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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread


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It is far along in becoming a critical bypass link between I-65 and I-40/I-24; however, it will not be completely interstate-standards. It will be four-lane all the way, and divided part of the way, but will be mostly a center-lane multiple access road south of Gallatin to Lebanon Road, which is probably the most congested stretch. One of the last stretches will be a bypass from a new exist south of the KY line around Portland. Of course, it should help with a lot of truck traffic until it too becomes too congested. But I believe TDOT wants to complete the full length before embarking on a full widening of I-65 from the KY line to Goodlettsville. It's all 8+ lanes from there to the notorious 'squeeze' through the Fern Street overpass. 

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Just saw that there are plans to lower neighborhood speed limits to 25 throughout Nashville.

Some mixed feelings on this... Lower speed limits in built-up areas aren't a bad thing. Far from it, in fact. But they need to be judiciously and appropriately applied, otherwise people will ignore them when they think they can get away with it. Additionally, enforcement has to be evenly applied (perhaps cameras are a good thing here). The city needs to realize though that speed limits are just a part of an effective approach to improving traffic safety. Sidewalks and curbs (or, alternatively, combined streets where appropriate), smarter street and infrastructure designs, and a pedestrians-first approach to intersections where feasible are necessary to decrease pedestrian fatality rates.

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4 minutes ago, CenterHill said:

Good!     I'm going to assume you inspired this to happen @PHofKS and thank you for it! 

This stretch of Division is one of the most pedestrian and cyclist/scooter unfriendly streets in the central core, and yet it's seen a big increase in pedestrian usage in the last few years.    The sidewalks are absurdly narrow and obstructed with numerous poles, signs, wires and TDOT vegetation.     There's literally not enough room for two pedestrians to pass each other without one stepping off the sidewalk or into the street.  Then add group of scooters blazing down the same sidewalk and it's maddening.      Glad to see these changes.     

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Honestly all of Division past 12S toward its end at 21st, bar the roundabout, is a mess for pedestrians and cyclists. The road and sidewalks are so beat up, especially past the roundabout headed toward 21st. The city would do well to repair the road and bury the utilities(pipe dream, I know) once all of the construction is done. 

Edited by downtownresident
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YES! This area is terrible. I coach cross country at MLK, and we end up running here because there are not a lot of good options for running form the school, and the Gulch is something to look at and Music Row is fairly pedestrian friendly. This section is the worst. We're running on the 4" curb trying not to fall into traffic. Fortunately, it's the better kids that usually get this far on our shorter runs, so they are used to city running, but still makes be a bit nervous.

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This is kinda fascinating. A 1,000 person "car-free" mixed-use development in Phoenix, built around a light rail stop. They're incorporating rideshare pickup spots around the perimeter, dedicated space for bikes/scooters, a small mini-lot for hourly zipcars, and lots of green space because they don't have to provide parking everywhere. Opens in Fall 2020.

https://medium.com/culdesac/introducing-culdesac-3fbfe7c4219c

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nashville ranked 25th most expensive city in U.S. (out of Top 50) for annual commuter costs at an average of $7,774 per commuter. Average commute time estimated at 29 minutes, 45 seconds.  

More at NBJ here:

https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2019/12/03/how-nashvilles-commuting-cost-compares-to-other.html?iana=hpmvp_nsh_news_headline

Full report here:
 

https://www.listwithclever.com/real-estate-blog/best-and-worst-metros-for-commuters/?utm_campaign=covered-commuting-v1

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NY Times article published in the NBJ.     

Parking lots, once asphalt wasteland, become golden opportunities

https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2019/12/04/parking-lots-once-asphalt-wasteland-become-golden.html?iana=hpmvp_nsh_news_headline

Article making the point that there has been an uptick nationally in sales of surface parking lots to developers, primarily in urban markets.     Even though Nashville has seen a number of surface lots in the urban core converted to development, some of the trends cited in the article are not particularly strong here, like new bike infrastructure, carpooling and public transit.     

A couple snippets from the article: 

"Sales of parking lots may rise further, research shows. The parking industry is still generally strong nationwide, with revenue up 1% annually since 2014, according to a report released in May by the research firm IBISWorld. But the same report forecast a bumpy road ahead, with annual revenue growth shrinking to 0.2% through 2024 and a wave of consolidation hitting the industry.   The report cited factors for the change, including an increase in traffic congestion, which dissuades drivers; greater interest in carpooling and cycling, as well as a rise in bike infrastructure like new lanes; and a surge in the use of public transportation and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.    “Ultimately, these trends are anticipated to gradually reduce the need for parking facilities moving forward,” the report said.

Wulf and other developers are not predicting the death of parking lots. Rather, the nature of parking in relation to development is changing, especially in cities. The Culver City project, for instance, is expected to have 1,500 below-ground spots.

And Harbinger plans to include a 500-spot garage as part of the complex it plans to build on its surface lot in Denver, O’Marah said.

“Even though Uber and Lyft and ride-sharing is useful and used all day long, when it comes Friday, people want to have their cars,” he said."

 

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4 hours ago, smeagolsfree said:

I think if Nashville offered "free" (in reality, "free admission") to buses during rush hour for a year, we could at least adjust routes and times to most highly designated areas. 

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5 minutes ago, Mr_Bond said:

As a resident of The Gulch, I really like these changes.  The start at the Musica Roundabout and go to 8th Ave S.  Yesterday, they painted several crosswalks, stop lines, turning arrows, etc.  Thank you for making our neighborhood a better place to live, work and play!

I noticed that some two weeks ago, when I took Division from Musica to Ash St. on my way to dump off some donations to the Tennessee Central Ry. Museum.  The visibility of the roadway lines contrast well and definitely confer a better sense of "guidance" along the path.  I only drove it eastbound, but I can say that it does take away some of the frustration of being behind left-turners, particularly at 12th.

Now the real issue hasn't "surfaced" yet ─ maintaining those lines from weathering and tire-wear, so that I don't have to guess-drive during rainy nights.

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Many would argue that public transit should not be subsidized to the point of making it free for all, while many other do.  Mayor Barry had informally considered that possibility at least in a limited fashion for riders in areas like Edgehill.  I understand the benefits and drawbacks of both sides of the issue.  The mindset typically has been to pay to buy up property and pave more real estate for more lanes of traffic than to subsidize a new bus route or rail line, while others would favor the bus or rail.   Then too that’s the reasons we have elections to decide whether to fund transit and/or highway projects, even though the democratic process often becomes tainted with misinformation or a lack of clarity. 

Starting sometime in 2020, the nation of Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to make all its public transport free. Luxembourg City has incurred some of the worst traffic congestion in the world.   Of course, Luxembourg cannot be justly compared to the U.S. in size, political emphasis, and many other factors, but it does serve as a proving ground for good or bad.  The fare policy will apply to both local service and to cross-border commuters.  This simply is not palpable across the board in North America.

Some agencies might actually find providing free service to be more efficient than all the hassles of collecting fares from their riders, and I am aware of agencies that have done that.  That had been one of the arguments during the Dean administration for instituting the Downtown Free Ride circulators, Routes Nº 60 and 61.  Often times the transit agencies don’t advertise that when they look to increase funding. It also greatly depends on the area being served.  Fare-box revenue is already a small portion of the money that funds most transit system anyway, and for healthy agencies such as KCATA, going 100% subsidized isn't that big of a shift.  One factor holding many cities back from offering free transit is their reliance on fare-box recovery, which can make up a sizable chunk of some transit agencies’ operating budgets, such as that of Wego Transit (Nashville MTA), which given the state of affairs during the last few decades has been strapped for cash, desperately needed for operations and maintenance.

It's an intriguing idea, but just as with any intention it would have side effects, since people tend to value things they pay for more.  The biggest detriment to “free” rides is setting up limitations where free rides end. In many cases, agencies with even limited no-fare service have had to find deterrents to the homeless camping out all day and even setting up housekeeping on transit buses and trains, particularly in cold or inclement weather.  The collection of fares to board and timed transfers to continue limited riding tends to discourage that.   A primary benefit addresses equity concerns by making transit free for seniors, students, people with disabilities, and other groups that are transit-dependent (captive riders), although most major transit systems offer programs that subsidize fares for low-income riders.  An additional benefit of free-for-all is that it would (hopefully) tend to “induce” ridership from choice riders as well as the income-poor.

Those purporting the need for “civil liberties” say they are dead against more taxes to subsidize transit, so as the population increases, the need for more highways follows suit, let alone for conveying all those who cannot afford to live “reasonably” close to the workplace.  Free rides system-wide aren’t for every agency, but they can work for some.  While not realized by most patrons or even the public at large in Nashville, the loss of free rides along the Jefferson Street corridor in 2018, combined with route Nº60 (downtown circulator) and which had been the 8th more ridden route system-wide at the time, represented a significant set-back for those who needed the free service the most ─ the center-most core of North Nashville.   This is why we see no more of those "Loud Green" buses floating around.   But free-for-all is not substitute for poor service, and opponents would argue that fare-collections help offset the cost of improving service frequency and coverage.  Just saying.

https://www.archdaily.com/908252/luxembourg-becomes-first-country-to-make-all-public-transit-free?fbclid=IwAR1QOYvy2c8ZHmpzN99xJWPA5nqMjtmi8Wijgo0WVgFS9zGicCSk2mqWpD4

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11 hours ago, Dale said:

Speaking of power lines, Moscow has the most attractive public realm I’ve ever seen, pages of delicious stuff ...

https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=2047505

Beautiful stuff indeed... makes me want to visit!  I've heard that over the past ten years Moscow city has really invested heavily into making it's public realm more vibrant and livable, and it definitely shows... that was never really a priority during the Communist era I suppose.

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1 hour ago, BnaBreaker said:

Beautiful stuff indeed... makes me want to visit!  I've heard that over the past ten years Moscow city has really invested heavily into making it's public realm more vibrant and livable, and it definitely shows... that was never really a priority during the Communist era I suppose.

I know I was stunned. The scale of transformation is almost incomprehensible. 

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On 11/14/2019 at 6:15 PM, KJHburg said:

Start with one line and grow it

Tried that with the AMP and it got killed.

Also, as I have said time and time again, 840N is dead. It ain't happening.

We need high speed, high capacity transit with frequent service operating in dedicated ROW.

On 11/14/2019 at 6:15 PM, KJHburg said:

tolls

Are illegal at the state level.

On 11/14/2019 at 6:15 PM, KJHburg said:

Ramp metering

Great idea. We should implement it a soon as possible.

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