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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread


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So, every time I see a photo of the days in Nashville when there was a street car/trolley system, I always wonder why did Nashville get rid of it in the first place?  And, if it went outside of downtown just how far out from downtown did it go?  Does anyone know the answers to these two questions?

This photo of the original Maxwell House Hotel in 1915 was posted by MarkHollin in the Project Thread/New Construction/Photo du jour/Const. CAMs topic.

1915 Maxwell House Hotel x.png

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They have been attaching the overhead signs during the past week+

It will be interesting to see if the crossover works. Current congestion on Murfreesboro Pike at LaVergne can currently be a 45 minute delay; thus it will interesting to see Murfreesboro Pike switch gears to accommodate a different traffic flow

One area of concern is there are now several schools with 15mph zones that did not exist when this plan was created (and more on the way). Thank you Metro and Metro schools for the wonderful foresight of placing schools directly on major corridors

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Mayor Cooper's new $1.5 billion transit plan drawing more questions than answers.

The primary concern: Where's the money?

Nashville is projecting a $200 million hit to its budget this fiscal year from the COVID-19 business shutdowns, and calls to reverse the recent 34% property tax increase are only growing louder. Meanwhile, Nashville's public transit system is hemorrhaging millions of dollars from reduced ridership. 

"I have no idea how they’re going to implement a single thing from that plan for the remainder of this term," said downtown Council Member Freddie O'Connell, who has worked to enact prior transit expansions. "Right now I can’t get $75,000 for the Third Avenue North bike lane project and we've already cleared all the plans and designs."

Cooper wants to focus on enhancing existing bus routes and stations, modernizing traffic signals and infrastructure, expanding sidewalks, and repairing potholes and damaged streets. 

The funding will come from specialized new grants, creative budgeting and private contributions, Cooper's representatives said. 

A final plan with specifics will be presented for support to the full Metro Council sometime before the end of the year, said Faye DiMassimo, the mayor's senior advisor for transportation and infrastructure.

"I view it as them saying they're going to be opportunistic as funding sources become available," said At-large Council Member Bob Mendes. "As a direction, I think more focus on neighborhood infrastructure sounds great. But, without being tied to funding, I don't know what that would be but a statement of present intentions."

The proposal allocates $35 million for new bikeways over the next five years and $400 million for new sidewalks, bridges and street repairs.

But O'Connell said there are few options when it comes to producing new transportation funds. 

"I don't know any other dedicated funding source that allows you to build a transit system other than sales tax," O'Connell said. "I'm in the fifth year of waiting for delivery of 900 linear feet of sidewalk on Herman Street. 

"People are walking more and want more access to open space, so this is the best possible time to do low-cost, high-impact infrastructure. And we can't even do that. I hope that changes over the next three years, but I can't say I'm optimistic."

More behind The Tennessean paywall here:

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2020/08/31/nashvilles-new-transit-plan-draws-questions-funding/5633054002/

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O'Connell's profile has been rising of late. Do folks here think he'll make a run for mayor next time?  I predicted back when Cooper won that there would be a power play started by a/some member(s) of the Metro Council very early in his term. Politicians can smell blood. Cooper has inflicted a lot of those cuts on himself. 

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