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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

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On 1/3/2020 at 9:24 AM, Bos2Nash said:

^^He's saying the right things. Let's just hope he can act the right way.

Is he? I hope so, but I can't shake the feeling that all this "regional" talk is just going to lead to some giant interstate project (like the $2.6 billion beauty in Louisville), maybe with a few sidewalks and walking trails thrown in to make it "multi-modal".

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27 minutes ago, AronG said:

Is he? I hope so, but I can't shake the feeling that all this "regional" talk is just going to lead to some giant interstate project (like the $2.6 billion beauty in Louisville), maybe with a few sidewalks and walking trails thrown in to make it "multi-modal".

Good lord, that interchange, WHHHHHYYYYY!

I hope the same, I can see the whole "double decker" interchange coming back into the conversation or something similarly not helpful.

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21 minutes ago, AronG said:

Is he? I hope so, but I can't shake the feeling that all this "regional" talk is just going to lead to some giant interstate project (like the $2.6 billion beauty in Louisville), maybe with a few sidewalks and walking trails thrown in to make it "multi-modal".

Thankfully Nashville will have new high rises and apartments lining the west loop of the interstate, and along River North, so we are unlikely to have that happen downtown. We are more likely to see something like this for the 40/440/24 junction, or the Ellington parkway interchange on the east. 
 

TDOT has been pretty clear that adding lanes isn’t an option. I’d imagine we might get dedicated ROW express busses along the interstate corridors, with a prayer of getting Commuter rail.
 

If we could get dedicated ROW BRT, an expansion of the sidewalk network, and a light rail line to the airport down Murfreesboro Pike in Davidson Co. along with dedicated ROW transit along the interstate corridor, I feel like that would be a good starting point for a regional system. This of course is predicated on the local jurisdictions providing some form of transit that connects to the last mile. 

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Wow! Nashville needs so much in this area. We've discussed how the I-24/I-65 interchange just north of dt looks exactly the same as in 1978. The "Fern Squeeze" used to annoy me that they kept that bridge on that stony ridge, even when they revamped the freeways 20 years ago. Now I just suppress a smile and shake my head on the rare occasions when I pass through it. But Nashville needs a comprehensive mass transit plan... and I've said my piece on this forum before: they'll need to dedicate lanes (whether it be bus/LRT/etc.) on secondary streets that currently are broken off by the freeway. Streets like Hayes/Grundy with a bridge over I-40/I-65.... and 3rd Avenue North over I-65 to MetroCenter... etc. Also, one of the Germantown streets that run E-W over the river to River North and beyond to East Nashville. That way the ROW costs will not be nearly as much as if they cut completely new paths. 

Edited by MLBrumby
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There are a lot of plans that have been proposed, it's getting funding for anything that's the issue. The state legislature doesn't like the big cities. Perhaps out new republican governor and our somewhat republican new mayor can work out something. I among the doubtful for now. Everyone talks a good game but can't do much in first administrations.

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5 minutes ago, Nash_12South said:

There are a lot of plans that have been proposed, it's getting funding for anything that's the issue. The state legislature doesn't like the big cities. Perhaps out new republican governor and our somewhat republican new mayor can work out something. I among the doubtful for now. Everyone talks a good game but can't do much in first administrations.

Governor Lee seems to be interested, given that transit access is becoming more important to companies looking to expand/relocate. 

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2 hours ago, Nash_12South said:

There are a lot of plans that have been proposed, it's getting funding for anything that's the issue. The state legislature doesn't like the big cities. Perhaps out new republican governor and our somewhat republican new mayor can work out something. I among the doubtful for now. Everyone talks a good game but can't do much in first administrations.

When has a governor, regardless of party, openly admitted that transit is an issue that needs to be addressed? 

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An interview with new Transportation Chief for theMayor's office, Faye DiMassimo, has in interview before who sets out on 11 part tour of Davidson Country to hear directly from residents about a new transportation plan.

More at NBJ here:

https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2020/01/09/mayor-coopers-transportation-chief-on-how-upcoming.html?iana=hpmvp_nsh_news_headline

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2 hours ago, BnaBreaker said:

I totally agree... I also wish they'd stop having SO many 'community meetings' throughout the planning process.  I mean,  I agree that receiving input and opinions from the residents these projects would effect is important to a degree.  At the same time though, the vast majority of these folks are not transportation engineers and, truthfully, have no idea what they're talking about.  So there's only so much weight we should be putting into this community input.  Like you said, I wish they'd just pick a place to start, go all out on it, do it the right way, and then move onto the next step.  We've been talking about doing something for decades now.  Time to actually DO something.

With no due respect to transportation engineers, they don't have any idea what they're talking about either. See Nashville transportation for evidence. 

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2 minutes ago, downtownresident said:

Is CSX gonna let them use existing tracks, or would they have to build new(or maybe a combo of both)? 

I don't know, but I would bet we would have to build new tracks. 

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Indeed, Amtrak Senior Dir. of Government Affairs Ray Lang presented a plan for new Tennessee lines to Atlanta and Chicago at the Statehouse yesterday. Two of those proposed lines would connect Memphis to Chicago and Nashville to Atlanta with stops in Murfreesboro, Tullahoma and Chattanooga. 

The company operates at a loss, so states that have inter-city service cover those losses to have the long-distance passenger trains. Lang estimated that Tennessee could be on the hook for several million dollars a year if the plan comes to fruition. 

Federal law allows Amtrak access to freight rail lines, but the costs for access are also high. 

CSX Transportation operates most of the track needed for Amtrak's plans in Tennessee. A study is needed to understand the full cost of new infrastructure and planning to add new capacity. 

Introducing passenger trains to heavily used freight lines will be a complex, costly process, said CSX State Government and Community Affairs Vice President Jane Covington. The change could result in costly delays for the industries that rely on the tracks if the transition isn't managed well.

"I understand that Amtrak is here today simply to gauge the state's interest. This is the first we're seeing of this," Covington told the committee. "And I understand that you guys are hearing from your constituents about the crowded roads, and you're obviously looking for solutions to that. But we want to make sure you do it in a way to make sure it doesn't backfire and divert freight off the rails and onto the highways."

More at The Tennessean here:

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2020/01/15/amtrak-nashville-tennessee-train-service-state-legislators/4470256002/

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