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"Breaking ground on a rapid-transit project by 2020" is unrealistic even if such a project passed through Council and the state legislature tomorrow, unless it was Amp 2.0 and recycled the planning and environmental work.

A for effort, though.

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"Breaking ground on a rapid-transit project by 2020" is unrealistic even if such a project passed through Council and the state legislature tomorrow, unless it was Amp 2.0 and recycled the planning and environmental work.

A for effort, though.

It may be unrealistic, but like you said, it's an A for effort and the right idea.

I think we're tied to assuming that these sorts of projects must take 10 or more years to come to fruition, when I don't think it's necessarily doomed to that. I understand that a lot of planning and environmental studies and neighborhood impact studies et cetera, et cetera, et cetera must happen, but I think that things could happen a lot faster if a group or government actually got behind a reasonable, realistic, and technologically-there line along a route with high demand. For instance, the first underground New York subway line began service in 1904. The comission to start construction was only established in 1894. With late 19th century technology, and in the crowded island of Manhattan, it took 10 years from serious planning to service for a line stretching from the modern Financial District to 145th Street. Unfortunately, especially in the United States, public works transit projects often take years and years and years to begin, and we've been conditioned to think that it has to take that long. I think that if the right plan was developed, it could be closer to 5 instead of 10 for a groundbreaking to begin after announcement.

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For instance, the first underground New York subway line began service in 1904. The comission to start construction was only established in 1894.

with the help of 1,500 Irish men coming off the boat daily, who know how to swing a pick and willing to swing a pick for a nickel. Who cares if 15 die every day? There will be 1,500 more tomorrow! Union? WTF is a union? Tunnel boring machine???? What the heck is that?

 

i'm just sayin'. It was a different time, so it's not apples-to-apples. 

Edited by nashvillwill
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with the help of 1,500 Irish men coming off the boat daily, who know how to swing a pick and willing to swing a pick for a nickel. Who cares if 15 die every day? There will be 1,500 more tomorrow! Union? WTF is a union? Tunnel boring machine???? What the heck is that?

 

i'm just sayin'. It was a different time, so it's not apples-to-apples. 

 

For that line, there were about 17 deaths. That is a lot, yes, but it mostly happened in two rather widely reported tragedies: one was an explosion at a dynamite storage shed that killed 6, and another was a freak cave in that killed 10. Other resources note at least one other death, a man killed by a falling boulder. Again, it's a lot of people, but it's not like they were just grinding through workers because they were cheap and easy to come by, burying them in the rubble and using their bones for rail ballast.

That being said, it isn't the same by a LONG shot. The environment is completely different. Just was using it as an illustrative example. :)

Edited by Nathan_in_DC

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I think we're tied to assuming that these sorts of projects must take 10 or more years to come to fruition, when I don't think it's necessarily doomed to that. I understand that a lot of planning and environmental studies and neighborhood impact studies et cetera, et cetera, et cetera must happen, but I think that things could happen a lot faster if a group or government actually got behind a reasonable, realistic, and technologically-there line along a route with high demand. For instance, the first underground New York subway line began service in 1904. The comission to start construction was only established in 1894. With late 19th century technology, and in the crowded island of Manhattan, it took 10 years from serious planning to service for a line stretching from the modern Financial District to 145th Street. Unfortunately, especially in the United States, public works transit projects often take years and years and years to begin, and we've been conditioned to think that it has to take that long. I think that if the right plan was developed, it could be closer to 5 instead of 10 for a groundbreaking to begin after announcement.

I don't know how building a subway in 19th-century New York City compares to rapid transit here and now; it was much easier then to acquire property rights, labor was cheap, the regulatory bureaucracy was nowhere near as burdensome, and in any case a subway in pretty much any part of New York City, even a century ago, is going to be a boon to mobility.

I agree that it shouldn't take as long as it does to get a project off the ground today, but it's a necessity in our social and political climate. Some of the procedures and regulations are a waste of time; for example, even projects that obviously would not have an environmental impact still require, per NEPA, a fairly substantial document just to state that. Others are partially so, like alternatives analyses for projects where only one feasible alternative exists, or where the client only wants one alternative (though admittedly the Amp's AA apparently convinced MTA to ditch streetcars for much cheaper BRT). I get it, due diligence and such, save the snail darters, but it's a drag on time and cost.

That being said, it does take a lot of planning work to determine what's going to work, particularly in cities like Nashville, where improved transit is (hold your fire) not critically needed for the transportation system to function at the moment. For the Amp, for example, there was a lot of obsessing over resident and job density, not just the sheer number but where people were coming and going, since forcing riders to transfer to slow buses at Music City Central kind of defeats the purpose of rapid transit. This is where cheaper, more versatile systems such as BRT shine, as they require less hard infrastructure, so if the system doesn't pan out, the sunk cost is less.

What I find most frustrating about the current state of rapid transit in the city is that the West End corridor is an absolute no-brainer for a pilot project. The density and traffic generators are unmatched, even the development patterns, the clusters of density, favor a transit line. We basically have transit-oriented development without the transit. And we still can't make it work.

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I don't know how building a subway in 19th-century New York City compares to rapid transit here and now; it was much easier then to acquire property rights, labor was cheap, the regulatory bureaucracy was nowhere near as burdensome, and in any case a subway in pretty much any part of New York City, even a century ago, is going to be a boon to mobility.

I agree that it shouldn't take as long as it does to get a project off the ground today, but it's a necessity in our social and political climate. Some of the procedures and regulations are a waste of time; for example, even projects that obviously would not have an environmental impact still require, per NEPA, a fairly substantial document just to state that. Others are partially so, like alternatives analyses for projects where only one feasible alternative exists, or where the client only wants one alternative (though admittedly the Amp's AA apparently convinced MTA to ditch streetcars for much cheaper BRT). I get it, due diligence and such, save the snail darters, but it's a drag on time and cost.

That being said, it does take a lot of planning work to determine what's going to work, particularly in cities like Nashville, where improved transit is (hold your fire) not critically needed for the transportation system to function at the moment. For the Amp, for example, there was a lot of obsessing over resident and job density, not just the sheer number but where people were coming and going, since forcing riders to transfer to slow buses at Music City Central kind of defeats the purpose of rapid transit. This is where cheaper, more versatile systems such as BRT shine, as they require less hard infrastructure, so if the system doesn't pan out, the sunk cost is less.

What I find most frustrating about the current state of rapid transit in the city is that the West End corridor is an absolute no-brainer for a pilot project. The density and traffic generators are unmatched, even the development patterns, the clusters of density, favor a transit line. We basically have transit-oriented development without the transit. And we still can't make it work.

You should have run for mayor, Prune, although I'm saying it for effect, not sarcastically.  No one official candidate ever has come even close to expressing her or his aspect on the irony of the failed effort with the BRT, even though additional factors cited by UTGrad come into play as well, concerning the relative timing of the initiative and its somewhat questionable analysis (let alone the AA's).  This is at least one reason that I have yet to gain faith in the next administration, on the issue of transportation and transit.

It likely can take 2 generations of next-mayors before wheels get a rollin' (both fig' and lit'), particularly, given the fact that Nashville has only a marginally effective token (if it could be termed that) known as the MCS to exemplify a working model of a so-called advanced high-capy transit prototype, which truthfully cannot functionally address the needs of what it could serve, given the level of service.  Most people here have yet to relate to something that seems to work for them as a mass transit alternative, much less a high-capacity one,even in part.  Sort of like trying to start a cold car, by popping the clutch uphill ─ it can be done but with far more effort than with concert.
-==-

Edited by rookzie

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Never saw this before.  Hope I am not posting anything that has been presented before, but it's quite possible. 

Anyway, I saw this today for the first time and couldn't find out any more info on Adams Carroll.  Was this a study commissioned by the MTA?

 

154957d1438786745-nyc-style-subway-syste

 

 

 

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I know Adams Carroll from school- he's a great guy with a very creative mind. I will reach out to him (haven't talked to him in years) and see what's up.

That outline is incredible if it's just an amateur attempt. 

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I know Adams Carroll from school- he's a great guy with a very creative mind. I will reach out to him (haven't talked to him in years) and see what's up.

That outline is incredible if it's just an amateur attempt. 

This guy was my next door neighbor until about a month ago!  Not sure where he moved to.  

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It indeed is an amateur attempt, quite visionary and fanciful, and while imaginary, it's a concept that might be more adaptable to a city like Toronto.  If those directly involved in steering and analyses actually would open their closed-domed think tanks and become receptive to and even solicit all kinds of conceived notions, such as the one by this Adams Carroll, and the ones by volsfanwill, MLBrumby, and UTgrad09, then we just might avert at least some of the miscalculated evaluations assimilated within the rationales of some previously ill-fated mass-transit projects.
-==-

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mine is better

Oh, make no mistake about it.  (If I only could ever see it again, that is...[a-hmm. hint-hint])
-==-

Edited by rookzie

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OK, I'm not sure if this is the appropriate thread, so please let me know.

I'm a bike guy.  I have a cargo bike I haul my kids, groceries, etc. on and I almost never drive a car.

I have read up on guidelines and precedents in other cities and Nashville is doing a shameful job on bike facilities.  They are expensive, yet still engineered poorly.  Much like roads (or tracks) bike lanes are most valuable on a connected grid.  Nothing in Nashville is connected and there are no plans to fix that any time soon.  I have some serious documentation of all of these issues I will share with some new council members this fall. One other thing I am doing is making some videos to depict the problem to folks who do not ride bikes.  Here are two of them:

 

 

 

 

Edited by 37206dude
duplication of pictures
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I worked for an important Engineering firm in town when the first stretch of KVB (then Gateway) was designed. Myself and my fellow traffic engineers saw the proposal for the bike lanes away from the curb and shook our heads. We recommended this be revised in some safer manner, but were over ruled by Metro Public Works. 

An aside; I was in San Francisco years ago with my daughters and we parked on a downhill street near the famous 'painted ladies' park. As I turned off the engine and prepared to exit, I saw something in my side mirror. I yelled to the kids, "DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!! DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!!" Just as I said that, about 8 cyclist blew by lickety-split on the street side of the car. Had we opened a door....well, if it weren't potentially tragic, it would have been very funny.

Edited by PHofKS

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I have no background in engineering. I'm an idiot who rides bikes and I saw the problem in 2013.

KVB is a disaster in current context.  There is now a (poorly engineered) bike lane along 1st up to KVB.  There's the riverfront huge project and Davidson path from East Nashville.  There's the $18M Gulch bridge next year.  Guess what connects them all?  KVB.

There's so much with it's fixable.  Ideal would be a safe bike lane all the way from 8th to 1st, but that may be asking too much.  There's a work around if you can make a safe lane 8th to 5th and then through walk-of-fame, symphony, to get to ped bridge..  any thoughts?

 

sidewalk bike lane.jpg

downtownmap highlight kvb.png

KVB 8th to 5th route.png

KVB 5th to ped bridge route.png

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OK, I'm not sure if this is the appropriate thread, so please let me know.

I'm a bike guy.  I have a cargo bike I haul my kids, groceries, etc. on and I almost never drive a car.

I have read up on guidelines and precedents in other cities and Nashville is doing a shameful job on bike facilities.  They are expensive, yet still engineered poorly.  Much like roads (or tracks) bike lanes are most valuable on a connected grid.  Nothing in Nashville is connected and there are no plans to fix that any time soon.  I have some serious documentation of all of these issues I will share with some new council members this fall. One other thing I am doing is making some videos to depict the problem to folks who do not ride bikes.  Here are two of them:

 

 

 

 

Fun videos!  I bike commute through the gulch and have been enjoying the complete street.  Much less treacherous than it used to be.  However, I really wish that they would actually  label the terra cotta section as the bike lane, and pedestrians tend to wander into the lanes every day know knowing why there are different colored sections. I've also seen bikers in the street, apparently unaware that the sidewalk also contains a bike lane.  

You should take a bike up and down Demonbreum.  Going up the hill towards the circle, delivery trucks are fond of parking (and blocking!) in the bike lanes in the morning forcing one to merge into traffic.  Going down the hill sucks right now because construction on the Element has the lane blocked off.  Towards the bottom of the hill you can briefly enter the bike lane, which is pointless because you immediately have veer off into the street again because Eakin ALSO has the street blocked off.  

  

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I'm with ya, 206dude.    I ride all over town, not commuting like you, but just for fun.   All of the elements you've identified are spot on (love your videos).    The lack of connections between bike lane "segments" is really just baffling to me.    The Church St viaduct is a perfect example.    Re-striped last year to create dedicated bike lanes both directions, but yet when you come off the viaduct, Church St. itself has no dedicated bike lanes going either east or west from the viaduct.  I kind of find that odd.    

I've ridden those Charlotte bike lanes many times and it's every bit as scary as your video makes it feel with the biker's proximity to speeding traffic.   What doesn't come out so is the sand, rocks, glass, metal and other debris you're riding over in the painted bike lane.   Doesn't really give the biker a sense that the city gives a sh#t about that part of the transit system.    Metro has a fleet of street sweepers, but I've seen no evidence that one has ever been used on a bike lane.  

Applaud you for taking up this cause.   If any of us can help, let us know.       

 

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Applaud you for taking up this cause.   If any of us can help, let us know.       

 

Most important is to talk to city council this fall.

At least Barry (I'm not sure about Fox) has committed to consolidating into a single department of transportation.  To me, if this happens then there needs to be a competitive outside search for new leadership.  Someone from a city with an established record of success and innovation.  I wouldn't even consider Nashville to be late adapters, we are missing an entire generation of innovation in bike facilities.  The new Davidson St path is the best thing so far, but it's basically a greenway without connections to neighborhoods and is of limited value.  

1st Ave is new and also a disaster.  They applied the 11th st design there, but Riverfront is a ton more pedestrians than even the Gulch.  The design should have been more like in the fhwa guidelines:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/publications/separated_bikelane_pdg/page08.cfm

Compare Nashville to Cambridge, Mass:

 

-Kevin Erreger

[email protected]

IMG_3179.JPG

raisedlane_cambridge.jpg

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If you agree with me that the bike sidewalk design that Nashville has used on 28/31 Connector, 11th Ave Gulch, and 1st Ave is not a good design, then consider touching base with someone in metro about Division St because they are about to build another one there.

http://www.nashville.gov/Public-Works/Capital-Projects/Division-Street-Extension.aspx

 

The Nashville-style bike sidewalk does not fit guidelines from FHWA or informal guidelines from NATCO or the "Green Lane" project.  It also does not match other cities.  The design is both expensive and lousy.  Experienced bike riders stick to the full traffic lane rather than riding on a bike sidewalk with no distinction from the ped sidewalk.  Children, tourists, etc will not ride on bike facilities that are not connected to other safe bike facilities.

Nashville should stop building incredibly expensive 0.3 mi sidewalks and instead focus on cheap low profile protection for existing lanes.  Note the price for "raised bikeway" compared to others here:

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/14-ways-to-make-bike-lanes-better-the-infographic

 

 

14 ways.png

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37206dude, somehow you need to get your foot in the door with the council members, the planning commission, and the upper administration, to gain visibility.  I also would mobilize with other networked bicyclists to get this disseminated.

You might someway try to align with Cumberland Region Tomorrow (http://www.cumberlandregiontomorrow.org) and/or its partners: Greater Nashville Regional Council, the South Central Tennessee Development District, and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.  I support you in full with this, and you're obviously well-informed.  This needs to be pushed as a collaborated and well-documented prospectus, right now, while the regional political "flag" is unfurling.
-==-

Edited by rookzie
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