12Mouth

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12Mouth last won the day on April 2 2014

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About 12Mouth

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    Whistle-Stop

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    Nashville

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  1. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Totally. And my understanding is that Transcore, a Nashville company, resingnaled and automated the entire NYC grid. Seems like something everyone could get behind, right? I’m someone who thinks cars (generally) drive too fast in this city, but it seems that at least some of this is due to people who are pissed that they keep getting stuck sitting at lights and are trying to make up time or are hopping onto local streets trying to avoid gridlock.
  2. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I have a few ideas. While I will likely never ride a scooter, I think that they are objectively a far more efficient mode of transportation than a single occupancy automobile. The vast majority of them also exist within a roughly 3 mile radius. I have watched people doing some incredibly stupid things on them (including riding the wrong way down a protected bike lane at me), but I also see people commuting on these things every day in a perfectly lawful manner. The problem is not that we have too many of these things, but that there are not norms of behavior and enforcement governing them. I would argue that (at least in Nashville), there are also not norms of behavior and enforcement among drivers that promote pedestrian safety, either. 1. Nashville should try something called traffic enforcement. It means that you actually have police who pull people over (cars, scooters, whomever) when they break the rules and make them pay a fine. Even in rich white neighborhoods! I know - this sounds crazy. As I write this, I literally just watched ten cars make a right on red at almost full speed (including one cop). 2. Our bike/scooter sidewalk law is way too confusing. Most people don't know what defines a commercial district. Just ban them on sidewalks everywhere and put up a bunch of signs that include the fine amount. (And actually write tickets!) 3. Lower the speed limit to 20mph on all non-arterial/collector streets inside the 440 Loop (and the equivalent distance into East/North Nashville). If cars and scooters are both travelling at approximately the same speed, they are much less of a nuisance and everyone is safer. 4. Put in protected bike lanes on streets with a speed limit higher than 25 inside the same loop. Write tickets or tow when people block these lanes. 5. Paint in a bunch of scooter parking on the street in existing car spaces. Make it illegal to park them on the sidewalk or anywhere outside of the designated parking zone. Fine the companies when scooters are parked on the sidewalk or outside of that zone - they'll figure out a way to enforce it and keep people from intentionally moving parked scooters onto the sidewalk quickly.
  3. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Indeed! But they do have an impressive track record around the country. While I don't usually agree with them, AFP is very good at lobbying and running effective campaigns. I will also admit that it is usually easier to mount a campaign against something than for it. We are probably getting off topic here and it is my fault. I'll stop now!
  4. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Right, so as others have said, I went to three different public meetings that were packed. One of them (with predominantly residents living off of West End between 440 and Harding) had a lot of people against it. The others were overwhelmingly in favor. The narrative that there was no public input is simply not true. There were actually meetings, then redesigns in response to those meetings. There were significant problems with the plan (particularly putting the CEO of a hospital at the end of the most contested leg in charge of the campaign and running it directly past the Beaman dealership). I'm not arguing that there were not a significant number of Nashville residents against the Amp - there certainly were. Dean did not want to put it up for a referendum (probably because it would have been an uphill battle), but my understanding is that there would have been several council votes, had this gotten anywhere near that far. And maybe Harwell alone would have shut this down at the state level in response to her constituents. That is absolutely a real possibility. What I am saying is that AFP heavily lobbied the state and has waged a well-documented war against public transit. They would have fought this at the state level regardless of where it was in the city like they have done in so many other cities. AFP did not just get involved at the request of Lee Beaman or some local residents - this is part of a national campaign. I don't mean to get political here - AFP has a point of view and goals and priorities that they work towards (see No Tax 4 Tracks in Nashville, Phoenix, Pinellas, FL). They did change the 4 to for outside of Nashville and it was no Tax for More Tracks in Phoenix. Also, see Michigan, Utah, etc.
  5. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Remember, the AMP didn't even go up for a vote because the state created a law effectively banning it, so there was nothing to pass. Yes, Beaman was actively against this (and is well connected at the state level), but I think the chief lobbyists fighting the plan through legislation would have done so regardless. This was an important small battle in a much larger national war on public transit.
  6. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I agree with you, but I was in a meeting with Freddy and Erin (before she left metro) where they discussed BRT and it sounded like the plan with the state (at least for the failed plan) was going to be to purchase the ROW back from the state for all dedicated lanes, which turns out to not be all that much cheaper than light rail. But creating great frequent BRT service within a small area is a very prudent way to go under normal circumstances. I even think 5-7 miles out is too much right now. Go out west end to 440, Hillsboro to the Hill Center, Gallatin to Eastland, 8th Ave S to 440, etc. Avoid the political battles in Oak Hill and Richland/Cherokee Park. Throw park and rides at the end of each line and let the developers get density along those routes before expanding.
  7. 12Mouth

    Nashville Bits and Pieces

    I believe a big part of this is dealing with stormwater runoff. This is becoming a big issue with the increase in housing density.
  8. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I see what you are saying, and perhaps this can be helpful, but this can also provide fodder to people who don't know what they are talking about. It is easy to say, "hey - look at these stupid empty buses...why are we paying for these things." WeGo has already shrunk down to mini buses on the less utilized routes. I am certainly not a transportation expert and there are many on this board who know more than I do, but my understanding is that for ridership to significantly increase, there needs to be a tipping point of frequency of service and connections to where people want to go. The idea is that for people to rely on public transit, they need to know that they can just jump on a bus within 15 minutes whenever they need to. This means that there are going to be a bunch of semi-empty buses riding around. But this is kind of the case with the model. Vanderbilt's parking shuttles run back and forth all day long, and they often are empty or have only a couple of people on them. But their entire model would fall apart if they suddenly started running shuttles every hour. The economics are also complicated here - what is the cost of not having service, both for employers who need employees to access their job who can't afford a car, for the riders who decide to drive instead, put another vehicle on the road, utilize a heavily subsidized parking spot downtown? I just don't think your average channel four viewer is going to go this far in their mind.
  9. 12Mouth

    Nashville Bits and Pieces

    Yeah, I still don't think the scooters are the problem outside of the fact that we have poor non-auto transportation infrastructure in Nashville. A high percentage of our population is constantly breaking the rules and not paying attention - cars, peds, scooter riders, etc. With this being a given, I would rather have rule breakers on a 22 pound scooter that maxes out at 15mph than a 2 ton automobile that can do 50+ on a city street.
  10. 12Mouth

    Nashville Bits and Pieces

    “Meanwhile, their friends in Tennessee pay about $500 a year in property taxes on a much more expensive home with a swimming pool.” Where could this be possible? I don’t doubt people are moving here for lower taxes, but who is paying $500/year on a $300,000 house?
  11. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Yes, but unless they move the lanes to inside of the cars, I don't see how they will do this. My guess is that they may create a few areas without street parking?
  12. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    There are literally trucks blocking the Belmont bike lane right in that area every single morning. I ride it every day. They are making some design changes to the lanes, including some "key areas of protected lanes", but I'm not optimistic.
  13. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I agree and this could be helpful. But Metro also needs to provide designated areas to park them and safer places to ride.
  14. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Well yes, you might be correct on that last point, unfortunately. I just don’t think the scooters are the problem and I see people making poor choices in cars (and on bikes and foot) every day. On my ride home today I probably saw ten scooters, none wearing helmets, but all following the law, riding in bike lanes. Really a great way to get around if people have safe options and follow the rules.
  15. 12Mouth

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Understood, but they didn't launch in Indianapolis until June, so you would have missed them. They were absolutely everywhere in June until they were kicked out. I'm just saying that ticketing scooter riders will probably not work very well, so we can choose to either embrace them, through some combination of regulation, enforcement, and infrastructure build out, reluctantly live with them while they fly down the sidewalk, or kick them out. Our grid is certainly more challenging than Indy's, but we also choose to give cars a lot of space (either for parking or driving). I think that giving cars this much space, particularly for street parking, is a poor use of resources.