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Incidentally, as to No. 2 on their list of concerns, I asked someone at the meeting tonight and he explained that emergency vehicles will use the bus lanes, the bus will just pull over to the other lane to let them by, so actually emergency vehicles will be far better off. 

 

I'm tepidly enthusiastic about BRT but I'm really looking forward to the sidewalk and landscape improvements.  That plus the restriction on left turns, and I think pedestrians will be a lot safer.

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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

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

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I wonder, if the Dean administration had been more creative about funding sources for the Amp early on, might the vigor of the opposition have been less than it is now? I am for an integrated, city-wide transit system, of which I think the Amp could be a part, but there are other ways to pay for it besides dollops of federal and state largesse. For example, a fee-based express lane system on 440 and select arterials could be a way to reduce congestion and raise funds for transit solutions. Pricing could be pegged to demand, as it is in L.A., or there could be a flat congestion charge, a la London.

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I notice in the "against" information, they note that we won't be able to make a left turn on West End Ave.  Is that correct?

Turns will be restricted to certain locations, so you will sometimes have to go past your destination and make a U turn.  This is a change but since left turns on major streets are a prime cause of accidents (especially of cars hitting pedestrians) this is really a benefit IMO.  I'm not sure the opponents completely understand the proposal.

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There is so much disinformation on this site it makes my head spin. Especially the '3 lanes removed' trope and the concerns about emergency vehicles. EV's will be able to use the AMP's dedicated lanes and as a result it may reduce their travel times.

Edited by Rockatansky
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I'm a long time reader, but this is my first time posting. I was at the infamous West End AMP meeting with the crazy lady talking about "those people" - I'm actually in the video staring at her bewildered. I have a bunch of friends in the Richland area who are against the AMP, and I have a few thoughts I'd like to throw out there. Since this is my first post, I figured I might as well make it inappropriately long.

 

This isn't getting discussed in the public forum (as far as I have seen), but the main opposition from the Richland neighborhood centers on three issues (as I understand it). These all came up at the neighborhood meeting that they had with Malcom Getz. 

 

1. Aquinas College Entrance/Exit

Apparently Aquinas owns some property that would allow it to have an entrance/exit directly onto Cherokee. They've had a longstanding agreement with the neighborhood that this would not happen, but there are fears that with the left turns cut off coming straight out of campus, they will create a new entrance to campus that would involve people cutting through the Richland neighborhood. It seems to me like this could be solved fairly easily by just having the engineers make sure that the exit is one of the lights where a left turn is allowed, but this seems like a legitimate concern.

 

2. Parking

It seems that (at the same time as they are arguing that nobody will ride the Amp), the neighborhood is concerned that too many people will ride the Amp and they will all park on the street in the Richland neighborhood rather than using the Park and Ride at St. Thomas. While I think that this is an unlikely outcome, it seems that there would be a very legitimate case for implementing residential parking permits and that this wouldn't be hard to do.

 

3. Congestion
This issue has been discussed at length, but I don't think that it has been discussed honestly. There will be some lanes lost for a portion of the stretch from 440 to St. Thomas (but not 3 lanes). This will probably increase congestion. Some people will probably cut through side streets to avoid West End. Also, if nothing is done, we will have the exact same result - West End is already nearing 100% capacity and there is tons of new residential going in up and down the street. Traffic will get MUCH worse in ten years.

 

Let us remember - the goal of BRT is to relieve congestion by getting cars off of the road. Human beings are (generally) rational actors. Why does everyone in New York ride the subway? It makes sense - the subway generally gets them to their destination faster. It is cheaper than paying for parking or getting a cab. It is the rational decision. Why don't I take the bus in Nashville much of the time? I work at Vanderbilt and used to live in a condo on West End with a bus stop in front of my building - the bus was free AND convenient. Yet, often times during rush hour it was faster for me to walk two miles to work than to wait for a bus. This isn't just an issue of frequency of service - it is an issue of buses getting stuck in traffic somewhere along the route and getting backed up. The morning was usually generally ok. By 5 or 6 PM, you might as well throw the schedule out entirely. If I can walk or drive or ride my bike and get to/from work in a faster, reliable, and predictable way, I'm going to do it.

 

This is why I believe making it BRT-lite down the last portion of West End wouldn't really work. As traffic increases, the buses will still get stuck in traffic, get behind schedule, and become unpredictable. However, as soon as BRT becomes as fast or faster than the alternative, people will stop driving and take it. This will then relieve some of the congestion while also offering a viable alternative. I don't care how much people love their cars - if they can save 20 minutes each way by taking public transit, they will. There are hedge fund managers in Greenwich, CT taking Metro North and  the subway into NYC. We won't see this kind of time savings for years, but it sure beats trying to further widen roads by taking away private property (which is obviously not a sustainable solution).

 

My family still owns a condo on West End and I am in favor of the Amp. I certainly don't think it is the best way of doing public transit, but it is certainly much better than doing nothing.

 

Sidenote - are people seriously listening to Lee Beaman on this issue? That is like listening to a horseshoe salesman trying to talk you out of buying a car. 

 

Ok - just my two cents. If I've gone on too long, feel free to ban me from posting ever again!

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There is so much disinformation on this site it makes my head spin. Especially the '3 lanes removed' trope and the concerns about emergency vehicles. EV's will be able to use the AMP's dedicated lanes and as a result it may reduce their travel times.

I have an EV and I hadn't heard that yet. To be honest, I don't know if giving EVs special treatment is a good idea. For one, I don't think I deserve any special treatment for driving a electric car. Secondly, by the time the AMP is built there may be enough EVs that it clogs the dedicated lane. I'm predicting that EVs will continue their climb in popularity as the technology improves and as the prices comedown.

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I have an EV and I hadn't heard that yet. To be honest, I don't know if giving EVs special treatment is a good idea. For one, I don't think I deserve any special treatment for driving a electric car. Secondly, by the time the AMP is built there may be enough EVs that it clogs the dedicated lane. I'm predicting that EVs will continue their climb in popularity as the technology improves and as the prices comedown.

 

You've mistaken me. In the context of my post EV = Emergency Vehicle, not Electric Vehicle.

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I planned on attending the West Nashville meeting yesterday, but I didn't leave the office until after 6. I have a question for those who attended any of the meetings. 

Was there any discussion of the feasibility of re-routing a portion of the AMP down Charlotte Pike as rookzie suggested at all? If so, how receptive did the reps of the Administration sound to this idea?

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This should have never gone to the public forum. The city just should have done what's best for the city. The tax-payer simply has too much of a voice in this city, and it stifles our growth. Once you elect an official, let them do their job. This citizen input is just a waste of tax payer money. Most who show up are naysayers who hate everything, and only have their best interests in mind. They could care less about the rest of the city.

 

God, I wish we had totalitarian communism once in a while. At least China gets stuff done without the input of some uneducated rural potato farmer getting in the way!

 

(J/K people don't get into a tizzy!)

Edited by Urban Architecture
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I planned on attending the West Nashville meeting yesterday, but I didn't leave the office until after 6. I have a question for those who attended any of the meetings. 

Was there any discussion of the feasibility of re-routing a portion of the AMP down Charlotte Pike as rookzie suggested at all? If so, how receptive did the reps of the Administration sound to this idea?

I asked them about this at a previous meeting and my understanding is that in order to receive federal funding through Small Starts, there is a density requirement that would not be met on Charlotte. My impression was not that they were intentionally trying to be unreasonable and force this through, but that there were places where they could be flexible with the route and places where they could not be flexible as long as they were relying on this specific source of federal funding.

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You've mistaken me. In the context of my post EV = Emergency Vehicle, not Electric Vehicle.

I've spent too much time on the electric vehicle forums. I should have realized that when your first sentence was about emergency vehicles. Looking back on it now it seems obvious. :-)

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This should have never gone to the public forum. The city just should have done what's best for the city. The tax-payer simply has too much of a voice in this city, and it stifles our growth. Once you elect an official, let them do their job. This citizen input is just a waste of tax payer money. Most who show up are naysayers who hate everything, and only have their best interests in mind. They could care less about the rest of the city.

 

God, I wish we had totalitarian communism once in a while. At least China gets stuff done without the input of some uneducated rural potato farmer getting in the way!

 

(J/K people don't get into a tizzy!)

 

I agree to an extent - in general there are so many checks and balances in our system from the federal level down, a few bad actors can block things to the point nothing gets done. And taxpayers aren't buying government like consumers or shareholders, because gov't's duty is to the common good.

 

But I do feel this input process allows people to bring small, very local issues to the attention of planners that they might otherwise not learn about, such as the Aquinas entrance/exit issue.  It also allows the public to feel vested in the AMP.  After all, most of the people at the meetings have been in favor.  Some of the notes people were writing on the maps were just like "Too expensive!" or whatever, but a lot of them were things like, "Sidewalk improvements should emphasize making it safer and more pleasant for pedestrians to cross 440", which is a good point.

 

BTW once this is built I think the added trees and sidewalks and whatnot will make it a big hit with the people on the route, although they may not like sitting in traffic while two lanes sit empty beside.  There's only going to be a bus every 10 minutes so the lanes are going to look really empty which could be a big PR problem.

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All of this infighting in Nashville is seeming more and more like a moot point.

 

I have not heard a peep about the federal funding for this project and legislature is opposed to it for the state portion. It's not worth getting all jazzed up over when the thing is unlikely to get paid for anyways.

 

The larger conversation about Nashville public transit is important but the AMP still seems pretty far away

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Wow, just wow….

count me out of your 'vision' of government

 

This should have never gone to the public forum. The city just should have done what's best for the city. The tax-payer simply has too much of a voice in this city, and it stifles our growth. Once you elect an official, let them do their job. This citizen input is just a waste of tax payer money. Most who show up are naysayers who hate everything, and only have their best interests in mind. They could care less about the rest of the city.

 

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I must admit, in my weakest moments, when I'm feeling the most frustrated with the process, I occasionally feel that way as well.  However, I would never, ever actually advocate for that kind of a system.  Seeing as how these projects are FOR the public, public input is vital to any of them being a real success.  I only wish there was a way to sort of weed out those who clearly are just in it for themselves and don't actually give two sh*ts about the details of the project itself.  That is to say, allow one and all to visit the meetings, but perhaps, try to give the majority of the attention to those with legitimate criticisms and concerns, who are looking to alter or improve the project, not destroy it altogether because 'change is scary.'  I'm sorry, but while I agree that people like the infamous 'those people' woman should be more than entitled to their opinions, however misguided they might be, those opinions don't deserve, and should not be provided with any lip-service and/or credence in a public forum.  I'm not saying they should be openly mocked and humiliated, but not every opinion is deserving of respect. 

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I must admit, in my weakest moments, when I'm feeling the most frustrated with the process, I occasionally feel that way as well.  However, I would never, ever actually advocate for that kind of a system.  Seeing as how these projects are FOR the public, public input is vital to any of them being a real success.  I only wish there was a way to sort of weed out those who clearly are just in it for themselves and don't actually give two sh*ts about the details of the project itself.  That is to say, allow one and all to visit the meetings, but perhaps, try to give the majority of the attention to those with legitimate criticisms and concerns, who are looking to alter or improve the project, not destroy it altogether because 'change is scary.'  I'm sorry, but while I agree that people like the infamous 'those people' woman should be more than entitled to their opinions, however misguided they might be, those opinions don't deserve, and should not be provided with any lip-service and/or credence in a public forum.  I'm not saying they should be openly mocked and humiliated, but not every opinion is deserving of respect. 

 

Great, introspectively summed up and objectively philosophized conclusion, BNABreaker.  It's like looking at the carnage after a pit-bull fight.

 

You're always going to have the "those-people" separatists (as well as the "you-people" types, I'm afraid).  The likeliness of this massive discord in an obvious sense (to me, anyway) was quite predictable.  The probability of this level of clashing could and would have been minimized significantly, had the administration not become decision-makers early on, in the planning process.

 

Since this was (as I understand it) supposed to have been a "FOR-the-people" initiative (I would hope), the abstract objective itself is a result of skewed or mis-focused problem analysis (not alternative analysis), from the start.  This is the reason that I may have stated in the recent past the need for bottom-up discussion and planning, instead of the top-down procedure that the administration has taken.  The objective should have been posed for the people to analyze, since they're the ones in the trenches of the war zone fighting traffic.

 

The mayor's "figurehead" objective was (is) to "fix" West End".  I believe that that in itself is flawed and not observing out of the box in a attempt to address it.  I would dare say that most people would have been in favor of working around West End - Harding, rather than working through it.  In 12Mouth's posting of last Friday, he used a common and practical example:

 

 "... hedge fund managers in Greenwich, CT taking Metro North and the subway into NYC. We won't see this kind of time savings for years, but it sure beats trying to further widen roads by taking away private property (which is obviously not a sustainable solution)..."

 

In theory, the AMP should work well along West End - Harding, if the user has an interest directly along or in relative close proximity to the busway.  I would wager, though, that the majority of motorists traveling along that corridor are non-local passers-through and have no interest there.

It has to be recognized that if you commute from Greenwich, CT, or from Glenview or Libertyville, IL to the "city", then you will utilize an infrastructure facility in place for nearly a hundred years, long before sprawl and congestion evolved around it.  To attempt to retrofit by injection a system onto the locally infamous Milwaukee Ave from the Libertyville-Deerfield-Glenview, IL, or along US-1 from Darien-Stamford-Cos Cob-Greenwich, CT to the "city" (I've done both these routes many times by rail for nearly 45 years), would be political suicide (masochistic at the least).  Of course, we're referring to a much smaller scale of distance here, but with the same level of and duration of congestion approaching capacity during a large part of a given 24-hour period.

 

During the planning for an expansion of the DC Metro (WMATA) from Silver Spring, MD to Glenmont, the city and state amended its original proposal along or beside Georgia Ave, and voted to fund an underground extension (completed in 1998).  Seattle's University Link extention (Sound Transit) from downtown to UWash. is now under construction, the bore-cutting operation of the tunnel conveying the entire route being completed in summer 2013.  Both of these projects involved early-on "bona-fide" public planning from the onset.  Any unforeseen changes generally were voter-approved, while maintaining high ratings as preferred alternatives, supported by the FTA.  This is the way it's supposed to be done.  It also takes a commitment by local decision-makers to address funding for alternatives that have been publicly agreed upon, and only after a high level of consensus has been attained.  Until now, the administration clearly has prioritized matters other than that of RT, but it takes doing things from the bottom up to gain the common trust of "dissimilar" parties.

I am not speaking against the AMP; and in fact I'm for it, in general. (the east wants it and really does need it as proposed for that segment)  I wouldn't have dared attending one of those meetings, especially the one closest to me (the West End Middle School meeting), lest someone see me on TV and want to snatch my ass in for a slugfest.

 

I'm only focusing here on the issue of opposition and how questions beyond the logistics of legitimate concerns might have been addressed early on.

 

 

-=ricky-roox=-

 

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I'm going to interrupt here to brag a little. I did something in the last 48 hours that I've been wanting to do for years. Here is a list of the modes of transit I've used in the last 48 hours;

-bicycle

-taxi

-private taxi (Uber&Lyft)

-LRT

-Cable Car

-Historic Trolley Car

-Heavy Rail

-Commuter Rail

-Bus

-Private Vehicle

-Ferry Boat

It was a good weekend.

My previous 24 hour record was;

-Bicycle

-Taxi

-Heavy Rail

-Bus

-Airplane

-Private Vehicle

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I'm going to interrupt here to brag a little. I did something in the last 48 hours that I've been wanting to do for years. Here is a list of the modes of transit I've used in the last 48 hours;

-bicycle

-taxi

-private taxi (Uber&Lyft)

-LRT

-Cable Car

-Historic Trolley Car

-Heavy Rail

-Commuter Rail

-Bus

-Private Vehicle

-Ferry Boat

It was a good weekend.

My previous 24 hour record was;

-Bicycle

-Taxi

-Heavy Rail

-Bus

-Airplane

-Private Vehicle

 

At my age, I would keel over just thinking of the amount of body energy to sustain that course.  I take it that it's the Bay Area.

 

It must've cost you right smart, but that sure beats going to a state fair, for your money's worth.  Sounds a bit like the Amazing Race reality show.  Haven't done  those ferries in 29 years (Terminal Bldg to Sausilito, to pier 41).

 

My favorite, though, by far is the historic streetcar line (F- Line Market Street, Wharf), since I rode so many of those "electric rats" since the 1950's. (referred to as "PCC" cars, so named after a design commitee - [Electric Railway] President's Conference Committee cars)   Electric rats because of their basic Art-Deco era torpedo body style (last American ones being delivered in 1952).  The most modern design of vintage streetcars, their side skirting gave them that "magic carpet" glide look as they would straddle the track embedded blush with the street pavement.  Quite awesome sensation, when you ride in be extreme rear seat, as the back end appears to jack-knife around sharp turns, due their long overhang behind the rear axle.  (the piecing squealing of the wheel flanges rounding corner turns will make your ears close up inside themselves).  Doing at about 35 mph, these things jerk your butt from side to side, as they lumber along the track.  With the windows open in the summer, these things are definitely a sensation (sort of the same zeal that dogs have for jumping in the back of a pickup).  And they're all restored and painted in color schemes representing the U.S. transit utilities which owned them -- Birmingham (of all towns) was the only one of all central and southeastern locales that had 'em.

 

:angry:  :P  :good:

 

Don't get so jealous, Tim.  You've not been exactly a slacker yourself, you know...

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^^^ It was indeed a lot of fun. The funny part is, I didn't really set out to do it. I had a buddy come visit and he had never been to S.F. Before. In fact he hasn't been out of Nashville too much. His idea of a "big city" was Atlanta, so the density of S.F. Blew him away. I wanted to show him around the city, so we just ended up using all of these different modes. Most of them were practical, while a couple were more novel (such as the Cable Car and the Street Cars), but even the novelties got us where we were going. In the end, I just kinda realized, "hey" we did it all!".

Rookzie, when you lived here, did you ever visit the cable car museum? I'm not sure if it was called "museum" in the era you were there, but it's the power house for the system at Washington &Mason. It's an amazing feat of engineering, that is mostly off of the tourist radar. I always loved it and took most of my visitors to see it.

Side note. I've loved living in the Bay Area these past 4 years. It's been a wonderful place to call home. But I'm happy to say that on Feb. 1st, I'm moving back to my birthplace. Nashville baby!!! I am really excited to get back and see how the city has changed. I plan on trying to make a meet soon. I've been active on this site for what seems like a decade now, but have never made a meet. I'll be looking forward to putting some faces with names finally. See you guys soon.

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^^^ It was indeed a lot of fun. The funny part is, I didn't really set out to do it. I had a buddy come visit and he had never been to S.F. Before. In fact he hasn't been out of Nashville too much. His idea of a "big city" was Atlanta, so the density of S.F. Blew him away. I wanted to show him around the city, so we just ended up using all of these different modes. Most of them were practical, while a couple were more novel (such as the Cable Car and the Street Cars), but even the novelties got us where we were going. In the end, I just kinda realized, "hey" we did it all!".

Rookzie, when you lived here, did you ever visit the cable car museum? I'm not sure if it was called "museum" in the era you were there, but it's the power house for the system at Washington &Mason. It's an amazing feat of engineering, that is mostly off of the tourist radar. I always loved it and took most of my visitors to see it.

Side note. I've loved living in the Bay Area these past 4 years. It's been a wonderful place to call home. But I'm happy to say that on Feb. 1st, I'm moving back to my birthplace. Nashville baby!!! I am really excited to get back and see how the city has changed. I plan on trying to make a meet soon. I've been active on this site for what seems like a decade now, but have never made a meet. I'll be looking forward to putting some faces with names finally. See you guys soon.

 

BTW, nashvillewill, before I forget to tell you, I still haven’ t forgotten my intent to respond to you about some comparisons among the standard modes of RT (LR, HR, …), requested a few months ago.  The fact is that I need to pare down my “draft”, since, as you know, I tend to be a bit windy (and “drafty” [LoL]) on discussions.  But I will eventually post a briefing (discussion) on the topic, while archiving a “full” version for reference.   The subject of differences among the modes is a major area of misunderstanding.

 

I never did do the museum, even though it’s been there officially for nearly 50 years, but I have walked and ridden by it tons of times.  Now I wish that I hadn’t taken its presence for granted, because I would love to have seen then draw cable machinery underneath the intersection of Washington and Mason.  Hell, I was 42 when I first went inside the state capitol in Nashville, where I was born (visited the ones in Springfield IL, Providence, Sacramento [Gov’r Reagan], Raleigh, Boston, and Hartford as a teenager).  The last time I went past the museum was during a hike from Geary and Powell, meandering back and forth between Powell and Mason, over Nob Hill, until I hit the Piers, in 2001.

 

All of us are looking forward to meeting you.  You’ve done more during the chock-full of adventure in the SF area than most people could have done anywhere in 2 lifetimes!

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