bzorch

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About bzorch

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  1. bzorch

    Signature Tower

    So can we all agree on what sold means. Obviously, the developer sells all of the units, but if they are sold to investors then are they really sold or just moved on to a different balance sheet?
  2. bzorch

    Signature Tower

    While I agree there is strong demand for urban living. I do think that there are other economic factors a foot that may effect the outlook for future sales. 1. Mortgage Rates have continued to increase and the Fed looks to continue to do so for the near term. 2. Wages have not kept pace with the increase of housing. 3. There has been an increase in creative loans in order for individuals to buy the units. Anything from no money down to ARMS to all interest loans. This has shown that people are trying to stretch their budgets even further. 4. Energy cost are continuing to rise (this also helps encourage downtown living). 5. Savings hit negative numbers last year. 6. Rents are increasing because demand is increasing. People can not afford homes as easily as the once could. 7. The Fed has warned banks that they are continuing to offer risky loans. 8. Many of the units sold in these units are for investment/speculation on past trends. Housing within downtown neighborhoods and the core is getting out of reach for most Americans. How much more can the American economy take? I am not sure. I am optimistic about the future, but these signs should not be dismissed. Nashville is lucky that it is fairly insulated but it is not immune.
  3. bzorch

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I was up on the Shelby Street Bridge today and took some photos of the Train Depot. It is really coming along. The clouds were great today so I could not resist the skyline photo. In context
  4. bzorch

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I was not suggesting that our mass transit was comparable. I was referring to the size of the cities. Minneapolis' system is by far more superior to ours. I have been a proponent of LRT over the commuter rail and was only posting it as proof that it is working in other cities. Though having both is not a bad idea. I also just thought the article was informative.
  5. bzorch

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I consider Minneapolis to be a fairly comparable city to Nashville. Here is a recent article I came across today discussing the success they have had with their LRT. Link To Article: Home on the Hiawatha Development along light-rail transit line exceeds early projections
  6. bzorch

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I came across this study by the TDOT discussing the potential for Intercity Passenger Rail Service. Task 4 - Potential Intercity Passenger Rail Corridors
  7. bzorch

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    This thread is long, but I do not remember these links being posted. I apologize if they have already been posted. I wish Nashville was pursuing a LRT option, but based on the information below it not looking like it will happen any time soon. Though I think the increased densities that we are seeing in the core of Nashville is helping the case. This was just getting started when many of these plans were completed. The idea of the BRT that looks like a LRT system, but cheaper to implement could offer a great transition since it is cheaper and flexible. I think the most important aspect of a future system is that is not just be a hub in downtown, but offers greater flexibility to get around town. This has a photo of the old trolley system in Nashville, but also discusses the evolution of transportation in Nashville and its potential future. Plan of Nashville Chapter: Making Connections This includes a map of a vision for a proposed mass transit system for Nashville. Plan of Nashville: Nashville's Future Transit System The above plan relies heavily on Bus Rapid Transit/"Rubber Tire Solution". I have heard that this is a viable option to and LRT. The buses are designed to look like LRT and have dedicated lanes and formal platforms for stops. This link shows some examples of these. Photo Examples of BRT This is the latest plan that I could find on the MPO's website. It is not very encouraging for future recommendations for LRT. It has some great information about densities required for LRT and other forms of mass transit and has a useful matrix comparing the various forms of mass transit they would consider. MPO: Nashville Area Transit Development Plan This is a list of the TIP projects that are funded for the next few years. As expected, LRT is not on it. It is interesting to see where the priorities are though. MPO: Quick List of Transportation Improvement Projects in Middle, TN 2006-2008 This is the MPO's main site the download section does have various reports about transportation: Metropolitan Planning Organization's website
  8. bzorch

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I was thinking more about my post last night. Is there an advocacy group that has been pushing mass transit in Nashville?. Is MTA the only entity promoting the Music City Star? Who were the community groups that were a part of making this a reality? Is there a politician that has discussed LRT as a good idea? The streets that have room to more easily accommodate LRT in Nashville would be West End, Main Street, Murfreesboro Rd (Lafayette), 8th Ave South and North, Music Row, Charlotte, Church and 12th Avenue (it would be hard to get to 12 South Though). How can we make this happen? Does anyone know how Memphis
  9. bzorch

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    This is a link to a group in Austin trying to bring LRT to their city. I thought it was very informative. The fact section has links to various US systems including Portlands. Light Rail Now Website TriMet: Meet Portland's LRT They define Portland's as LRT. I do love the idea of light rail in Nashville, but who is seriously pushing it in this town?
  10. bzorch

    The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

    I do not think there is profitable mass transit system in the US. They are heavily subsized. They still should be invested in because if you consider the larger picture the often times do pay for themselves. The car is heavily subsidized (i.e. roads and development patterns). One thing that motivates people to use mass transit more is if it becomes more convenient than driving and/or it cost significantly less. So if we keep fixing the congestion problems on the roadway with widening roads (which never have the results we want, http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art...0324/1021/EDIT), AsWalter Kulash, a well known traffic engineer, says, "Trying to solve the problem of traffic congestion by adding lanes is like trying to solve the problem of obesity by loosening your belt." then we are just enabling everyone's driving habits. The way we build our cities also continues to add to this problem. Luckily, this is beginning to shift to the side of reason as mixed-use is becoming the norm. Frankly, I think people are finally sick out it. We discussed at the meeting last week, how much time living near work saves everyone. This time can be reinvested into our families, health, jobs or whatever floats your boat. I have thought a subway would be great. Digging up West End and Hillsboro Rd to name a few, but I do not think it would be a better option than a light rail system. It is too invasive. I can not help to think of the trams in Amsterdam. These seemed to work extremely well, right along side with the pedestrian, cars, and bicycles. I am surprised no one has mentioned bikes and walking. Most of the surrounding neighborhoods to the CBD are within 10-15 minutes by bike and obviously less time to destinations within the neighborhoods. Walking seems to be more viable within the neighborhood. This is easier said than done because we convince ourselves we do not have time for it. I am just a guilty as the next. Though I do try occasionally and I am always the better for it.