Jump to content

The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread


TopTenn

Recommended Posts

I don’t see people commuting in a snowstorm on a bike, or walking more then a mile everyday to work. Yes they are forms of transit, but for the average citizen , not a solution. Some of you are dedicated bike riders , and definitely need safe lanes to travel and sidewalks are a must for pedestrian safety , I’m all for that. But it’s not a transit alternative.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Paul, I hear where your coming from. I have nothing against bikes at all, and as I said safe bike lanes are a must. I’m just noting that it’s not something that the masses will flock to, and I find it weather dependent. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Bos2Nash said:

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. 

The problem with bikes is that Nashville was near the bottom of the list as far as bikeable cities even with all the greenways and bike lanes there are. The problem with the bike lanes is they are not safe and never will be  with the crazy drivers in this city and the number of out of town tourist that have no idea how to drive in a city. Many of the tourist that visit Nashville are from small town USA. The highway markings and directional signs in the city SUCK and that may be an understatement. Buses will work if they run every 15 minutes and run within a half mile of most of the residents, but that is not in Coopers plan. You need a good sidewalk system in place for a good bus transit system and it works much better with a grid system too and not a spoke and hub like we have. Copers bus plan was doomed to fail from the start because of those reasons. He did not want to put the money needed, the correct plan in place to make the system viable. He just want a cheap plan in place to say he has a plan. Metro is huge and not well suited for a large bus system. If it were just the urban services district then maybe, but it is not. You will still have masses of traffic coming in from other parts of the county and outlying counties as well. There is no cooperation from the other counties as far as a regional transit system in place to speak of.  It's still a mess and will be unless the state comes in and takes control and shows leadership and there is no leadership in the state regarding this.

Most any transit system in the country relies on grant money, so Nashville is not unique in that respect. Transit is not designed to make money as it is a service like garbage or anything else. When you get the to point of gridlock, then it is the survival of the economic vitality of the city you have to worry about. Many of the state politicians are too blinded by their own reelection bids and donors contributions to see past that. Once these large companies that have a vested interest in the survival of Nashville's future start lining their palms with money, things will change. It does not matter which party they are in. We all know how the system works. All politicians go in thinking they can change the system, but the systems changes them in the long run.

TDOT will do all kinds of studies with Metro, but the state will probably never fund anything because of the politics involved from small town TN until the money start to flow into the palms of the greedy. It's just like the Titans funding, all parties had a vested interest  seeing that move forward.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to put this here, because the study that sparked this conversation has a very concentrated scope in terms of are they are studying. This study area does make walking/biking part of the "mass" transit discussion.

Quote

The study area includes neighborhoods inside the loop formed by Interstate 40, Interstate 65 and Interstate 24, with a half-mile buffer around that area. This includes areas like downtown, Germantown, the East Bank, the Gulch, Buena Vista and others.

There isn't anything technically wrong with what folks are saying in regards to people making the choice to live further outside the core and then commuting in. Part of that choice is traffic. It is also why transit should be considered more of an "equalizer" rather than a "congestion reducer". Transit will never alleviate congestion because there will always be more cars/trucks willing to fill that space.

Blaming Cooper for this problem is a laughable thing because he is actually getting things implemented, albeit very small elements, but nonetheless he is working to improve a broken system while also keeping an eye on the future. Mayor Briley said when the transit referendum failed that it would take about 4 years for another transit plan to even be considered and we just passed that threshold. Briley lost the election, so Cooper took a different approach to the failed approach. 

Biking in this city is terrifying! And needs to be improved for the folks that live in and around the core. That is what this study's intent is. I ride my bike a couple times a month from my house the 2 miles into the office and neither of the routes I take have any form of bike lane on it. We have had comprehensive bike lane projects get shot down because some companies like Moxy Lower Broadway didn't like the possibility of losing a valet lane (even though they have no problem with valet queues and ubers blocking the entire street). We have four bridges that cross from East Nashville into downtown, the ONLY one that has a bike lane on it is the freaking KVB Bridge!! This isn't Copper's fault, but rather his administration is working on the incremental improvement. 

We have failed multiple times at implementing a larger overall system. The unfortunate reality of our situation is we are going to have to focus on very small, incremental progress - ie Pedestrian and Bike improvements - first before getting up to the shiny system that stretches county wide. If nothing else because those smaller elements are much more attainable within the funding mechanisms for Metro. The state clearly has no interest in helping Metro, but rather want to help the counties surrounding Metro (and their commuting residents) by idolizing the interstates around Dallas. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would argue that unless you work from home or have a parking spot right next to your desk, "pedestrian" is actually the MOST-massive of transits and most people are pedestrians for at least part of their commute, though the % will vary.

 

edit: I guess I'm overstating that. But still, if you have to cross a street or walk on a sidewalk to get from your car to your building, you share concerns with the pedestrian mode.

Edited by GregH
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, GregH said:

I would argue that unless you work from home or have a parking spot right next to your desk, "pedestrian" is actually the MOST-massive of transits and most people are pedestrians for at least part of their commute, though the % will vary.

This feels  like playing on a technicality.  I drive 8.5 miles from my residence to a parking deck and then walk one block to my office.  Yes, part of my commute was pedestrian, yet the overwhelming lion's share of it was not.  That "technicality" misses the spirit of "mass transit" in my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I used to ride my bike in Nashville in the bike lanes but do not any longer because I do not feel safe anywhere inside the 440 loop or any of the designated bike lanes around town. Too many close calls and speeding drivers. The greenways are OK, but are too crowded with pedestrians, dog walkers, skate boarders, baby strollers, and scooters that are not really supposed to be there. There are also a lot of bike riders that do not know the rules themselves, not to mention all of the homeless folks that make a lot of people feel uncomfortable on some of those segments. Ask the folks in West Meade about that, not to mention the stretch that runs from Germantown to Metro Center. There have been times I thought I was going to get mugged.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, smeagolsfree said:

The greenways are OK, but are too crowded with pedestrians, dog walkers, skate boarders, baby strollers, and scooters that are not really supposed to be there.

So I guess in a weird way this is actually my point. When you build high quality completely separate infrastructure for non-cars, people (even those that are not supposed to be there) show up. I think this is a good thing, ultimately. It is easy to make an argument against an empty bad unprotected bike lane on a 35+ mph street, but far more difficult to criticize a high quality option. Let’s see how these 12th S. lanes end up. I suspect that the unprotected last piece connecting to to gulch will be enough to significantly reduce usage, but we’ll see.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you check my previous posts on viable transit routes, you’ll see I’ve suggested a route from commerce street, through NY (between the pinnacle tower and the soon to be built residential tower and then I’ve porter… the nicer the downtown i40 canyon with a dedicated bridge then over to connect to Hayes and then down to 21st…. And then splitting N-S, etc.  the bridge would be designed to accommodate dedicated bus (eventual LRT) and bike traffic. Perfect for your commute. This idea predated the announced plan for NY; so I don’t know now if I can be incorporated into what they’re doing now.

Edited by MLBrumby
Link to comment
Share on other sites


On 5/11/2022 at 11:13 AM, smeagolsfree said:

The problem with bikes is that Nashville was near the bottom of the list as far as bikeable cities even with all the greenways and bike lanes there are. The problem with the bike lanes is they are not safe and never will be  with the crazy drivers in this city and the number of out of town tourist that have no idea how to drive in a city. Many of the tourist that visit Nashville are from small town USA. The highway markings and directional signs in the city SUCK and that may be an understatement. Buses will work if they run every 15 minutes and run within a half mile of most of the residents, but that is not in Coopers plan. You need a good sidewalk system in place for a good bus transit system and it works much better with a grid system too and not a spoke and hub like we have. Copers bus plan was doomed to fail from the start because of those reasons. He did not want to put the money needed, the correct plan in place to make the system viable. He just want a cheap plan in place to say he has a plan. Metro is huge and not well suited for a large bus system. If it were just the urban services district then maybe, but it is not. You will still have masses of traffic coming in from other parts of the county and outlying counties as well. There is no cooperation from the other counties as far as a regional transit system in place to speak of.  It's still a mess and will be unless the state comes in and takes control and shows leadership and there is no leadership in the state regarding this.

Most any transit system in the country relies on grant money, so Nashville is not unique in that respect. Transit is not designed to make money as it is a service like garbage or anything else. When you get the to point of gridlock, then it is the survival of the economic vitality of the city you have to worry about. Many of the state politicians are too blinded by their own reelection bids and donors contributions to see past that. Once these large companies that have a vested interest in the survival of Nashville's future start lining their palms with money, things will change. It does not matter which party they are in. We all know how the system works. All politicians go in thinking they can change the system, but the systems changes them in the long run.

TDOT will do all kinds of studies with Metro, but the state will probably never fund anything because of the politics involved from small town TN until the money start to flow into the palms of the greedy. It's just like the Titans funding, all parties had a vested interest  seeing that move forward.

I know Bos2Nash has already rebutted some of the points here, but another piece of this is that Nashville does not have dedicated funds for transit. WeGo is funded via the General Fund, just like every other service that Metro provides. Cooper has at least raised WeGo's budget, but this funding method will never be sufficient to create and maintain a level of service that is needed. But as Bos2Nash pointed out, Cooper's admin is prioritizing and implementing improvements within the limited (and annually unpredictable) scope of its budget.  

I'm a bit optimistic in terms of bike lanes. Most of the current implementation is trash. Even the "protected" lanes are laughable in creating the kind of safe cycling infrastructure that would entice more people to ride. But... it's a start. Hopefully, Nashville will continue to build out bike infrastructure 1.0 and then maybe survey what's working and what's not working, seriously study best practices (the Netherlands) and then implement better infrastructure in version 2.0. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, Deepdish53 said:

This is a huge problem across the country for any non-automobile infrastructure. Bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, transit infrastructure, etc. must all prove that upgrades are necessary by showing how many people are using the existing condition (i.e. "We can't build a bridge over this river until 200 people a day are swimming across to get to work"). Cars aren't held to the same standard and can get infrastructure upgrades done much easier - if we're going to make Nashville a more multi-modal environment we're going to have to start with shifting away from that mindset.

 

Yep. Where I live in Alexandria, we had a crosswalk that was very heavily used, except the button was totally inaccessible to anyone with limited mobility or on a bicycle (it was mounted on the light post... surrounded by a mulched flower garden with five small flagstones leading to it). They eventually fixed it when I reminded them that it was blatantly in violation of the ADA, but the crosswalk indicators were totally out of service for almost three weeks. Another resident in the community publicly made the point that if the lights had been out they would have been fixed same-day, any car-centic infrastructure is put to the top of the list immediately, not slow rolled for three weeks. It's just an example of how cities may say they're trying to build a better, more walkable environment, but only pay lip service unless forced to do something.

Edited by Nathan_in_DC
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.