This evening was the fourth public meeting for public feedback on The Amp project and since it was on the west side – our part of town – Jen and I decided to go.
There were lots of people at the meeting and I wish there could have been a bigger venue to give more room because it felt more like being at a concert. There were some maps setup on tables for people to review and write suggestions on; that was pretty cool
As the meeting got underway there was a brief announcement and presentation. Once completed it was then a question and answer time for the public to mingle with the engineers to ask questions. After the presentation was complete, the main “stop amp” guy commandeered the mic and started ranting against the amp project. Here are some of his main points:
- The Amp will be expensive – Services costs money. What’s your point? Services like public transit cost money, especially if you want to do it right.
- Property owners’ land will be condemned and annexed for the project – I specifically asked one of the engineers about this and he said yes, there would be some property taken as right of way but the stop amp guy was way overstating the amount. He gestured and my impression was that at sections, a few feet would be need to be annexed as part of the plan.
- He would never ride it anyway – The guy said his job is downtown and he lives just off west end ave and he would never ride it anyway so he doesn’t want it. Really dude? That’s your logic? The small mindedness of that statement kind of blows my mind. Somebody in the crowd made a reference to transit in Hawaii and the guy literally said, “Well go live in Hawaii then.” #BlankStare
So after that, I mingled around and overheard some of the stop amp people in the crowd. Here are some of memorable stuff.
- I was in Utah and they had a trolley system and I had to wait 3 whole cycles before getting the light. I vehemently oppose this.
- Nobody rides the bus now! If it was packed to the gills all the time then I could understand! Nobody walks or ride bikes!
- The lanes are being narrowed to 9.8 feet wide. My Expedition needs more room than that.
I came to the meeting ready to hear some genuinely good arguments against The Amp project. Instead, I just heard all the small minded stuff that I expected to hear. I’m trying real hard to be aware of my own confirmation bias but I just got the impression that the stop amp people where rich, white, NIMBY types and they were upset about the inconvenience of turning left in their full sized SUV’s.
I support The Amp
I support The Amp because Nashville is in desperate need of good, frequent public transit. No, this single line doesn’t magically fix everything but it’s just the first building block of a larger transit plan. We’ll now have an East/West connector; hello North/South connector? The bus lines aren’t used very often right now because it’s not very good. They run every 20 minutes during the week (30 minutes on the weekends) and they don’t run late enough, especially on the weekends. The BRT is going to run every 10 minutes, will have a dedicated lane and can change the lights which means it’ll be a lot faster and more frequent than the current buses!
I was a little bummed that there will be no space for bike lanes along the entire route but overall, I’m excited about the project and I hope it gets funded.