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Last night while heading to downtown Nashville from Murfreesboro, I see that the "smart corridor panels" are finally up. I'm still skeptical, but lets see how "efficient" it really is. 

What are these?
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7 hours ago, AUNash said:


What are these?

Maybe somebody with a TDOT/transportation understanding can do better, but the jist of it is the entire smart corridor works to alleviate traffic when incidents occur and will divert vehicles off the highway to an adjacent state road to help drivers move around incidents.

At least that is my VERY basic understanding lol

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7 minutes ago, Bos2Nash said:

Maybe somebody with a TDOT/transportation understanding can do better, but the jist of it is the entire smart corridor works to alleviate traffic when incidents occur and will divert vehicles off the highway to an adjacent state road to help drivers move around incidents.

At least that is my VERY basic understanding lol

https://www.tn.gov/tdot/news/2022/3/25/i-24-smart-corridor-phase-2-gantry-construction-to-begin.html

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On 4/29/2022 at 9:58 AM, MidTenn1 said:

It's called a 'Smart Corridor' project and will utilize the parallel highway, US 41, as additional traffic lanes during peak hours. Using intelligent Transportation equipment operated with artificial intelligence, this will be one of the most innovative transportation projects in the US and is getting international attention.

738695296_SmartCoor1.thumb.jpg.500648a1044a98961c435603196e0227.jpg

 

The way many of you feel about Storyville is how I feel about this.  IMO, it feels like an "innovative" idea that likely would have minimal, if any, positive impact on Nashville's traffic issues.  Stop with the row boats across the Cumberland and build a bridge.  (for the very literal, that was intended as a sarcastic analogy)

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By pure coincidence, I was reading about the "smart motorways" in Great Britain (M & A roads) last night and stumbled across some eyebrow raising criticism aimed at them. This pertained to the stretch from London's orbital to Southampton and it struck me as what's being installed along I-24 between M'boro and Nashville (although I'm still not clear on everything they plan to do).  So I went to wikipedia and found a little more. The "hard shoulder" lanes were a bit of a strange idea that I had not heard of pertaining to I-24.  Anyway, I suppose TDOT has done studies on the matter to determine if the cost (It's a huge amount of money .. IIRC around $220M).  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_motorway  I sure wish TDOT would actually increase the lanes between M'boro and Chattanooga, as I tend to take a contrarian view of adding lanes to expressways... I'd be in favor of no expansion in urban areas (albeit with better access lanes and traffic management) and conversely additional lanes along high-traffic routes between large urban centers.  Living in Chattanooga, we've seen how Georgia keeps their rural Interstates wide and well-maintained with 3+ lanes, and then there's the embarrassing state of many Interstates in Tennessee.  As mentioned I-24 is dangerously overused, as is I-75 between Hamilton and Knox Counties. 

From the Wikipedia article: 

The Campaign for Better Transport argued that whilst it would reduce the need for widening schemes, it did nothing to reduce traffic and CO2 emissions. Friends of the Earth criticised the scheme as "widening on the cheap" and also pointed to a possible increase in vehicle emissions.[9] Highways England argue that ATM reduces the environmental impact in regards to widening as it is carried out within the existing boundaries of the motorway as well as a possible improvement in local air quality due to smoother traffic flow.[32]

The RAC cited a study in the Netherlands that showed drivers using the hard shoulder when they were not permitted, increasing the risk of a collision for vehicles stopped. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents also expressed concern that emergency services would take longer to reach an incident.[27] The Highways Agency rejected this concern based on the 5,000 miles (8,000 km) of dual carriageway that does not have a hard shoulder.[33] Disability groups were concerned that some drivers would not be able to access the emergency phones or even exit their vehicles, leaving them at increased risk.[33] Ruth Kelly, former Secretary of State for Transport stated that these schemes were useful, but that motorway widening would still be considered where it was appropriate

 

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12 minutes ago, MLBrumby said:

By pure coincidence, I was reading about the "smart motorways" in Great Britain (M & A roads) last night and stumbled across some eyebrow raising criticism aimed at them. This pertained to the stretch from London's orbital to Southampton and it struck me as what's being installed along I-24 between M'boro and Nashville (although I'm still not clear on everything they plan to do).  So I went to wikipedia and found a little more. The "hard shoulder" lanes were a bit of a strange idea that I had not heard of pertaining to I-24.  Anyway, I suppose TDOT has done studies on the matter to determine if the cost (It's a huge amount of money .. IIRC around $220M).  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_motorway  I sure wish TDOT would actually increase the lanes between M'boro and Chattanooga, as I tend to take a contrarian view of adding lanes to expressways... I'd be in favor of no expansion in urban areas (albeit with better access lanes and traffic management) and conversely additional lanes along high-traffic routes between large urban centers.  Living in Chattanooga, we've seen how Georgia keeps their rural Interstates wide and well-maintained with 3+ lanes, and then there's the embarrassing state of many Interstates in Tennessee.  As mentioned I-24 is dangerously overused, as is I-75 between Hamilton and Knox Counties.

Hard shoulder running in the US typically takes the form of transit vehicles using the shoulders (BOS/BOSS or bus on shoulder), not general traffic (there are some HSR schemes that allow all vehicles). TDOT/GNRC studied BOS for RTA buses on Interstate 24 and the problem was that all the areas where BOS provided a travel time benefit were located in areas with shoulders too narrow for buses to navigate.

Part of the problem with BOS is the narrow range of operating speeds. Most existing BOS systems limit transit vehicles to a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour during BOS operations and the maximum speed differential between transit vehicles in BOS operation and traffic in the general-purpose lanes is 15 miles per hour. So in effect peak period traffic speeds on the Interstate have to be below 35 miles per hour and generally much less to see a travel time benefit in BOS operation.

As far as HSR for all vehicles these are typically seen as a congestion relief measure in urban areas, not for long distances on rural Interstates.

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I understand it's not simple and not an easy lift economically.  Yet what is?  Retrofit a system now.  Yes, it's late.  With every passing day it gets later.   I really hope the opposition isn't based in "socioeconomics."  Nashville please don't cut off your nose to spite your face...

Apologies if this comment was better placed in the CH.

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3 hours ago, andywildman said:

 

 

I keep asking myself why it's a pipe dream.  Before anyone answers, what I'm asking myself is how do we get the decision makers to focus on how to make it work instead of reciting the reasons it won't...

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On 5/6/2022 at 12:15 PM, markhollin said:

Saw that Friday on the TV.

I've all but lost faith in any additional think-tank public-input process as this.  We've already had at least 756 of 'em since the Dean administration, and it seems nothing more than a new twist for a Groundhog Day plot.

Meanwhile, the big leach states like NY, MA, NJ, and CA keep on milking resources from federal grants, because they already have known how the game is played.  One of the latest to break the egg shell for a new light-rail start up is San Fernando.  Even with all the vast sprawl in CA as a whole, San Fernando already has had an Ace in the Hole, since it not lies within L.A. County, but also is completely surrounded by the corporation limits of L.A. City ─ sort of in the "AceHole", so to speak.  That region has been ripe for burgeoning rail transit projects since L.A. Metro opened its first line 32 years ago.  True, density plays a huge role in projections, and San Fernando almost could have done it without trying, given its location.

Just saying, announcements like this on aimed at improving mobility and addressing traffic congestion in the downtown core, is nothing but patchwork at best.  It doesn't nothing for an integrated plan, even for the county as a whole.  Instead, the wording sounds more like a Diving Bell approach to mitigating congestion and mobility issues within the downtown area, while disregarding the external dynamics that do most to create and to exacerbate the woes to start.  The interaction of festivity with localized traffic (cars, scooters, etc.) is one thing, but to focus on the downtown district alone, is like attempting to allow downtown to breathe more freely, while holding back the pressure  conferred outside its boundary.

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8 hours ago, rookzie said:

Saw that Friday on the TV.

I've all but lost faith in any additional think-tank public-input process as this.  We've already had at least 756 of 'em since the Dean administration, and it seems nothing more than a new twist for a Groundhog Day plot.

Meanwhile, the big leach states like NY, MA, NJ, and CA keep on milking resources from federal grants, because they already have known how the game is played.  One of the latest to break the egg shell for a new light-rail start up is San Fernando.  Even with all the vast sprawl in CA as a whole, San Fernando already has had an Ace in the Hole, since it not lies within L.A. County, but also is completely surrounded by the corporation limits of L.A. City ─ sort of in the "AceHole", so to speak.  That region has been ripe for burgeoning rail transit projects since L.A. Metro opened its first line 32 years ago.  True, density plays a huge role in projections, and San Fernando almost could have done it without trying, given its location.

Just saying, announcements like this on aimed at improving mobility and addressing traffic congestion in the downtown core, is nothing but patchwork at best.  It doesn't nothing for an integrated plan, even for the county as a whole.  Instead, the wording sounds more like a Diving Bell approach to mitigating congestion and mobility issues within the downtown area, while disregarding the external dynamics that do most to create and to exacerbate the woes to start.  The interaction of festivity with localized traffic (cars, scooters, etc.) is one thing, but to focus on the downtown district alone, is like attempting to allow downtown to breathe more freely, while holding back the pressure  conferred outside its boundary.

Agreed.  These public forums are about as useless as endless meetings in the corporate world.  Less talk, more action.  

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Hey look!  Another transportation study! https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2022/05/11/connect-downtown.html

 The study will focus on current transportation issues, transit connectivity, utilizing biking and walking, funding and more, according to a Metro Nashville document.

Mini rant alert!  

I know little-to-nothing about transit, but I use it when/where it's available. Like many others here, I've posited my unexpert opinion on possible routes for rail in Nashville (and in Chattanooga).  I'm with Rookzie, who stated last week his frustration with the endless "studies" on transit, all amounting to nothing while traffic in the core gets progressively worse. So this one (and I guess others before it) is focusing on walking and biking?  Really?  I have an idea!  Focus on RAIL/Bus. Is part of the problem with these fruitless studies with overly broad scope linked to money given away with prescribed elements from the DOT?  Why is funding for all these studies apparently so easy to get, but seems to be impossible to get anything built?  Is any of this required as a prelude to building transit?  Anyone on this forum know how those grants work?  What's the incentive for actually building a BRT/LRT line?

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1 hour ago, smeagolsfree said:

As much money that has been spent on studies, we could have had the best transit system in country by now!

And  that's my frustration point.  When I say stop giving us row boats and build a bridge.  All the spending on studies and this and that could , in aggregate, could have been an investment in a true transit system.  I quoted Ford before and I'll keep quoting him, if you need a machine and don't buy it, eventually you will have paid the cost and not have it.

Edited by nashville born
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Here is something to consider. Each time there is a study done on some form of transit - whether it be Bus, Rail, Bike, Pedestrian - and the plans for implementation get shot down, there essentially has to be a new study done to try and implement any new proposal. The information brought to any argument must be current and unfortunately must be updated for each failed attempt. Cooper has shown that he is wanting to work on building some reliability in the bus system with the transit centers (may be a futile effort as the routes are so inefficient) and expand to other modes of transit outside of passenger vehicles. Pedestrian and Bike are forms of transit and quite honestly are much easier to build/implement. Many of our neighborhoods within the UZO don't have sidewalks (who tf know why not) and developing a safe, connected bike system (outside of the greenways) is a very efficient transit system. The last transit referendum has left a bad taste in many folk's mouths after such a startling defeat and would take time to gather new information and actually pull in parties like TDOT (seeing as they mentioned they were never contacted for the previous referendum) to be part of the discussion.

I'm not an expert on grant money by any means, but grant money is typically very focused on intent. So if grants are for studies to update information, it can only be used on studies. There are also specific monies for implementation, but unfortunately we just have never gotten far enough to go for those. It's a frustrating system, yes, but if we want free money (because that is what grants are after all) we have to jump through the right hoops. 

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Great perspectives .  Here's another  to consider, specifically on biking and pedestrian as forms of transit.  Agreed, they are easier to implement. and agreed they are forms of transit.  If I live in Hendersonville, and I'm commuting downtown daily, those two aren't practical options.  If I live in Antioch and work at the airport, or live in Bordeaux and work in East Nashville, they aren't practical.  They are niche forms of transit.   Unless you're living in Alcove and working at Amazon or MCC or some similar scenario, not sure it helps you.  Said differently, bike and pedestrian aren't "mass" transit.  I do think they play a part in solving the overall issue.  Implementing them will not alleviate the need for a true "mass" transit system, IMO.

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