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PHofKS

Nashville and Boston

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I have had the opportunity to visit and spend some time in several US Cities in the last couple of years (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh), but it was in Boston, where I recently stayed for five days, that I was struck by how many common characteristics the Cities share. I almost felt at home, once I became oriented, and reflected on the many similarities between the two Cities and how Nashville couldn

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Excellent write-up and pics. Makes me what to visit Boston soon! Very well done.

Thanks. I wanted to post these in the Nashville forum, because I was impressed by how much in common our two Cities have. I didn't find that kind of similarity in the other Cities I have recently visited.

And Boston is a great place to visit. Good mass transit and plenty to see. Great neighborhoods just for walking around in.

On a side note; always take your camera on the plane. It was a clear day and I sat on the left side of the plane as we flew up the coast and saw perfect aerial views of Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. I had checked my bags with the camera packed in them.

Well I still have the memory.

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On a side note; always take your camera on the plane. It was a clear day and I sat on the left side of the plane as we flew up the coast and saw perfect aerial views of Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. I had checked my bags with the camera packed in them.

Well I still have the memory.

I know how you feel. Last year I flew up to Philly and had a clear view of Atlantic City at night...no camera. :cry:

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Very interesting comparison and thoughts! I've never really thought much about comparing the two cities, nor do I know enough about Boston to really begin to do so, so your analysis is really interesting to me. Thanks for taking the time to write this very interesting thread starter up.

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Great post. Boston is a great city. Like Rural King I never thought about comparing the two. The annual Chamber of Commerce visit went to Boston a few years ago to learn from Boston.

This week, I saw this video for the new greenway going through Boston. It is very well done.

Greenway Video

You are right in the fact that Nashville

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Great photos and narrative. Good ideas, as well.

I would suggest that a more viable alternative than light rail for Nashville along West End might be bus rapid transit. Here is just one link:

BRT = BTR

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Whatever Nashville decides to do with LRT or BRT, I think it should not go down West End. Rather, it should be built along the secondary roads and at certain key points, cross West End.

On this note, I think W.E. is beyond any hope of becoming a pedestrian oriented avenue. Instead, it can be the main corridor for future office development. In contrast, the more narrow streets around it are more conducive for development of neighborhoods.

So, just to sketch the routes of the inner city mass transit on the west, it could go along Church, Demonbreun, 18th, 21st, Grand, 20th, Wedgewood, 31st, Charlotte etc.

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Great post PhofKS. Very thoughtful. Boston seems like a great town, but probably way too cold for the likes of me. Did you get any pics of the "Big Dig?" What's the status of whatever it is they're doing there? Man, how awesome would it be if Nashville grew some tremendous nuts (can I type that?) and blew up the inner loop? The Plan of Nashvlle has some great drawings and descriptions of how to transform this incredibly divisive thing (my vocabulary is somewhat limited right now) into great urban elements.

I ran across a Flikr tour of an abandoned elevated rail track that goes through Manhattan. It's all grown over with weeds, grass, bushes and all kinds of urban detritus. It's illegal to trespass on it, but people find a way to access it and a couple folks did this great photo tour of it. If I can find the link, if its still available, i'll post it here. Also, there is a section of it that NYC is turning into a park. I can't remember if I've read anything about it here, and again, if I find some links, I'll offer them.

Back to the interstate in Nashville, does anyone here have any demolitions expertise?

Here's the link to the Flickr tour.

High Line

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Why are people against LRT in Nashville??? Just a question of course.

Cost. Look at the Sounds stadium and how long it took to get a consensus on $40 million. I think I've heard Portland's LRT costs somewhere near a billion per mile. Charlotte's looked to be more reasonable.

Talking about the layout, the major thoroughfares into town are where LRT should be located if its' to happen. These corridors have the widest cross section in order to incorporate LRT. Streets like Church and Demonbreun would require extensive R.O.W. acquisition to work. With West End, you lose the two outer rows of parallel parking and still have two travel lanes in each direction, hopefully adding a boulevard median in the mix as well.

The thing I like about LRT is it's permanence. You really tell developers you're committed to a certain area and they are more likely to respond with more development. Charlotte's development explosion mentioned by Metro.M is a testament to developers buying in. BRT, while better than nothing, doesn't have the permanence factor and people still have a stigma with riding the bus.

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I think the LRT is a great idea for the very reason Cdub mentions. The permance makes a big difference in price and results. You get what you pay for. (usually). I also think it should go on the major arterials because they have the lanes we could use. The smaller side streets would require to purchase Right of Way.

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I haven't done extensive research, but most of what I have seen has shown that a well done BRT can be just as popular and succesful as an LRT...but it is a heck of a lot cheaper. If a BRT can be done so that it runs at least as efficiently as an LRT (and it looks as sexy as the vehicle in the link I included earlier), it just doesn't make sense to spend several times more money just to say you have rail. In this age of limited government resources, I think a BRT is a much more prudent use of taxpayer dollars. BTW, You can add a greater sense of permanence by blocking out the BRT lane with concrete, etc.

Also, my bad, but I think we have gotten way off the original point of this post. Should we move this discussion to the standing post on mass transit?

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I never thought of comparing Boston and Nashville together either, but there really are some comparisons. Nashville, of course really is in it's infancy as a larger metro area and has quite a bit to learn from the Boston example. I like your conclusion that you've made after comparing Nashville to Boston, PH of KS. That's a pretty good road map for Nashville to follow. And I also agree that rapid transit ultimately is a must. The denser we become the easier it is to sell the concept. However, let's be forward thinking, and demand that our leaders promote greater and greater density, first inside the I-440, I-265 and I-24 loop areas and then further out our major traffic corridors. This is where we should concentrate on the mass transit systems, and a comprehensive plan encompassing both the densification (is this a word?) of these areas and the development of mass transit (Bus Rapid Transit does seem like a logical approach to me) should be developed.

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