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Most important is to talk to city council this fall.

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:

 

Personally, I hate the shared pedestrian/bike sidewalks    Bikers don't want to ride on sidewalks.  Pedestrians don't want bikers there either.  Where did Metro come up with that design concept?   Ive not seen that elewhwere.   

 

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The shared bike paths have been around for sometime. Actually all the green ways are shared paths without designated lanes which are even more dangerous. Those lanes are more common in Europe from what I have seen but they are in the U.S. In a number of areas.

The one thing I have noticed is there are a lot of people, both pedestrians and cyclists that do not know etiquette. 

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The shared bike paths have been around for sometime. Actually all the green ways are shared paths without designated lanes which are even more dangerous. Those lanes are more common in Europe from what I have seen but they are in the U.S. In a number of areas.

The one thing I have noticed is there are a lot of people, both pedestrians and cyclists that do not know etiquette. 

...like the one I'm on right now, the levee berm at Metro Cntr.  I realize that it's unrealistic, but it might not be a bad idea to mandate cyclist ed. and registration for riding on public property, and at a very young age, just as they did with me in Urbana, IL back when I was 10 and beyond..  Not saying that this would be a solution to etiquette and compliance, any more than the current motor-vehicle ed. requirements and remedial driving "classes" promote at least half-way decent driving habits, especially in Tenn. (a joke at the very least!)

The overall climate of cyclist safety awareness and conscientiousness, among motorists, the governance, and with some overweening and aggressive cyclists, is far from yet becoming foremost as a priority in transforming cycling into a primary conveyance in Metro Nashville, but a consolidated effort by those like the 37206dude, who are driven to bend the iron of apathy (and who are understandably disgusted at the status quo of local govt.), is really the only rising force that can metastasize to change that.  The city only gets what it's been willing to pay for (or usually less), and quite honestly, even that frequently had been less than marginal, particularly w/r/t continuity and design of cycle pathways.

3--dude's videos give total credence, from a transportation aspect, the extent of how these paths are totally disjointed, disconnected, and inconsistently designated and often makeshift engineered.  This is a travesty and a much wasteful tragedy at best, and it's going to take some bold moves by the new administration to work in concert to iron out some of the kinks spanning over a half century of arbitrary decimation of the city grid, which no longer can be easily navigated by foot, much less by cycle or car.  It starts with defragmenting the disjointed and woefully inept agencies and admin forces charged with managing all projects, and as I see it, there's no need to be worried about "throwing the babies out with the wash water" because there are no "babies" worth saving.
-==-

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sidewalk bike lane.jpg

For the record, the gravel-like pavement you're suggesting for the segregated bike lane here is permeable pavement where runoff from the roadway goes after filtering through the rain gardens. May not make for a good ride after a few years of bike traffic.

The bike lanes on KVB do nominally run uninterrupted from 8th to 1st, the issue is pavement markings that have either deteriorated or have not been replaced after subsurface utility work. Whether or not an ordinary bike lane is an effective accommodation for that roadway is another matter, of course. More on that in a minute.

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:

Thing is, a lot of the devices used to physically separate bike lanes don't really provide protection. They increase bicyclist comfort considerably, but they won't stop vehicles moving on the trajectories that typically cause injurious and fatal bike accidents, i.e., out-of-control lane departures, turning and entering vehicles, crossing vehicles at intersections, etc. Some, such as curbs, will deflect cars slightly encroaching into bike lanes, and cut down on mirror hits and similar types of crashes, but then ordinary buffered lanes do as well, without the maintenance and safety issues associated with having large numbers of frangible and/or easily-displaced objects a few inches from wheelpaths.

I've posted on here a few times about Metro's design decisions regarding bike infrastructure but I'm not sure there's a one-size-fits-all solution for the city as a whole. Honestly, the plain vanilla bike lanes are the most feasible solution in terms of raw network expansion and they also happen to be most consistent with the MUTCD and more compatible with transitions to general-purpose traffic. But I agree that there are many areas of the city that deserve better accommodations for bicycles and the places where that has been attempted (such as the sidewalks on 28th/31st and 11th, or the buffered lanes in the gutter on Fort Negley Boulevard and the Church Street viaduct) don't pass muster. I'd also say that the locations in the Multimodal Mobility Study don't either, but that was written by a boatload of competitors so I may be biased.

Personally, if I were in a position of influence on this matter in Metro, I'd push for the urban equivalent of bicycle boulevards, where certain contiguous streets in the urban core are improved for bicycles, and vehicular traffic would be encouraged to use other roadways. It would be much easier, particularly where the street grid is present, to simply give cyclists a viable route for the majority of their long-distance trips and mix with vehicles for small segments than to try to make every road in the city a true "complete street" (i.e., not serving any mode especially well).

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Thanks to all who chimed in.

I'm glad bike lanes are getting more attention in the transportation community.

I did not intend my cartoon to be a specific design.  That walkway must be at least 15' wide and I would leave it up to a pro to figure out the details.  There must be a way to use some of that space even if it means changing the type of landscaping in the buffer.  Some cities have incorporated permeable concrete into bike lanes but I don't think those were in such a dense area.

I stand by my impression that the bike sidewalk is an inappropriate design downtown.  I can see it on 28/31, but it's not going to work out well on 1st Ave where pedestrian traffic is high.  FHWA guidelines clearly spell out how to differentiate a bike lane built above street grade from an adjacent sidewalk.  Those guidelines are not being followed and it looks like Division St will be the same design. 

Lack of connectivity is a major issue.  If Nashville used cheaper forms of design for protected bike lanes than an elevated sidewalk, then they could cover more distance and connect the big projects.  Without connections, short stretches of safe bike lanes do not provide full ROI.

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New bike lane on East side of riverfront, Davidson St.  

gutter_bike_lane.thumb.png.3c028846b659f

The bike lane is a 2-way "cycle track" on the West side of street, but it's built in the gutter, not acceptable. There is much wasted width elsewhere.   The paint needs to be redone to give bike riders a lane outside of the gutter.  Many parent tow kid trailers here, they need some width to the bike lane.  No excuses are acceptable to configure a new street pattern like this with so much wasted space.

 
The East side of the street has a ~9' buffer that looks like the old 1 way bike lane northbound.  This can be taken out completely if there is 2 way bike traffic on the West side.  Also, 10' for car lanes is more than is necessary in this context.  This is a high bike traffic, relatively low car traffic road along a park. 9' car lanes would be safer and more appropriate here anyway.
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New bike lane on East side of riverfront, Davidson St.  

 

The bike lane is a 2-way "cycle track" on the West side of street, but it's built in the gutter, not acceptable. There is much wasted width elsewhere.   The paint needs to be redone to give bike riders a lane outside of the gutter.  Many parent tow kid trailers here, they need some width to the bike lane.  No excuses are acceptable to configure a new street pattern like this with so much wasted space.

 
The East side of the street has a ~9' buffer that looks like the old 1 way bike lane northbound.  This can be taken out completely if there is 2 way bike traffic on the West side.  Also, 10' for car lanes is more than is necessary in this context.  This is a high bike traffic, relatively low car traffic road along a park. 9' car lanes would be safer and more appropriate here anyway.

What is going in the 9' "buffer"?   Surely it won't be left as unused pavement.    There is plenty of room for a 1-way bike lane on each side of the street.   I do hope there will be pylons or some physical barrier separating the bike lanes from traffic - more than just paint.   Agree vehicle traffic on Davidson is relatively light, but a lot of it is truck traffic and it gets up a pretty good head of steam.       

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I don't think the plan reference had actually been posted until now, but a few back on this page, 37206dude already has critiqued it, for inadequate allocation of lane apportionment for a road of its width.
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this is about franklin but also transit, so ill put it here,

I now work in Murfreesboro, but currently still live in cool springs, i left work at 5:32, I should have arrived home at 6:20 including a stop for gas,  I arrived at 7:38.

this was because of an accident on 65 N near Concord rd. 

all northboud streets in cool springs were a complete standstill. I eventually ended up on franklin rd to get home. 

my point being, there is a ton of traffic from franklin proper and points south of that that commute contra to normal patterns, so many so that I was delayed for over an hour. 

any transit will need to be more than just commuter trains into Nashville. this area needs transit within the area. 

I have said before that a train to this area would need to be constant all day because of all the offices. but it may need to also go south of here at all hours. connected of course to the main hub of Nashville.

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this is about franklin but also transit, so ill put it here,

I now work in Murfreesboro, but currently still live in cool springs, i left work at 5:32, I should have arrived home at 6:20 including a stop for gas,  I arrived at 7:38.

this was because of an accident on 65 N near Concord rd. 

all northboud streets in cool springs were a complete standstill. I eventually ended up on franklin rd to get home. 

my point being, there is a ton of traffic from franklin proper and points south of that that commute contra to normal patterns, so many so that I was delayed for over an hour. 

any transit will need to be more than just commuter trains into Nashville. this area needs transit within the area. 

I have said before that a train to this area would need to be constant all day because of all the offices. but it may need to also go south of here at all hours. connected of course to the main hub of Nashville.

I'm guessin' you're meaning Franklin Rd as SR96 (not to be confused with Franklin Rd/Pk US-31 Nash-Frank by non-"naturalized" readers) [forgive me, FrankNash ].  This was discussed in the MTA/RTA Public Meeting session at the Nashv'l DT Library this noon, wehre we split up into interactive groups.

This is problematic even in most very large metro areas, not only in our much smaller region by comparison.  Like from Herndon, Va. to Gaithersburg, Md. in greater DC; from Hammond, In. to Joliet or Aurora, IL in Chicagoland; or from my former home of Lynn, Ma. to Lowell, Ma. (Boston area), both well-served-by-commuter-rail for.  Almost any relatively distantly separated point-to-point regional commutes with start and destination points triangulated with an a primary epicentric major hub at an angle of less than very roughly 120 degrees, can be generally expected to be hard-pressed for accessibility via advanced, high-capacity transit.

At least one notable exception to having to "go inbound" and then go outbound would be parts of the SF bay area (excl. the peninsula of Marin Co.), where, during the last 20 years, dramatic expansions of existing transit systems along with additional separate systems (with hub connectivity) have been constructed in some once unlikely service areas (e.g. Oakland-Fremont-San Jose; Sacramento-Fremont-San Jose).  But even the Bay area remains with such transit voids, as in the case of Franklin and Murf., and as transit rich as the Bay area is, unfortunately travel with that greater area has evolved into navigating a fragmented collection of transit providers governed by the separate districts, thereby often failing to provide seamless travel and transfer across that region.  This unintended consequence of otherwise well utilized but separate transit authorities nevertheless is predictable, as separately governed districts comprising large defined statistical areas often have conceived, funded, and developed transit systems focused only on their respectively limited scope projections to serve sub-regional needs.  There are promising results, though, to transform the rider’s experience across disparate systems.  In the DC region, commuters now can have they fare-cards honored on a complete either-way trip, on the inbound MARC trains (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) into Union Station, and in turn outbound on a VRE system train (Virginia Railway Express), without having to purchase separate fare provisions.

Rutherford and Williamson Counties, being centers of concentrated activities of their own, most likely would opt to collaborate separately for any ultimate transit proposal connecting these sectors, unless perhaps in the "way" distant future, an SR-840-like rail connector circuit would ever get proposed and built, encircling Davidson County, similar to an LRT proposal in the Atlanta perimeter.  This frequently has been the case when a project funding support benefits primarily (if not solely) specific sub-regions only.
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Edited by rookzie

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Great article about parking and how it often undermines transit, walkability, and urban placemaking.  Though the article is focused on Atlanta the principles are the same for us here in Nashville.  As we as a city think about the next stage of our growth, some of the principles in this piece are worth considering:

http://clatl.com/atlanta/atlantas-parking-addiction/Content?oid=15097198  

This in particular is a relevant point:

Less parking is not merely some aesthetic or lifestyle preference. If we want to continue to grow as a city and to fill the vacancy and blight that is rampant, we need to make our city more desirable to live in... We need to stop competing with the suburbs and their big-box stores and start competing with other cities that offer walkable neighborhoods and transit. If we want to continue to grow, we need to have the capacity to accommodate up to 500,000 new citizens. We cannot accommodate all their cars.

Edited by RonCamp
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Random observation that I heard from a vox populi man-on-the-street news interview the other day when some metro lines were down and traffic in and out of the city was horrendous here in DC (paraphrased): "People often complain about taxes funding Metrorail and buses that they never ride, but even if you commute from Woodbridge every day, having these systems makes a huge difference in your daily drive. Just look at what we have now when only a couple of lines aren't running!"

The people who complain about traffic, but also complain about having to put money in to mass transit, never seem to get that point. You'll benefit from it even if you never use it, because every person that uses that is potentially one less car on the road. Imagine 10,000 fewer cars every day coming in and out of Nashville if we had a reasonable hub-and-spoke transit system that fed a local system efficient enough to get people to work in a reasonable time. It'd be night and day.

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So how exactly does our traffic compare to similar sized cities? I know we have an issue, but are similar cities having the same issues? Or are we better/worse?

 

I doubt we, or any large city, will ever have a solution for transit but I definitely feel like Nashville is in dire need of some improvements. I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to google maps and live traffic. Mainly because I am always amazed at how much is red in the city at all times. I find it a bit frustrating that one reason I chose where I live was mainly because of my commute. I don't know how people could handle a 45min plus commute. I used to live in Mt. Juliet but since I got a job in Brentwood staying there was no longer an option. I would probably go mad if I had to deal with this every day.

 

I don't even consider this a bad day either.

Traffic_zps7bxrdbr8.png

Also has anyone ever used the Bus feature when getting directions on google maps? I am not sure how exact it is. But according to my search it would take me 3 hours and 10 min to go 7 miles if I took the bus to work. The time it would take to walk it??? 2 hours and 12 min.

 

 

Edited by bigeasy

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I use the transit feature fairly often.  It is pretty helpful and accurate in regards to the schedule.  Once it is coupled with real time location based data for the buses it will be incredibly helpful. 

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MTA Released their new strategic plan yesterday: http://nmotion2015.com/materials/

Some interesting takeaways. They seem to realize that the number and layout of routes right now is mind boggling and confusing. One of the best things to do (and what is recommended) is reduce the number of routes, and increase service by increasing frequency. The map on page 10 of the report exhibits this problem. The current branding issues are also addressed. Anyway, worth a read.

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So how exactly does our traffic compare to similar sized cities? I know we have an issue, but are similar cities having the same issues? Or are we better/worse?

 

I doubt we, or any large city, will ever have a solution for transit but I definitely feel like Nashville is in dire need of some improvements. I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to google maps and live traffic. Mainly because I am always amazed at how much is red in the city at all times. I find it a bit frustrating that one reason I chose where I live was mainly because of my commute. I don't know how people could handle a 45min plus commute. I used to live in Mt. Juliet but since I got a job in Brentwood staying there was no longer an option. I would probably go mad if I had to deal with this every day.

 

I don't even consider this a bad day either.

Traffic_zps7bxrdbr8.png

Also has anyone ever used the Bus feature when getting directions on google maps? I am not sure how exact it is. But according to my search it would take me 3 hours and 10 min to go 7 miles if I took the bus to work. The time it would take to walk it??? 2 hours and 12 min.

 

 

I use it all the time in DC.

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I've complained above about the stretch of the new Davidson St bicycle path starting by the stadium. I sent my pictures and an explanation to my newly elected city council rep Brett Withers and he said he will look into it. I skip over that in the video below.

Once you get past the very narrow first part, overall the design is not horrible.  They could have given bikes a little more width and had less parking and/or car lane width, but this is now the best bike lane in Nashville.

The main issue I see is how difficult it will be to branch off any connectivity to other safe bike routes.  The adjacent "Shelby Hills" neighborhood has mostly narrow streets and big hills.  5th is included in Nashville Next as a future bike lane.  I also hope the Cayce redevelopment will make the neighborhood more bike friendly.  For now, 14th will be a popular route to access Davidson from East Nashville, and is home to much ongoing and planned land development.

Here is a video of the bike lane along Davidson and then up 14th to Shelby to show what the connection to the neighborhood is like:

 

Edited by 37206dude
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I know we complain about our transit system fairly frequently, but there are good aspects to it that we need to remember.  Today I rode the Music City Star for the first time. I took my daughter on it just for fun. We don't live in the areas it serves, but I had wanted to ride it and she loves excursions like that (we frequently take the bus to pre-school). 

It does have limitations, the biggest being that service is limited to the morning and afternoon, but it does do a very good job of getting people into and out of downtown easily. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of riders on board. I took the last inbound train from Donelson station and the car I chose only had three or four empty rows on the lower level when we got on (most rows just had one person on them). The upper deck was probably 30% occupied as well. I assume that this was the least utilized trip as well given the timing of it. I suspect the first and second inbound trips are more highly utilized. 

This is a service that needs to be marketed more. The I-40 corridor is clogged in the morning and afternoons and does not offer a peaceful commute for drivers. There are buses waiting on passengers disembarking which facilitates the last leg of their commutes for no additional charge. 

Also, another random thought about the Music City Star. It currently offers riders "emergency" transportation home by RTA if they need to leave in the middle of the day.  However, with Lyft and Uber that may be antiquated. A partnership between RTA and Lyft or Uber could be more beneficial. An unexpected trip home could be partially subsidized to allow the passenger to return home if needed.

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I know we complain about our transit system fairly frequently, but there are good aspects to it that we need to remember.  Today I rode the Music City Star for the first time. I took my daughter on it just for fun. We don't live in the areas it serves, but I had wanted to ride it and she loves excursions like that (we frequently take the bus to pre-school). 

It does have limitations, the biggest being that service is limited to the morning and afternoon, but it does do a very good job of getting people into and out of downtown easily. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of riders on board. I took the last inbound train from Donelson station and the car I chose only had three or four empty rows on the lower level when we got on (most rows just had one person on them). The upper deck was probably 30% occupied as well. I assume that this was the least utilized trip as well given the timing of it. I suspect the first and second inbound trips are more highly utilized. 

This is a service that needs to be marketed more. The I-40 corridor is clogged in the morning and afternoons and does not offer a peaceful commute for drivers. There are buses waiting on passengers disembarking which facilitates the last leg of their commutes for no additional charge. 

Also, another random thought about the Music City Star. It currently offers riders "emergency" transportation home by RTA if they need to leave in the middle of the day.  However, with Lyft and Uber that may be antiquated. A partnership between RTA and Lyft or Uber could be more beneficial. An unexpected trip home could be partially subsidized to allow the passenger to return home if needed.

I have acknowledged the merits of the MCS, Hey_Hey, on several occasions since mid 2013.  The painful truth is that it has maxed out it's usefulness, because of its scheduling limitations during weekdays, and with none on weekends.  I already have gone to great lengths through several distant-past posts, explaining the operational details of that service, as well as the challenges for augmenting LoS even that single corridor, both logistically and physically (due to existing RoW limitations).  Private development near the wayside also has taken a toll, with the elimination of assets which would have allowed greater latitude in expandability and scalability.  Of course, for the last 3 years, it has been concluded that a severe lack of major capital funding perhaps is the primary constraint.

In most cases, start-up projects as the MCS had been in Sept. 2006 (and which unfortunately remains a start-up) would have attained sustained levels of ridership which would have been met with public discussions and funding-seeking and allocations forn expanding the infrastructure (in terms of construction, new equipment, and added service), in incremental stages and segments development.  Despite the 2008/09 recession during which the operational funding of the MCS had been temporarily jeopardized (coinciding with the MTA takeover of RTA management), the MCS has failed to garner the attention for proactive maturity as a full-service viable transit utility, as would be expected by now of 9-year-old facility, built as a minimal investment "clinical trial", closely watched initially by many North American districts (and chronicled in numerous municipal and transit publications).  While the MCS' level of on-time performance has been admirable and consistent, nevertheless its priority has been side-tracked with the same affliction, just as has any other transit project in the region (except for perhaps the periodic addition of RTA routes contracted with Grayline of Tennessee).  It's second-hand passenger cars are quite aged and are in need of refurbishing inside and out (with rusting roof panels), and/or replacement, which of course would not be justified with the current operating capacity and service offered.  The absence of additional MCS routes from a central terminal further limits the perceived and actual usefulness of the current service.
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