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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

 

I'm totally jelly. I would be quite pleased with something other than a bus and a personal vehicle as a workable transit option even if I couldn't use it each day. 

 

Forgive me while I rant for a moment, but I must get this off my chest. While I've been really happy with the progress Nashville has made since I moved back in 2007, I continue to be very displeased with the lack of progress on the mass transit front. The amount of NIMBYism that the AMP faces is actually starting to really rub me the wrong way. It's making me question whether this city and its inhabitants are truly ready to (or even want to) compete with the Austins, SLCs and Charlottes or if we're still too provincial.

 

We moved here on a "five-year" plan of sorts and were initially planning to move somewhere larger that might better accommodate our lifestyle, but we became very content with our lives here in Nashville. My partner is very pleased with his current job and has adjusted very well to life in Nashville after initially having some irrational fears of life in "the South." Now, it appears that I am the one questioning whether I will want to remain in a city that's starting to grow like a weed yet has residents who mostly do not appreciate the benefits of investing in transit options. If the AMP ultimately fails and we do not come up with some alternative to implement in the near future, then I'm not sure I'm willing to wait around another decade for this city and metro to start fulfilling its potential.

 

Nashville is doing so many things right these days that it brings me a sense of pride to say that I've grown up here. This is not the same place that I left in 1999. It's such a great feeling to be in a city on a strong upward trajectory. But the slowness on the mass transit front really highlights the metro's shortcomings and makes me question whether this is the right place for me or just another stop on my journey.

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I hear ya ariesjow.  It really does feel like most Nashvillians still have that small-town mentality, particularly when it comes to mass-transit.  And of course, there's nothing inherently wrong with that by any means, but I wish these folks would either adapt to their changing surroundings or move to an actual small town rather than trying desperately to make Nashville fit the idealized picture of it that they have in their heads. 

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I am trying not to be combative but here goes -

Why do many on this board insult or condescend to those that disagree with them? NIMBY, racist, provincial (not normally an insult but in the context, yes) small-town mentality (see previous) and pretty much most of what UA says about those that disagree. I have disagreed with most on this board over one issue or another over the years and yet I hope I have not insulted nor talked-down to any who disagree with my views. 

People are moving TO Nashville for a reason and yet all I hear about on this board is Nashville is afraid of change… Nashville is not Austin, Not Charlotte, Not SF…. No Nashville is not any these places. In fact any who desire those locations can easily relocate and be deliriously happy. Nashville, like any city, has issues to overcome but everyone's voice needs to be heard and considered. IMO

Again, many of these people complaining moved TO Nashville… now I in no way insult them, and they definitely should be welcomed and have their voices heard, but to move here and then disparage longtime residents is no way to move a conversation forward.

And since this is the Mass Transit thread, I ask home many on this board actually have something at risk regarding The AMP?

East Nashville Residents and Businesses - They have everything to gain. Up and coming area being gentrified. 
Downtown Nashville - Makes sense but the circuit was altered so that the powerful Lower Broadway merchants would come onboard.

Midtown - Limited Risk, will lose street parking but no other traffic lanes. 

Harding Road (Richland, Whitland, Cherokee, MBA, Aquinas,) - These are the only residents that have any true risk involved with the AMP. They actually lose traffic lanes, they will have new parking garages built in their neighborhoods that will increase already heavy traffic. They are the ones that lose left turn options. They are the ones that will have suffer outsiders (commuters) coming into their insular neighborhood. These neighborhoods are already being targeted for an increasing number of property crimes and to be frank some residents do indeed fear more 'strangers' around their homes. 

Nashville is big enough for all the residents and I do not think they should not condemn nor condescend just because they a have different perspective. 

STOP the AMP at Murphy road and then let the city residents collectively evaluate it and then decide on the next steps together. If it is a great as the proponents say growth should be a foregone conclusion.

 




 

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...

Forgive me while I rant for a moment, but I must get this off my chest. While I've been really happy with the progress Nashville has made since I moved back in 2007, I continue to be very displeased with the lack of progress on the mass transit front. The amount of NIMBYism that the AMP faces is actually starting to really rub me the wrong way. It's making me question whether this city and its inhabitants are truly ready to (or even want to) compete with the Austins, SLCs and Charlottes or if we're still too provincial.

 

... Now, it appears that I am the one questioning whether I will want to remain in a city that's starting to grow like a weed yet has residents who mostly do not appreciate the benefits of investing in transit options. If the AMP ultimately fails and we do not come up with some alternative to implement in the near future, then I'm not sure I'm willing to wait around another decade for this city and metro to start fulfilling its potential.

 

Nashville is doing so many things right these days that it brings me a sense of pride to say that I've grown up here. This is not the same place that I left in 1999. It's such a great feeling to be in a city on a strong upward trajectory. But the slowness on the mass transit front really highlights the metro's shortcomings and makes me question whether this is the right place for me or just another stop on my journey.

 

I hear ya ariesjow.  It really does feel like most Nashvillians still have that small-town mentality, particularly when it comes to mass-transit.  And of course, there's nothing inherently wrong with that by any means, ...

I actually have felt the same way, but to myself, harboring a growing and chronic resentment against the “institution” as a whole, even though during any given term period of a given administration, the top decision-makers are the ringleaders.  I wouldn’t say that my peeve is worth my going to a priest’s confession booth.  Perhaps I should seek therapy instead.

 

Because of a privilege during the last 6 years of being allowed to ride free on MTA buses between home and the workplace, and because that workplace is downtown, I actually drive mostly only for local trips to the retail stores and to one or two other places during the weekends.  Sometimes I might even skip Saturdays.  I concede that my mobility routine highly likely is the exception, rather than the rule, particularly given that the one-way commute bus ride usually and consistently takes only about 25-30 minutes, with a four-block walk each way (on the home end).  Not a bad deal for me.

 

Over this span of time, I have found myself being increasingly frustrated at having to drive and park, on the now very few occasions that I elect to drive to work.  It’s become just as bad of a trudge, when I choose to attend the city forum meetings at the downtown Provence restaurant.   With all the train-track berms, interstates, broken-off (mis-aligned or even permanently closed off) surface streets, and the river, Nashville is one of those towns where you “can’t get there from here”, even for what would be considered relatively short distances within the county.

 

If it were not for an aging parent (who remains quite mobile and drives much more frequently than I), I would have pitched camp away from here, some twenty years ago (or perhaps never would have returned).  Many of you know that I have lived in a number of unrelated places during the past sixty-two years, and so I have snagged a few buses, trolleys, and trains (and ferries), now and then.  I’ve been driving officially since December 1967, and I generally have adapted quickly and peacefully to roadway patterns and urban layouts of many locales.  Having been born in Nashville and by 1993 having lived here for only half my life, it first had occurred to me upon my most recent return to Nashville over 21 years ago, that I simply could not stand to have to drive in Nashville, and I have had a hard time since then even dealing with driving from south to north, or even just simply getting out of south, period, by car.

 

Even though Nashville definitely was not in need of it back then, Mayor Richard Fulton declined the Fed’s offer to build a downtown people mover along (I believe) Church Street, during the mid-‘70s (back when we did still Amtrak, at least and both Greyhound AND Trailways).  But the mindset persists.  That’s the underlying reason for the perpetually, perennially fiscally constrained long-range transportation plan currently on the books.  That’s the reason that the current mayor has been scraping the dumpster floor for funding an FTA Small Start, instead of what should have been a New Start capital project.

 

I know that my own beotch-talk is not a rant of consensus, but I thought that I would take the liberty to agree, since I am not totally alone in my sentiment.  Nashville truly has many attractive attributes  ̶  even for me – and I have witnessed a lot of good during the past 20-and-some-odd years.  But for a growing number of dwellers like me, the quality of living is losing altitude rapidly, with the absence of good mobility (transit) alternatives.  I actually believe that it will take at least another 10 years before the sun breaks through the clouds, so to speak   ̶ more likely 12-15 years.

 

...

East Nashville Residents and Businesses - They have everything to gain. Up and coming area being gentrified. 

Downtown Nashville - Makes sense but the circuit was altered so that the powerful Lower Broadway merchants would come onboard.

Midtown - Limited Risk, will lose street parking but no other traffic lanes. 

Harding Road (Richland, Whitland, Cherokee, MBA, Aquinas,) - These are the only residents that have any true risk involved with the AMP. They actually lose traffic lanes, they will have new parking garages built in their neighborhoods that will increase already heavy traffic. They are the ones that lose left turn options. They are the ones that will have suffer outsiders (commuters) coming into their insular neighborhood. These neighborhoods are already being targeted for an increasing number of property crimes and to be frank some residents do indeed fear more 'strangers' around their homes. 

Nashville is big enough for all the residents and I do not think they should not condemn nor condescend just because they a have different perspective. 

STOP the AMP at Murphy road and then let the city residents collectively evaluate it and then decide on the next steps together. If it is a great as the proponents say growth should be a foregone conclusion.

 

Major alignment changes or curtailment has occurred for a number of FTA projects, and that's not uncommon.  It may adversely affect the overall rating for funding, but then that's life.  It happened recently in Oakland, where AC Transit (Alameda - Contra Costa) eliminated the Berkeley-to-downtown (Oakland) segment of the proposed BRT between Berkeley (the originally planned northern terminus) to San Leandro on the southern end. This is a highly urban region for many decades in need of redevelopment.  It roughly is parallel to the existing BART, several blocks to the west of the planned E. 14th Street Corridor.  AC dropped that segment because of local opposition along the north (for their own reasons).

 

Although much smaller in distance and in scale, the East Nashville segment is much needed for a connector.  I plan to post a later opinion on the east end, but I'll say now that the east is in dire need of it and indeed should get it.  One reason that I decided not to buy a house on the east side, and ended up instead on the south side, was that the east is so disconnected from the rest by physical barriers. It really should have been extended out Gallatin Pike at least to South Inglewood, to REALLY allow the east some access.

 

But the city wants to capitalize on its current alignment to maximize the funding rating, so the mayor himself probably felt "compelled" to drop his publicly proposed plan of 2009-2010, for dedicated BRT lanes up Gallatin Road (with prospective transition to LRT).

Edited by rookzie
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I actually have felt the same way, but to myself, harboring a growing and chronic resentment against the “institution” as a whole, even though during any given term period of a given administration, the top decision-makers are the ringleaders.  I wouldn’t say that my peeve is worth my going to a priest’s confession booth.  Perhaps I should seek therapy instead.

 

Because of a privilege during the last 6 years of being allowed to ride free on MTA buses between home and the workplace, and because that workplace is downtown, I actually drive mostly only for local trips to the retail stores and to one or two other places during the weekends.  Sometimes I might even skip Saturdays.  I concede that my mobility routine highly likely is the exception, rather than the rule, particularly given that the one-way commute bus ride usually and consistently takes only about 25-30 minutes, with a four-block walk each way (on the home end).  Not a bad deal for me.

 

Over this span of time, I have found myself being increasingly frustrated at having to drive and park, on the now very few occasions that I elect to drive to work.  It’s become just as bad of a trudge, when I choose to attend the city forum meetings at the downtown Provence restaurant.   With all the train-track berms, interstates, broken-off (mis-aligned or even permanently closed off) surface streets, and the river, Nashville is one of those towns where you “can’t get there from here”, even for what would be considered relatively short distances within the county.

 

If it were not for an aging parent (who remains quite mobile and drives much more frequently than I), I would have pitched camp away from here, some twenty years ago (or perhaps never would have returned).  Many of you know that I have lived in a number of unrelated places during the past sixty-two years, and so I have snagged a few buses, trolleys, and trains (and ferries), now and then.  I’ve been driving officially since December 1967, and I generally have adapted quickly and peacefully to roadway patterns and urban layouts of many locales.  Having been born in Nashville and by 1993 having lived here for only half my life, it first had occurred to me upon my most recent return to Nashville over 21 years ago, that I simply could not stand to have to drive in Nashville, and I have had a hard time since then even dealing with driving from south to north, or even just simply getting out of south, period, by car.

 

Even though Nashville definitely was not in need of it back then, Mayor Richard Fulton declined the Fed’s offer to build a downtown people mover along (I believe) Church Street, during the mid-‘70s (back when we did still Amtrak, at least and both Greyhound AND Trailways).  But the mindset persists.  That’s the underlying reason for the perpetually, perennially fiscally constrained long-range transportation plan currently on the books.  That’s the reason that the current mayor has been scraping the dumpster floor for funding an FTA Small Start, instead of what should have been a New Start capital project.

 

I know that my own beotch-talk is not a rant of consensus, but I thought that I would take the liberty to agree, since I am not totally alone in my sentiment.  Nashville truly has many attractive attributes  ̶  even for me – and I have witnessed a lot of good during the past 20-and-some-odd years.  But for a growing number of dwellers like me, the quality of living is losing altitude rapidly, with the absence of good mobility (transit) alternatives.  I actually believe that it will take at least another 10 years before the sun breaks through the clouds, so to speak   ̶ more likely 12-15 years.

 

 

Major alignment changes or curtailment has occurred for a number of FTA projects, and that's not uncommon.  It may adversely affect the overall rating for funding, but then that's life.  it happened recently in Oakland, where AC Transit (Alameda - Contra Costa) eliminated the Berkeley-to-downtown (Oakland) segment of the proposed BRT between Berkeley (the originally planned northern terminus) to San Leandro on the southern end. This is a highly urban region for many decades in need of redevelopment.  It roughly is to parallel the existing BART, several blocks to the west of the planned E. 14th Street Corridor.  AC dropped that segment because of local opposition along the north (for their own reasons).

 

Although much smaller in distance and in scale, the East Nashville segment is much needed for a connector.  I plan to post a later opinion on the east end, but I'll say now that the east is in dire need of it and indeed should get it.  One reason that I decided not to buy on the east side and ended up instead on the south side was that the east is so disconnected from the rest by physical barriers. It really should have been extended out Gallatin Pike at least to South Englewood, to REALLY allow the east some access.

 

 

Agreed. I would have liked to see the first leg go to at least to Douglas/Cahal or even Litton/Trinity Lane in East Nashville (For what it's worth, the East Nashville YMCA is near this location). Of'course there's no corporate booster/cheerleader like St Thomas on the eastside sitting on the turnaround in this area but I think it would really help boost the initial ridership. Unfortunately, I was working every night and couldn't make any of the AMP meetings.

Edited by TnNative

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I am trying not to be combative but here goes -

 

I ask home many on this board actually have something at risk regarding The AMP?

East Nashville Residents and Businesses - They have everything to gain. Up and coming area being gentrified.

 

Harding Road (Richland, Whitland, Cherokee, MBA, Aquinas,) - These are the only residents that have any true risk involved with the AMP. They actually lose traffic lanes, they will have new parking garages built in their neighborhoods that will increase already heavy traffic. They are the ones that lose left turn options. They are the ones that will have suffer outsiders (commuters) coming into their insular neighborhood. These neighborhoods are already being targeted for an increasing number of property crimes and to be frank some residents do indeed fear more 'strangers' around their homes. 

 

 

 

I don't want to be combative either, but NB, listen to what you are saying. Everything you just said about West Nashville holds absolutely true for the Eastsiders.

They WILL lose traffic lanes, they WILL have parking built, they WILL lose the precious left turn lane. They WILL have those disgusting people form the other side of town come to visit.

It's not that the Eastsiders have "nothing to lose", they can just see the benefits of it. I'm sure, if asked, they would BEG to have the AMP continue FURTHER into the eastside. But for the time being they are just hanging onto the thread that they have.

 

Personally, no. I don't think the AMP should go to St. Thomas. I also, think it should stop at 440. There is no density, desire, or acceptance past that point in the road. I think it was a poorly executed plan, and i think they should go back to the drawing board, but i'm afraid we don't have the political will for that. It has hit the point of no return. We will get the AMP as is, or we will get nothing, or something better/worse 10+ years from now and deal with the consequences in the meantime. Will those consequences be that significant? Well, it depends upon how you look at it;

A. Nashville is fine like it is. Nothing needs to change.

B. This AMP thing (with zero future planning or funding) will solve all of our problems

C. Nashville's population and traffic is growing at an exponential scale, but we have infinite land and money to solve that problem.

 

Let me know your vote. (Hint, it's a catch-22)

Edited by nashvillwill
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I am trying not to be combative but here goes -

Why do many on this board insult or condescend to those that disagree with them? NIMBY, racist, provincial (not normally an insult but in the context, yes) small-town mentality (see previous) and pretty much most of what UA says about those that disagree. I have disagreed with most on this board over one issue or another over the years and yet I hope I have not insulted nor talked-down to any who disagree with my views.

 

Just because you personally perceive a label to be insulting doesn't mean that it was intended to be so.  Sure, UA blanketing every westside resident a "racist" was over the line, and there is obviously no way that his intent could be construed as anything but malicious.  However, in the case of Miss 'those people', using that particular label is merely a case of calling a spade a spade, in my view, and someone like that deserves to be called out.  The label isn't nice, but neither are her opinions.  Surely she isn't the only one who's anti-AMP motivations are rooted in misguided prejudice. 

 

Similarly, I am curious as to why you consider it insulting to identify someone who lives within the limits of a major city in a suburban style single family home with a large yard, who is vehemently against things like mass transit and density and highrises, as a "NIMBY" or to make the claim that they have a small-town mentality.  As previously stated, there isn't anything inherently wrong with belonging to either group, but let's not pretend as if these people are fighting some outlandish proposal that would rock the foundations of the way they live.  It's not as if they're fighting a movement to change all city signage to Russian.  They are opposed to the city's natural progression and it's evolution into a larger urban area, which is, more or less, the definition of a "NIMBY" with a "small-town mentality."  Now obviously, those characteristics don't apply to all Westsiders, or Nashvillians in general, but then again, nobody ever claimed that it was supposed to.  The label applies to who it applies to. 

 

 

People are moving TO Nashville for a reason and yet all I hear about on this board is Nashville is afraid of change… Nashville is not Austin, Not Charlotte, Not SF…. No Nashville is not any these places. In fact any who desire those locations can easily relocate and be deliriously happy. Nashville, like any city, has issues to overcome but everyone's voice needs to be heard and considered. IMO

 

You're making quite a leap here.  A desire for better mass transit does not come as a package deal with a disdain of everything Nashville is and everything it stands for.  There really isn't any logical correlation between those two ideas whatsoever.  Suggesting that Nashville needs improved mass transit is more or less like suggesting that one of your friends should acquire health insurance.  You're not demonizing the individual as a human being, you're simply suggesting it because it makes for a more complete and fulfilling life experience, and it's a part of evolving into a more complete adult.  The same could be said for Nashville and transit.  More complete mass transit is simply one of the things that is required for Nashville as it grows and evolves naturally into an ever larger metropolis.  Increasing transit options in no way takes away from the soul of the city, it simply makes the experience of being in the city more complete and fulfilling, and people compare Nashville to other places like Austin and Charlotte not because they would rather be in those places, but because those cities are our direct economic competitors and they'd like Nashville to keep up on the mass transit front, in part, so it can continue to compete with them in the future. 

 

Edited by BnaBreaker

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I am trying not to be combative but here goes -

Why do many on this board insult or condescend to those that disagree with them? NIMBY, racist, provincial (not normally an insult but in the context, yes) small-town mentality (see previous) and pretty much most of what UA says about those that disagree. I have disagreed with most on this board over one issue or another over the years and yet I hope I have not insulted nor talked-down to any who disagree with my views. 

 

 

 

Here's a fine example of anti-AMP provincialism in Beth Harwell's take on the AMP from the Tennessean a few months ago:

 

“We have very limited highway project fund, and we have a lot of infrastructure needs across the state that are already prioritized, and I don’t think we need to deviate from that priority list for this mass transit project. If we do something like this for Nashville, we’re going to have projects pop up in Memphis, Knoxville, et cetera.”

 

This is a provincial view of mass transit for someone who lives in and represent people in growing, large city to me. We have the Speaker of the House for TN, a mostly rural state with only a few metros with much growth to note at all. Her own metro is the main growth driver for the remainder of the state. Yet she doesn't even want to heavily consider prioritizing $35m out of a $5 billion backlog of projects to support a mass transit initiative in her city because some of her constituents oppose the project. While I'm sure many of these projects will be beneficial to their respective communities, I have serious doubt that all the projects compromising this $5b are of more importance than the state chipping in to get the ball rolling on a transit line in Nashville. The last sentence in particular reeks of a small-town mentality to me. It's as if she doesn't even appreciate how beneficial transit options are to cities at all.

 

 

STOP the AMP at Murphy road and then let the city residents collectively evaluate it and then decide on the next steps together. If it is a great as the proponents say growth should be a foregone conclusion.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm fine with stopping the AMP before 440. Better yet, I would totally be behind pushing AMP back a year or so to study the feasibility of re-routing north on 31st to Charlotte Pike as I believe several of our posters have previously suggest. However, I am not going to be pleased if AMP gets nixed completely and Nashville has to wait another decade or more for a viable mass transit line because some privileged people in a couple of neighborhoods are scared of having working class people riding through the area on public transit. Most of them can afford to move to Brentwood if they are that afraid of public transportation. 

 

Edited by ariesjow
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...You're not demonizing the individual as a human being, you're simply suggesting it because it makes for a more complete and fulfilling life experience, and it's a part of evolving into a more complete adult.  The same could be said for Nashville and transit.  More complete mass transit is simply one of the things that is required for Nashville as it grows and evolves naturally into an ever larger metropolis.  Increasing transit options in no way takes away from the soul of the city, it simply makes the experience of being in the city more complete and fulfilling, and people compare Nashville to other places like Austin and Charlotte not because they would rather be in those places, but because those cities are our direct economic competitors and they'd like Nashville to keep up on the mass transit front, in part, so it can continue to compete with them in the future.

 

I heard that!

 

I'm not clapping my hands on your response, BnaBreaker, but your analogy and conclusion is what many of us (including and especially me) would hold as a tenet of this forum's mission, at least I would hope, although not as a standalone "association", which would formally promote a cause.  I believe that deep down below the surface of everyone's skin ─ me, you, UA, and N_B ─ lies a form of agreement to what I quioted from you (above) and at least a seed of hope that Nashv'l indeed will get on track in that direction.

 

It is apparent that we all tend to digress (again, especially myself) from focus by distractions now and then.  In a manner of speaking, that Miss "those people [you people]" perhaps unwittingly has planted the rudiments of what could be considered a "civil" terrorist, by succceeding in turning us into blow-toads against each other (swelling up -- the "swoll" look).

 

In summary, even though I'm just a plebe, rather than a moderator, I sincerely admire all of you for all the fortitude and content that you have offered and expressed,   I regard it as generally constructive interaction, by both reference and by example.  If the city leaders had been engaging in the level of discourse that you guys have shown, and had been doing so since the days of Bill Boner as mayor, then we'd probably have had some decent transit alternatives in place by now ─ several of 'em. (not to give Boner any credit in this regard)

 

That's how much I appreciate your sharing, and I hope that these remarks from me can be construed as being conciliatory in intent.

 

-=ricky-roox=-

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Here's a fine example of anti-AMP provincialism in Beth Harwell's take on the AMP from the Tennessean a few months ago:

 

“We have very limited highway project fund, and we have a lot of infrastructure needs across the state that are already prioritized, and I don’t think we need to deviate from that priority list for this mass transit project. If we do something like this for Nashville, we’re going to have projects pop up in Memphis, Knoxville, et cetera.”

 

This is a provincial view of mass transit for someone who lives in and represent people in growing, large city to me. We have the Speaker of the House for TN, a mostly rural state with only a few metros with much growth to note at all. Her own metro is the main growth driver for the remainder of the state. Yet she doesn't even want to heavily consider prioritizing $35m out of a $5 billion backlog of projects to support a mass transit initiative in her city because some of her constituents oppose the project. While I'm sure many of these projects will be beneficial to their respective communities, I have serious doubt that all the projects compromising this $5b are of more importance than the state chipping in to get the ball rolling on a transit line in Nashville. The last sentence in particular reeks of a small-town mentality to meIt's as if she doesn't even appreciate how beneficial transit options are to cities at all.

 

 

timmay143 posted a spoof on her statement last fall.  That published statement pretty much nails her coffin shut, as far as pro-transit advocates are concerned.

 

As Tim implied in his posting, she make makes it seem as if LRT and BRT proposals are like West Nile. (or at least the night of the living dead)

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Wow, just wow….

count me out of your 'vision' of government

 

Todd, my intention was to say that people need to trust the government officials they elect. The voice has more power in the voting booth, than at a public forum where minds are made up, and things very rarely change.

 

Yes, you are correct that race, class, and socio-economic  status are not the main components of this AMP project, but it is an issue. West End, Belle Meade, and Saint Henry's/ Hillwood  along Highway 70 S have always contended that they are "separate" from the rest of the city. Up until recently, diversity was an issue. I remember going to church at St. Henry for decades never seeing an African American in church there. There are a lot of African American Catholics too. I hear negative talk from people in those areas all the time about us city dwellers who live in German Town, 12 South, 8th Avenue South, East Nashville, and Antioch. They think our areas of town are only crime ridden and full of poverty, and they don't want "our kind" riding public transportation to "their" section of town. We, "those people" are hard working tax paying people who enjoy the city life. There is no place in the city that has the cuisine that East Nashville and  German Town have. Show me one place in Belle Meade or West end that has the local cuisine that we do.

 

The point being, there is reason for them to come over to our side of the city. The AMP runs both ways.

 

The opponents of the AMP whether they want Light Rail or not are only interested in what is in their best interest, and not the city. 

 

Curt (producer2) could answer better than I since I left the business on how many conventions we have lost due to not having better public transportation and better downtown retail for that matter. We get high end boutique stores in The Gulch for the super rich, but we cannot get an urban Target, Best Buy, Ikea, or a grocery store like Publix. The North Gulch may change that.

 

The only major retailer that has any guts is Kroger. Hell, they will locate anywhere, and that is the point.

 

Don't these opponents realize how many tourists and conventioneers will ride the AMP to get to their part of town where the stores are? If you add a line to Green Hills, there would be tens of thousands of new customers for Green Hills.

 

I guess we could say "we don't want those people" from West End and Belle Meade on our side of town either. But we are not stupid like they must apparently be. If they want to spend money on our side of town, they can come over. Just leave the snootyness at the door.

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It seems that several of you have a tremendous amount of interest in, and knowledge of, transit options in general, but I'm surprised how little knowledge many of you seem to have about the actual plans for transit in our area.  I am not being critical, it’s just what I see on this board.  Those plans do exist.  The Amp did not just appear out of thin air.  The concept of street car along the West End/ Broadway corridor has been around for years and has been studied multiple times.  It was even recently included in the Nashville Area MPO's 2035 Regional Transportation Plan (the official public plan for transportation in the Nashville area) as a key part of the long-range vision for mass transit in Middle Tennessee.  As I understand it, the MPO released a tube-style map a few weeks ago that helps people see The Amp's spot in the bigger picture.  What Middle Tennessee lacks is funding dedicated to major transit capital projects - not vision or plans.  Nashville is one of the largest metro areas with $0 dedicated to public transit.  You cannot have the type of transit you all want by paying for it through general funds.

 

For all those interested in MTA conducting a study to evaluate the best route for The AMP, please know that this has already happened, in a very robust way.  The Alternatives Analysis phase of this project was completed a few years ago at a price tag of $1 million+ and included significant technical analysis and public input to evaluate the best routing (Charlotte, West End, Demonbreun, etc), best transit technology (e.g, light rail, street car, BRT, etc.).  The study produced traffic forecasts, ridership forecasts, and cost estimates for each of the major options AND was used to receive public input to determine the most preferred option.  That study concluded that the West End/ Broadway corridor connecting the St. Thomas area and East Nashville as the most feasible given public input, local financial realities, anticipated demand, and federal funding opportunities.  After that, the project went through a preliminary engineering and design phase which evaluated various cross-section options and operating characteristics.  That phase's findings also were shared with the public prior to its finale.  The project is now in the final design phase in order to produce the final plans and funding package to facilitate construction. 

 

I can see why folks prefer Charlotte to West End, but its not like this wasn't studied.  And, for what its worth, I don't see this as a West End instead of Charlotte debate...  West End/ Broadway is the most dense corridor we have and there are no other options to improve capacity along this still-growing corridor outside of advances in transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and technology.  The Amp provides all four.  It also provides a sure-fire way to demonstrate the beneifts of transit to a community that hasn't had a lot of great examples in the past.  The success of this corridor means greater possiblity for other corridors.

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It seems that several of you have a tremendous amount of interest in, and knowledge of, transit options in general, but I'm surprised how little knowledge many of you seem to have about the actual plans for transit in our area.  I am not being critical, it’s just what I see on this board.  Those plans do exist.  The Amp did not just appear out of thin air.  The concept of street car along the West End/ Broadway corridor has been around for years and has been studied multiple times.  It was even recently included in the Nashville Area MPO's 2035 Regional Transportation Plan (the official public plan for transportation in the Nashville area) as a key part of the long-range vision for mass transit in Middle Tennessee.  As I understand it, the MPO released a tube-style map a few weeks ago that helps people see The Amp's spot in the bigger picture.  What Middle Tennessee lacks is funding dedicated to major transit capital projects - not vision or plans.  Nashville is one of the largest metro areas with $0 dedicated to public transit.  You cannot have the type of transit you all want by paying for it through general funds.

 

For all those interested in MTA conducting a study to evaluate the best route for The AMP, please know that this has already happened, in a very robust way.  The Alternatives Analysis phase of this project was completed a few years ago at a price tag of $1 million+ and included significant technical analysis and public input to evaluate the best routing (Charlotte, West End, Demonbreun, etc), best transit technology (e.g, light rail, street car, BRT, etc.).  The study produced traffic forecasts, ridership forecasts, and cost estimates for each of the major options AND was used to receive public input to determine the most preferred option.  That study concluded that the West End/ Broadway corridor connecting the St. Thomas area and East Nashville as the most feasible given public input, local financial realities, anticipated demand, and federal funding opportunities.  After that, the project went through a preliminary engineering and design phase which evaluated various cross-section options and operating characteristics.  That phase's findings also were shared with the public prior to its finale.  The project is now in the final design phase in order to produce the final plans and funding package to facilitate construction. 

 

I can see why folks prefer Charlotte to West End, but its not like this wasn't studied.  And, for what its worth, I don't see this as a West End instead of Charlotte debate...  West End/ Broadway is the most dense corridor we have and there are no other options to improve capacity along this still-growing corridor outside of advances in transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and technology.  The Amp provides all four.  It also provides a sure-fire way to demonstrate the beneifts of transit to a community that hasn't had a lot of great examples in the past.  The success of this corridor means greater possiblity for other corridors.

 

upjunkie, thanks for joining the dialog.

If you just tuned into the forum sub-topic and in the event that you have not had the time to serially wade through the each posting in since last summer, I honestly believe that we have long taken resolve on the Charlotte matter.  Practically all but a few respondents who have discussed and referenced Charlotte have collectively accepted and concluded that the Charlotte alternative for the AMP should be written off as a distraction, brought on by media hype on a few exception-taking city council persons representing districts not directly served by the alignment.

 

Many of us have considered the focus on an alternate route to be short-sighted and frequently perverse with misconception.  If you take the time to comb the pages since last summer (if you don’t have a Friday-night life, that is), my guess hopefully would be that the general context of those references to Charlotte, as of late, have surfaced as a result to the fierce opposition on the west side.

 

Irrespective of whether any of us would prefer a truly fixed-guideway system (rail) to have been a first new-start, we generally perceive that the AMP needs to go forward.  The western sector opposition as a whole is what a number of us tend to ideentify as an endangerment to the implementation of the project (let alone the funding aspect of it, the details of which also has been observed and discussed).  That being said, the primary suggestion involving Charlotte (except a very recent one suggesting relocation along 31st) has been suggested for the sole purpose to allow the project to proceed, period, if that could become a decisive parameter in it being allowed to proceed.

 

Yes, we all have expressed concern about the details of the proposal and the apprehension of the effects of “imposing” it along the current alignment west of 440.  I honestly believe that this is the concern of many, but I also believe that most of the forum participants simply feel overwhelmingly disturbed by the level of opposition from the west and have offered what is perceived as a compromise alternative (only west of 440).  My own suggestion was a possible Murphy Rd – 46th path, but then again that mention was only to afford a “mitigating” solution notwithstanding the alignment issues along such a constrained roadway path.  Yesterday I made reference to a situation in the SF Bay area, in which one segment was cancelled from a previously submitted and approved alternative analysis of a proposal to run a BRT from Berkeley to San Leandro.  I also stated that this likely will affect the rating (as it almost always does).  This is not common, but is by no means rare.  I really do not believe that AC Transit of East Bay has the fiscal affliction of resources of this region, and a rating change and incurred costs of additional project management thereof may not adversely affect the entire implementation.

 

We understand the process of evaluation with respect to the FTA New Start and Small Start application processes – at least some of us do.   Some of us also attempt to go out of our ways to explain the need for adhering to projections and to planning criteria, for the sake of optimizing rating levels for such undertakings, for those others of us who seem to overlook this.

 

-=ricky-roox=-

Edited by rookzie

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^^Thanks rookzie for the response.  I wasn't trying to lump everyone into the same boat with respect to knowledge of The Amp or other area transit plans.  Clearly you have a firm understanding of what's been studied and where possible compromise may be found.  Still, I continue to see evidence on this board and in the public forum that people are generally unaware of what has been done to date.  I know its unrealistic to think that everyone with an opinion would have the time to research all the details, but it was worth my time nonetheless to offer that clarification for the few that may not have been aware.  Part of the challenge with these large capital projects is that folks simply don't get that interested in the development of long-range plans or even in the early project planning stages where important concepts are being defined (and not always for lack of effort by groups like the MPO, TDOT, or MTA); and so the public always feels blindsided when a major project moves forward, thinking that things are moving much faster than they really are.

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"We have the Speaker of the House for TN, a mostly rural state with only a few metros with much growth to note at all."
 
Tennessee may have a rural culture, but the state's population is 66% urban.
 
I don't understand how a legislator would purposely act against the best interests of the city that is driving the state's economy and tax base.
Edited by Rockatansky
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If only our state leaders would support the mass transit plans of the urban areas of our state, as North Carolina supports their urban areas, both Charlotte and Raleigh.

 

Beth Harwell and company should know that States investing in the mass transit plans of the urban areas is not something that is unheard of or new. Maybe if we stop spending billions to expand highways and invest some of that money into mass transit, we would be able to keep up with the major urban areas of Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. Even though the majority of the cities in those states have some kind of alternate dedicated funding source for mass transit, the state is still invested.

 

Maybe one day Tennessee lawmakers will wake up....before Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga are left behind the times. All other cities will be flying space ships and we will just be getting the AMP approved - hopefully running on solar by then lol

 

CATS rail extension to UNC Charlotte receives state funding - http://www.metro-magazine.com/news/story/2012/04/cats-rail-extension-to-unc-charlotte-receives-state-funding-agreement.aspx

 

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte), Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), and state and local leaders “Staked their Claim” at a State Full Funding Grant Agreement ceremony for the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail Extension Project, last week.

 

The state agreement will provide 25% of the funding for the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) from Center City Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus.

“The continued support from our state leaders allows us to advance with the vision set forth for transit in the Charlotte region,” said Carolyn Flowers, CATS CEO. “I am especially excited about the perseverance and resourceful approach CATS took to make the BLE a viable and attractive project, even with the drop in sales tax revenue we experienced over the last few years.”

The support also prepares the system to receive a full funding grant agreement of 50% percent of the project costs from the Federal Transit Administration later this year.

“The Blue Line Extension to the UNC Charlotte campus is another critical milestone in enhancing the University’s connectivity to Center City Charlotte,” UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip L. Dubois said. “It will provide the community with greater access to the university’s many arts, cultural and athletic events, including 49ers football. The extension also will contribute tremendously to economic development by linking the state’s urban research university and two of the region’s largest centers of economic activity — Center City and University City.”

The 9.4-mile alignment would run from Uptown Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus and include 11 light rail stations and four parking facilities. Construction of the $1.16 billion BLE Project is scheduled to begin fall 2013 with operational service expected in 2017.

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If only our state leaders would support the mass transit plans of the urban areas of our state, as North Carolina supports their urban areas, both Charlotte and Raleigh.

 

Beth Harwell and company should know that States investing in the mass transit plans of the urban areas is not something that is unheard of or new. Maybe if we stop spending billions to expand highways and invest some of that money into mass transit, we would be able to keep up with the major urban areas of Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. Even though the majority of the cities in those states have some kind of alternate dedicated funding source for mass transit, the state is still invested.

 

It probably would be beneficial for you and others to share that info with her in a nice letter.  I suspect she doesn't read the thread.  Politics are complicated, obviously, but they are still influenced to some extent by the information presented to politicians.  And if she chooses to be non-responsive, at least you know that it wasn't from lack of knowledge.

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If only our state leaders would support the mass transit plans of the urban areas of our state, as North Carolina supports their urban areas, both Charlotte and Raleigh.

 

CATS rail extension to UNC Charlotte receives state funding - http://www.metro-magazine.com/news/story/2012/04/cats-rail-extension-to-unc-charlotte-receives-state-funding-agreement.aspx

...

...

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte), Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), and state and local leaders “Staked their Claim” at a State Full Funding Grant Agreement ceremony for the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail Extension Project, last week.

 

The state agreement will provide 25% of the funding for the LYNX Blue Line Extension (BLE) from Center City Charlotte to the UNC Charlotte campus.

“The continued support from our state leaders allows us to advance with the vision set forth for transit in the Charlotte region,” said Carolyn Flowers, CATS CEO. “I am especially excited about the perseverance and resourceful approach CATS took to make the BLE a viable and attractive project, even with the drop in sales tax revenue we experienced over the last few years.”

The support also prepares the system to receive a full funding grant agreement of 50% percent of the project costs from the Federal Transit Administration later this year.

...

...

Construction of the $1.16 billion BLE Project is scheduled to begin fall 2013 with operational service expected in 2017.

 

 

With most of my relatives having been from NC, I used to spend a lot of time there for nearly 60 years. (now they all have passed on).  But while living in neighboring Va. for nearly 15 years, and after moving back to Nashville in the early '90s, I was afforded the opportunity to observe the state of NC transform into what it is now.  I mentioned in a 5-month-old post that NC actually owns and leases out railroad trackage ─ a lot of it ─ and historically has done so for over a century.  Being subject to the Atlantic-seaboard mentality, as it were, NC, as you probably have been long aware of, has done well with starting and later augmenting Raleigh-Charlotte service, in an agreement with Amtrak, and even purchased and deploys it's state-owned trainsets to support most of 3 daily RT runs between Raleigh and Charlotte via Greensboro.  In addition, NC funds its portion of NY-NOLA, NY-Savannah, and NY-Florida rountrip service daily (each route with separate north- and south-bound trains)

 

And with Charlotte's CATS, as you posted (I've only ridden CATS city buses), it's only becoming more transit-progressive.  Some riders now can afford to work in one city and ride the train 90 or more miles away, within the state.  That's a lot of passenger rail for a southern state ─ a conservative state, at that.  There's even been serious talk about similar LRT for the Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill), and it likely may happen before it does around NC's neighbor of Tennessee.

 

Even with Memphis having somewhat of a head start in municipal street-bound vintage rail trolleys since 1992-93, and for which MATA put up the added cost of true durable (and beefy) "catenary" compound suspended power lines (instead of standard single-wire power) for future LRT-type vehicles, the state of TN has lumped Memphis is the same catagory as that for the proposed E-W AMP: the "Zilch bin".  Interestingly, we border two of some rather "rich" southern states when it comes to passenger intercity-, HRT-, and LRT-rail:

  VA,and NC.

even more so than the state of Ga. at present.

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IMO amp is not going to happen.

 

Something is going to happen. Whether or not it is the AMP in its current incarnation is another thing...but the number of citizens that think that mass/rapid transit is critical to Nashville's success makes me believe that if this fails, something else will take its place, and quickly.

 

It may not be easy, considering some of the higher profile detractors of the AMP, but I think the main citizen complaint is that while the proposal is said to be 'flexible' (considering it is BRT, not rail), that alternative suggestions have not been considered by this administration.

 

I will say I don't think it will happen with this administration....Dean's big ticket project was the MCC...I don't think he realizes yet that he can't get EVERYTHING finished while he is mayor. This will take a mayor (hopefully the next one) that will make transit one of the primary focuses of their administration.

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I agree.  The future mayor who gets mass transit will have to campaign, run and win on the subject.  S/He will also need to lay out another route (and apparently a new funding approach) because the citizens have made  it clear that West End is off limits for mass transit.  I would guess that means any form of mass transit.  If the next mayor runs and wins on that issue, the s/he will have the mandate to go forward with the project, and get additional support from the wavering members of Metro Council.  Dean should just focus on getting more businesses downtown and finish the new riverfront park and amphitheater.  

 

I'm just a simple guy, but IMHO Dean is flubbing the planning. I understand the logic of going to the area of town with the most people and employers, but don't think he should have bitten off the whole apple at once.  But Nashville is very much a hub-and-spoke city (not linear like Atlanta).  At the very least, I think he is putting far too much emphasis on "flexibility" at the expense of connecting the main areas that are already known to be ripe for mass transit (see my alternative route idea).  Right, the funding is very difficult to land, and it requires years of construction, but the city should either make the commitment with a fixed rail route (sh!t or get off the pot).  Additionally, I think he should realize that BRT/LRT/whatever shouldn't be designed for the primary purpose of connecting two locations of one corporate user.  I think he shot his wad on St. Thomas, while turning off a wide section of many influential citizens in that part of town.  My brother's in-laws live in Belle Meade (three generations) and they told  him that BM has had a longstanding resistance to even bus lines down the boulevard, but knew they needed a bus line to enable their domestic help to reach their homes. 

 

In a previous post, I sketched out a loop for a "core" BRT or LRT route which would tie together all the major employers (with a few exceptions like St. Thomas West) from the state government, future SCRI and Parallon at North Gulch, federal government, Vandy, St. Thomas Midtown, Music Row/Belmont, the Gulch, MCC, and Lower Broad, and encompassing all the new residential going up.  followed by additional phases of new routes (spurs and loops) that overlap the edges of the original core loop that would not take lanes from the main ingress/egress.

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I agree with Nashvylle about AMP  stopping at 440. Let the West end folks sit in a parking lot of traffic all day every day, they will see the light! You know this isn't a brand new idea in mass transit. This does work in other places around the world. I heard outside the last meeting at West End Middle School these elderly men saying that if the AMP is build that it would be only a year until the city would have to dismantle the bus line and pave back the lanes. People like this make me sad.

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