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Everything posted by 37206dude

  1. One small piece of good news: the terrible parking in front of the old BatteredNFried in 5 points that often blocked the sidewalk will not be coming back after the tornado. I asked a guy working there when I was walking by. He basically apologized that it ever existed in the first place and blamed parking mandates.
  2. Thanks as always Brett. I know it is not fun to stand up to a small number of angry neighbors but your reasoning is solid. I honestly could not believe some of the comments. This lot is literally at the same corner as a large beer market. This property has been vacant and in disrepair for many years. I can't believe anyone in the neighborhood wouldn't see an improved use as better than that.
  3. I'm skeptical of the safety benefit of speed limiting scooters. If we have the technology to do that then we should use it to slow down cars. That would have a much greater safety benefit.
  4. Shipping containers turned into affordable housing in Nashville: https://www.wsmv.com/news/shipping-containers-turned-into-affordable-housing-in-nashville/article_c38ce664-b3e3-11e9-b862-f7434ce4a507.html “We’re trying to target that missing middle: nursing, police, hospitality worker, the younger crowd that’s moving into Nashville that may not have a lot of possessions and need 600 square feet”
  5. All of the new scooter safety rules are all well and good but this is set up for failure unless the city makes it a serious priority to build protected bike lanes.
  6. My biggest frustration with the scooter debate is that so many people claim to be huge wheelchair advocates and don't want the sidewalks blocked. That's great, but scooters are the least of the problems faced by wheelchairs in Nashville. They're a nuissance but are easy to move, I move them occasionally when I'm walking and it's no big deal. I can't move utility poles, cars, broken sidewalks, etc. If all of these folks are really such passionate ADA cheerleaders then after we ban scooters they should be screaming for more ADA sidewalks and ramps and for ADA detours at construction sites. That would make a way bigger impact for wheelchairs than outlawing scooters.
  7. The problem is not education. Education will have little safety benefit. The safety problems with our streets existed long before scooters and will continue even if scooters are banned. The way to make scooters safe is to put in protected bike lanes so the scooters are not competing with cars or pedestrians for space. Reducing scooter numbers and slowing down scooters are not safety measures. If Nashville was serious about street safety they would do something substantive to reduce the number of cars and to calm traffic to slow down cars.
  8. I agree with Greg. If this is just a real estate investment then it shouldn't come from greenway funding. Greenways should be accessible to the most number of people possible, ideally reachable without a car. Greenways have the most value when there is connectivity to safe bike routes and this fails that test.
  9. We "discussed" the Tennessean article in June arguing for more roads and against transit. It took some time, but the Tennessean Opinion pages have now run my piece in response, which is mostly about induced demand: Tennessee cannot build its way out of traffic congestion http://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/09/02/tennessee-cannot-build-its-way-out-traffic-congestion/71545486/?hootPostID=50c730f75f5e75ee7d52374050910f09 The word space was too short to get into specific options of BRT, light rail, etc. My main point was that "free" highways cost everyone and distort supply and demand. I did briefly advocate for congestion based pricing in the form of HOT lanes similar to Atlanta and other cities. The Tennessean feed turn that into: Tolls as high as $10? A Vanderbilt scientist thinks it could help solve @NashTheTraffic woes I think it's clear in the end of my letter, but in case there was any confusion, my science work is in biology and has nothing to do with transportation in any way. -Kevin Erreger 37206dude
  10. I've complained above about the stretch of the new Davidson St bicycle path starting by the stadium. I sent my pictures and an explanation to my newly elected city council rep Brett Withers and he said he will look into it. I skip over that in the video below. Once you get past the very narrow first part, overall the design is not horrible. They could have given bikes a little more width and had less parking and/or car lane width, but this is now the best bike lane in Nashville. The main issue I see is how difficult it will be to branch off any connectivity to other safe bike routes. The adjacent "Shelby Hills" neighborhood has mostly narrow streets and big hills. 5th is included in Nashville Next as a future bike lane. I also hope the Cayce redevelopment will make the neighborhood more bike friendly. For now, 14th will be a popular route to access Davidson from East Nashville, and is home to much ongoing and planned land development. Here is a video of the bike lane along Davidson and then up 14th to Shelby to show what the connection to the neighborhood is like:
  11. New bike lane on East side of riverfront, Davidson St. The bike lane is a 2-way "cycle track" on the West side of street, but it's built in the gutter, not acceptable. There is much wasted width elsewhere. The paint needs to be redone to give bike riders a lane outside of the gutter. Many parent tow kid trailers here, they need some width to the bike lane. No excuses are acceptable to configure a new street pattern like this with so much wasted space. The East side of the street has a ~9' buffer that looks like the old 1 way bike lane northbound. This can be taken out completely if there is 2 way bike traffic on the West side. Also, 10' for car lanes is more than is necessary in this context. This is a high bike traffic, relatively low car traffic road along a park. 9' car lanes would be safer and more appropriate here anyway.
  12. Thanks to all who chimed in. I'm glad bike lanes are getting more attention in the transportation community. I did not intend my cartoon to be a specific design. That walkway must be at least 15' wide and I would leave it up to a pro to figure out the details. There must be a way to use some of that space even if it means changing the type of landscaping in the buffer. Some cities have incorporated permeable concrete into bike lanes but I don't think those were in such a dense area. I stand by my impression that the bike sidewalk is an inappropriate design downtown. I can see it on 28/31, but it's not going to work out well on 1st Ave where pedestrian traffic is high. FHWA guidelines clearly spell out how to differentiate a bike lane built above street grade from an adjacent sidewalk. Those guidelines are not being followed and it looks like Division St will be the same design. Lack of connectivity is a major issue. If Nashville used cheaper forms of design for protected bike lanes than an elevated sidewalk, then they could cover more distance and connect the big projects. Without connections, short stretches of safe bike lanes do not provide full ROI.
  13. If you agree with me that the bike sidewalk design that Nashville has used on 28/31 Connector, 11th Ave Gulch, and 1st Ave is not a good design, then consider touching base with someone in metro about Division St because they are about to build another one there. http://www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Capital-Projects/Division-Street-Extension.aspx The Nashville-style bike sidewalk does not fit guidelines from FHWA or informal guidelines from NATCO or the "Green Lane" project. It also does not match other cities. The design is both expensive and lousy. Experienced bike riders stick to the full traffic lane rather than riding on a bike sidewalk with no distinction from the ped sidewalk. Children, tourists, etc will not ride on bike facilities that are not connected to other safe bike facilities. Nashville should stop building incredibly expensive 0.3 mi sidewalks and instead focus on cheap low profile protection for existing lanes. Note the price for "raised bikeway" compared to others here: http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/14-ways-to-make-bike-lanes-better-the-infographic
  14. Most important is to talk to city council this fall. At least Barry (I'm not sure about Fox) has committed to consolidating into a single department of transportation. To me, if this happens then there needs to be a competitive outside search for new leadership. Someone from a city with an established record of success and innovation. I wouldn't even consider Nashville to be late adapters, we are missing an entire generation of innovation in bike facilities. The new Davidson St path is the best thing so far, but it's basically a greenway without connections to neighborhoods and is of limited value. 1st Ave is new and also a disaster. They applied the 11th st design there, but Riverfront is a ton more pedestrians than even the Gulch. The design should have been more like in the fhwa guidelines: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/publications/separated_bikelane_pdg/page08.cfm Compare Nashville to Cambridge, Mass: -Kevin Erreger [email protected]
  15. I have no background in engineering. I'm an idiot who rides bikes and I saw the problem in 2013. KVB is a disaster in current context. There is now a (poorly engineered) bike lane along 1st up to KVB. There's the riverfront huge project and Davidson path from East Nashville. There's the $18M Gulch bridge next year. Guess what connects them all? KVB. There's so much with it's fixable. Ideal would be a safe bike lane all the way from 8th to 1st, but that may be asking too much. There's a work around if you can make a safe lane 8th to 5th and then through walk-of-fame, symphony, to get to ped bridge.. any thoughts?
  16. OK, I'm not sure if this is the appropriate thread, so please let me know. I'm a bike guy. I have a cargo bike I haul my kids, groceries, etc. on and I almost never drive a car. I have read up on guidelines and precedents in other cities and Nashville is doing a shameful job on bike facilities. They are expensive, yet still engineered poorly. Much like roads (or tracks) bike lanes are most valuable on a connected grid. Nothing in Nashville is connected and there are no plans to fix that any time soon. I have some serious documentation of all of these issues I will share with some new council members this fall. One other thing I am doing is making some videos to depict the problem to folks who do not ride bikes. Here are two of them:
  17. I am disheartened by talk of widening freeways. They are the problem, not the solution. I am hopeful that in my lifetime, as the freeways crumble and become more and more expensive to patch, we will see more elevated freeways come down so we can begin to stitch back together the neighborhoods they destroyed. SF did it with the Embarcadero. Seattle is currently tearing down the Alaskan Viaduct. http://www.preservenet.com/freeways/FreewaysEmbarcadero.html http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/06/how-seattle-is-reclaiming-its-waterfront-from-an-elevated-urban-highway/397325/ They probably won't be successful, but the political movement in Dallas to tear down the 345 has some steam. http://www.anewdallas.com/ Interstates are barriers to communities, at the very least we should move aggressively towards capping them with livable space, but ultimately they need to come down. Sprawl has been devastating. We need to focus on smarter development to begin to reverse that damage.
  18. This was just a "friendly" exhibition match that was not part of the Gold Cup at all. The first gold cup game is tomorrow Tuesday. Despite the solid advanced ticket sales, the stadium was grossly unprepared. It took more than an hour in line to get through the gate. Typical concessions lines ran about 45 minutes and were operating with staff numbers well below capacity. The one we went to had one register open and a line of at least 50 people waiting. Nashville is a great location, draws from a pretty wide region. Not only GA, AL, KY, but decent numbers from as far as Indy or STL. Nashville is also a great destination, many people came from much further than that and stayed for the weekend to visit.
  19. Yeah, I agree with you. My main problem still is that his title was "better roads" but his article was mostly just about "more roads". I wrote a pretty harsh email to the Tennessean about this piece. Mr Daniels himself took my criticism very graciously but did not seem to have informed himself well on this topic before writing about it.
  20. I found this article to be really hard to understand: Without better roads in Nashville, transit options will fail Frank Daniels III, [email protected] http://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/columnists/frank-daniels/2015/06/18/without-better-roads-nashville-transit-options-will-fail/28896141/ I think he makes a number of big mistakes. Despite the title his thesis is (in addition to enjoying time alone in his truck) not about improving road design but is that we need "additional lanes and more roads" Managing road space is not about transit vs cars, it's about how many car trips people take and how far those car trips are. Everyone has mandatory trips but the discretionary ones add up over of a population of drivers. His remedy of building more road capacity (in addition to no clear explanation of how this would support transit) would have the predictable effect of inducing more demand for discretionary car trips and increasing congestion with resulting negative impact on time lost in traffic and environmental damage from more idling cars. Whichever road has the new lane capacity will immediately fill up with traffic but none of the other roads on the network have been widened to accommodate this new volume and traffic congestion increases everywhere. The examples of this are too numerous to list but induced demand is so well established that it is a fundamental rule of traffic engineering that has to be the primary consideration in managing road capacity.
  21. Change of topics away from bikes... I posted this on the West/Nations page since that's where this particular project is and asked there for feedback about that specific zoning request, but here I would like a more general discussion of mandated parking for commercial development. 51st and Illinois development sounds like it is getting resistance for potential impact on traffic and parking. http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/blog/2015/05/traffic-parking-worries-delay-nations-mixed-use.html The developer in this case is Michael Kenner and I agree with his take is: "Do we continue to design to the problem, which is traffic and parking, or do we design for the solution?" This reminded me of an old blog post from Chad Grout about parking mandates: http://urbangrout.com/east-nashville-zoning-lose-the-parking/ Kenner and Grout have the same personal profit motive here but I genuinely believe they are correct. I really don't see any argument for it. At a time when we are struggling to give people some choices about transportation all this does is force a private business to subsidize the one choice that is most destructive for the city: "everyone bring your own automobile wherever you go." We don't say: if your business is a certain size then you must build a bus stop shelter or a Bcycle station. I'm not in favor of that either, but if you are going to mandate something I would actually argue for those kind of mandates rather than mandating parking. I want to be clear that I am not in favor of stopping any developer from building as much parking as they want, I just don't want it to be mandated. If free street parking fills up, to me that's good. Empty space is wasted space. If there is a very strong market demand for parking, then someone will choose to devote their private land for a parking deck and charge a lot of money for it. I really trust the free market to sort these things out very efficiently and parking mandates distort supply and demand both for land use and for transportation options in ways which have a negative impact on the city.
  22. This post maybe could also go in the transportation problems thread but I put it here for now... It sounds like this development is meeting some resistance: http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/blog/2015/05/traffic-parking-worries-delay-nations-mixed-use.html The project, being developed by Michael Kenner, of MiKeN Development LLC, was scheduled for a vote yesterday at the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals, but a letter of opposition from Council Member Buddy Baker, who represents the neighborhood, has convinced Kenner to defer the vote for at least two meetings to bolster more support. Is there some specific information available about this project? Did anyone weigh in to the Zoning Board or Mr Baker about this? Who exactly is opposing this and what are the specific issues? Like I said if the issue is parking requirements, maybe I should move this to the transportation problems thread. I could write my own long rant on parking mandates and the economics of private and public space but this (not very recent) blog post from Chad Grout does a pretty good job. Even though it was specifically written about East Nashville, the same principles apply elsewhere in Nashville: East Nashville Zoning: Lose the Parking http://urbangrout.com/east-nashville-zoning-lose-the-parking/
  23. I really was joking, but sure I would enjoy sharing the bike commute. I usually leave home (7-7:30ish, but sometimes a little later) and back leaving Vandy around 4:30. I sometimes do come in from Woodland St bridge to Union to Church, which would be less out of your way. The morning is way easier for traffic and better for a social ride. We could meet at bagel face or yeast nashville in the am if that would work some time. Anyone would be welcome. That map was approximate, I've gone a few different routes on the way home. Simplest is straight down Demonbruen either to the ped bridge or up 5th or 4th to KVB. The ped bridge is easiest traffic-wise, hardest stepness wise, but also requires a left on Shelby. The bike lane on KVB is scary because many cars turn right hooking through the bike lane without looking for bikes, although if you are willing to take that risk you can bypass a lot of slow traffic. The KVB bridge bike lane is in the gutter and usually filled with debris so I do take the traffic lane if I go over the road bridge. Either way, I take Shelby over I-24 which itself is a little hairy. The only real alternative is looping around Davidson, but that's too far out of the way. I do ride the traffic circle to KVB sometimes. The traffic circle to KVB is fairly intense on a bike, you need to get into the left lane within the circle and cross in front of cars waiting to enter the circle. I have some serious blinkers to make myself as visible as possible. I've never seen another bike there. Will, do you have occassion to ride the KVB traffic circle?
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