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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread


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Anyone who's driven on I-40 has undoubtedly noticed the huge increase in traffic, both cars and trucks, particularly between Nashville and Knoxville.  In my ideal world there would be passenger and freight rail parallel to I-40 from Memphis to Knoxville and then up to the Tri Cities to connect in Virginia with the Amtrak line to DC.

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Well....those "clueless people" happened to do over 100 town halls (attended by over 10,000 people) and a tremendous amount of research in putting that proposal together that many folks happen to thin

There was another couple of articles in the NBJ. It was a both side of the coin approach, as Charles Robert Bone Pro and Joe Scarlett Con shared their views.  The one comment Scarlett proposed wa

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14 minutes ago, MLBrumby said:

Rookzie! Please send a letter to the Congressional bump on the log, Jim Cooper. 

I don't understand why you are harping on Jim Cooper---these proposals just came out in the past week for this massive Infrastructure Bill concept, and then this series of Amtrak upgrades.  How on earth could he possibly be addressing all sorts of details on such a sweeping initial concepts?   Geesh.  

That being said, I think it is a good idea for Rookzie and anyone else with train expertise to reach out and offer historical perspective and advice on how to make Nashville a potential passenger train destination again, whether conventional, or (fingers crossed) high speed rail.  : )

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I agree with Rookzie’s interpretation of all of this. The speed needs to be higher and it needs to connect with points north. That is pretty much my thinking as well.

Rookzie knows his stuff and if he says the rail infrastructure is not there, then it will be hard to do. Again, I will harp on this as I have done in the past. The Federal Gov. already has huge right of ways along the interstate systems. Why do they not just use those corridors and lay track there.

It seems the biggest outlay of cash is getting right of ways and buying land for these projects. I think the federal government is so blinded by politics now because they have to make sure it is the biggest and most costly way to do something because they have to make sure the companies that donate to them are hired to do the work. Folks it is not the left doing this it is the right as well. So lets not get into some political discussion.

I am just fed up with all of them, because they do not know what keep it simple is any longer, if they ever did.

 

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59 minutes ago, markhollin said:

I don't understand why you are harping on Jim Cooper---these proposals just came out in the past week for this massive Infrastructure Bill concept, and then this series of Amtrak upgrades.  How on earth could he possibly be addressing all sorts of details on such a sweeping initial concepts?   Geesh.  

That being said, I think it is a good idea for Rookzie and anyone else with train expertise to reach out and offer historical perspective and advice on how to make Nashville a potential passenger train destination again, whether conventional, or (fingers crossed) high speed rail.  : )

Simply put, I think Cooper is a lame representative from anywhere, especially when it comes to a city/region that I plan to relocate to at some point.  My comments here about the several times I've met him appear throughout this forum. I won't state them again. But beyond the personal, I don't think he represents his district well. It took him more than 15 years to land funding for what (at the time) was the top federal courthouse priority by the GSA, then the priority was bumped down with his party in charge of the House while several cities leapfrogged over Nashville with funding for their courthouses. There was a Tennessean article from sometime around 2014 (I don't care to go back & dig it out) on the subject of how long the CH had taken, still unfunded at that point.  I remember a quote when the writer asked why it had taken fifteen years, and he said, "I don't know."  That sums it up.  He's just blah and not very smart.  Yes, he's Harvard, but what son of a governor can't get into Harvard?  I've engaged him on a number of subjects in law and healthcare in which he was supposed to be an expert, and he just has no imagination. He's a seat-warmer (very ordinary).  Nashville can do a lot better, but that will never happen. He's never challenged. 

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52 minutes ago, MLBrumby said:

Simply put, I think Cooper is a lame representative from anywhere, especially when it comes to a city/region that I plan to relocate to at some point.  My comments here about the several times I've met him appear throughout this forum. I won't state them again. But beyond the personal, I don't think he represents his district well. It took him more than 15 years to land funding for what (at the time) was the top federal courthouse priority by the GSA, then the priority was bumped down with his party in charge of the House while several cities leapfrogged over Nashville with funding for their courthouses. There was a Tennessean article from sometime around 2014 (I don't care to go back & dig it out) on the subject of how long the CH had taken, still unfunded at that point.  I remember a quote when the writer asked why it had taken fifteen years, and he said, "I don't know."  That sums it up.  He's just blah and not very smart.  Yes, he's Harvard, but what son of a governor can't get into Harvard?  I've engaged him on a number of subjects in law and healthcare in which he was supposed to be an expert, and he just has no imagination. He's a seat-warmer (very ordinary).  Nashville can do a lot better, but that will never happen. He's never challenged. 

Well, as I've stated before, your opinions are not shared by the vast majority here in his district.  He's known as a policy wonk who is quite well versed on many issues.  He definitely is a "blue dog Democrat" who watches budget expenditures more than most.  I know of various cases both large and small where he acted decisively in helping  situations get resolved quickly for individuals as well as significant segments of the population. I've met with him most likely more than you have, with longer conversations, and simply don't see the characteristics you repeatedly bring up here.

Let's just end it at that.

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On 4/1/2021 at 1:34 AM, BnaBreaker said:

That's what I thought too.  I'm thrilled that they thought to (finally) include us in their expansion plans, but I'm afraid any service might be borderline useless if it doesn't provide Nashvillians with access to the Midwest and East Coast as well.  I mean, Atlanta is nice and all... but we deserve more than to be just some isolated (as Amtrak routes go) secondary outpost of Atlanta.

Tennessean coverage of the Amtrak proposal: 

'OMG': Amtrak service from Nashville to Atlanta is now in Biden's transportation plan, too

Daniella Medina
Nashville Tennessean

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2021/04/01/amtrak-nashville-routes-atlanta-biden-transportation-plan/4839151001/?fbclid=IwAR0WutHaFyuRvXQTfx2azfCUTdzH9ia-BZ5DTQOs8HQttXDeO7dPhOhwIMg

 

Here's an article they did from a year ago that includes a poll for which route people want the most:

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/2020/01/15/where-would-you-want-amtrak-routes-nashville-take-you/4480828002/

PollImage.png.fea30f54082f9c9a4b182decbf3e9e34.png

 

 

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So what moron came up with the idea of Amtrak to Atlanta when a majority of people clearly want Chicago. I wonder where other is too?  Nashville suburbs screams commuter rail for Nashville and not Amtrak. That is sort of a no brainer regional, and not federal issue.

My guess is that if this same poll were conducted today the numbers would be even more in favor of Chicago. As Nashville continues to grow, it seems our ties to the Windy City will increase. I see it in the number of developers and people moving here. They are not from Atlanta, but more from Chicago. I really think the ties to Atlanta will decrease as time passes.

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And the way the Tennessean article headlines it too is utterly silly.  "OMG"!!!!!!!   The Tennessean is the WORST 'newspaper' of any top 200 city in the USA. Just awful. 

To Ron's point, Tennessee is a magnet for Chicago transplants. We have total 30 houses on my street, and I don't know all the families. I do know 6 families who moved here from Chicagoland, 3 in the past year!  Saw several articles over the past year that Chicago/Illinois is the largest loser of population over the past decade. It accelerated during the pandemic. 

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The current transit plan is nothing more than lipstick on the ugliest pig you have ever seen. Sidewalks should be considered in a different bill altogether and treated as their own animal. They can spend a billion dollars on sidewalks and not even come close to fixing the problem. Granted its because its the entire county. A Metro form of govt. is a bit of a curse. 

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49 minutes ago, Nicholson said:

 

  • "...the perfect should not be the enemy of good, fast transit now."

 

I think that's a big problem, everyone wants a NYC/London style system in one fail swoop! Not gonna happen folks.

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4 hours ago, Nashvillain said:

Without getting into a whole thing, transit will fail without walkability at both legs of the journey. Sidewalks (or some serious traffic calming) are a critical piece of any transit infrastructure.

I should say, any successful transit infrastructure

You're the one (at least one), who could effect a positive difference here.  I seem to have lost my window of opportunity with "aligning stars" of sidereal astrology.

So far in 30 years (maybe 40), the Mid-State has gone nowhere materially, except for a few hybrid-electric buses and a shiny set of rebuilt stainless-steel gallery coaches and locomotive sets.  At least transfers have remained free (for now).  Then too, some would beg to differ.

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3 hours ago, smeagolsfree said:

I will harp on this over and over. Put the commuter rail or light rail along the HOV lanes. They already own the land. Build the stations over the interstate. It is a logical most cost effective way to do it. You also are taking the HOV lanes away from the hobnobs and force them to, A) ride the train or, B) be stuck in traffic.

The primary reason that commuters don't "ride the train" is simply because there isn't a train route that goes from where they live to where their final destination is and there never will be.  The only solution is to create an extensive park and ride system so that a commuter can at least get from their home to a reasonably close rail station that would use one of those HOV lanes (that's an excellent idea by the way) that's been converted to a rail line and then to a point in the city center that's close to most of the businesses that people are commuting to.  At this point you'd have to have an efficient means of getting to your final destination and back again when you've finished work for the day which is no small task but it could be done.  I do get annoyed when people are always complaining that large numbers of people aren't using mass transit because it really doesn't exist except in a few places like NYC or Chicago.  Planners need to realize that a commuter needs to complete the entire trip from home to work in a reasonable amount of time and our cities with their sprawling suburbs were poorly designed in terms of mass transit but that's the reality that we're dealing with and and our plans need to consider that.  People commute for hours in heavy traffic everyday because they have no other alternative and I've lived in quite a few cities and have experienced it my entire working life.

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