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About AronG

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  1. Yeah, I think the real dissonant thing about this design is the "stroad" phenomenon, of which the large setback is just a symptom. You can't really design a streetscape for people *and* for high-speed, high-throughput vehicle traffic. It's like putting a sidewalk beside the interstate. It will never feel comfortable to walk out your front door or stroll down a sidewalk when you're a couple of feet away from 4,000 lb vehicles flying by at 60 mph. Until West End gets reworked to slow down the cars (narrower lanes, more intersections, etc.) they might as well focus their pedestrian efforts a block away, i.e. on Richland.
  2. Yup. I feel like 99% of this design is great and it was on track to be one of the surprisingly more tasteful new additions. Then they effed it all up at the very end by botching the color and their god awful font/sign. Oh well, it's still way better than the Westin.
  3. Right, but I'm saying that Lee is interested in making something happen; this is substantive and wouldn't cost much; and (most importantly) it can now be framed as the conservative alternative to the liberal light rail plan. If he gets behind it, TDOT will have no problem with it at all.
  4. If Cooper wants to be rational, our next steps shouldn't be hard to figure out. (1) Dedicated bus lanes on the 5 major arterials (can do dedicated queue hops just outside of downtown where we don't need a full lane). (2) Commit to run buses every 10 or 15 minutes. (3) Upzone the areas around the bus stops and use the property tax money to make much better bus stops. Virtually everyone in transportation agrees that this is how you build transit ridership, and it doesn't cost that much to implement. The problem is growing a pair to stand up to the status quo backlash on car lanes. Do we have enough resolve now to get the Amp 2 over the hump? Of course, there's also the state legislature, but it seems like the Governor may be primed to help with that.
  5. Perhaps not, although if someone forced it through on lower Broadway I'd bet a million dollars it would be a beloved public space within a year. What I would hope is that our city leaders can start to acknowledge that more investment in car infrastructure is an urban planning dead end. European cities really started tipping on this a few years ago, recognizing that dedicating 90% of public space to the noisiest, most dangerous, most polluting, and least efficient way of moving people around is a self-crippling mistake (Oslo, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Barcelona, etc.). North American cities have taken longer to figure this out, but now the dam is finally starting to break. Just in the last year or two we have King St in Toronto, the NYC 14th St Busway and the upcoming congestion charge, SF Market St... Of course Nashville's in a very different place, but I think the recognition could start to percolate through, that the ultimate goal for our urbanized areas is to dedicate space and resources to pedestrian/bike/transit infrastructure, not traffic lanes and parking. The cities that figure this out sooner are going to be the most attractive places to live and work over the next decades, and are going to be the ones that sustain their growth and livability.
  6. To me this seems like the best solution for everything from buses to trolleys to trams. Stick only enough batteries in them to go a few miles, then outfit the biggest stop every mile or so with an overhead line to charge it and have them pause for a minute to top up. Doesn't require stringing overhead lines throughout the city, allows you to get away with much smaller batteries in the rolling stock (making them lighter and cheaper), gets all the benefit of quiet emission-free transport...
  7. Where's the super wide walk/bike path? You just mean the campus green?
  8. No idea what their specific plan is, but that parcel's in the Rutledge Hill Subdistrict, subject to the Dowtown Code, which explicitly has no parking requirement. If they think there's a market for it, they're free to use more of their space for other purposes (which is how it ought to be be everywhere). As far as Airbnbs go, I believe an increasing number of them are not bringing personal vehicles (i.e. they uber from the airport).
  9. The original drawings for this looked really tasteful to me, in an understated way, but so far it's turning out a lot chintzier than I had imagined. They value-engineered out the classy window arches, and the cladding above the bricks just looks bad.
  10. That's the funniest thing about the whole Cooper/neighborhood schtick. People really do somehow believe that the downtown area, the economic engine of the region, with tens of thousands of expensive residences and hundreds of thousands of high-end jobs, is mooching off of the areas of the county with like 2 houses per acre. Brilliant. It would be wonderful if an adult could explain to them that metro has to spend way more to support them than they generate; that a city block downtown generates more property tax than an exurb subdivision, with a fraction of the road/power/water/infrastructure and much easier connection to existing grids and municipal services, etc. People love it though. It jives perfectly with anti-new-Nashville-ism, and got him elected in a landslide, so you have to hand it to him. The funniest part of all is going to be watching him work to maintain this fiction over the next few years.
  11. It's incredible. Imagine how many more projects would pencil out if we could start the actual buildings at ground level. Like if there were some way to move people around that didn't require storing their vehicle everywhere they went. If you ponder it for too long it's surreal. Every time I look at the row of buildings along KVB, all built on top of 7+ story parking garages, I just can't quite tune it out, creative screening notwithstanding. If an alien sized up the situation they might assume the cars were running the show. They get all the bottom floors (with a service entrance for humans) and the people get whatever can be perched on top. They get 60 feet of street width for travel and/or parking lanes. People get 5 foot strips along the sides.
  12. If you look at these as pure engineering decisions, with a zero sum allocation of resources and people as automatons, of course stuff like this is never going to make sense. If you look at the city as a collection of places for people to live their lives in, neighborhoods that can be invested in and cultivated into pleasant human environments, you're likely to see things differently. That's true on an intuitive level, and ironically it ends up making financial sense as well. Cities full of soulless streetscapes optimized for car traffic (like our current Demonbreun, 8th, etc.) don't achieve the full potential of vibrant urban areas, neither for the people that live there nor for the city via the resulting property taxes. In this case, it seems obvious that proposals like the Station District will play out very differently with and without this infrastructure investment to channel the focus of the surrounding developments. With it, they'll likely move faster, be taller/denser, and result in better human street environments. Without it they'll likely take longer to come to fruition, balance their design more towards garage access for commuters and/or the assumption that occupants will uber everywhere, and have a streetscape that demonstrates those priorities.
  13. Yup, every 10 years after the census. Last one had around 17,900 people per district, will be interesting to see how they shift the borders to re-equalize. https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2019/08/02/nashville-council-redistricting-nashville-mayors-race-census/1880542001/ Apparently a similar process has been followed since 1970. Does anyone know where you can find the old council maps? I'd be interested to see how they've shifted over time.
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