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PruneTracy last won the day on May 30 2015

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  1. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I thought the DDI at US 129 and Middlesettlements was a good application (though I haven't driven through it at peak periods). The one on Interstate 40 at SR 66, I don't understand; there is (though increasingly was) more than enough ROW there for any number of treatments (up to and including flyover ramps). I guess the DDI is cheaper than the alternatives but I also bet it is going to clog up on its own as the parts of Kodak north of the interstate become more developed. I previously was involved in the planning/design for a few DDIs for TDOT (didn't get built) and other state DOTs and the only real reservation I have is that people don't seem to understand that they were conceived for a specific situation. DDIs are made for urban interchanges with heavy left-turn volumes and while they work outside of those conditions they aren't automatically the best option. Sort of like roundabouts. DDIs have fewer conflict points and they eliminate the left-turn crashes that are usually the most severe at an interchange (especially unsignalized interchanges). I think Mizzou did a study for MoDOT (who loves DDIs, they have more than the other states combined) a couple of years ago that showed a 30% to 40% decrease in crashes of all severity types. I do wonder if this is at least partly because of the novelty factor and if it will increase as DDIs become more prevalent. Also sort of like roundabouts.
  2. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I can think of worse words to hear repeatedly. Like moist. Or perhaps fondle. The difference is that police/fire protection, for example, is assumed to be distributed over the entire city. If you live outside Joelton, for example, even though you are in the most rural parts of the county you can still expect to have the police or fire department respond to an emergency. Same with schools, no matter where you live in the county you have access to public schools (whether you have school-age children notwithstanding). That's not the case with transit; it's not really reasonable to expect any transit coverage outside of relatively urban areas, much less modes like light rail. Covering the entire county with anything more robust than paratransit (which is still not open to everyone to use) is a practical impossibility. So if you live in the sticks, you're not getting that coverage that you would with other services (aside from the marginal benefits like supposedly less traffic), but if it's funded like other services you're still paying for it just like any other resident of the county. (Sewers actually do more or less break even when they are coupled with water service. Metro Water Services, for example, charges a percentage of water usage for sewer service and a flat fee for stormwater infrastructure.) Of course you could rig up a system that only charges people who live in areas served by transit, similar to Metro's Urban Services District. For example, a district for each light rail line that consists of the residences and businesses within walking distance of that line. But I expect that many people would be less supportive of a plan that charged them more directly for transit services as opposed to one that spread the costs out over a larger population. But having worked with many transit agencies, they would be better off if they were funded by ridership instead of grants, taxes, and the general fund. Note, this doesn't necessarily mean they have to be funded by fare collection; it could be accomplished with transit vouchers, for example. But as it is there is very little incentive for agencies to build and operate systems that put riders on the vehicles. Their plans, including Let's Move Nashville, reflect that. They are based around what sounds and looks good (to voters and to the feds) rather than what are cost-effective means to get people from point A to point B.
  3. They averaged a floor every 7-10 days once they got past the garage. Not bad considering the weather. Have been stuck on 13 for a couple of weeks now, though.
  4. Nashville International Airport

    I think this observation is related more to how the airport is laid out than its size. Part of the reason TPA feels bigger is because it has satellite terminals. But if you were to take the "pieces" of TPA's terminals and join them together in a line, you'd have a standard terminal of about the same size as BNA. Another factor is how close the terminal is to the primary highway entrance. BNA's terminal is right up on I-40 and Donelson Pike, a half-mile on the airport access road puts you at the check-in counters. But CLT and TPA (among others) have midfield terminals that require an access road a couple of miles long. So you spend a few more minutes driving through the airport even though the terminal area may be the same. That being said BNA has a very effective layout for its size, both landside and airside. CLT is too big for a standard/pier layout (try making a connecting flight from one side of the terminal to the other) and TPA (as well as MCO) is overbuilt and unnecessarily complex. I don't know who thought it was a good idea to build four/six separate tram lines just to connect to satellite terminals with ten gates each.
  5. Nashville Bits and Pieces

    He was probably thinking, I can't believe these guys are all that stand between me and the IR list.
  6. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Most of the physical space that is taken up on a roadway (in particular high-speed ones like freeways) is the space needed for drivers to safely stop or maneuver their vehicles, not the vehicles themselves. Everyone remember the three-second rule? Not for picking up dropped French fries off your floorboard, but the space you need to leave between your vehicle and the one in front of you. At 70 miles per hour, those three seconds translates to 300 feet. That's enough physical room for 15 cars in the space that your one car takes up. Automated vehicles being piloted by our robot overlords can reduce that distance and allow for more vehicles on the roadway at a given speed. Connected vehicles that still have meatbag drivers can do it as well, though to a lesser extent. Of course, if your vehicle is automated you may elect to send it back to your house once you get to work, save on the parking fees. That means you just doubled your trips. Maybe that return trip happens during off-peak periods, maybe not. As far as rollout time, not everyone will trade in their old cars for new ones right away. But then if your car just becomes a space you passively occupy from point A to point B, does it even need to be "your" car? Uber could buy a million of these right away and put them on the roads for your use, whether you own a car or not. Their investors have already thrown money at dumber initiatives.
  7. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    The mismatched scale on this is hilarious.
  8. Project Thread/New Construction/Photo du jour/Const. CAMs

    Hmmm, aren't there some law offices on the top floors near those ledges?
  9. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Don't know where she lives in Whites Creek but it is getting a rapid bus line and transit center as well as the ubiquitous "improved local routes".
  10. Soccer in Nashville

    Legally, state and local governments are barred from passing laws or ordinances that manage rail transportation by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act. For example, it's not possible for Metro (or any other state/local government) to restrict CSX from operating at a crossing at certain times of day, or setting a maximum amount of time any crossing can be blocked by rail activity. They also can't do things like condemn rail property, apply building/zoning codes, etc. (Quiet zones are a Federal Railroad Administration initiative.) Of course the feds encourage rail carriers to be civic-minded, so CSX could contract with Metro separately to not run their trains on certain lines at certain times. Naturally, in light of the lost revenue, that would come at a price.
  11. It's in Zone AE according to FEMA. 100-year floodplain.
  12. For CSX to leave the county completely, the many industrial spurs serving Davidson County businesses would have to be closed. A lot of places don't use these anymore (having moved to trucks), but many still do, and of course it's more efficient to load railcars directly, even when using multimodal containers. No CSX = more trucks on local roadways.
  13. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I'd have more sympathy if Tennessee was a poorly-managed, high-tax state, or if there were a combination of income tax and sales tax where some gaming of the system was to be expected, or, God forbid, if the state just financed itself through debt. As it is, this being a PAYGO state, with a government about as fiscally conservative as they come, and a state constitution that prohibits income taxes (which is awesome, BTW), not to mention the Hall tax being phased out, going out of your way to avoid paying the only tax that exists in a state with the nation's third-lowest tax burden seems a butthole move. All the more so since groceries already have a discounted tax rate in Tennessee and these guys don't exactly sound like they're having to dig pennies out of the couch cushions to buy food. I hate paying taxes as much as the next person, but at some point you have to acknowledge the fact that the state government exists and does need some revenue to function. Plus, I'd rather pay sales tax in a state where I'm eligible to vote than give it to those dastardly Kentuckians running their horse and fried chicken racket up there.
  14. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    They ought to be turned in for evading the use tax.