was a portion of its current Red Line Metro (Heavy Rail - HRT) was constructed and opened in just over 6 years spanning just over 4-1/2 miles. In all fairness, the Washington Metro was the result of political will mustered on the federal (congressional) level, in part to get rid of the pre-existing privately owned DC Transit streetcar network. LRT start-ups typically have taken from nearly 3 years (~9.5 miles) to 5-6 years (~14 miles) from initial ground-breaking to opening, so I have a running chance to still be around, if Metro Nashville stops kicking the can down the road within ─ say ─ 5 years. But there's still the development stage that takes a while before any construction is undertaken. Finally, yet another somebody on this thread, who's actually older than me (than "I" ─ 72 next Sept.)...
  3. ...Probably around 2030 or so, about the same amount of elapsed time as it took for conception and approval...
  4. Just wanted to add to this, in total agreement BTW. As I recall, the Free Ride circulator Blue and Green routes were introduced during the Karl Dean administration, when Paul Ballard headed the MTA. The effort to rebrand the MTA as WeGo Transit, including the Music City Star, began back around early-mid 2018 or so. That coincided with the failed Transit Referendum, which followed soon after the exposure of then-Mayor Megan Barry’s unsurprising resignation. Without much notice, WeGo announced that it would be instituting major service cutbacks, with one of the most notable being the elimination of the Free Ride circulators. Suddenly, it was announced that the city’s financial state had been revealed as “untenable”, and that funding cuts meant undoing much of what little perceived progress that had transpired during the previous 10 years. That affected not only downtown riders, but also those drivers of the N° 29 Jefferson St. route, which had become an extension of the Free Ride Green Route in 2016. IMO that had been one of the most outreaching of transit efforts by extending the fare-free privilege to a core sector community which needed it the most — along the entire Jefferson St. Corridor, including John Merritt Blvd. It’s not to discount the potential for providing such privileges to other routes serving similar demographics. Mayor Barry also had proposed such service ailing the 12-South route (N° 17 12 th Ave S), particularly for those riders between Edgehill and downtown. Some routes were realigned and combined with others (N° 8 8th Ave S with N° 1 Vine Hill [via Bransford Ave]), while some were eliminated altogether (N° 2 Belmont). It didn’t help that the city’s liberal policy to developers to permit random and frequent closures of downtown streets, often led to unpredictable reliability of the Free Rides — never showing up for uninformed riders — and the MTA rarely ever posted sufficient (if any at all) notices of detours in clear view at the stops. At this point time, it may appear that past “progress” (as it were) never happened at all, and that long-range plans for more ambitious, high-capacity transit have all but languished.
  5. Just an aside.... McGavock Pk. had a ferry crossing until around 1965, when I was in HS. When it was shut down, the ferry itself was moved to serve Cleece's Ferry (a.k.a. "Clee's") , which connected OH Blvd. (Old Hickory) in Bell's Bend with Annex Ave. in the Charlotte Park / Croleywood area. Cleece's was shut down by the end of 1990. Coincidentally, both ferry crossings ─ the last two of all such ferries in the county ─ were "displaced" with progressively completed extensions of Briley Pkwy. The last time I would do Cleece's was around 1978 or so.
  6. I've already soap-boxed about narrowing down any portion of 8th Ave S - Franklin Rd (US-31). That's the only multi-lane corridor that allows for true arterial movement into and from the city-county in the due-south direction. Choking it off will overbear and overwhelm I-65 and its interchanges, and it definitely would exacerbate the cut-through traffic issue ─ both local and pass-through. When I still worked for the state, I recall a bus-riding buddy of mine who worked for TDOT commenting on the department's intense deliberation on that request, back around 2016-17 or so, and he indicated that the agency likely would be ruling against it ─ very likely for the same reason. The ritzy Oak Hill community at large had been one of the most vocal opponents of the idea. It does need to be tamed down for better walkability though. The same could be said for burgeoning Charlotte Ave. (US-70), and to a lesser extent, N. First St. - Dickerson Pk., where development is evolving more slowly — or with any other state-federal designated urban highway corridor. While 12th Ave. S. with Granny White Pk. extends beyond the county line where it eventually ends at Murray Ln, it never was a designated a US highway, after the federal highway numbering system was formed during the mid-1920s, and it also doesn't serve as an uninterrupted path connecting multiple counties (other than partially two). Also, the unwidened portion that forms the current branding as 12South (south of Ashwood) helps justify the case of converting the roadway into two primary lanes, with a central median and bike lanes in both directions. While at first I had been kind of against the proposal, I think it's fitting for 12th Ave. S, since it will connect the Gulch ─ which resulted early on with the reduction from 4 to 2 lanes ─ to the northern extent of the 12South retail district. In effect, it can serve as a "fortified" and more direct version of Belmont Ave, Magnolia, 16th-17 avenues, by leading straight into downtown in a single continuous path. So, there already have been measures in place to make favorable the conversion of that mile of 12th into a more complete-streets format, since 12th Ave S. really doesn't' cover much distance, compared to the highway designated routes. I just wish they had better planned for a transit lane to run in at least one direction, to render it more (nearly) "complete".
  7. Arguably one of the most coveted hilltop sites in the central core of the city. The two previous successive owners of those parcel plots apparently made out like bandits on their respective land sales. It's situated in a geographic position that offers an unparalleled close-in vantage with a commanding perspective and comprehensive view which most peeps ─ even old-a$$ natives like me ─ never will have experienced. I still recall as a teenager observing the some of the first evidence of anticipatory signs of changes that would evolve for the next 50+ years. During the late 1960s, heavy equipment had begun to carve out a semi-circular sector of that hill along the northeastern elevation, in preliminary preparation of what would become the completion of the final segment of the I-40 urban expressway, during the early 1970s. By 1980 further demolition would be commenced along the eastern portion to make way for the eventual I-440 RoW. All that had been drafted during the mid-1960s. That neck always has been a rather disjointed array of misaligned and fragmented streets ─ Trevor, Felicia, Delaware, and the now long-displaced 32nd Ave N. where the expressway interchange sits. In the early days of what is now the TV Fox 17 transmission tower, I used to park along the eastern portion of that hill just outside the tower property. It had been my favorite Friday-night "smoke" hangout, where I could puff in solitude. The only annoyance was a deranged barking dog outside the house on the crest of that hill. Interestingly, Delaware and Georgia avenues currently are and always have been the only "state-named" streets to extend east of 32nd Ave., with Georgia Ave ending at 28th and Delaware at 27th.
  8. Thing is though, the Mid-State eventually will heighten its focus on expanding commuter-rail in the region, and most likely that could take the form of commuter rail combined with the use of light-rail for mid-range distance to the exurbs ─ most of which were outlined in the failed long-range plan outlined by the MPO. Light-rail (LRT) is the primary mode or transport for Portland (Tri-Met MAX), the 2030 expansion concept for Charlotte (Lynx), and to an extent Dallas (DART, Trinity Metro) and Seattle (Link and Sounder), and Denver (RTD) ─ the latter three of which have full-FRA-compliant railroad equipment incorporated on at least portions of their networks. Those latter three also have interchange points for light-rail with commuter rail, although Denver's system incorporates both LRT and FRA-compliant commuter-rail EMS ─ rather unusual for a relatively new transit network. While there is not comparison between service needs of Middle Tennessee and those of the districts mentioned, indeed they all have long-range plans approved and prescribed ad-hoc for their respective regions. Portland does have a single single commuter-rail line with FRA-waiver DMUs, but it only connects the western suburb of Beaverton in outlying Washington Cnty (west of Portland in Multnomah Cnty) with Wilsonville in Clackamas Cnty. In Middle Tennessee, the Gulch very well might not end up as the preferred alternative for any future rail-bound commuting services, but it's not to say that its not possible or even not likely. A river crossing doesn't even have to utilize or run alongside the existing 1910-built L&N (CSX) swing bridge. To date, several river additional river crossings have been proposed during the last 5 years for surface roadway use ─ between the East Bank at S. 5th and Crutcher streets, and Willow Street on the opposite bank; and three separate crossings between the West Bank north of I-65 (formerly I-265) and the existing Clarksville Hywy (US-41A) to Bordeaux. An additional river crossing would be needed for any common point of any combination of FRA-compliant or FRA-waiver commuter rail with light rail, whether the light rail mode utilizes DMUs or standard LRT EMUs. There exist several options for additional river crossings and new R-o-W, even if some routing might end up rather circuitous in path to a central interchange location. One or more of these proposed river crossings could be built to also accommodate traffic and light-rail, or one or more parallel bridges could be constructed to support either light-rail or FRA-compliant or FRA-waiver commuter rail. The trick is to plan by concerted initiatives coordinated among local and regional decision-makers ─ something that perpetually seems to have run amiss. That said, it might become concluded that more than one hub be constructed for interchanging between routes, but most likely at least some of those proposed routes ─ such as the West and South and Southeast proposed corridor routes ─ would have a significant advantage in utilizing the gulch in some form or fashion for a shared interchange. All those can terminate on the west of the West Bank ─ most likely west of the CBD-downtown, that is. There absolutely needs to be a planned Southeast that connects with Rutherford Cnty, as that has been deemed the most potentially densely utilized corridor of all. These potentially all could utilize the CSX with R-o-W expansions along the entirety of the corridors, and these would be much less disruptive to the existing core structure than constructing entirely new R-o-W. Also, it likely would be the least expensive alternative to tunneling along these corridors (and utilizing light-rail), as grade-separation would be necessary to provide unimpeded travel along these corridors. Even with current tunnel boring machines and technology, the cost of constructing grade-separated infrastructure via tunneling along extended segments radiating from downtown likely would significantly exceed that of greasing the palms of CSX. There is no freaking way that local districts that include the West End, Belle Meade, Berry Hill, Oak Hill, and Brentwood are going to allow light rail along the surface arterial ─ far too many NIMBYs ─ and they would have to vote as NIMBYs did in some other regions to finance subterranean infrastructure, whether for light-rail or heavy-rail transit (metro-style subway). If not utilizing the Gulch, then an entirely new set-up, utilizing only a light-rail mode, would require some implementation of tunneling downtown and most likely beyond. There’s no way the city can construct a dedicated FRA “railroad-quality” commuter-rail downtown presence that does not utilize the gulch, while providing at least some connectivity among different corridors, unless it goes primarily to tunneling for light rail only. A separate terminal located on the east side of down could serve the proposed Northeast Corridor route and possibly the Northwest Corridor, if the latter is revised from its previous LPA (locally preferred alternative) through Bordeaux and North Nashville, and instead to follow a path concurrent or parallel with I-24 into East Nashville. Even the current Riverfront station and station lead could be abandoned, and the current MCStar East service could be rerouted to a terminal in East Nashville, via a new bridge. Either the current MCS FRA-compliant equipment would have to be replaced with FRA-waiver equipment, or the current FRA-compliant infrastructure would have to be rerouted to utilize an East Nashville (East Bank) terminal. Just saying, the Gulch still remains a viable option for rail transit use, whether a terminal is built in the Gulch or away from it, as the Gulch would provide the only direct land-use connection for those particular corridors which could benefit from its use.
  9. No, I don't foresee any of that happening, because in part it requires a collaborative exchange and resolution proposals among members of the administration. As yet, none of that even shows a sign of having been a concept, much less a subject of forum discussion. Almost every trace of that prospect petered out in late spring 2018, with no momentum regained since then. Then the pandemic came, and for all practical purposes that sealed the coffin.
  10. EDIT ─ 2022-10-22, 00:05 I just realized that I mistakenly had selected Mark Hollin's "The Best 8 Hotels in Nashville according to Forbes:" post, instead of the one intended ─ Baronakim's reference to the Gulch pedestrian bridge. Blame on on age and dementia. (Sorry for the confusion, Mark...) I think TWO ped bridges would be best ("give me an inch and I want a mile") ─ one in both North- and South Gulch. That's likely surprising coming from me, of all peeps. But my main reservation against any ped bridges right now is that, as proposed, the engineering of the one bridge last discussed needs to account for a presence for future commuter and/or light rail in the gulch track area. If the city gets approval for air-rights from CSX, it's no doubt going to require the vertical clearance over a set number of tracks to allow passage of double-stack container flats, as well as AAR (Assn of Amer. RRs) "excessive-height" designated cars such as Hi-Cubes and auto racks. That in itself isn't the issue. Rather, once that bridge becomes constructed, it cannot be raised or relocated to accommodate any facilities for commuter or light rail that has yet to be conceived. Options already have been reduced to slim pickin's for rail transit, primarily because the administration never has been proactive in procuring and securing prospective industrial real properties before it has become too late. In some engineering plans, it might be desirable to have grade separation among existing tracks and any additional tracks which might be needed in the case of light-rail, which by design can negotiate steeper grades than railroad trains. That might be desired in the case of a needed Fly-over above an existing CSX track, in order to eliminate even minimally imposed interference with CSX operations at any time of a given day. So, I'm all for the bridge thing(s), but an existing ped bridge ─ especially the fixed position of its piers as well as its approaches ─ could significantly limit remaining options for advanced-capacity rail transit. Therefore any ped bridges discussion really should include the possibility of light rail, commuter rail, and even the proposed return of intercity passenger rail to the gulch, as well as include alternatives for a common station or terminal and related infrastructure.
  11. Good concern. I wouldn't in the least be surprised if it (the realignment) has yet to become prioritized for funding, much less as next in line. Wishing and hoping I'm wrong, but we've all "been there, done seen that" ─ how projects of that nature and proposed some 8 years ago seem to evolve toward the back of the line. I concede that I've become too much of a pessimist with lost confidence in Metro, as I've aged, and that's just me. One thing we probably can be safely assured of is that no new structure will be built at the old CVS, which many years ago had been SuperX Drugs.
  12. In a way, I understand the rationale for that queuing loop, although at glance it seems rather tight for both teachers' parking and drop-off scrunched into such a confined space. If Metro already owns that property (I'm assuming that it acquired it a while ago), then the site's location probably precludes the use of the property for construction of an occupied structure, without some kind of aerial bridge access. The fact that Metro reopened W-B relatively recently as a school has brought along the issue of drop-off and pick-up that plagues so many other schools. Reopening Waverly-Belmont has helped to address the needs for primary education within a historically dense inner-city district, but the same issue with traffic flow would have occurred regardless of whether or not the school had been shuttered around 1974, as the city undertook accelerated efforts to reorganize its school district, to meet court-ordered integration. In retrospect, some of these measures arguably may have been misguided and short-sighted, while at the same time, the demand often could not be answered with funding to achieve goals with a reduced physical plant. This was not limited to Waverly-Belmont, and sadly some structures in other inner-core districts were razed altogether ─ Ford Greene ES and Washington JH School in the Hadley neighborhood, both schools of which were razed in the mid-1980s ─ are prime examples that come to mind. The neighborhood had experienced a cycle of generational flourishing, followed with a downturn a decay and underserving, during early post-war decades, in part as of result of "White flight". The resurgence of the community in recent decades, along with infill development and demographic evolution, has only exacerbated the congestion that returned to the school almost instantly beginning August 2015, and it only has become worse since then. The booming 12South corridor only has added to the problem, as 12th Ave no longer affords uninterrupted passage through the district, resulting in spill-over cut-through traffic along 10th. So without former Mayor Barry's ill-fated downtown transit tunnel (cough-cough) reincarnated and adapted into use as a widened parallel-lane underground tube below the surface of 10th Ave., I foresee no ready solution to that ongoing problem, other than the proposal as presented. To be clear, I for one certainly am not advocating that use of the property. The school is land-locked in part because it was allowed to close almost a half century ago, when land-acquisition was not so expensive and invasive as it is now.
  13. This is heart-warming ─ that a venture has been planned to preserved the name of that place, a well known landmark to locals within the community during the early and mid 1960s. The original Eldorado Motel opened in 1957 partly in response to local demand for lodging provisions for the three then historically Black colleges and universities located a few miles away. Lodging for minorities during that period were far and few, with several small hotels having been located within upper Jefferson St. (e.g. the Brown Hotel near 14th Ave and Jefferson). Typical of the national proliferation of motor lodges along the federal highway system during early post-WWII years, the nearby Bordeaux Motel and Restaurant located on US-41A (Built 1950 at 3230 Clarksville Pk.) had been reserved for Whites only, at least until 1964. When I moved from Urbana, IL to Nashville in the early '60s, my mom, along with a number few other parents of kids my age, used to rent a room at the Eldorado for us kids to use the swimming pool there in the summer. Unlike when I could freely use the locally popular large oval pool at Crystal Lake City Park back in Urbana, Nashville was still segregated. We either had to have family members as faculty at Tennessee "A&I" (Agricultural and Industrial State University) ─ renamed "TSU" in 1968 ─ to used the indoor and outdoor pools at that campus, or we had to use the Hadley Park pool which opened in the early 1950s. Fortunately, I had both options available. In recent years, I occasionally would drive by that weed-grown parcel with the rusty eyesore of a sign still remaining , and I always wondered why it never was simply torn down with the rest of the structure. It officially used to be located at Buchannan St. and 28th Ave., since there WAS no Ed Temple Blvd back then. Ed Temple Blvd is a late 20th century new alignment intended to remove some of the "snake" turns and the roller-coaster hill on Schrader Lane between 28th & Heiman St. and Buchannan. Ed Temple Blvd bypasses most of 28th Ave, north of the railroad, for a more seamless connection to Clarksville Pk. by eliminating the dog-leg intersection with Buchannan between the former misaligned paths of Schrader and 28th. While this development is close to the tank farm (the Exxon river terminal) on the south side of the track, it won't have the vibrancy of 51st Ave in the Nations, which has a much larger tank-farm presence. Hopefully and maybe after my time, it can spur additional mixed use development on the now-long depressed west end of Buchannan.
  14. It might even become a local tourist attraction, if they do what they did one of the old concrete elevator silos in the Nations some 6+ years ago. Hire Guido Van Helten to paint a mural of our Ron on each face of that thing and shine spotlights on it at night.
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