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http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2008/09/23/red-light-cameras-in-the-volunteer-state-unsafe-unconstitutional-and-unnecessary/

 

a huge fraction of the money collected goes out of state.

 

they don't improve safety by any statistically significant amount.

 

cities and companies doing this have been found to be adjusting yellow light times to "increase revenue" which causes more accidents.  If safety is the goal then adding 1 second to yellow light times is much more effective than these systems.

 

The 'yellow light times' referred to as the signal clearance interval by Traffic Engineers are determined by a nationally accepted formula which takes into account many variables related to speed, intersection width, driver reaction times and more.

 

Timingequation_zps1053dbdc.jpg

 

Any governing agency which would intentionally allow adjustment of the clearance interval to result in more collisions has not only put themselves in a dangerous liability position, but risk, at a minimum forfeiture of engineering licenses and at a maximum, jail time.

 

The 'yellow' or amber times during the clearance are limited to between 3 and 6 seconds in Tennessee. (from theTDOT Traffic Design Manual).

 

 

4.5.6.1 Yellow Change Interval (Yellow Clearance Interval) Timing – The Yellow Change Interval of a traffic signal is used to notify the motorist that the Green Interval is ending. The Yellow Change Interval normally has a range of 3.0 to 6.0 seconds. Tennessee Code Annotated requires a minimum three seconds yellow time, with 4.0 seconds preferred. Yellow Change Intervals in excess of 5.0 seconds may encourage motorists to “run the yellow” instead of stopping.

If a clearance interval time in excess of 5.0 seconds is required on all but very high speed approaches (greater than 55 mph), the additional time should be provided by an All Red Clearance Interval.

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As a traffic Engineer, I was always preferred a roundabout to a traffic signal when appropriate. They are considerably safer as there are no right angle collisions, which are the most deadly. And traffic moves slower, so collisions are less costly. They are passive traffic control and require little maintenance and over-site, unlike traffic signals which are subject to outages and require constant maintenance and timing adjustments to keep up with changing traffic. However, they are limited in how much traffic can be moved efficiently and won't work at very heavily traveled locations

 

But it was a hard sell within TDOT to convince some management of the benefits of roundabouts and Tennessee has been slow to embrace the idea.

 

BTW, I drove through the newly opened roundabout on Murphy Road/46th the other day. It is a beautiful piece of design.

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The free loop changes the route based on road closers and construction issues. The only problem is the route changes are not publicized. I have seen them change a couple of times in one day.

The other issue is the fact that when they do change the route, they have to make sure the bus can make the turn at the corners. Point in case was a while back on 5th ave. one of the buses took out a fire hydrant on the corner.

 

 

This is super irritating.  They need some kind of real time info for this system to work properly.  I don't know how they think people are going to find the bus if it isn't on its proper route.

 

 

A lament:

 

I attempted to ride the Green bus from Cummins Station to 5th & Church today for lunch and, since the routes rarely follow the published schedules, decided to begin walking and would just hop on the bus when it caught up to me. For the entire 0.9 mile walk each way, I did not see a single Music City Circuit bus going either direction. Based on the time it took to walk, I should have seen at least one, probably two! 25+ minutes between buses when you promise a 15 minute interval is unacceptable.

 

MTA, please get your act together! Road closures, events and construction are inevitable. Is this really the best we can do?

 

 

The only reason that I dredge up this past subject is one of frustration late this Wednesday morning when waiting for the southbound free-ride Blue Circuit at 5th near Church St.  If I hadn’t for a quick moment seen the back of one of those go past from a block away, on 4th Ave., then I never would have known that southbound circuits Blue and Green no longer travel along 5th as touted in the “sensational” MTA public announcement last early September.   In curiosity I strolled to 4th Ave. and decided just to spend my lunch break by riding the Blue Circuit, just to see its actual route.

I am just utterly disgusted to discover that, except for an ongoing and posted detour away from Demonbreun at 3rd and 2nd Avenues, the Blue line has totally reverted to its original route of the past.  The only significant net change of the free ride service as a whole (other than the changes on the Purple Circuit), therefore, is the re-routing of the Green (Gulch) line to coincide with the North-South passage of the Blue.  But now even the southbound Green line runs along 4th instead of on 5th as announced last fall.

Making matters even worse and more frustrating is the fact that the MTA Music City Circuit Web page is shown effective November 3, 2014, just a handful of days that the new route changes were to be in effect.   The Q&A section on the page states specifically that the Blue and Green operate “along 5th Avenue to and from Demonbreun…”.  Contradicting that are the posted PDF map and the PDF list of stops on the same Web page, each of which clearly shows a separate north along 5th and south along 4th for both Blue and Green lines.

I would expect the narrowing of 5th between Commerce and Church due to ongoing Paramount construction to have an indefinitely extended effect on rerouting the lines, but the Web-site “Alerts and Detours”, which itself is not readily noticeable on the portal page, does little to detail the detoured path for the Blue line, or the true reasons thereof, beyond the link to a vague, poorly worded reference “Southbound…continue 4th Ave. to Broadway…”.  But also there’s no mention of any detour otherwise for the Blue line north of Jas. Robertson Pkwy., nor is there shown even a detour for the Green line, both lines of which were supposed to be extended to run all the way to the north state-mall area.  Even with the ongoing ballpark development, these buses could have been detoured to run at least via Jas. Rob or Harrison and along 3rd, 6th, or 7th toward Jefferson for the outbound and return, rather than be cut back entirely to Harrison Street.  To me that’s just outright preposterous and misleading (an atrocity), since the public is totally left in the dark from last summer’s announcement.  The designated MTA staff for certain is inept (to say the least) in posting prompt and coherently detailed detours of these particular routes.  This grossly and negatively affects the integrity of the MTA and how it is mis-represented by its own doing, even though some detours are of understandable necessity and are unavoidable, when it comes to non-fixed guide-way transit.

The free circuits have transformed to nothing but a joke, as far as I am concerned – that pretty much sums up the rant from a codger like me.

 -==-

Edited by rookzie
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As a traffic Engineer, I was always preferred a roundabout to a traffic signal when appropriate. They are considerably safer as there are no right angle collisions, which are the most deadly. And traffic moves slower, so collisions are less costly. They are passive traffic control and require little maintenance and over-site, unlike traffic signals which are subject to outages and require constant maintenance and timing adjustments to keep up with changing traffic. However, they are limited in how much traffic can be moved efficiently and won't work at very heavily traveled locations

 

But it was a hard sell within TDOT to convince some management of the benefits of roundabouts and Tennessee has been slow to embrace the idea.

 

BTW, I drove through the newly opened roundabout on Murphy Road/46th the other day. It is a beautiful piece of design.

 

 

My issue with approaching new roundabouts for the first time is that I tend to go 'round and around 2 or 3 times intentionally (wee!), to get that "Tilt-a-Whirl" ride effect (which in turn leads to literally an LoL).  I'll get over there in a bit and test it out, since a long-time friend and his wife live over in the Cherokee Park side of the nearly train tracks.

-==-

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No comment on Tracy, but traffic camera revenues could be a part of a sustainable, dedicated revenue source for mass transit if our elected leaders choose to move in that direction. I dislike the notion of a surveillance state as much as the next guy, but properly implemented, traffic cameras enforce existing laws more consistently, free law enforcement to focus on high-impact operations and deliver a source of public revenue that is completely optional for citizens (and out-of-state motorists, btw) to pay.

As a city heavily dependent on tourists, I think Nashville wants people to go home and tell their friends what a great time they had, not that they were greeted by a robo-ticket in the mail on their return.  It makes you mad, especially since if you're a visitor you probably don't know the things are there. 

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Cant believe anyone in their right mind would want red light cameras for any reason.  I just recently went to Australia for two weeks and I racked up $500 worth of red light and speed cam tickets.  They are literally everywhere and it makes driving a pain.  I wasn't driving erratically either, they send you a ticket for going just a couple k's over the speed limit.  The only way I'd go back to anywhere in New South Wales would be if I was stupid rich or someone else was driving.

Edited by TMcKay9
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Cant believe anyone in their right mind would want red light cameras for any reason.  I just recently went to Australia for two weeks and I racked up $500 worth of red light and speed cam tickets.  They are literally everywhere and it makes driving a pain.  I wasn't driving erratically either, they send you a ticket for going just a couple k's over the speed limit.  The only way I'd go back to anywhere in New South Wales would be if I was stupid rich or someone else was driving.

Got a speeding ticket from a robo cam in Spain last summer. Citation showed up after we got home with a picture of my rental car flying 17kph over the limit (who knew?). I was still savoring the trip until that arrived.

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I made an attempt to ride one of the free lines last time I was in town. It ended in utter failure because buses never showed up. I'm wondering now if it was because of that issue.

 

I really hope you forwarded your concerns over to MTA, and whoever has oversight of them (city council?).  That organization needs some serious reform, not to mention a posterior cranial extraction operation.

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Indeed, it has crossed my mind to express this concern with MTA, just as I have in the past with previous issues and incidents, one of which involved an aggressive bus driver who almost ran me over with the back tires, while turning.  But I’ve sort of gotten steamed out with hopelessness, since all I ever got in return was “crickets” and the wind.

 

I wish I could get one of the local media reporters to grab a hold on this particular level-of-service issue, since it does amount to misinformation of “advertising”, even though these are “free rides”.  The fact is, as long as the MTA is subsidized, then they aint exactly free, and the practice is far less than what has been purported.  Maybe this would be a necessary stage just to get the attention of the city council, particularly in District 19, the area of coverage.

 

And I agree as gospel that, unless and until some major organization reform gets underway in the MTA governance, then it will stagnate at best and continue to worsen any decent chance of buy-in and trust.

-==-

Edited by rookzie

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I drove through a speeding cam setup in Montreal a couple of Summers ago and thought I had been busted, but no.

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I am going skiing in Utah this weekend and while researching the area I of course looked into transit.  I discovered this in Salt Lake City.

 

16342306062_768b954e58_o.jpgutah transit by willfry, on Flickr

 

this is their Salt Lake Central intermodal hub.

it has amtrak, light rail, Commuter train, local city bus, Greyhound, Bike sharing and Car sharing all in one facility.  pretty amazing.

 

oh and in further research i discovered that the city also has BRT and a street car. oh and their light rail has 3 lines.

basically they have everything except a heavy rail subway.

 

amazing for a city with fewer than 200,000 residents and a metro of barely over 1 million.

 

Ill try to take some pictures if i have a chance, but Ill mostly be in park city.

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I am going skiing in Utah this weekend and while researching the area I of course looked into transit.  I discovered this in Salt Lake City.

 

utah transit by willfry, on Flickr

 

this is their Salt Lake Central intermodal hub.

it has Amtrak, light rail, Commuter train, local city bus, Greyhound, Bike sharing and Car sharing all in one facility.  pretty amazing.

 

oh and in further research i discovered that the city also has BRT and a street car. oh and their light rail has 3 lines.

basically they have everything except a heavy rail subway.

 

amazing for a city with fewer than 200,000 residents and a metro of barely over 1 million.

 

Ill try to take some pictures if i have a chance, but Ill mostly be in park city.

 

Yeah, 5 years in my house shoes, got off the train there overnight during an Amtrak smoking stop, en route from Emoryville, Ca. to Chicago.  You might be surprised at the number of towns and cities with combined transportation hubs (New Orleans Union Pass. Terminal being the first in 1954), from Battle Creek to Spokane, to Champaign, to Greensboro, to Denver (ad infinitum, it seems).

 

Conjure up timmay143 for pointers in riding FrontRunner, Trax and the SC.

 

-==-

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We have them on several of the major arteries in Chattanooga.  I thought I was going to get one on Barton Avenue a few years ago... it was dusk, and I saw a strobe coming off one.  Must have been broken as I've never seen one strobe since then.

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From the Tennessean (and a story on Channel 4)...

 

 

The question of whether the Nashville Amp will come to fruition has been answered: It won’t. 

 

The Nashville MTA announced Thursday that it will cease work on the Amp, a proposed bus rapid transit system, but it’s not the end of the conversation on laying groundwork for a future project for the city.

 

They are reporting that it's 'dead'.

Edited by PHofKS

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From the Tennessean (and a story on Channel 4)...

 

 

They are reporting that it's 'dead'.

 

Sure know how to stoke the coal, don't you. PHofKS?  Now I reckon I'd better batten down the hatch for the firestorm.

-==-

Edited by rookzie
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Sure know how to stoke the coal, don't you. PHofKS?  Now I reckon I'd better batten down the hatch for the firestorm.

-==-

 

I didn't make the news, just reporting it.

 

Personally, I'm upset. I don't see any alternative that will satisfy the opposition.

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I didn't make the news, just reporting it.

 

Personally, I'm upset. I don't see any alternative that will satisfy the opposition.

 

Neither do I.  The AMP was more or less the most watered down, entry level "rapid" transit project proposal on Earth, and it was still to scary for the STOP AMP crowd.  And no, MLBrumby, I'm not referring to you or anyone else that shares your views. ;)

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I was pro-AMP, very pro-AMP in fact.  But let's face it, it had a LOT of problems, many of which weren't necessarily brought on by the STOP AMP crowd.

 

A very significant portion of its problems came from a lack of a future vision by its proponents in government. They never showed it to be a part of a bigger city, regional, or state transit scheme.  Rather, it was always just this line that would serve the well-to-do portions of Nashville, or at least that's what one would get if they did a 5 minute perusal of the easiest to access information.

 

It's the same reason the MCC will only be a single-line, single-rail, 3 trip per day system for the foreseeable future: it simply was never planned to any real extent to be anything else.

 

And, a lot of us supporters didn't help either. It became really easy to see it as a pet project that was going to be sinking a lot of money into something that was going to be there just to be there.

 

I'm disheartened at the money that was wasted on this. It had to be in the high hundreds of thousands.  And with a little vision from city and project leadership that money could have been spent on developing a real plan for something much grander.  Hopefully that will be the case with the next transit idea.  After all, it will happen eventually. Probably within the next 5 years we'll see a real, feasible, and popular proposal to help give people options for getting around a growing city that don't involve sitting in traffic all day.  There are a lot more people living in the city now that, if they aren't car-less, they try to use their car as little as possible, instead walking, biking, or taking ride-share when they want to get places. As those people continue to develop their influence in the city, a real transit plan will come about. I'm confident of it.

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I'll say this again... the route was very flawed... very very flawed.  I commend the effort, and I don't disagree (per se) with a main line approach (as opposed to a loop), but the plan for AMP was received as just another obstacle to commuters from many of the city's most influential neighborhoods. 

 

The more I read about Nashville's transit efforts, the more I am convinced that it needs to address two primary segments:

1) Tourism (accessibility to all popular sites for tourists)

2) Live-Work residents in the core (people who would ride their bikes...scooters...bus)

 

The above tells me that a trolley/streetcar dedicated loop (at first) around downtown and midtown and hitting all major hotels in the core and total connectivity with other bus lines (in/out of downtown and midtown). Rookzie and others here have presented a lot of info on streetcars.  I simply don't understand the lack of effort (or even any plan) to link all the would-be rail/bus/BRT(?)/LRT(?) lines.  It is so disjointed to have a commuter line coming in at the end of Broadway, but the transit hub (with all the amenities to keep passengers moving in comfort) on Charlotte Avenue... and then the whole potential for the Gulch languishing over there with no plans to link what that could provide in the way of commuter rail.  I wonder if that might have been one of the intentions behind the Clement "landport" which (last I checked) was abandoned.  Hmmmmmm.... does anyone have any foresight up there?

Edited by MLBrumby
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 ....  I simply don't understand the lack of effort (or even any plan) to link all the would-be rail/bus/BRT(?)/LRT(?) lines.  It is so disjointed to have a commuter line coming in at the end of Broadway, but the transit hub (with all the amenities to keep passengers moving in comfort) on Charlotte Avenue... and then the whole potential for the Gulch languishing over there with no plans to link what that could provide in the way of commuter rail.  I wonder if that might have been one of the intentions behind the Clement "landport" which (last I checked) was abandoned.  Hmmmmmm.... does anyone have any foresight up there?

 

Ok, you pushed the doorbell button that got this Chihuahua yappin' ─ yeah, you did.

 

I have made at least one reference to the Clement Landport during the previous year and a half of my presence.  I have ranted at least 3 times concerning foregoing the potential of re-purposing pre-existing assets of that whole Gulch plateau.  You recall the MPO's relatively recent revival of discussion on the Northwest Corridor commuter-rail project ─ that the terminus in Nashville could be in midtown near 28th, or that (by eminent domain) it could follow an existing segment to the Farmers' Market area, or that with that segment in mind, it could interchange with CSX at (what would be 13th Ave N.) and end up in the Gulch.  An altogether different route would entail the use of a new bridge from the east or northeast over the Cumberland and again interchanging with the CSX into the Gulch.  In either case with the Gulch, the landport is on the wrong side of the existing Kayne Ave rail yard (S and SE of the landport) to enable ready access to incoming lines from any potential corridor, and at best, a network of flyovers would be required to render the landport accessible to outlying areas, with the least interference with CSX freight operations.

The flyover design approach would restrict the potential to the use of LRT, instead of railroad-standard (FRA) commuter-rail equipment, due to grade limitations which would be imposed with the use of flyovers to serve the landport in the available space from the south.  Unless the city could reclaim the use of the former approaches to Union Station and the former train shed property, any access from the north by rr commuter-rail also would not be an option, but at this point in time, the north approache does remain as physically tenable without removing existing structures (see all those weeds down there just west of Lifeway?).  I say "reclaiming" Union Station" because trains on several parallel tracks used to pass directly beneath the structure, when I used to ride intercity trains there some 36-55 years ago.  Because the train shed is gone and due to the fact that nothing has been erected south of that parking surface except the landport itself, the grade and breadth in a northern approach to the landport could lead to a viable solution (again for now).  With a Gulch pedestrian bridge on the horizon, options involving a southern approach to the landport will be reduced even further, if the city continues to not think out of the box for a change and simply focuses on the scope of the bridge project while overlooking any vision for "intensive" transit in the gulch.

You know, the Clement Landport itself is not exactly a facility, planned with coordination and a sense of critical collaborative effort.  It had been conceived from the prospect of future commuter- or light-rail, as an interchange point of intermodal transfer to and from buses, even without any kind of present passenger-train service (intercity, interurban), and long before the MCS was implemented, at the foot of Broadway.  At that point in time, none of the current and ongoing developments within the Gulch had yet transpired (except for perhaps the Braid Electric Supply building, 1100 Demonbreun St) having been an avant-garde for the Gulch redevelopment trend.  The landport has been considered ahead of its time (and need), therefore.  Notwithstanding that however, structural deficiencies in the Demonbreun Street viaduct already had been determined during the commencing of the landport’s construction, as well as the eventual need to replace that bridge, and the increased presence of city buses serving the newly built landport hastened the reduction of the load limit on the viaduct.  So in 2002, the viaduct was closed, and due to the decision to build the landport to be accessible in the first place only from the viaduct, led to the temporary but extended closing of the landport.

It has been compared to other speculatively, non-comprehensively informed decisions to “built it and they will come,” an attitude with which many of us have come to witness in some form or fashion.  My take on this is that, even though the landport was built next to railroad lines, yet there had been no trains to transport passengers to and from it, then is should not have been built when it had and where it had, since such a costly facility should have been erected only in response to multi-laterally perceived evidence of demand for such a project, rather than with a cart-before-the-horse approach.  This is not the same as developing a transport utility, such as a streetcar or light-rail trackway with vehicles in service, in an attempt to spawn and optimize demand and to bring business to transportation services that weren’t available at the time of its construction.  And even the effect of promoting and spurring urban development along such runways is empirical at best and not a postulated given, especially if such an undertaking takes transit funding away from other transit improvements or from sustaining an existing LoS.  Instead, the Clement Landport was built as an investment in the future, but not without becoming one built of false promises, it safely can be said.

The CSX's start of selling off industrial real estate was the point in time that Metro should have raised some eyebrows and planned for future transit.  Back during the period, when the Gulch blight was in its weed-borne “heyday”, would have been the choicest time to “pick from the buffet”, rather than to be forced to snub the scraps, so to speak.  Officially and in quote, Mayor Bredesen wanted no part of that, or he would have worked with transportation planning officials to acquire the train shed (then owned privately) before a suspiciously set fire further weakened the already dilapidated structure (decay plus structural truss and column damage by a derailment during 1973), requiring it to be completely dismantled.  Of course, even such an effort would have necessitated a much larger initiative in concert, to be inherited by more recent and future administrations.

So it’s only a matter of when, not an if, that the Clement Landport will be sold off to development, leased out, or outright razed.  It’s not that it’s like Union Station itself, and whatever does happen to it is going to be a big pill to be swallowed by a future mayor.  With foregone opportunities, It's going to cost way-way more (many times more) to do what Denver has done for its Union Station, even if Nashv'l would decide to go light rail with the Clement LP with or without a Union Station ─ and not much less funding (if different at all) to develop centralized access to consolidated commuter-rail routes (away from the Riverfront terminal).  Why, because Metro already has allowed the Gulch assets to all but slip away, from Charlotte to 8th Ave. South.

-==-

Edited by rookzie
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Are there any discussions of expanding or improving the inter-city loop? It is terrible.

 

I've wondered the same thing. I think they should connect Briley and 440 to make something like this:

440toBrileyExtension_zps571fe685.png

 

I think it would make getting around Nashville a lot easier. Thoughts?

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I've wondered the same thing. I think they should connect Briley and 440 to make something like this:

440toBrileyExtension_zps571fe685.png

 

I think it would make getting around Nashville a lot easier. Thoughts?

 

That was the original plan back in the early 70s. But it was decided that auxiliary lanes  on I-24 would serve the same purpose with less expense.

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That's yet another refrain in each interval of same ol' song with the MTA and some other siblings on the Metro level ─ the "Band-Aid", "Spackling" approach aimed to address a need.

 

Yes, "The Mystery Machine" is almost as elusive as a chipmunk in the hedges, so it seems.  And while I had posted earlier about seeing the back of the green bus sneak by, a block away parallel from where I had been able to snag it as recently as last December, to the Gulch,  I never have become "dependent" on using the thing, except when I have had to shuttle to the Howard School -Fulton Complex for dealing with registration renewals.  As bad as it is now, just imagine how it could or would have been, had the ill-fated E-W connector been routed past the MCCentral, which to me also was ill-conceived in location and design in the spoke-'n'-hub system.  Trying to operate a Local circulator in a shared route with a Rapid (BRT), is like pouring Tabasco on ice cream ─ not exactly a "bitter-sweet" combination to serve either purpose well, if at all.

 

MTA's notion of trying to run bidirectional on 5th Ave sounded good, because it was rider-convenient (for a short time anyway), but not without incident in that already narrow 5th, worsened by the added curbing between Church and Union, and the regular presence of semi-trailer road blocking at the TPAC loading dock.  The only things that make "visible" the Free-Ride are the words "Free Ride" on its destination sign and body, and its rally green and gradient blue paint.  IMO the best way to establish a dedicated circulator would be to run it as a streetcar or trackless trolley, as a true sense of permanence would be the most identifiable and reliable way for all riders, both tourists and "natives", to anticipate it.  Use of a trackless trolley (trolley bus) set-up, combines the best of both worlds: the relatively consistent perception of availability established by the presence of overhead electric trolley wires, with the flexibility of easily re-routing the trolley buses by only the need to adding overhead trolley wiring turnout switches, and additional poles and wires along alternate paths that branch off an original path, without any great expense of laying, maintaining, and abandoning any streetcar trackage, if a route needs to be changed.  Seattle has done this at 8th and Pine Street downtown, where a route along that part of 8th had been abandoned (at least temporarily), and the wires were left intact or later removed.  Where possible, Seattle used poles that combine street lighting with trolley-wire suspension.   Seattle also has placed "permanent" signs to alert riders that the trolley bus has been re-routed, at least unless or until the wires have been removed.  In Nashville, these wires (a pair required for each single directional trolley-bus movement) would look no worse than those tacky festoons of gallery lights hanging in the ill-conceived "5th Avenue of the Arts" district.

 

The Arts lights look good and the concept of an Arts district is a great intention, but that amounts to another example of trying to do way too much at one time with what little is available on a 2-way street for combining shopping, eating, events, and transit (and vendor supply trucks) ─ again apparently without any concerted effort of collaborative long-range planning.  Trolley-buses and wires for the circulators would cost much, much less than streetcars (although either would work), would be quiet and clean (as would the proposed battery-powered buses), and would provide much needed sense of permanence and reliability.  A "circulator" becomes an oxymoron, if it drifts from side to side, and then it's not a circulator; it then becomes obscure and just another bus.  You can find better and faster assistance in Home Depot aisles (and we know who fast that is), than you can snag the Green Bus.

 

-==-

Edited by rookzie
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