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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

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Sorry to hear that, Rookzie.  My condolences.

 

 

Sorry to hear that Ricky. I am sure will pass that legacy along to someone else too.

 

Thanks, everyone for your support.   The "event" really wasn't that sad or painful.  My uncle and aunt (late of 2008) helped raise me in the "District" during those years, when as a child and a teenager I got juggled and bounced around among relatives in the South, the Mid-Altantic, and the Mid-West.  As passenger-rail and trolley-rich as DC had been in those days (streetcars until 1962), and until the plane really became "common" for common folks like me during the mid-'60s, I didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell not to take to the trolley and the train, especially within the hubs of DC and Chicago (where, with 6 major terminals, one almost had to "dodge" trains, being so much of a way of life during those days).  While the proliferation was not as colorful as that of Chicago, DC's single Beaux-Arts style Union Station and the adjoining massive terminal approach from the Ivy City coach yard facility, hosted (as I can recall) the trains of seven separate passenger intercity railroad companies (before the days of Amtrak), and served as a gateway between the Northeast and the deep South (with trains "radiating" to Fla., La., Tenn., Ky, Mo., and every state in between.  In those days (of the TeleType machine), railroads had their own separate downtown ticket agencies and published colorful travel ads.  With all the the overhead electric (11 kvac) of the old Pennsylvania RR, and the diesel-electric of all the others, all under one roof, DC had been a larger-than-life experience for a boy like me.

 

What was a challenge during my recent visit to DC-Maryland, was contending with an evil resident cousin .  Everyone, including all of you, has at least one of 'em somewhere (cousin or whatever) floatin' around.  Now that the DC chapter of my past has all but come to an "official" end, and that I now have gained the "fortune" of conveniently detaching from the unpleasant left behind,  I now can refocus on where I left off in responding to timmay143 (Mr. Tim) about South Florida rail.  Tim is fortunate to have become a part of the Florida "playground" recently.  I hope to be able to throw in a couple of cents' worth on the subject, by sometime this mid-weekend, during these predicted rain spells.

 

-=rr=-

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My condolences as well rookzie. 

 

I have been thinking about the dedicated lane debate for a while now, and being in New York, which has more underground rail than any city in America, I still find it miserable to do anything via cab or bus. It is just chaos on every road, with buses, cars, cabs, logistics trucks, all fighting to get through. It is very similar to West End in my opinion, and I just think generations are changing, more and more people are ditching their cars due to costs of gas, insurance, etc., and I honestly feel that dedicated lanes are the future of mass transit (least expensive, nearly just as effective). 

 

Nashville_Bound you seem to be the biggest critic of dedicated lanes, but I honestly believe that there is a tipping point with West End (at least in the vandy - downtown section). We can even add 2 more lanes for cars, but at some point, there needs to be a change. Look at Atlana, which has like 12 lane highways through downtown which are in a standstill often.. should they add more lanes? 

 

I honestly believe dedicated lanes will make traffic on west end BETTER for cars than if it were just 5-6 lanes for cars, trucks, buses, cabs, etc.

 

While we are not China.... I think this before and after shot of a extremely congested road gets my point across:

 

Before BRT:

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=BRT+china+before+and+after&biw=1280&bih=923&tbm=isch&imgil=PZ4cHVmJdwgOAM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcTFrQL23jXFheoxIos6J0UIEDXMVLDYdVttJUdOpmUPyPslJ-8oJA%253B450%253B338%253BKAkoZDvvan1Q_M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fmagazine.good.is%25252Farticles%25252Fhow-speedy-buses-totally-changed-china-s-third-largest-city&source=iu&usg=__0QLPIqw9TTCbrzrEtQSujzuAf5c%3D&sa=X&ei=zf9sU7qoIu7F8QGxygE&ved=0CCoQ9QEwAQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=PZ4cHVmJdwgOAM%253A%3BUSLJNO7U972AfM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fpre.cloudfront.goodinc.com%252Fposts%252Ffull_1303936859gz_gangding_before.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fdesignpublic.in%252Fblog%252Fchinas-success-with-bus-rapid-transit%252F%3B450%3B338

 

After BRT implemented:

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=BRT+china+before+and+after&biw=1280&bih=923&tbm=isch&imgil=PZ4cHVmJdwgOAM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcTFrQL23jXFheoxIos6J0UIEDXMVLDYdVttJUdOpmUPyPslJ-8oJA%253B450%253B338%253BKAkoZDvvan1Q_M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fmagazine.good.is%25252Farticles%25252Fhow-speedy-buses-totally-changed-china-s-third-largest-city&source=iu&usg=__0QLPIqw9TTCbrzrEtQSujzuAf5c%3D&sa=X&ei=zf9sU7qoIu7F8QGxygE&ved=0CCoQ9QEwAQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=IX0X0bniIbyv8M%253A%3BUSLJNO7U972AfM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fpre.cloudfront.goodinc.com%252Fposts%252Ffull_1303936968gz_gangding_after.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fdesignpublic.in%252Fblog%252Fchinas-success-with-bus-rapid-transit%252F%3B450%3B337

 

Yes, lanes for cars were taken away. Yes, those cars still seem to be in traffic after the BRT implementation. However, if the cars were going to be in traffic regardless, at least this city now has an option for people to get through the city without it taking 3 hours out of their day. 

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WATCH FOX 17 THIS MORNING!

 
 
  • breaking_img1.png TUNE IN or STREAM NOW! 05/13/14 05:06:49 AM

    The next generation of traffic has arrived in Nashville! Not only are we giving you a chance to win a NEW Beaman Toyota Camry, our new 3D traffic monitoring system, helping you arrive on time. We're also tracking the potential for some showers today and severe storms tomorrow.   click here for more

 

On the Fox 17 News site this morning. It took me a minute to realize they were talking about the 3D traffic monitoring system.

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I hope I do this upload correctly. So, on Douglas Ave, just off Ellington there are CSX tracks. For about a week there have been piles of new ties laying on the side of the tracks. Today, as I approached, the road was blocked with a big pile of old ties and asphalt. Caught this video;

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1jjcnnlkvmn2os5/Video%20May%2013%2C%201%2032%2028%20PM.mov

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whoa.   I was on the edge of my seat there...

 

Me too!  I thought Steven Seagal was going to swoop down out of a tree to keep the train from crashing.

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I don't know if this has been touched upon yet, but I came accross this today and thought it was interesting that the state can pony up money for this, but not for transit solutions for the city. Granted, we're talking about a considerably smaller amount of money here, but I think the principle of it still warrants discussion. It certainly says something about priorities, anyway....

 

http://www.memphisflyer.com/SingAllKinds/archives/2014/05/16/nashville-is-returning-to-nashville-to-the-tune-of-55-million

Edited by NikOnder

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I understand developers want parking to support big projects but is bringing in >1000 more cars into downtown really a better way to spend tens of millions of dollars than building better transit infrastructure to bring people to work?

 

 

MDHA wants parking garage on Giarratana's former Signature Tower site

http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/blog/2014/05/mdha-wants-parking-garage-on-giarratanas-former.html

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This SUCKS! No one wants to talk about, no one wants to do anything about it.

 

10 years from now, we are going to be at the same place we are now, unless this city administration and citizens get serious about mass transit funding. I thought the State was the mass transit foe, now I'm starting to think the city council is too.

 

Councilman: Nashville Needs To Figure Out Transit Funding

 

http://www.newschannel5.com/story/25571703/councilman-nashville-needs-to-figure-out-transit-funding

Edited by nashmoney

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This SUCKS! No one wants to talk about, no one wants to do anything about it.

 

10 years from now, we are going to be at the same place we are now, unless this city administration and citizens get serious about mass transit. I thought the State was the mass transit foe, now I'm starting to think the city council is too.

 

Councilman: Nashville Needs To Figure Out Transit Funding

 

http://www.newschannel5.com/story/25571703/councilman-nashville-needs-to-figure-out-transit-funding

I don't think it is too big of a deal right now. Charlie may have been putting the cart in front of the horse. I think the discussion has started behind closed doors and Charlie is out of the loop. He is part of the old guard and really is out of touch along with a number of other council members.

 

This will be an issue for the next Mayor, whoever that will be. The field is widening by the day and the choice is not a clear one at this time.

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Dean is the biggest proponent of The Amp, but was against Charlie Tygard's proposal AT THIS TIME. 

 

I think Charlie Tygard's proposal was more of a rhetorical proposal, meant to raise the issue more than actually finding a funding source.

 

The next mayor needs to be aggressive on mass transit, and can't just assume MTA buses stuck in traffic will solve the issue.

 

Nashville Bound- 

I was thinking. What if The Amp had dedicated lanes in certain areas of the route, and cars with passengers of say 4 or more could also use the dedicated lanes? This would increase car pooling, which would help the cars on the dedicated car lanes. How the city would enact this proposal (cameras and fines for abusers?) I do not know, but I think having car pooling wouldn't affect the timing of the buses and would help ease traffic overall. 

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The next mayor needs to be aggressive on mass transit, and can't just assume MTA buses stuck in traffic will solve the issue.

 

The next election may very well be a referendum on mass transit, with candidates on both sides of the issue.    We'll find out where we as a city want to go with transit.    

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The kind of people that are moving into the County/City are more pro mass transit than the old guard over in Green Hills/Belle Meade.  Our team is growing, theirs is not.  Remember where we were when Dean was elected vs where we are now.

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So, I'm going to play the devil's advocate here. Regarding the AMP, I think there is one thing that we all can most certainly agree upon......the proposed cost. $174m. Say it again. $174 million. Say it one more time. One hundred and seventy four million dollars. Why did I want you to say that three times? Because I've heard it hundreds of times.....for several years. Now we all know that things get more expensive over time. Everything does!

I'll be fair and presume that this was a legitimate estimate when the initial study was done in, say, 2012. But, we know that politics will not allow you to say "Hey! It costs X. But now it costs Y. And the longer we argue about this, the more it will approach costing Z." It would never pass a single councilman if you put a ticking clock on it like that. So, the price is $174 million.

So, assuming we can work this out and start construction in.....I dunno......2017, what is the true cost then? Well, the budget is $174, and heads will roll if it's a penny more. "But (says Mr. Contractor), the true cost is $215m." So where are we left? Compromise. That's where. Trim this, cut that.

I just wonder if we are arguing for so long, that we will eventually dilute the product into something that we all hoped that it would never be. Something that's simply just "not worth it".

I hope you guys can see my point of view. Now on that note, I say build it.

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Charlie did a great thing and an evil thing in his proposal. The end result is that everyone is now thinking about this. Money does not grow on trees. Dean's borrowing practices have limited future revenue streams. Bridgestone Arena was a "risky" development that paid off. MCC looks to be a positive investment. Music City Star .... not too good. Will mass transit provide a return on investment? Watered down AMP is beginning to choke before it gets approved.

But Charlie made the discussion happen TODAY, which is much sooner than it would otherwise have occurred. He did a great thing for our city in a bad way

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I think there is a lack of clarity in the Amp debate concerning whether or not it is an investment. To speak broadly, there's investment and there's infrastructure. The Amp, like a bridge, new road or utilities project, is fundamentally infrastructure. The lines of these two categories can be rhetorically blurred, of course, for instance when pro-Amp people talk about the development the project could catalyze along West End, but it's important to understand the difference and conduct a civil debate accordingly.

 

Nashvillewill brings up a good point about the cost. We can be certain that it will rise, just like all government spending projects throughout time immemorial. The thing that bothers me isn't necessarily the price tag (though it is very high) as the lack of a dedicated local/regional revenue source for mass transit. Addiction to big dollops of federal/state money is not sustainable. In a way the current Amp funding model is sort of like hoping to win the lottery instead of working for a living. We need a revenue source that will consistently fund these projects so that we're able to build as we can afford, as opposed to coming up with big plans that require massive cash windfalls from an outside source, with strings attached.

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I do not think The Amp will drastically improve the traffic for cars- I think traffic is going to suck for cars regardless, and even more so if we do NOT implement The Amp. As I said earlier, generations are changing, more people are starting to give up their cars, and definitely more people will do so 10 years from now.

 

Agreed. It's helpful to be clear about the difference between traffic, which is the movement of cars, and the movement of people. The Amp is designed to help the latter, not the former.

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for nashvylle: technically, the MCC finished about $20 million under budget; but the city lost the eminent domain lawsuit filed by Tower Investments which pushed the MCC several millions over budget

Any mass transit provides more value than costs minus revenue.

$52 million to widen 2.6 miles of I-65 from Trinity Lane to Dickerson Pike. $174 million for 8 miles of BRT. Math is easy. Politics ...... not so easy

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$174MM is the price tag, which will hopefully be reduced if they take away dedicated lanes in the areas they are discussing. 

 

If we do streetcar, price tag will probably be $600 MM.

 

Rail, more like $1BN when it's all said and done. 

 

We could connect all of Davidson County for less than $1 BN with BRT. 

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$174MM is the price tag, which will hopefully be reduced if they take away dedicated lanes in the areas they are discussing.

If we do streetcar, price tag will probably be $600 MM.

Rail, more like $1BN when it's all said and done.

We could connect all of Davidson County for less than $1 BN with BRT.

What are you getting at? No one is proposing either alternative?

I don't mean to be confrontational, but you say "if we do". How do you come up with those numbers and how do they serve the debate at hand?

Edited by nashvillwill

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I think everyone on here wants Nashville to have an effective mass transit system that moves people throughout the city...

 

When I hear people complain about the cost of $174 MM, I ask them what is their alternative solution? Most say I don't know. Some say rail, some say streetcar. OK, Mayor Dean had consultants look at both of those options back in 2010, with estimated costs. If people didn't pay attention in 2010, I wish they had. 

 

Streetcar was approximately $600MM, and rail was $800-$1BN. The verdict presented to Mayor Dean was BRT, since it was by far the cheapest alternative that still moved a large number of people. 

 

The points I make serve the debate at hand because a lot of people complain about the cost of The Amp, don't know that we looked at all options, and that $174 is no way near the cost of alternatives. 

 

I want Nashville to have mass transit, without bankrupting the city. 

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Oh. If you thought my comments about the price tag, was meant to be a complaint about said price. I'm sorry.

I didn't mean it that way. I think MTA and co did an excellent job in their initial "alternative" analysis stage. And I have been paying attention since the start. I was just simply stating that the "price" is now the budget that we have to work with. I also want to see mass transit succeed. I think we are on the same page here.

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