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Rep. Jason Powell (D-Nashville) has filed a bill that would trigger a study of the feasibility of returning passenger rail service to and from Nashville.

The line would include stops in Chattanooga, Tullahoma and Murfreesboro and could eventually be extended to Memphis.

Powell admitted that the discussions are “still very much in the preliminary stages.”

The proposed study would be conducted by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

More behind the Nashville Post paywall here:

https://www.nashvillepost.com/politics/state-government/article/21111490/lawmaker-wants-to-study-nashville-train-route

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The NYC based advocacy group Transit Center has released a report with insights as to why the city's 2018 transit-funding referendum failed.  Its findings are based off more than 40 interviews with a variety of stakeholders, from campaign staffers and Transit for Nashville coalition members to Mayor Megan Barry's planning team.

Some of the key takeaways:

- The planning team focused too heavily on going big

- The Barry administration alienated African American voters


- The campaign's ties to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce made voters uneasy

- Barry's resignation allowed opposition to build support


The full report is here:

https://transitcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/nashville_report_8x10_RGB_interactive.pdf

More at NBJ here:

https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2020/01/22/report-details-demise-of-nashvilles-5-4-billion.html?iana=hpmvp_nsh_news_headline

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I think if Barry administration's referendum was for lightrail just  in east Nashville connecting to downtown (with an outline for future lines via future referendums if this was is successful) AND Barry did not have the sex scandal, it would have passed. 

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1 hour ago, PaulChinetti said:

So going small doesn't work (AMP), going big doesn't work (See the 2018 referendum), so what's next the medium approach?

 

Calm down.

 

We're getting another study!

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I do think if BRT was put along charlottte avenue first (I know that west end was chosen because of available federal funds only for west end), it would have been successful and we'd now be in the discussion of where to put other lines... 

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Charlotte would be easier but it's substantially less dense than the West End corridor. I think if we had built out a BRT on Charlotte at the time the AMP was proposed we'd be talking about disappointing ridership now.

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On 1/20/2020 at 2:13 PM, PaulChinetti said:

massive re-timing of traffic lights for the rush hours. 

I think I read somewhere that this is being planned for this year or next.

On 1/22/2020 at 8:32 AM, markhollin said:

The planning team focused too heavily on going big

The kinda had too given that when they tried to go small a few year earlier with The Amp, it got shut down at the State level.

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On 1/22/2020 at 10:16 AM, nashvylle said:

I think if Barry administration's referendum was for lightrail just  in east Nashville connecting to downtown (with an outline for future lines via future referendums if this was is successful) AND Barry did not have the sex scandal, it would have passed. 

Line 1:  proof of concept. Trinity lane and Gallatin Pike to Music City Central area via Gallatin Pike, Main St, James Robertson Pky. via easy to swallow referendum.  tax on something that doesnt affect the average resident, like a hotel tax.

Line 1A: constructed simultaneously.   Airport to Sobro via Murfreesboro Pike. I believe last year this may have been secretly in the works with funds from the Airport authority and the convention center. 

Leave them disconnected.  this eliminates the costly tunnel. BUT people will see the need for an eventual tunnel.

1st extension:  from music city central  to 51st Via James Robertson Pkwy and Charlotte Pike.    going around the capital again saves tunnel money. 

from there,  maybe more referendums for more taxes. with west end, murfreesboro pike, nolensville pike, can all be built.  and of course, eventually the downtown tunnel.  too bad we can get federal funding like existed in the 70s.

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6 hours ago, PHofKS said:

There was some discussion on the Avalon Midtown topic about the possibility the City may be considering some sort of transit line from downtown to Midtown. I have made a few sketches with a suggestion on how to route it to the West End/White Bridge Road area.

First I would  recommend using a 'street car' such as what Atlanta has installed in their downtown...

49437699096_7c6528e2d5_z.jpg

… rather than a trolley such as what Charlotte is installing....

49437229143_defcf99335.jpg

The trolley resembles a tour bus and may not be readily identifiable as rapid transit in Nashville.

A comment was made that a Church Street/Grundy Street/Hayes Street route was under consideration. I would suggest a Commerce Street/Nashville Yards/Grundy Street/ Hayes Street/ Elliston Place/ West End/Murphy Road/ McCabe Golf Course/Nashville State/White Bridge Road (whew!) route as shown below...

49437699076_cf9f009901_c.jpg

49437699091_23b79e7798_c.jpg

49437924602_75977c9f0c_c.jpg

A few points about this plan;

  1. Church Street is very narrow and I thought Commerce Street would work better with a right-of-way provided through Nashville Yards who I would think would be delighted to have a street car station in the heart of their development. It would look good rolling down the street in front of the AEG/MGM Hotel.
  2. Bridges would have to be built across the RR tracks and I-40 to carry the line away from existing over crowded viaducts and bridges. 
  3. Hayes Street may have to lose its parking spaces
  4. The route would take it down West End to Murphy Road and up to McCabe Golf Course.
  5. The route would cross the  City owned McCabe GC which has 27 holes. The construction could be arranged to allow golf to continue on 18 holes. When the route is compete, the course could be rearranged to allow 27 greens with underpasses beneath the tracks for golfers.
  6. The route the goes through a section of Nashville State CC to and then down White Bridge Road to St. Thomas Hospital.

Those are the high points, but mainly, it eliminates the portion of West End west of I-440 from controversy and keeps it off Broadway.

It would serve the following attractors;

  • Lower Broadway and downtown
  • Nashville Yards/Live at Nashville/Amazon
  • The booming Broadway/West End split area and pass three blocks from the Music Row Roundabout.
  • The Midtown hospital complex and Vanderbilt.
  • Centennial Park and the Vanderbilt sports complex.
  • The Murphy Road roundabout retail and residential neighborhood
  • And finally, the White Bridge Road/Harding Road district with St. Thomas West Hospital.

It's just a suggestion and something I wish the City would consider.

That would be an incredible first route. They could cut up third, and cross the river on the Woodland street bridge and extend it all the way to 10th, and then use 10th to take it up Gallatin. They would likely have to replace the I-24 overpass at Woodland to do it, but it would be worth it. 

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You thought the push back against the AMP and last plan was bad?  Just wait until you mess with McCabe golfers ability to play(real or perceived) .  Hell hath no fury'd.

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I think transit to the airport would be a big mistake for Nashville, aside from normal bus service. It would be largely for the benefit of out-of-towners since the number of locals that would want to go downtown to get a train to the airport would be quite small. Even then, I don't think it would capture a big enough portion of those travelers to be worthwhile. Maybe it would make sense as a tie-in to an existing network, but as a first or even 5th line I don't see the benefit.

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8 minutes ago, GregH said:

I think transit to the airport would be a big mistake for Nashville, aside from normal bus service. It would be largely for the benefit of out-of-towners since the number of locals that would want to go downtown to get a train to the airport would be quite small. Even then, I don't think it would capture a big enough portion of those travelers to be worthwhile. Maybe it would make sense as a tie-in to an existing network, but as a first or even 5th line I don't see the benefit.

It would cut out a fair amount of Airport traffic on the interstate I would think.  

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22 minutes ago, GregH said:

I think transit to the airport would be a big mistake for Nashville, aside from normal bus service. It would be largely for the benefit of out-of-towners since the number of locals that would want to go downtown to get a train to the airport would be quite small. Even then, I don't think it would capture a big enough portion of those travelers to be worthwhile. Maybe it would make sense as a tie-in to an existing network, but as a first or even 5th line I don't see the benefit.

It would also give Murfreesboro Pike/Lafayette a shot in the arm and spur transit oriented development along it. 

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15 minutes ago, PaulChinetti said:

It would cut out a fair amount of Airport traffic on the interstate I would think.  

Wouldn't that be an induced demand situation where more local traffic just fills in any vacated space? I don't think "reduces traffic" is a good selling point for transit either since it is secondary to the goal of transit and also might not actually happen or would be hard to quantify.  I don't think the politics are good. The cost and impact would be almost entirely on Nashville taxpayers, but what percentage of Nashvillians fly more than once a year or so? I'd wager that number is pretty small, certainly not a majority. And how many of those would use airport transit? Frequent fliers are also much more likely to be wealthier folks. So we would have a likely huge municipal expenditure primarily for the benefit of people that don't vote here, that also potentially reduces income for taxi and rideshare drivers that do vote here. Is that a fight worth having?

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