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About AronG

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  1. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    It would be very unusual if no federal grants were received for a project of this size, which would stretch across several administrations. Councilman Elrod did address this unlikely scenario though, with the boring and predictable answer that some of the elements would be delayed for a few years until the sales tax revenue came in to fund them.
  2. Yeah file this under missed opportunities. It's not a complete travesty, but if any effort was made to integrate it into its surrounding streetscape I can't see what it was. It's a shame because the strip along the river there is turning into a really nice human-friendly area and this was a chance to build on it. We biked over this weekend from the east side and tooled around with the kids along the pedestrian bridge and Ascend park and along the greenway to Pinewood Social, etc.. The pedestrian amenities are really starting to connect into a great area to explore, and people are definitely using it. We were even able to nip over to 2nd ave and put in our vote on the transit plan. Here's the awesome skyline view from the nifty little plaza at the top of the hill:
  3. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    It might be; we won't know who turned out until we count the votes. Twitter is certainly a cesspit right now. There are plenty of metro, business, and community advocates working to promote the benefits, but every post draws a mixture of (A) pushback from real Nashvillians with real concerns and (B) crude and corrosive insults laced with misinformation from anonymous accounts and/or hobbyist political ranters, often from the surrounding counties. It's just a damn shame that we couldn't have this debate without the outside money and political ideology and the (associated) unnecessarily poisonous tone. There are certainly constructive concerns. Some people would prefer something smaller and cheaper. Some want to do more about affordable housing. Some want more reassurance about future technology. If we could have a civil debate, I feel like that even if it failed we would end up in a better position to build a plan that could pass. As it stands, if it fails it's just going to leave smoking wreckage with no clear signal about where to go next. Or, as this guy said:
  4. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    BREAKING: There's been a late addition to the visionary Swope plan for the future of Nashville transportation:
  5. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    BTW, has anybody posted this? It's time!
  6. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    Visited Dallas a while back and was interested to check out DART, as it's a great reference point for what Nashville is doing. I came away with the perception that it's a great backbone, but they placed most of the lines and stations in empty areas so it's going to take some decades for development to fill in and actually make use of it. Saw some enthusiasts recently ( raving about the additions that are in progress (new downtown line, new Cotton Belt line). So it sounds like they're continuing to invest in it; here's hoping it starts to hold a candle to the amount of resources that have obviously been poured into their road network.
  7. The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    This whole plan is obviously ridiculous, but what's sadly mainstream is that it reflects a vision of Nashville as a place that should be designed around easy access for commuters and visitors from the suburbs. I am so tired of it. If people want to live 20 miles away and drive downtown they're welcome to do so, but that's a horrible consideration to build a city around. This picture is a perfect example of why. Sure, let's occupy several acres of prime downtown real estate, not to mention billions of engineering and construction dollars, to make a rat's nest of asphalt and overpasses that serves to isolate key areas of the city from each other and forces anyone that wants to get anywhere to get in a car to do so. This when all the best places in the world move wildly more people in a fraction of the space with (A) sidewalks and bike lanes, and (B) shared transport (trains & buses), both of which stimulate commercial activity along their routes instead of dead, emptiness with vehicles whizzing through. And let's be realistic, here's what the "add lanes" strategy really looks like (in Dallas):
  8. Nashville Bits and Pieces

    This, in the middle of another pointlessly escalating forum argument where people yell at each other online for no good reason, is a beautiful response. You could write an authoritative history of the early 21st century called My Tribalism Kicked In. Posting while tribal should be considered similar to driving while drunk. It clouds one's judgement and intelligence and often seems to inspire pointless aggression.
  9. CBD/SoBro/RutledgeHill/Rolling Mill Hill Projects

    That's fascinating. I'd assumed that if they built something it would be an office tower. What would an expansion even look like there.
  10. Second phase of the Cayce redevelopment is coming along. I wonder if they're cooking on Phase 3 yet? If not this is going to take about 150 years.
  11. Reading Next Door grayhairs shaking their fist about local development is the only thing more ridiculous than the Facebook pitchfork mobs. They're against anything bigger than a dog house and even those should require at least 4 parking spaces. And also did you see that scary brown guy walking around yesterday he looked very suspicious.
  12. Nashville Bits and Pieces

    This is a great point. Many will be scared off by higher crime, but if you're into math, your odds of dying in a car accident are inverted by roughly the same amount.
  13. Nashville Bits and Pieces

    Yeah you can't argue with people voting with their feet. Personally, I don't hate the suburbs (I grew up in Franklin), but I do hate the fact that we've evolved development incentives where the easiest path for developers is to buy a hunk of an old farm, divide it into 100 lots, and slap in another isolated residential-only enclave off a highway. All the skids are greased for this (roads, utilities, permits, etc.) but it doesn't have to be that way. I grew up in a subdivision like that and it was a total revelation when I moved somewhere where you can actually walk or bike to a grocery store, school, or restaurant. You get more exercise, see your neighbors more, and generally have more community. I would easily rather live in a townhouse in a neighborhood with sidewalks, mixed uses, and parks, than in a beautiful but isolated mansion that forces you to drive anywhere other than your neighbor's house. The problem is, development is so restricted in Nashville that even those little townhouses cost $400-500K now. You can see people's appetite for this in the newer developments in Williamson county that are trying to address it (Westhaven, Berry Farms). Development incentives being what they are, those communities seem to be at the higher end of the market though. Developers should have to pay extra for sprawling subdivisions, which are much more expensive to maintain over the long term when it comes to roads, pipes, and power lines. Permitting and planning should be expedited for mixed-use communities, which help avoid locking people into car commutes and social isolation. And if Nashville really wants to do something about the drain of families to the suburbs, we need to do some mass updates so that 90% of our land isn't tied up in 6-10,000 sqft minimum lot sizes.
  14. Nashville Bits and Pieces

    I dunno, I think it's legit. We're adding a lot of apartments in the core but it's offset by the demographic change in many of the most populated neighborhoods. Demand has driven prices on single-family homes up to where young families can't afford to buy in anymore. New or remodeled homes are $500-800K in many neighborhoods. The people that can afford them are upper income, often mid-career professionals with few kids if any. Enrollment in MNPS fell this year. To me it's another symptom of our failure to grow our stock of medium-density housing (townhomes, multiplex, etc.), which should provide the backbone of family housing in a city of Nashville's size. Unless we fix our zoning to encourage more of it, we're just going to keep bifurcating into (A) ever older and richer single-family neighborhoods, and (B) downtown mid/high-rise apartment buildings filled with young single/couples and empty nesters. And that second group is going to represent a growing percentage of the Davidson Co population since it's the only segment that's able to make really significant additions.
  15. This is an example of a spot that's going to have a totally different feel if the transit plan passes and a rail line gets dropped right in the middle of this shot. Right now Charlotte is 6 lanes of fast-moving vehicles; walking on the sidewalk beside it feels like going for a stroll next to the interstate. Which means only the bravest pedestrians hazard to cross it, and the whole Capital View area is essentially isolated from the rest of the city. I hope we get to find out what it's like when the cars have to share some of the space with a train line and significantly more pedestrians.