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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread


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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

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

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On that note, was the Music City Star on time with all trains running? I would guess yes. Now that, would be good PR.

 

 

It sure was.  However, since the buses weren't running for awhile some had to ride it back.  Some could walk of course.  Info from the Facebook page of the Friends of the Music City Star.

 

You seem to like those things, eh Tim?  Those MCS things, that is (they seem to "pull your cord").

 

Railroad movements frequently are affected by the cold weather, as well, just in different ways.  Even with commuter-rail, subjected to more severe impulses of mechanical forces than other types of RT, while not very common, it is by no means rare to encounter a broken rail, a problem often revealed (if not exacerbated) by the extreme cold.  Broken rails do not necessarily cause derailments, when railroad personnel take the necessary (mandated) precautions when trains pass over them.  

Most broken rails are just that.  The most common occurrence of these is that then rail has fractured in two, usually within 3 linear feet of a bolted rail joint (where impact stresses are more likely to cause an internal defect (such as a fissure) to spread over time.   The broken rail sections normally remain upright and in place (partially secured to the tie plates below or to bolt plates of an adjoining “good” rail). Because all U.S. commuter-rail must be operated within automatic signaling territory, broken rails usually trigger broken continuity in the track-signaling electric circuit system, causing track signals closest to the defect to display the most restrictive aspect (a lighted signal color “red” or some other restrictive convention).  This also triggers another check-and-balance by alerting the signal-maintaining crew, to go out and narrow down the suspected problem on the affected section of track.   In addition, stationary dispatchers follow all train movements on the main.

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It just so happened on Valentine’s Day 2007, a “mild” 12 degrees above, at around 8:30 am (eastbound Nº 153), when  I rode with the engineer in the cab of an MCS locomotive, when we did encounter a broken rail.  The operating rule for the engineer is simple:  After coming to a full stop at the signal post and communication by radio with the dispatcher of the observed red signal, the dispatcher will issue an order to proceed (typically 5 mph), while expecting to encounter another train, an obstruction, a switch not properly set, or a broken rail.  Lucky for us, the delay was short, as a signal crew had already located the broken rail prior to our approach, and we were permitted to roll over the fracture at a snail’s pace until the trailing axle of the last car (of two) had passed over it.

Broken rails, account for close to 20% of all track-related passenger train delays.   By what you say concerning on-time performance, then without incident the MCS must have thrust its chest out proud during its Monday-morning swagger, I’d say.  It also gives testimony to the relative reliability in mildly harsh weather of commuter-rail, HRT, and even LRT, when run as totally separated guideway.  During typically heavily severe icy and snowy conditions, commuter-rail and HRT usually are the last comics standing.

 

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I doubt they care about investing in infrastructure. They just want votes. Or maybe I've been watching House of Cards a little too much,

 

Haha...possibly!  But while I agree that it's good to have a healthy skepticism of politicians, I think it's going overboard to think that everything every politician does is just about furthering their own career.  But that's just me.  ;)

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I don't agree with the move involving the state legislation on a silly amendment that basically all but singles out the AMP...BUT there was an article in the NBJ today that dove a little deeper into the FTA's "grades" for each project that it recommended for funding. It had this to say about securing the federal funds:

 

Ultimately, the FTA notes in its report that federal funding "is only obligated when the grantee can assure FTA that the proposed project scope, cost estimate and budget are firm and reliable and local funding commitments are in place."

 

I read that as...if you don't have your other funding sources secured (state & metro), no soup for you!

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Wow... What a bunch of idiots we have for lawmakers.

First they want to restrict funding

Now, they want to restrict the creation of mass transit

What's next , restrict the use of public transportation? Require everyone to have cars and buy them from Beaman?

Why is some idiot from East Ridge trying to tell the city of Nashville what it can do with it's roads. I guess he and Beaman are best buds?

I guess Memphis will have to retire their Street cars and pull up the rails... Since they run in the center lanes on some streets.

This has gone too far!!

Sorry for the rant, but I'm pissed.

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Whether or not you support the Amp, you should be very, very concerned about the State Legislature singling out projects in an individual city in order to nix them. This is suburban/rural rule of cities, and completely out of line. 

 

The really insulting thing about this is it singles out metropolitan governments, not cities themselves. So it does not condemn Memphis, Chattanooga, or Knoxville the same way (in theory).

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Good Lord.  Why, oh why, does Tennessee have to be so heavily influenced by such backwards bumpkins?  It has SOOOOOOOO much going for it...stuff like this just blows my mind.  It's like they are intentionally trying to hold the state back.  I'm certain there would be zero push-back from these people if we were spending three times the proposed AMP funds to tear down the buildings on both sides of West End Ave. to widen the road to twelve lanes!   Why don't we go ahead and bulldoze Vanderbilt University in favor of a strip mall anchored by Wal-Mart and Big Lots while we're at it.  Who needs book learnin' anyway?  Mr. Vince Dean of East Ridge, TN has apparently done without it his whole life, and look where he's at!

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Any lawyers out there? It's my understanding that laws can't single out individual entities or individuals as a target for a law. I think it has to do with the equal protection clause? Anyway, you can't get more specific than the way that amendment is written.

I doubt Haslam will let this go through. While he may not be mass transit's biggest supporter, he does seem very reasonable and I think he understands that Tennessee's cities (and specifically Nashville) drive the economy of the state.

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I do appreciate all you guys' commenting on the recent current events of late.  It's really helped me out with what I myself have had as a rather spastic time in trying to reconcile the meaning of all this state hash-out lately.  I also don't want to hurl aspersions against other traditionally bashed states and their ideologies, since we ourselves live in a "glass" state, as another pea in the pod, given the nature of the state's game of  "checkmate" lock-out.

 

I guess then that if Nashville were to plan on replacing all the streetcar tracks which remain partially buried or removed from Belmont Blvd, Jefferson Street, Broadway, the areas of Trimble Bottom and Radnor, and all the routes of the abandoned maze of the early 1940s, then they, too, would be outlawed within a consolidated metro govt., since they would run along the center of these roads, even though they might run in mixed traffic, with dedicated lanes or not.

 

BnaBreaker has it right about the the road-widening, even though it was just for comparison

 

Melodramatics aside, might as well just kiss off any foreseeable mobilization effort to develop any kind of RT around here.  In consideration of the costs, it does not even appear likely that the state would even support funding of any additional commuter-rail project, which of course would not run along a dedicated roadway lane.  While this might appear to be comparing apples to oranges, I say this in extrapolation of what the state may counter-propose with respect to any sizable project.

 

I'm at the threshold of just giving up commenting with any further posts on this topic as a whole (not to say that this would not be a good thing, since I tend to be a bit wordy [you think?]).  This could even hit the national media in some publications, due to the arbitrary, country-club antics of the state legislature.  I think that the transit problem really has transformed into one totally unrelated to transit alternatives ─ "locally" preferred or Mayor Karl Dean preferred, however one may choose to evaluate them.

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The State Legislature should be embarrassed about such a proposed amendment. It really shows the integrity that some people have. We have a serious traffic issue in Nashville and it's only going to get more difficult as more people move to our great city. If you don't like the proposed idea, propose something better. 

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The State Legislature should be embarrassed about such a proposed amendment. It really shows the integrity that some people have. We have a serious traffic issue in Nashville and it's only going to get more difficult as more people move to our great city. If you don't like the proposed idea, propose something better. 

 

Exactly.  I don't mind one bit if someone opposes a proposed solution to something we all agree is a problem, even if I agree with said proposed solution.  Further conversation of varied ideas would only stand to improve the end product.  What bothers me is when a person stands in opposition to a proposed solution, but instead of then offering a counter-proposal, they just stand there with their arms crossed and noses up-turned like bratty children. 

Edited by BnaBreaker
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I actually think you are incorrect. The powers that ave amassed against the BRT are on both sides of the political spectrum.... while Beaman is indeed right-leaning, the vast majority of the Richland-Whitland-Harding opposition is standard 'limousine-liberal' fare. In fact, much of the opposition is that a 'bus' was selected instead of light-rail. Money talks and they could bring a lot of pressure at the state level if they were behind a project. I think Beth Harwell is one of their neighbors. 

Also,  I would guess that a corp. relocation that requested a mass-tranist option would be approved for state incentives as part of a package...

That being said, I can not see how the AMP, as proposed, sees any movement forward. You have no identified local finding source and the state just introduced a poison pill into the works (I disagree with their action by the way). Unless Dean can pull a rabbit out of his hat I think AMP, as we currently know it, is dead.
 

 

 

Melodramatics aside, might as well just kiss off any foreseeable mobilization effort to develop any kind of RT around here.  In consideration of the costs, it does not even appear likely that the state would even support funding of any additional commuter-rail project, which of course would not run along a dedicated roadway lane.  While this might appear to be comparing apples to oranges, I say this in extrapolation of what the state may counter-propose with respect to any sizable project.

 

 

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I would like to agree with you, and your assessment shows a degree of optimism in deference to other factors, particularly in the discussion of LRT as opposed to BRT.  And you likely already know that I long ago have preferred some rail alternative, rather than the one shoved down our throats.  The primary reason that I had "compromised" with BRT was that I just wanted something to be started. period, but I have expressed discontent all alone.

 

I really do support your viewpoint all the way.

 

-=ricky-rox=-

 

I actually think you are incorrect. The powers that ave amassed against the BRT are on both sides of the political spectrum.... while Beaman is indeed right-leaning, the vast majority of the Richland-Whitland-Harding opposition is standard 'limousine-liberal' fare. In fact, much of the opposition is that a 'bus' was selected instead of light-rail. Money talks and they could bring a lot of pressure at the state level if they were behind a project. I think Beth Harwell is one of their neighbors. 

Also,  I would guess that a corp. relocation that requested a mass-tranist option would be approved for state incentives as part of a package...

That being said, I can not see how the AMP, as proposed, sees any movement forward. You have no identified local finding source and the state just introduced a poison pill into the works (I disagree with their action by the way). Unless Dean can pull a rabbit out of his hat I think AMP, as we currently know it, is dead.
 

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What is so ironic about this entire discussion is the fact in the early 1970's when Atlanta was booming as they say, and they started Marta, there was talk of that for Nashville. As I recall, Republican Ray Blanton was for having subterranean rail, and the city rejected it saying it was too costly and too expensive to tunnel through Nashville rock, although boring through limestone is a cake walk compared to granite in NYC.

 

Nashville was not going to grow etc... I heard and read it all, and now look where we are 40+ years later.

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This legislation is really troubling to me- it presents a very dangerous precedent. How can a representative NOT from Nashville have the authority to make such an egregious amendment after 4 years of studying and engineering work? He is definitely being bribed by Lee Beaman too! Lee Beaman was in the front row when Vince Dean presented the amendment!

 

There are always going to be people against mass transit. If the Amp does not happen because of this amendment, don't you guys think it's possible that we could in 5 years do rail transit instead, not in the richland area, but Lee Beaman or another equivalent with money to bribe could call a state representative with his concerns, and that representative could present an amendment saying the state will not fund any transit that includes rails??

 

This amendment is ludicrous and has to be stopped!

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I've always had fantasies, even though I knew they were unrealistic, about the Beaman property being sold and converted to some type of large scale urban project.  Despite that though, I've always seen Lee Beaman the man as simply a dedicated and passionate business owner, and understood and in some ways, even respected, his commitment to that property. 

 

These days, however, I'm starting to see Lee Beaman as a very backward and shifty man that is willing to use all manner of underhanded tactics to get what he wants, even if what he wants hurts the city he claims to want to serve.  Needless to say, I'm not a fan of him at all. 

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And to just think.. I bought my first car from that idiot. The then Pontiac dealership on Broadway. If I still had that car I would Park it front of the Beaman lot and burn it and call news 4 and let them know the reason why I'm burning it.

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And to just think.. I bought my first car from that idiot. The then Pontiac dealership on Broadway. If I still had that car I would Park it front of the Beaman lot and burn it and call news 4 and let them know the reason why I'm burning it.

:rofl:

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