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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread


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1 hour ago, smeagolsfree said:

There are plenty of places to build TOD’s along these corridors, closer in than you think. The land use policy is one of the things that Metro needs to change especially along Nolensville, Gallatin N, & Dickerson N, without going way out into the burbs. These corridors can be lined with TOD’s and when you have more and the demand goes down, then the price while eventually start dropping. Again Metro needs to get way ahead of the game and start putting overlays in place now until 5 or 10 years down the road. This is where many of the Council members are short sighted and have to look past their own term. I will say Brett is an exception to the rule with what is happening on the East Bank as he gets it!

That is why the State needs to be part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem and right now, just like on this board with everyone that thinks they are so politically divided over stupid issues, no one is talking to each other and everyone is suffering.

While I do agree that the Land Use policies have a significant role in the way TODs develop. We cannot really call them TODs if we don't have a frequent, reliable transit system, right? If we are so critical of our current bus system (which in my mind is justified) we cannot expect TODs to just start popping up. The TODs aren't what drive transit, but rather the other way around. 100% agree on the shortsightedness of council, because they are all just vote panderers, some with larger aspirations. I made the same comment about Colby and the Racetrack situation. Brett has been taking some serious heat over in the EN social media world, but to a certain extent he may be setting himself up for an At-Large seat (has anyone gotten an indication if he is/isn't?). 

On our major corridors, it needs to be a State/Metro joint task and every time Metro has taken a stab at something that brushes up against the state, the state shoots them down. The state needs to put their big boy pants on as well because two (Nolensville and Dickerson) of the three major roadways you mentioned are state controlled through the heart of the city and the third (Gallatin) is state controlled once we get north of Briley. That's not to mention Charlotte, West End Ave, 21st Ave S/Broadway, 8th Ave/Rosa Parks and Lafayette Street/Lebanon Pike. The State is willingly keeping their head in the sand while also pointing the finger at the municipal governments saying get their shit in order.

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6 minutes ago, Bos2Nash said:

While I do agree that the Land Use policies have a significant role in the way TODs develop. We cannot really call them TODs if we don't have a frequent, reliable transit system, right? If we are so critical of our current bus system (which in my mind is justified) we cannot expect TODs to just start popping up. The TODs aren't what drive transit, but rather the other way around. 100% agree on the shortsightedness of council, because they are all just vote panderers, some with larger aspirations. I made the same comment about Colby and the Racetrack situation. Brett has been taking some serious heat over in the EN social media world, but to a certain extent he may be setting himself up for an At-Large seat (has anyone gotten an indication if he is/isn't?). 

On our major corridors, it needs to be a State/Metro joint task and every time Metro has taken a stab at something that brushes up against the state, the state shoots them down. The state needs to put their big boy pants on as well because two (Nolensville and Dickerson) of the three major roadways you mentioned are state controlled through the heart of the city and the third (Gallatin) is state controlled once we get north of Briley. That's not to mention Charlotte, West End Ave, 21st Ave S/Broadway, 8th Ave/Rosa Parks and Lafayette Street/Lebanon Pike. The State is willingly keeping their head in the sand while also pointing the finger at the municipal governments saying get their shit in order.

Read my post Craig, That is pretty much what I am saying is the state has to work with Metro and any mass transit has to work hand in glove with new zoning.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well in regards to passenger rail to Memphis and Huntsville, I doubt there would be much demand from Nashville to cities by themselves. Not a lot of folks in Nashville travel to Huntsville for much of anything. Folks in Huntsville do come to Nashville for shopping, entertainment, concerts, & pro games, but that is a very car centric city. Much more so than Nashville.

Memphis is pretty much a non starter too if it is only a  intrastate connection and if it was a intrastate connection only then the State would be responsible and we all know how that ends. Pretty much the same as any other intrastate connection to any other city in the state.

The one I would be in definitely be in favor of is Louisville as long as it continues on to Indy and Chicago.

 If we connect to Atlanta, it would be fine if again it connected to points North, and Memphis is fine as long as it continues to connect to points west, The Memphis line needs to connect to Little Rock to further connect to Texas. It would need to continue from Memphis through Nashville with Nashville being the hub between the lines going north and southeast to Atlanta.

I would further propose that it would connect east through Knoxville and Gatlinburg and further east to Charlotte & or Raleigh. Charlotte is a bear of a drive and worthy of rail.

Some of the cities the current rail lines connect to make no economic sense or are growing population wise like Birmingham, Little Rock, but are on old lines. Amtrak just did not keep up with the times. Now they are behind .

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  • 3 weeks later...

18 hours ago, smeagolsfree said:

I think as more folks move into the core attitudes will change as far as riding the bus. The recent census numbers bode well for this, but again buses will not solve the problems that Nashville has right now because of the lack of dedicated lanes for them to run in. The buses will be stuck in traffic. It will be faster to ride your bike from a lot of those same areas. Nashville is in no way Houston as that is a very gridded city as compared to Nashville.

It will do nothing to help the mess downtown, and nothing to alleviate the mess on the Interstate that is about to get a lot worse once the pandemic is over, and business/convention business is back to where it was before.

I will wait and see number 1 if Cooper gets another term, then if he gets another term what he does. Then, number 2 if someone else is running against him has a better plan, lets see what that is. I will bet it will be a big campaign issue next election.

The notion we have to begin removing is that our future transportation system's main priority is to reduce traffic congestion. It won't! As soon as some cars are removed, more will take their spot. The priority for our future transportation is to [provide an equalizer for citizens to choose whether they need to have their own transportation or can they make use of efficient transportation. Being able to choose to live in the city - and pay city costs - while not needing a car - and all the associated costs with it - is what we should be striving for. You look at other cities that have large transit systems and traffic is still an ongoing issue. 

The BRT routes that you mention will be important, but not every route will require it. I would think some of our downtown routes should have some dedicated ROW and certain pikes for cross town routes could have dedicated ROW (think like Trinity Lane) but the notion that a transportation plan needs dedicated bus lanes everywhere is not rooted in reality IMO. Depending on where the transportation hubs end up (we have the one in North Nashville and Green Hills) I could see BRT  dedicated lanes for certain times of the day, but having them come and go a specific times creates opportunity for impatient drivers to jump into those lanes in an effort to jump the line so it can be a very finicky solution to find.

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19 hours ago, PaulChinetti said:

Continuous Sidewalks. These are excellent. 

"It feels like the people walking are in control, and the drivers are a guest in their environment."

This is great! I think the mindset of a city road versus rural road (strong town fans would want me to say streets, roads or stroads haha) in which many things like this should probably change.

Unfortunately there is a mentality that these dont always work in the US due to trying to simplify the skill required to our typical public works employees. Other factors such as snow plows play a rather dominant role in how some street design standards are implemented. I believe this may be one of the reason we see the color differentiation between bike lanes and roads. Climate plays a big role in material selection as well. We see alot of "stamped" concrete or asphalt because bricks and stones heave in cold settings and they cause a lot of maintenance nightmares, but we are a creative nation so why haven't we solved this yet haha

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15 minutes ago, Bos2Nash said:

The notion we have to begin removing is that our future transportation system's main priority is to reduce traffic congestion. It won't! As soon as some cars are removed, more will take their spot. The priority for our future transportation is to [provide an equalizer for citizens to choose whether they need to have their own transportation or can they make use of efficient transportation. Being able to choose to live in the city - and pay city costs - while not needing a car - and all the associated costs with it - is what we should be striving for. You look at other cities that have large transit systems and traffic is still an ongoing issue. 

The BRT routes that you mention will be important, but not every route will require it. I would think some of our downtown routes should have some dedicated ROW and certain pikes for cross town routes could have dedicated ROW (think like Trinity Lane) but the notion that a transportation plan needs dedicated bus lanes everywhere is not rooted in reality IMO. Depending on where the transportation hubs end up (we have the one in North Nashville and Green Hills) I could see BRT  dedicated lanes for certain times of the day, but having them come and go a specific times creates opportunity for impatient drivers to jump into those lanes in an effort to jump the line so it can be a very finicky solution to find.

Only if those finicky & impatient drivers are prevented from getting into those dedicated lanes. But as it stands right now those dedicated lanes are a pipe dream no matter how many hubs you put in, thanks to the State. Again if we were a gridded city it would be so much easier, but we are not. We are a hub & spoke city spreading out like Atlanta and we all know what kind of disaster that is.

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1 minute ago, smeagolsfree said:

Only if those finicky & impatient drivers are prevented from getting into those dedicated lanes. But as it stands right now those dedicated lanes are a pipe dream no matter how many hubs you put in, thanks to the State. Again if we were a gridded city it would be so much easier, but we are not. We are a hub & spoke city spreading out like Atlanta and we all know what kind of disaster that is.

Right. but what I meant was if we only had BRT lanes for say the rush hour time slots (think like the HOV lanes on the interstates) putting up a barrier is impossible because they would then need to be taken down not during those time slots (interesting reference, but look up Boston or San Francisco's "Zipper Truck" for temporary barriers). The time specific lanes are most likely how some cities get BRT's initiated (I know Boston time specific ones and they are a pain because of drivers) and then some cities also run pilot programs for temporary lanes that eventually go full time BRT. The state (or possibly even the city for that matter) aren't really willing to take a full lane away from cars on some (if not most) of our prominent pikes. 

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On 8/17/2021 at 7:17 PM, FrankNash said:

Why would we want to move the railyard?    It's ugly but needed.

So that the rail lines through town could be used for transit. It would also significantly reduce the conflict between surface streets and rail lines. There are neighborhoods that can be cut off from the rest of Nashville by a stopped train. A suburban/exurban site could also be larger are more modern and allow for future expansion if needed.

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I've learned a lot about this topic (and others) from many on this forum.  On mass transit, I still can't believe Nashvillians would give up any lanes for BRT (or ultimately LRT). I keep coming back to the solution that IMHO would get support across the county, definitely from the close-in neighborhoods.  RECONNECT the multitude of streets that were broken up by the interstate construction 50 years ago. Use dedicated bridges to go over the expressways (only BRT/Bus/bike/pedestrian).  Just a few off the top would be Grundy to Hayes,  Buchanan to Garfield &/or Delta, Fourth Ave North to French Landing Drive, Scovel Street to near TSU, Jackson Street to DB Todd (loop with a dedicated lane to the Scovel Line), Ft. Negley to 7th (possibly in conjunction with the Interstate reconstruction that will be required there soon). Academy Place to University Ct. and on to First Avenue South to Hart.  On the east side, there are so many disconnected streets that a whole new BRT loop network could be built.  In some locations such as the new N-S 'spine' street through River North, the city should require dedicated lanes for BRT and future rail.  This could be connected to Cowan/Vashti to continue north of I-65 up to Trinity Lane. Yes, it would be expensive, but I believe the BRT option would be much less than the rail option, which still could be implemented in the future on the same routes. If this idea is viable, it should be done before all the downtown expressways are reconstructed; they they could be integrated into the plan. 

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I hope Nashville's leadership is looking at Raleigh for its planning and at Houston for how it's been implemented.  It's been my impression that Nashville has always been behind the curve on transit, and their so-called infrastructure 'enhancements' like the Clement Landport and the central transit center next door to the Municipal Auditorium which seems confined and difficult to get in/out.  Obviously I don't know if that wasn't the best place, but I don't see BRT buses using that central station. It seems the best place would be at the parking lot along Jas Robertson between Capitol Hill and the RR tracks that run east of Capitol View . Plus, if Metro ever did get use of those tracks from CSX(?) for LRT, they'd be right there. Just doesn't seem to be a long-term view of transit in Nashville. 

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