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With the vocal complaints about the EW Connector ignoring North Nashville, I bet Rosa Parks Blvd could become the focus of a lite BRT line, maybe even extending to Melrose/440 down 8th Avenue.  Such a line would be a catalyst to the development already occurring. 

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With the vocal complaints about the EW Connector ignoring North Nashville, I bet Rosa Parks Blvd could become the focus of a lite BRT line, maybe even extending to Melrose/440 down 8th Avenue.  Such a line would be a catalyst to the development already occurring. 

 

I've said for a while that I think that would be a good line #2, because it would give an effective crossing route for the BRT.

 

Even though Dean will be long gone by the time any of this comes through, I think it would be more than politically wise to come up with a master BRT plan...not just some dream from the MPO, but an actual in-writing masterplan for mass transit. 

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There were a couple articles that I came across today that are pertinent to the planned BRT route.

 

The first was in the NBJ and concerned Jim Cooper's thoughts that federal funding wouldn't be available for the BRT route. It's presented as though Cooper doesn't think it will be funded because of the sequester, but it worries me that he may not be a big supporter of the initiative in the first place. http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/morning_call/2013/05/tdot-explores-shifting-donelson-pike.html

 

The second was discussing the possible $70 million plan to straighten a curve and re-design the I-40/Donelson interchage. It would move Donelson on the eastern side of the long-term B lot which would give the airport more room for expansion of parking and would likely allow for improved merging and safety of the interchange. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130517/NEWS01/305170078?nclick_check=1

 

There's no doubt in my mind that each of these projects would be improvements over what is already avaible. However, spending $70 million of state money to straighten a road in order to add parking at the airport would be incredibly short-sighted when that same money could be funneled to the BRT project on West End. Or put it toward a BRT project to the airport in the future which would actually decrease the need for surface parking. The BRT project will be a transformative development for the city and region, and that $70 million represents over 70% of the state and local funds needed for the project ($99 million local, $75 million federal). No one is going to know the difference in 10 years if we spend $70 million to straighten Donelson and add 2000 parking spots at the airport or if we leave it as is. If left as is the off-site parking industry will compensate for parking growth or the airport will build some more parking decks.

 

This is just one more piece of evidence that the mindset of our transportation planners has to fundamentally change in order to meet the needs of the region over the next 20 years.

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I am afraid Mr Cooper does not support any kind of funds coming to his district. That is a major reason the federal CH has not been built. Guess we will have to wait and see.

As far as the Donelson Pike reroute, it seems to be different from what I have seen in the past. The first plan would have moved it farther east down I 40. I don't know if that is still on the table

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The Mayor's office is starting to get more aggressive with promoting The Amp.  They are holding more community meetings again to get everyone on board.  The East Caucus meeting at the East Police Precinct on Trinity Lane is one of these, and is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5th at 5:00 PM. 

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I attended the presentation by representatives of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods and TransitNowNashville at the East Caucus meeting yesterday.  There is not a ton of new information, per se, but there were indications that the engineering piece is only about 30% complete.  That means that while the route is pretty much set, that some details about exact stop locations and park-and-ride locations, etc, are still negotiable. 

 

It does sound like the eastern terminus at Five Points will involve the Amp coming east on Main, then turning right on Forrest behind the library, then turning left (north) on 11th, and then turning left to go into the park-and-ride lot at East High.  It is almost like the East Branch Library will be a round-a-bout for the BRT.  This was discussed a while back and is the preferred route by a lot of the Five Points merchants.  It would seem to bring riders directly to Red Door East, Five Spot, The Green Wagon, Pizzarreal, and Calypso Cafe, depending on where the actual stop is located. 

 

That block of 11th from Forrest to Gallatin would also become a one-way going north only, which would stop that horrible traffic situation where people heading south on Gallatin are trying to turn left onto 11th.  Drivers on Main/Gallatin wanting to come to Five Points would instead use 10th Street (near Marche, where a light will be needed) or Forrest.  This had also been discussed a while back and seems to be becoming a reality.

 

One interesting thing is that it now appears that BRT will travel in the center on the west leg only, but will travel on the side lanes in East Nashville.

Edited by bwithers1

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Guest 5th & Main Urbanite

Someone from the Belle Meade area had a letter in the Tennessean beotching about the AMP calling it a taxpayer nightmare that will be a White Elephant causing traffic problems. Go figure.

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Oh, we have some of those in East Nashville, too.  The question was asked at yesterday's East Caucus about whether the Amp would operate in the black at some point or would it require taxpayer subsidizing indefinitely.  Our friend Dane Forlines pointed out that highway and road projects have never been profitable or "in the black," but always need billions in taxpayer funding in addition to the gasoline taxes.  People have gotten so used to that arrangement that they assume that roads for cars are somehow free.

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Oh, we have some of those in East Nashville, too.  The question was asked at yesterday's East Caucus about whether the Amp would operate in the black at some point or would it require taxpayer subsidizing indefinitely.  Our friend Dane Forlines pointed out that highway and road projects have never been profitable or "in the black," but always need billions in taxpayer funding in addition to the gasoline taxes.  People have gotten so used to that arrangement that they assume that roads for cars are somehow free.

People get too stuck on taxes and operating costs. Depending on your accountant, you could probably make it appear like just about everything operated in the red.

It's arguably harder to see it in public transit than it is for, say, the arena (which despite bringing a million and a half people downtown every year, still draws complaints as somehow being a tax burden)...but the value of public transportation becomes much more evident as cities grow larger and more congested. Imagine getting around New York or even DC if there was no public transportation at all. You'd be dumping millions of cars onto the road.

Here, it's only thousands of cars...so the effect is not as noticeable. The problem is that most people I talk to seem to have this strange notion that even though we are building like wildfire in the core area, that somehow traffic will stay the same. Eventually, it's just going to be too much of a headache to drive down thoroughfares like West End Ave...and when that happens, we'll be glad that something is already in place.

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Amendment to the mayors budget forcing the consideration of route alternatives;

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/stites-files-brt-amendment-require-study-charlotte-alternate-route

Pardon me if I wrong, but wasn't this done some time ago? I'm all for considering Charlotte, but this guy just sounds like a nimby.

“My concern,” Sites said, “is we’re going to spend $7.5 million to consider the East-West connector down West End, and when they bring back the study and it’s going to say that it’s going to cause a lot of headaches, it’s going to cannibalize one of our main thoroughfares, but we think it’s good for Nashville to have rapid transit.”

To me, this sounds like, "I don't want this to happen on either road, so ill screw up the funding, without being the bad guy".

Edited by nashvillwill

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Basically, I think that you're on target with regards to Mr. Stites.  I'm all for considering Charlotte, too, but that train has left the station, as they say.  The federal funding issue really does seem to point to West End precisely because of the traffic load that it carries.  If Mr. Stites is so concerned about traffic congestion, he will do something to improve zoning in his Donelson/Hermitage council district.

 

In all fairness, Mr. Stites is on the Council's Traffic & Parking committee as well as the Planning and Historical committees.

Edited by bwithers1

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I think I've come to terms that they're going to stick with West End Ave as the primary route. I just don't know how much bang for their buck they're going to get from Murphy Road to White Bridge. 

 

Whenever I see these stories (or editorials on the Tennessean), I continually point out that I am fine with it -- but I want to see Fuhrer Karl present a master plan for the city's BRT so the Amp isn't a one and done line like the Star (or at least the appearance of a one and done). He would probably make some more friends in other areas like North Nashville if that was presented.

 

I guess they really want to connect the hospitals (which wouldn't be a bad thing), but I do wonder if other alternatives would be more viable.

 

The section between Murphy and White Bridge is about 2 miles. Two alternatives could be presented with the same relative distances that might prove to be more resident-friendly than that route:

 

1) Rather than continue down West End, turn on Murphy Road, and continue from there as it turns up 46th Ave to Charlotte. That is right at 2 miles, and it would go right through the heart of Sylvan Park, within walking distance of a lot more people that might be more inclined to use the service. It would also give the opportunity to extend the line into the budding Nations neighborhood.

 

2) Rather than extend further into West Nashville, extend further in East Nashville. 5 Points to McGavock/Trinity is also right at 2 miles, and this line would serve many, many more businesses, as well as a lot of residents that currently depend on the bus. It would also balance the "East West Connector" to actually have more than a little taste of the "East" component (which is currently about 1.5 miles from the river to 5 Points).

 

Either way, I think there is still room for some improvement with the plan.

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One thing that was stressed during the presentation by the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods/Transit Alliance during the East Caucus meeting was the importance of getting this first piece federally funded and then adding on later.  So I think that the Mayor has in mind the potential to add on to this route.  Granted, he wouldn't be in office at that time, at least not as the Mayor of Nashville (I'm not sure what his other political ambitions might be).  But the point was made that even during the sequestration, that the projects that are still receiving federal approval are extensions or additions to existing routes.  So that means that at some point in the future the BRT could continue up Gallatin, or add legs going in different directions (such as something going north/south) in the future once this route sort of proves itself.

 

I believe that studies are already underway about how best to connect the University Connector to the AMP as well as the Gallatin and Murfreesboro BRTlites, the downtown circulators, etc in terms of timing the stops and things like that. 

 

Coinciding with this prospect of adding legs to the AMP, the MTA has opened itself up to meeting with neighborhood groups along/near the proposed BRT route to talk about what would be the most efficient ways to connect the BRTlite routes and the regular MTA bus routes to the AMP for most efficiency.  I am hoping to get an MTA rep out to my neighborhood group's meeting at some time since most of our residents are just beyond reach of the 5 Points stop in terms of walking distance. 

Edited by bwithers1

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On a different note, I would LOVE to see Nashville do something like this: 

 

http://www.streetfilms.org/the-indianapolis-cultural-trail/

 

It's a really unheralded and unappreciated project outside of Indy, but it is really transforming the central city in incredible ways.  I highly recommend watching the eight minute video on the project. 

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$2 million for bikeways and $3 million for greenways in the budget that just passed. Hope its not all just paint!

 

 

On a different note, I would LOVE to see Nashville do something like this: 

 

http://www.streetfilms.org/the-indianapolis-cultural-trail/

 

It's a really unheralded and unappreciated project outside of Indy, but it is really transforming the central city in incredible ways.  I highly recommend watching the eight minute video on the project. 

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From people I've spoken to about AMP they have told me that the E-W starter line will be our "spine" that down the road we tie other things into.

So imagine a line going south down Hillsboro, north up 8th, tying in commuter rail to the spine to destinations to the NE/SE/S. Glad it's moving forward. Next step is finding dedicated finding for regional transit...

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