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There was another couple of articles in the NBJ. It was a both side of the coin approach, as Charles Robert Bone Pro and Joe Scarlett Con shared their views.  The one comment Scarlett proposed wa

Well....those "clueless people" happened to do over 100 town halls (attended by over 10,000 people) and a tremendous amount of research in putting that proposal together that many folks happen to thin

The land bridge to which markhollin has referred was  formally proposed in 2016 by Metro, as a component of the  Gateway to Heritage Walking Improvements initiative.   This particular land bridge woul

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Unless it had a dedicated lane it would provide no advantage in service speed or reliability.  It would just be a pretty bauble to make rail enthusiasts happy.  If it had a dedicated lane it would encounter the same "don't take my lane away" resistance from distant commuters and merchants who think they own on-street parking.  Regardless, the cost would make the Amp cost look inconsequential.  Streetcars, and other modes, were compared and discussed very early in the process (in public meetings, btw, StopAmp propaganda aside) and found to be too expensive and not as flexible.  We shouldn't throw all the work we've done out the window; if we do, we just may have true public transit sometime before 2100.  Sorry, don't mean to poo-poo your enthusiasm, which I actually would commend if I weren't so bitter over how poorly the Amp was flubbed in the political arena and I weren't so angry at how no one in the media ever called StopDean Ricky, his economist-pretending-to-be-a-traffic-engineer, and the rest of their crew on their many outright lies and distortions.

 

"...and I weren't so angry at how no one in the media ever called StopDean Ricky, his economist-pretending-to-be-a-traffic-engineer, and the rest of their crew on their many outright lies and distortions...."

 

I'm dumb here, Cliff (dumber than usual, that is).  They also address me as "Ricky" (diminutive of "Frederick").  I guess that you are referring to someone whom I've never heard of in the anti-Amp group (since the one you mention him as having a wannabe (proclaimed) skill set.  Just trying make certain that I know that I'm the target or not the target. :hi:

 

-=rookzie=-

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"...and I weren't so angry at how no one in the media ever called StopDean Ricky, his economist-pretending-to-be-a-traffic-engineer, and the rest of their crew on their many outright lies and distortions...."

 

I'm dumb here, Cliff (dumber than usual, that is).  They also address me as "Ricky" (diminutive of "Frederick").  I guess that you are referring to someone whom I've never heard of in the anti-Amp group (since the one you mention him as having a wannabe (proclaimed) skill set.  Just trying make certain that I know that I'm the target or not the target. :hi:

 

-=rookzie=-

 

Certainly not a slight on you, rookzie. I was referring to the StopAmp leader, Rick Williams.  He was also active in killing Dean's fairground development proposal.

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Certainly not a slight on you, rookzie. I was referring to the StopAmp leader, Rick Williams.  He was also active in killing Dean's fairground development proposal.

 

 

As I said, Cliff, I was being dumb, but I didn't think you were referring to me (this Ricky [a.k.a "ricketty" by some codgers]).  Now I feel even "dumb and dumbest" (embarrassin' !!!).

 

-==-

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Unless it had a dedicated lane it would provide no advantage in service speed or reliability.  It would just be a pretty bauble to make rail enthusiasts happy.  If it had a dedicated lane it would encounter the same "don't take my lane away" resistance from distant commuters and merchants who think they own on-street parking.  Regardless, the cost would make the Amp cost look inconsequential.  Streetcars, and other modes, were compared and discussed very early in the process (in public meetings, btw, StopAmp propaganda aside) and found to be too expensive and not as flexible.  We shouldn't throw all the work we've done out the window; if we do, we just may have true public transit sometime before 2100.  Sorry, don't mean to poo-poo your enthusiasm, which I actually would commend if I weren't so bitter over how poorly the Amp was flubbed in the political arena and I weren't so angry at how no one in the media ever called StopDean Ricky, his economist-pretending-to-be-a-traffic-engineer, and the rest of their crew on their many outright lies and distortions.

 

I'm not being enthusiastic as much as I'm open minded about transit options as long as its done right. Observing all these battles you have to learn from the lessons they teach.

 

1) Some West End business elite and country club types are going to strongly oppose transit on their turf

2) You now have to expect big-money, anti-government out of state activists will try to influence local transit projects as we saw the state legislature's handling of AMP

3) The media and politicians in general across Middle Tennessee (not all, but most) really don't understand transit issues enough to properly educate or present ideas to the public

4) People have shown a disinterest in rubber wheels, even among transit supporters. I know it is illogical, I know it is absurd. But it is something that cannot be ignored.

 

With the few facts at hand, I would adjust a project along the following principles:

 

1) Don't extend any rapid transport system into the same West End neighborhoods where they have not been welcomed before and focus on other corridors.

2) Have a better communications structure, educate the media and public better on what is being done

3) Any future project might as well have rail since you need to get transit supporters in a singular, unified YES voice

 

Lets face it, AMP is dead. Karl Dean just killed it. The next mayor is going to have to pick up the pieces, and yes Nashville is going to be without a real transit circulation system in the core for years to come.

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BTW, a Streetcar system - not a bi-directional in street LRT system - appears to be dirt cheap for steel wheels. All these projects I'm researching are impressive.

 

Cities not that far away from Nashville are building Streetcars as we speak. Atlanta's is about to open, Cincinnati's is under construction.

 

http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/streetcar/design-route/

http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/streetcar/streetcar-funding/

 

Cincinnati appears to be embarking on a 3.6 mile route at a cost of $148 million in the budget already passed.

 

EDIT: my revised concept also bypasses the Beaman lot on West End in favor of the higher density Gulch and Midtown offices/condos to Music City Circle. ;)

Edited by BrandonTO416
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Just asking:  how could Amp have had a better communications structure?  MP&F was working on that PR campaign, was it not?  They are one of the best in the business in this town.  What couldn/should have been done differently?  I also recall that there were lots of community meetings early on.  I think that Mayor Dean could have done a better job of controlling the message, for sure, but I don't think that that is a structural critique.  I would like to hear more from those who were more closely involved.

 

Assuming that everyone is going to support mass transit period, or that they would support it in one location over another has proven to be a fatal miscalculation.  I think that a lot of StopAmp's success was in garnering opposition from those who were not located along the proposed route and did not see a benefit for their own area.   

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^I don't have the answers, but research can further understand what happened.

 

Divide and conquer is a technique used by many groups. Anti-transit interests clearly were able to get pro-transit people divided. You had people who support transit - but only in the form of rail - who couldn't agree with people like me that are more agnostic toward technology. I clearly outlined how much high frequency you could get for low cost with BRT earlier in this thread, but the fact is many people out there don't care. They want rail.

 

Divide and conquer is also useful for what you described: get people not directly affected by the project against it because they don't want resources and funding to go to it. They'd still want projects for themselves, but not dare go to THIS project. Its death by a million little cuts as opposed to a single event.

 

Nashville doesn't have to stop dead in the water, $75 million in funding from the federal government is not pocket change. If you could get that re-allocated for a redesigned Streetcar system I'd see if something could be done as a new mayor steps into office. But someone is going to have to run on it and get ideas flowing today. Otherwise, it really will be beyond 2020 before Nashville sees any system, if at all.

 

When I was discussing how high frequency BRT can potentially be earlier in this topic, I forgot to mention that Streetcars can have the same low cost and high frequency. Bi-directional LRT in the street really doesn't appeal to me for speed reasons relative to cost to build, but a Streetcar (which is just a lowered Light Rail Vehicle that may or may not have its own dedicated lane) certainly can be cheap enough and frequent enough. You don't have to build expensive stations and just essentially board like a bus and this cuts out tremendous costs.

Edited by BrandonTO416
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Brandon, can you elaborate on how your opinions of streetcars differ from LRT? I'm a bit confused trying to keep all the facts straight, but I feel like on one hand, you advocate streetcar because it's unlike LRT, but then you make them both sound very similar.

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I'm technology agnostic. I'm thinking about cost per mile vs frequency.

 

The truth is, Streetcars *are* light rail. They're just usually smaller vehicles, lower to the ground, and many systems operate in a unidirectional pattern as opposed to bi-directional. Streetcars are local service, they aren't intended nor are they expected to be an entire city or regional wide transit system.

 

"Light Rail Transit" systems can also be city-wide transit systems with larger, articulated trains that are higher and require platforms to board. You also have systems that have both, in Pittsburgh the T system has high platform doors, and a low street level door up front to board passengers in areas where the T is in-street.

 

LRT is versatile, it comes in many forms. What I'm against is building any form of LRT in street that has long distance. Why? Because its a lot of money to spend for low speed. You want lines like this optimally to never be more than 10 miles in length.

 

If you look at Berlin, they have a massive streetcar/light rail system. But the lines usually feed into commuter rail and subway systems and are usually 5-15km long. The reason why is because in-street rail is too slow to go long distances. BUT, for a central city circulation system they're great. They need their own rights of way outside the core.

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Streetcars are dirt cheap for rail transit though: they don't require huge platforms to board (look at the video earlier for reference). Just a bus-like shelter and notification that its a stop. They are often uni-directional, which saves money. And a uni-directional system allows for higher frequency utilizing fewer vehicles (that's better service/frequency for lower cost than other LRT systems). Since its a circulation system, the frequency is determined by the amount of LRV's they order and install. If they ordered 6 LRV's for the 6.5 mile system, a train would come by every few minutes. Lets say the trains average 15mph as they have to stop at stoplights, on a 6.5 mile route that means one train could come around about 2 times every hour, if you had 6 trains you could easily get that to 12 trains per hour. Since there are 60 minutes in an hour, you could easily expect a train every 5 minutes. You would never need to refer to a schedule.

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Late last fall (I think) I had proposed to MLBrumby (again I believe) to post the differences, similarities, and advantages (as well as typical practices of combined, "hybrid" deployment of several common rail-bound transit modes.  The composition draft that I had started turned into a mini-dissertation (also typical of me), so I sort of abandoned it by postponing it indefinitely, because I found it rather difficult to pare it down without forgoing some numerous but qualifying details (and illustrations of equipment).

 

Last winter I also mentioned the DC, Atlanta, and Cincy streetcar start-up construction, and that Detroit had managed to switch back to approving a streetcar, after previous mayor Dave Bing had changed the original streetcar plan to BRT.  Recently I also added that the embattled fate of KCMO finally gained a new lease on viability, with the approval and establishment of a local funding tax-district and a separate oversight entity to manage a start-up streetcar project.  Although smaller than the originally conceived plans, this reduced-range circulator at least garnered consensus to enable the commencing of excavation and track-laying last May.

 

Of all these systems, DC appears to have the greatest funding resources and aspirations, as following its circulator from Benning Road, NE to Union Station via H-Street, it also has begun a separate segment from the SE.  Both segments traverse primarily some of the District's most economically depressed sectors, and WMATA intends to build extensions to connect to the "less disadvantaged" parts of the city (like Georgetown).  DC hadn't had streetcars since 1962, shortly following my temporary move away from there to Illinois.

-==-

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When it comes to mode, here is my preference for different modes of 'rapid transit':

 

*BRT or Streetcars for local transit/small distances in the core.

*Articulated LRT or subway/elevated heavy rail for longer distances (however, LRT in this fashion has to be done correctly, it can't have any in-street portions, and it needs to be entirely and completely in its own right of way with no intersections)

*Commuter trains either with electrified trains (like Philadelphia) or diesel units (like METRA or Nashville's own STAR service) for very long distances (25, 35, or even 50+ miles)

 

Where I tend to have disagreements is when I hear people try to do everything with one technology. A single LRT line can't be a fast, commuter rail system outside downtown and then all of a sudden switch to in-street operation and maintain service levels.

 

For in-street transport over small local distances, BRT is perfect, as are Streetcars. But articulated LRT meant to service a larger corridor? It makes the system too slow to make it a hybrid that is in-street then pops into its own ROW.

 

I'm technology agnostic, but I'm for the proper use of technology as opposed to one size fits all.

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3) Any future project might as well have rail since you need to get transit supporters in a singular, unified YES voice

 

 

 

I consider myself a pretty strong transit supporter and I would have a hard time supporting rail. It's more expensive and less flexible.  There is a reason that mature transit cities that already have rail are in many cases choosing BRT for their additional lines.

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I consider myself a pretty strong transit supporter and I would have a hard time supporting rail. It's more expensive and less flexible.  There is a reason that mature transit cities that already have rail are in many cases choosing BRT for their additional lines.

 

I agree that its sad the AMP BRT project can't go forward and be shovel in the ground, ready to construct this next year. I am still for it, but given light of Karl Dean's announcement I don't see how the project has a future.

 

BRT honestly isn't flexible if its done as professional grade. What makes high class BRT service as good as LRT is the fact that it has high concrete platforms where people stand safely away from traffic, and the electronic traffic systems that give light priority status, provide timing and updates, etc. That can't be moved from one location to another.

 

I'm truly technology agnostic. BRT I think would work very well for Nashville, but since Karl Dean is abandoning support (which is disappointing), I think it'd be better to get behind something all transit enthusiasts would support with a unified voice. I think a Nashville Streetcar has aspects that are more agreeable: lowest cost rail option (it doesn't cost much more than BRT), frequent service levels, and for Tennessee's new transit gestapo laws it bypasses the legislature's rules stating you can't have central street platforms.

 

I'm sure a streetcar will face just as much anti-government opposition, but at least the transit community could get behind it with a more solid "yes" voice.

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It appears Nashville isn't the only city having problems with mass transit. 

 

Austin voters reject $1B rail project

http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/morning_call/2014/11/austin-voters-reject-1b-rail-project.html

 

Undermining the general argument that rail, even though much more expensive than BRT, is more palatable to voters.

Edited by Nashville Cliff
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Undermining the general argument that rail, even though much more expensive than BRT, is more palatable to voters.

I'm not sure how much cost was a factor. Sounds to me like the biggest gripe was the route or plan itself, kind of like one of the main gripes about the AMP. 

 

“Tonight’s results are gratifying, but the work remains,” Our Rail, a group opposed to the plan said in a statement, “With this vote, Austin has rejected a bad urban rail plan. It was the wrong route and it was formed by values that were not shared by our community. What we do share with those who supported this measure is a resolve in moving forward with true mobility solutions that make transit a ubiquitous part of life in our growing city.”

 

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Undermining the general argument that rail, even though much more expensive than BRT, is more palatable to voters.

 

Yes it does.     Voters anywhere will oppose spending 1.4B tax dollars on almost any project - if they have the chance to vote on it.    I had kind of thought that Austinites may have reached their collective pain threshold with automobile congestion and this project might go forward.   Evidently not, even though Austin's traffic problems are considerably worse than Nashville's.   They want a cheaper solution.    Also, much like the Amp, the first leg of the Austin line was to be a linear route that was of limited use to large portions of the community. 

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Also, much like the Amp, the first leg of the Austin line was to be a linear route that was of limited use to large portions of the community. 

 

I'm at a loss as to what should be done about that... I feel like it's a no-brainer that you have to start somewhere, but that's apparently a ludicrous concept for some people.

 

I guess we need more emphasis on the regional/final plan and how this is a component of that? Drill into their brains how this is only one piece of a very large puzzle? A big ol' chill-the-eff-out pill?

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One could make a cursory conclusion at the resulting vote and that 57% of people opposed support for Austin’s proposed $1B transportation budget, but that would be as counterfactual (and misinformed) as elected officials saying, “I told you so; Austinite voters want roads,”  or “…voters do not want rail transit.”   Actually, the point is clear that no one really knows what the voters have stated.  It’s like asking a pack of dogs to bark over a preference of Milk-Bones or Beggins; judging by the proportion of response tells us nothing really.

 

Often, if not too many times, a proposal is so rife with “ball-and-chain baggage” that the results of a simple vote majority say nothing about nuances of true sentiment, on the data-mining level.

 

-==-

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I'm unsure why these transportation initiatives are often put up to a vote. Did anyone ever have a vote on whether TN-840 would be constructed? Did we ever vote if we wanted to repave West End Avenue?

 

Cincinnati voted to fund and build the Streetcar they've got planned, Charlotte likewise voted for and funded the Lynx system. It seems transit initiatives always face extra scrutiny for some reason, while a mega-highway project wouldn't require a vote, these projects do.

 

Was there a vote to expand I-65 north into Hendersonville to 5-7 lanes bi-directional? No.

 

Did anyone vote on whether or not there should be a multi-level interchange installed at I-440 and 65? No.

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Was there a vote to expand I-65 north into Hendersonville to 5-7 lanes bi-directional? No.

 

Did anyone vote on whether or not there should be a multi-level interchange installed at I-440 and 65? No.

 

I see your point, Brandon. Still, one could argue that the (purported) benefits of larger roads are self-evident. It's difficult to imagine that these projects would have faced much scrutiny when we have all been trained to loathe sitting in traffic, and equally trained to believe that bigger/wider roads equals less traffic.

 

There is a lot of precedent that needs to be addressed, IMO. It seems like a monumental battle, but people have to be convinced of the benefit of mass transit before they will support it. If people can be so sure of a false premise (more roads = less traffic), then there has to be a way to right that thinking in favor of transit.

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