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The mayor found out it would not work politically... sorry for the ambiguity.

Do I enjoy sitting in traffic? No, I do not.
Does this mean that I will enjoy sitting in even more traffic, for an even longer period of time? No, I will not.
I do not have to love the current situation to be able to criticize an even more imperfect solution.

I am curious, how many AMP supporters on this board actually use the downtown - White Bridge Road route multiple times a week, ...especially during 7-9:30AM and 2:30 - 5:30PM? You all act as if it is no big deal to increase the hardship on these drivers (me included) for what can only be described as a very modest increase in existing bus ridership. IMO, the AMP will not come close to removing enough vehicles from the road to offset the removed traffic capacity that is a result of dedicated lanes.

The winners in the original AMP proposals are indeed the AMP riders (contingent on the price of fares) and the losers are the drivers along the same route..... this is a zero sum game, at least for the next 5-10 years.

BRT traffic studies actually factor in the decreased traffic load from a route due to the travel time becoming so burdensome that many drivers select other routes of travel.... how is that a solution? Especially for those drivers who have business along the route.

Solutions? How about instead of cresting 10-lanes for traffic you create 2 lanes for dedicated BRT instead of reducing existing capacity.

This quote from Walter Hook is very relevant, "It's harder in the U.S. because we don't have the public transit ridership that we have in some of our other countries. Taking that road real estate for bus lanes is easier when there's 10,000 bus passengers an hour than when there's 500." ... less in Nashville's case!

- See more at: http://www.citiscope.org/story/2014/lessons-and-new-directions-bus-rapid-transit-turns-40#sthash.xIcgDr5v.dpuf



 

First, the mayor did not find out that the Amp as originally proposed wouldn't have worked.  No one knows what that would've looked like because we have yet to give it a shot.  What the mayor actually found out was that there were a lot of powerful people with powerful friends who strongly oppose the Amp.  He responded politically and, in my opinion, made the best move he could given the circumstances.

 

Not three posts ago you were complaining about how bad it is between Whitebridge and 440.  I believe timmay's joke about bulldozing 10 new lanes was intended to point out that there are not a lot of other options being suggested by the opposition to manage the increasing traffic problems that we all seem to acknowledge.  Yes it's true that the amp will remove a couple lanes from an already busy street, but it will also remove a couple cars from the road and clear up some of that traffic, as well.  As Nashville grows, traffic will get worse regardless, but at least the Amp will give people an option to avoid that traffic, thereby freeing up the road for those who need or chose to drive.  Everybody wins. 

 

What's the alternative?  Worse gridlock, bulldozing ten new car lanes, or....?

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CityHeart

I think a first step is improving the existing MTA bus service. We ride the #3 and #5 quite often. The app that shows you were your bus is and when it should arrive will help us out and can help lure new riders. I like the biking options as long as they do not restrict existing capacity. 

If you read up on how BRT engineers come-up with the traffic calculations post, post dedicated-lane BRT, you see how increasing the delays, hassle factor for cars is actually part of the formula for reducing traffic on the route.... they quantify how many drivers will give-up and choose other routes...

 

  What's the solution Nashville_bound ??  

 

The Stop Amp solution- Improve current bus service, offer:

 

* Low platform, hybrid power buses

* Limited stop bus service over long distance

* Local bus service for shorter trips

* Control of traffic signals

* Pay fares at kiosks, online etc

* GPS drives real-time signs and smartphone apps.  

 

I think improving bus services is good.. Will it be enough ? Will it really matter if the buses have to negotiate the same lanes as cars, double park vehicles, bicycles etc.. I am curious to know more about control of traffic signals. 

 

Others may not agree or admit it, but I do think the plan is to "push" people from there cars to a certain extent. The message is bike more, walk more, and ride more.  I just happen to think that is a good thing..  Change aint easy.. We definitely know that here in the South!!! 

Edited by Guest
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I am curious, how many AMP supporters on this board actually use the downtown - White Bridge Road route multiple times a week, ...especially during 7-9:30AM and 2:30 - 5:30PM? You all act as if it is no big deal to increase the hardship on these drivers (me included) for what can only be described as a very modest increase in existing bus ridership. IMO, the AMP will not come close to removing enough vehicles from the road to offset the removed traffic capacity that is a result of dedicated lanes.

 

 

I would ride the currently proposed AMP route five days per week.

 

It's absolutely astounding to me that it would take a 35-40 minute trip each way when riding the existing MTA bus system for my two-mile commute to and from work. What's more, nearly half of that time is spent just waiting for a transfer at the MCC which, I might add, takes another full-priced fare. Nearly five bucks and more than an hour of my day for a four mile round-trip? No thanks.

 

A sensibly-priced, efficient, reliable, and quick public transit system sounds amazing to me. I can't imagine much improvement if the thing is stuck in traffic all day just like everybody else.

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The mayor found out it would not work politically... sorry for the ambiguity.

Do I enjoy sitting in traffic? No, I do not.

Does this mean that I will enjoy sitting in even more traffic, for an even longer period of time? No, I will not.

I do not have to love the current situation to be able to criticize an even more imperfect solution.

I am curious, how many AMP supporters on this board actually use the downtown - White Bridge Road route multiple times a week, ...especially during 7-9:30AM and 2:30 - 5:30PM? You all act as if it is no big deal to increase the hardship on these drivers (me included) for what can only be described as a very modest increase in existing bus ridership. IMO, the AMP will not come close to removing enough vehicles from the road to offset the removed traffic capacity that is a result of dedicated lanes.

The winners in the original AMP proposals are indeed the AMP riders (contingent on the price of fares) and the losers are the drivers along the same route..... this is a zero sum game, at least for the next 5-10 years.

BRT traffic studies actually factor in the decreased traffic load from a route due to the travel time becoming so burdensome that many drivers select other routes of travel.... how is that a solution? Especially for those drivers who have business along the route.

Solutions? How about instead of cresting 10-lanes for traffic you create 2 lanes for dedicated BRT instead of reducing existing capacity.

This quote from Walter Hook is very relevant, "It's harder in the U.S. because we don't have the public transit ridership that we have in some of our other countries. Taking that road real estate for bus lanes is easier when there's 10,000 bus passengers an hour than when there's 500." ... less in Nashville's case!

- See more at: http://www.citiscope.org/story/2014/lessons-and-new-directions-bus-rapid-transit-turns-40#sthash.xIcgDr5v.dpuf

 

 

 

I think you've got it wrong about the zero sum game, which you kind of admit when you qualify it with a 5 to 10 year window.  By it's very nature, the game isn't win or lose if it's really lose-some-now but win-some-later.  The same thing happens when they shut down the interstate to make new lanes or build an off-ramp.  Those who use the road will suffer in the short term but gain in the long term.  Granted, 5 to 10 years is a short amount of time in the the grand scheme for such a major infrastructure change, but I can understand being worried about having your commute made worse on a day-to-day basis for that long of a period of time.  Luckily, if all goes well, you will have an alternative option for getting to and from work that you might find can be a good option for you from time to time.  And if not, many others who are currently clogging up your car lanes might choose the bus instead, which also helps you. 

 

Which brings me to a more important point about this not being a zero sum game.  You act as if Amp riders and car drivers will be two distinct groups of people.  While there are certainly people who will never ride the Amp under any circumstances and there are others who do not own a car and never ride in taxis etc., most people will probably find some combination of bus riding and car use that best suits their needs.  It can't be a win or lose situation when most people will both be both winning some and losing some.

 

And yes, BRT traffic studies definitely factor in decreased travel time on a route as a result of the traffic becoming so burdensome.  That's a good thing, right?  Traffic is not becoming burdensome because of the Amp--we haven't even built it yet.  It's becoming burdensome because Nashville is growing and it's projected to get a lot worse even in the short term, with or without the new system.  The Stop Amp group is already touting graphics about how people have been increasingly avoiding West End for the last 10 years.  What happens when the arterial roads and alternate routes get so clogged that people start avoiding them, too?  Maybe traffic will get so burdensome that everyone will just stay home instead and then travel time will really decrease.  Giving the future of work-from-home telecom and innovations like the taco-copter, maybe that won't be such a terrible result if the project does end up getting killed.

 

As for bulldozing two new lanes, I'd certainly be open to the idea, but there are a lot of property owners on West End who will probably be even less happy about that plan.  If we could find away to add dedicated lanes without reducing existing street capacity I'd be all for it.  I think Smeagols has some good ideas, too.  No matter what the system ends up looking like, though, I would say that the dedicated lanes are the crux of the issue.  Without dedicated lanes, BRT is not an alternative transit option, but just a different way of using the same road system that's already in place.  If it would make everyone feel better about it, we could just add a couple HOV lanes with a minimum seat capacity of 60 or so. 

Edited by ruraljuror
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So your solution is to make traffic worse for cars to make it better for the mass-transit?

That is exactly the reason STOP AMP was formed. There seems to be a notion out there that the worse you make the situation for cars the better it is for mass-transit (the government using negative and positive reinforcement).... of course the people paying for the mass-transit are the very ones driving the cars.....

I am not sure I understand this logic that doing nothing will decrease the burden of the 1 person per car frenzy that Middle Tennesseans seem to love. Do we think that there will be less traffic over time? It only makes it worse for cars if people are unwilling to do something to make it better for everyone. 

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Why does MTA not allow for free transfers? 

We are definitely lucky that we just walk to the MCC if we are not riding the #3 or #5.

 

I would ride the currently proposed AMP route five days per week.

 

It's absolutely astounding to me that it would take a 35-40 minute trip each way when riding the existing MTA bus system for my two-mile commute to and from work. What's more, nearly half of that time is spent just waiting for a transfer at the MCC which, I might add, takes another full-priced fare. Nearly five bucks and more than an hour of my day for a four mile round-trip? No thanks.

 

A sensibly-priced, efficient, reliable, and quick public transit system sounds amazing to me. I can't imagine much improvement if the thing is stuck in traffic all day just like everybody else.


P2 - I do not believe I advocated doing nothing in this thread.... I have been very clear that I prefer doing no additional harm in the name of a cure.

Edited by Guest
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Don't worry guys, Nashville will just continue to do nothing about its transportation needs until it's faced with the prospect of 16-hours-per-day gridlock as Boston was during the 80s. The result of which--as you know--was the "Big Dig" project that took more than 15 years to complete at a cost of nearly $22 billion. Perfect.

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Don't worry guys, Nashville will just continue to do nothing about its transportation needs until it's faced with the prospect of 16-hours-per-day gridlock as Boston was during the 80s. The result of which--as you know--was the "Big Dig" project that took more than 15 years to complete at a cost of nearly $22 billion. Perfect.

Not necessarily the best example to provide, since Boston has had significant public transportation systems in place for MANY decades!  Their streetcar system was started in 1856 and the Boston green line is the most heavily used light rail line in the country.  221,900 rider per week, according to Wikipedia.  (But I do get your point)

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I think a better comparison than Boston is Austin TX.

For example:

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/abj-at-the-capitol/2013/12/transit-woes-we-cant-build-our-way-out.html

 

A study by Texas A&M University'sTransportation Institute has found that even if Austin and Central Texas gets its entire, $28.4 billion, 25-year transportation plan into operation, traffic in Austin is still headed into gridlock.

The report, that was finalized in August and included in a report by the Austin-American Statesman Tuesday, found that even if the region builds its whole wish list, a 12-mile trip from Buda to Austin would take 119 minutes and a 15-mile trip from Round Rock would take 99 minutes.

The big problem is population. The five-county area is expected to grow from 1.8 million people now to about 3.25 million in 2035, according to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's 2035 plan. In the face of that growth, even the entire transportation infrastructure investment fails to keep pace -including local and regional rail systems.

The report did offer a way out, however. If Austinites change how they live and work, travel times returned to acceptable ranges. 

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Sort of unrelated to the current discussion, but, has anyone heard of MegaBus making a comeback to Nashville? I've gotten to where I take it quite regularly between Washington and Philadelphia. A round trip peak ticket purchased last minute is literally cheaper than buying a weekend or evening ticket 2 months out on Amtrak, and I find it to be a rather convenient, fairly efficient, and not terribly uncomfortable way to travel.  Heading from DC to Knoxville, then on from there to Nashville would be infinitely preferable to a $250-$500 plane ticket if I had a week of leave saved up...

 

EDIT: I see they're back, this time at 4th and Elm. Looks like they just don't provide service to Knoxville...sadface...

Edited by Nathan_in_DC
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Are you really unable to discern the difference? Basically I am saying DO NOT throw the drivers 'Under The Bus', both metaphorically and literally, in order to advance mass-transportation in Nashville. I think it is wrong-headed and will lessen the support for mass-transit projects.

I believe there to be many better solutions including the revised Dean plan NOT having dedicated BRT lanes on the highly congested roadways.

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Lawmakers approve the study looking into a monorail linking Nashville and Murfreesboro.

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/15/lawmakers-reverse-direction-approve-monorail-study/7743587

 

What the heck makes them think that they can get the momentum to use an unproven, expensive technology, when they aren't even willing to provide adequate funding for a freaking commuter rail line? This monorail nonsense is just that...nonsense.  Take the same amount of money and put it towards double tracking and electrifying an existing ROW (I'd be surprised if there weren't abandoned or rarely-used lines that could be converted), or even building a whole new route.  There's no way it'd be any more expensive than, say, a ring road around Nashville that will not be heavily used for another 25 years...

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So, the Senate didn't take the language of the house bill allowing dedicated lanes for BRT. Senate Bill 2243 and House Bill 2156 is going to conference committee, and all indications are that an amendment will be introduced that will require state legislative approval for any bus rapid transit project using a dedicated lane on ANY state highway or state right-of-way, anywhere in Tennessee. The Senate decided to up the ante to cover the entire state. I'll get back to ya when I know more.

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37206 - Your premise is off IMO.  

To illustrate just calc the area of a dedicated lane for BRT (1 mile of a 12 ft wide lane = 63,360 sq. ft.) and compare the utilization rate of THE AMP - frequency rate of the BRT busses (1 every 10-15 minutes or 3-5 busses per hour) x Ridership # x the service hours (Amp is expected to run from 5:45 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. on weekdays (2:15 a.m. on Fridays), from 6:45 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. on Saturdays and from 6:45 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. on Sundays)

 

vs.

 

Cars - 41,000 cars currently use that road every day. or 342 cars utilize 1 lane (there are 4) EVERY hour of EVERY day of EVERY month annually. 

 

This shows your density argument to be false.. should I count you as a new ally against the AMP dedicated lanes. ; )

**And I feel the need to reiterate that I am not anti-AMP nor anti-mass-transportation before I get kicked out of the forum.



 

Areas with the most congestion is where it is most important to have dedicated lanes. First, these are the places where transportation demand most exceeds supply and where it is most beneficial to transport the most people per sqft of road space. Secondly, if the bus gets caught in traffic it increases travel time and destroys schedule reliability. Everyone who rides the bus is taking up a much smaller sqft of road than an auto passenger, benefitting everyone else and therefore meriting priority.

It seems to me that the value of road space as a publicly owned commodity is underestimated by some. It is owned by all tax payers and those sitting in a car take up a disproportionate amount of this resource without compensating everyone else for removing that space from all other potential uses. Short of charging tolls to decrease demand, increasing supply for transportation throughput is the only way to resolve the issue.

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If the standard is that no cars will be inconvenienced then we'll never have a rapid transit system. Short of a subway there isn't a widely used rapid transit system that we can build that won't take up a lane of traffic.  It doesn't matter where the proposal is located. If our standard is that no road capacity for personal automobiles be reduced then we will never have another option for transit, and we'll all be sitting in traffic 20 years from now with no viable alternative. I'm not a believer that the AMP or a LRT system will suddenly make traffic a thing of the past, but those modalities will allow the citizens and visitors of Nashville an option for moving throughout the city that doesn't involve driving a car.  There will be a time that Nashville's traffic problems will be such a headache that it will be a detriment to economic growth if there are not other ways of moving around the city.

 

As far as the monorail study goes.....Monorail may not be the most efficient transit system, but at least the state is studying this corridor. They will find that monorail is going to be expensive, and they will also find that heavy rail or light rail will likely be a better alternative. The monorail study may be the first step toward getting commuter rail between Nashville and Murfreesboro.

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Nashville_Bound, to echo the above sentiments, I ask you, what is the alternative?  I'll take you at your word if you say you're pro rapid transit.  However, and forgive me if you've already gone over this and I missed it, what do you propose we do if not BRT with dedicated lanes on an existing road, seeing as how any rapid transit system requires exclusive thoroughfares to function?  Building a subway or monorail system, or widening our roads until the city is barely more than asphalt, clearly are not practical or affordable options...so...what then? 

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As far as the monorail study goes.....Monorail may not be the most efficient transit system, but at least the state is studying this corridor. They will find that monorail is going to be expensive, and they will also find that heavy rail or light rail will likely be a better alternative. The monorail study may be the first step toward getting commuter rail between Nashville and Murfreesboro.

 

I fear that the study is a red herring that will do nothing more than add fuel to the anti-transit funding crowd.  They will read this study of something that is not feasible for the foreseeable future, see how expensive and impractical it is, and will proceed to ignore future, more effective transit options. I'm not usually the conspiratorial type, but it wouldn't surprise me if this was the intended effect.

 

The only way that will be avoided is if the study says that monorail is impractical, but then goes on to lay out an alternative plan in a positive manner, which I don't see happening.

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