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dfwtiger

West End Streetscape

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West End is to Nashville (or should be) what Michigan Avenue is to Chicago.

How many years and private investment is it going to take before METRO creates a new streetscape for that portion of West End? That area is a mess. When I worked in Nashville, I remember counting 7 or 8 different street light standards.

West End needs a fresh new look...something like Church Street minus the historic light standards. The street would look great with some contemporary lights....more street trees...and more places to sit. The street looks neglected.

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agreed--however, I would hope they would plan for the future and before doing any streetscape project on WE at least consider the possibility of mass transit. Especially if the city, say 10 years from now, finally decides that transit is needed in a large way and that West End would be part of that plan. Plan for that now, instead of wasting the money to do streetscaping that would have to be destroyed later b/c of lack of foresight.

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I'm gonna say it again, just cause I love 'em so much. I think West End Ave would be perfect for a modern tram line going to DT (and perhaps onward to East Nashville). It's a pretty wide street and properly streetscaped could support a line very well.

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I agree, West End Avenue would definately be perfect for an LRT or tram in the center.

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I'm gonna say it again, just cause I love 'em so much. I think West End Ave would be perfect for a modern tram line going to DT (and perhaps onward to East Nashville). It's a pretty wide street and properly streetscaped could support a line very well.

This is badly needed. With an increased downtown/residential population, it would reduce car traffic/pollution. I would definately use local transit to/from downtown, midtown and East Nashville if it were dependable and on a regular schedule. Why is there not even a daytime trolley with a regular downtown/midtown route? Even if it ran from 7am to 7pm, wouldn't people use it? I would.

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I'm gonna say it again, just cause I love 'em so much. I think West End Ave would be perfect for a modern tram line going to DT (and perhaps onward to East Nashville). It's a pretty wide street and properly streetscaped could support a line very well.
I like that idea I would use it, And it could only help bring more retail, condos and offices to the areas the tram line travels. :thumbsup:

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Nashville leaders are at some point going to have to realize that LR is the best option for transit. Below are some lines I propose:

-West End area, over to Music Row, through the Gulch, down Demonbreum, over the river to East Nashville (by way of LP Field).

-Jefferson Ave through Metro center, through Germantown and into the Gulch (not sure exact route there).

-Airport by way of Donelson and Opryland (get Gaylord to subsidize it - LOL) into downtown with a stop at lower Broadway (closest to all hotels) and then on to the Gulch.

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LRT is the ONLY long-tern solution in IMO. I am glad we can all agree on this subject. I would love for us to start a groundswell to start the process now knowing it takes close to a decade for a fledling system to become operable.

White Bridge Rd to DT

Green Hills to DT

Brentwood to DT (via Franklin Road/8th Ave)

Lavergne to DT via Murfreesboro Pike

Airport to DT

I do not knoe East or North Nashville too well but connections to the most logical sites

Does not sound too expensive does it?!?!??!?!

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I like that idea I would use it, And it could only help bring more retail, condos and offices to the areas the tram line travels. :thumbsup:

Yeah, living here in DC, it's amazing to see the amount of investment occurring along the Metro lines. Some areas that had previously been kinda bad neighborhoods (Columbia Heights) or just suburbia (parts of Alexandria). I also have been looking into the new tram lines in Charlotte and alot of development is being focused along their tram lines.

Memphian, I might suggest adding a route down 8th Avenue South (great opportunities for redevelopment along that corridor). Here's a picture of a modern tram in Hannover Germany to get everyone excited.

00-tram.jpg

Here is an article on a pretty cool new tram technology that Nashville could consider to start out the system:

http://www.transport2000.com/goodpractice/...odPracticeID=36

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I agree 8th ave would be another perfect candidate--it is already beginning to see some development from Melrose on in towards downtown where the new Lafayette neighborhood plan is being discussed. I could see this corridor exploding with development if LRT were incorporated into it.

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Thanks for your suggestion. The routes I proposed were ones that seemed to already have both some development and population in place - kind of a take care of your own before you build it for someone else mentality. I haven't been down 8th in years. I guess on my next venture home I should try it out.

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That ULR idea would be a great starter for Nashville, and could be easily converted to LRT if needed.

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These are awesome ideas and I truly hope they become realities, but it seems as though the city is always struggling with budgetary issues with education, government employee

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I've thought about light rail down West End and believe it would be better to use the parallel streets and have the tracks cross WE at various major intersections. WE is just such a major artery, rail would really disrupt the traffic patterns in/out of that side of town.

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These are awesome ideas and I truly hope they become realities, but it seems as though the city is always struggling with budgetary issues with education, government employee’s pay, etc. Do you think the city can afford such amenities as LRT?

To be quite honest, I have heard that is the primary reason that Metro hadn't been receptive to forms of trams (or any other forms of light rail). However, this ULR system almost seems to be a net neutral spending issue. You would have higher costs on the front end to install but the operational costs should be lower than the current busses we use. The fuel cell technologies would surely depress gas costs (which is pretty important nowadays, lol) and i have seen many examples that rail is much more popular to attract riders than busses (like that article cites). Wouldn't it be notable if we could say that we are the first American system to implement a system like this?

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I am as anti-tax as anyone but I have studied funding for Portland's system an find that the payroll tax options is my preferred revenue generation source. It would tax the citizens that live AND work in Nashville to build a world-class mass-transit system. Plus money from TDOT would need to be reappropriated from roads towards rail infrastructure. I am not saying it will be a slam dunk but we have got to start now because the lead time is so great.

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I'm gonna say it again, just cause I love 'em so much. I think West End Ave would be perfect for a modern tram line going to DT (and perhaps onward to East Nashville). It's a pretty wide street and properly streetscaped could support a line very well.

Totally agree!

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You know if they banned parking along streets like West End, then it would encourage people to use mass transit. If they take the parking lanes out and use it for light rail, I think it may just work. Just an idea, but maybe we can get some of the city council people working on this. I am sure there are federal tax dollars available. ooooops, I hope Kheldane didn't hear that. :P

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SFree

That is a great idea but I think we should reachout to likeminded (at least for this single issue) organizations and community groups first and gather a sizable coalition so that they know we are serious. Otherwise I fear they will be able to justify a tepid response. No one wants to be the lead on this is seems.

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I had never heard of ULR what a great idea. If the 1/10th cost of LR is accurate then what a no-brainer. Where do I learn more?

Thanks for posting

Here's another (pretty dense) study on URL systems in Britain. Just thought I'd throw it in in case anyone was interested in seeing a more about a new system that seems to be quite a bit more cost effective than traditional LRT and tram technologies.

http://www.ihec2005.org/abstract/MANUSPDF/...son%20C.-UK.pdf

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I had never heard of ULR what a great idea. If the 1/10th cost of LR is accurate then what a no-brainer. Where do I learn more?

Thanks for posting

Same here. The biggest concern I have with getting mass transit off the ground is the high cost. Now, maybe this is the best way to get it started without "breaking the bank".

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Here's some testimony to the British Parliament on the issue. Since I'm moving to England in September for a year, I might be able to find out even more (and ride on the system in Bristol) fairly soon!!

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/c...378/378we22.htm

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/c...378/378we23.htm

Another overview on it.

http://lrta.info/DDocs/dd029.pdf

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You know if they banned parking along streets like West End, then it would encourage people to use mass transit. If they take the parking lanes out and use it for light rail, I think it may just work. Just an idea, but maybe we can get some of the city council people working on this. I am sure there are federal tax dollars available. ooooops, I hope Kheldane didn't hear that. :P

LOL! Actually, I would definitely love and use a west end light rail system. As you know, my main concern is the funding structure. I agree that the parking spots need to be removed from west end, if not simply to provide more room for rush-hour traffic. ...which it seems rush-hour traffic is 24-hours a day on west end! Have you guys noticed how much traffic there is even late at night!?

Here's what I think should happen: A bunch of community groups (including the urbanplanet nashville forum) should join together to form a citizens committee on the issue. Then Businesses downtown, all along west end, hospitals, vanderbilt, etc., should form a consortium of groups who's purpose is to bring about the construction and operation of an effective and self-sustaining light-rail system on west end. This group would engage in fund-raising (through public campaigns and fund-raising events) and identify a company to operate the system (I'm sure there are several), but the system itself could be owned by the consortium. Then the necessary right-of-ways would be purchased from the city (which in my mind would be the easiest part of the deal - can you imagine: "Hey purcell, we want to fully fund and operate a light-rail line on west end" - he would crap his pants and then sign the deal without even reading it). Then after construction the company would operate the system and charge fares in such a way that line supported itself. The system would not be world-class, it would not be flashy, used rail cars would be purchased (a-la-the lebanon comm-rail), stations would be non-existent, because think back about the 1900's era street cars - people just step down onto the street from the rail cars. In fact, nashville needs more of an air-conditioned street car than some japanese-looking light rail train.

So that's my plan - no new taxes, no need for government involvement, other than having the government get out of the way and let the group put in the line on west end/broadway. No new ordinances. No protracted legal battles or referendums. No delinquent tax evictions (at least not due to higher taxes caused by the new project). No further debt burdens to the increasingly indebted metro government. No dependency on some pork-barrel funds comming from D.C. Just a group of people who want rail making it happen. As Kheldane, I'm not just saying the government shouldn't be involved - I'm saying the government doesn't need to be involved for us to have rail transit.

One more thing - I'm thinking the same hypothetical group should literally strong-arm CSX into starting and operating a commuter line for all the suburbs. I'm talking publicity campaings, petition drives, high-profile media attention. In my mind, CSX would be begging for mercy after a couple years of intense pressure from a group like that - they couldn't build the system fast enough. And think about it - no legal wrangling. The public has a right to demand whatever service they want from CSX - without any government mandate. Does CSX have a right to refuse all demands and use their private property as they want? Sure. But how long can they last under intense grass-roots pressure? Each new gas price hike would be used to beat CSX over the head for "neglecting the nashville commuter population". CSX could be totally villified - something they're keen to avoid. Plus, it may not even come to that. The consortium could simply tell CSX to build the commuter system the easy way (voluntarily and sell it as a huge favor to nashville), or the hard way (after mammoth negative publicity).

What we have in Nashville (like everywhere in america) is a lack of conficence in the public, a lack of organization, over-reliance on government mandates that has caused people to think of community action as unnecessary or unimportant. A knee-jerk reaction (exhibited by many in this forum) to rely on the government to solve all their problems rather than solving them for themselves. An over-eagerness to deprive their fellow-citizens of their private property without any regard for the economic or long-term freedom implications of weakening the institutions of private property and voluntary exchange.

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