Friday, August 25, 2006

Nashville's Big Dig

Shades of Boston's Big Dig and Memphis' Mud Island. Last night dreamers revealed a plan to create our own Panama Canal in Nashville. I don't think so.

"Not many cities are actually making their rivers wider." said Gavin McMillan on of the planners. Tennessean
Well, there's a reason for that. Let's name a few.

$292 million dollars. And no, just because you can get federal dollars for this project doesn't mean it's free. Where do people think those federal dollars come from? From mere citizens in one way or another. Any taxpayer whose been around nearly any time at all knows that there is no way that's what this project will actually cost 'just' $292 million. In the end it will be appreciably more.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I know that many have considered that recycling center a eyesore. Well get over it. It's legitimate and honest work. Try seeing it in a more positive light. Steiner-Liff (PSC now) has been there quite some time and were reducing, reusing and recycling long before it was cool. I and many other women I know clothed out children from the fabric bins that used to be there. We're not the only Nashvillians that dumped broken appliances there grateful to know that it wasn't going to a landfill. Let's spin that site as proof positive that for decades Nashville has been doing its part in the war on waste.

Catering to a Jamestown mentality. One of the lessons my children get from the founding of Jamestown is that when the swells don't pull their weight and focused on recreation instead of the essentials and the town suffered greatly as a result. When you've got a segment of your population focused on how to have fun and catering to those focused on having fun you're in potential danger. In an economic downturn what's going to be the first thing to go? Jobs at PSC or boat sales and Titans tickets?

Mud Island. Please.

Where were councilmembers? They were down at the Planning Commission meeting that was scheduled for just about the same time. I was there too. My invitation from Metro Planning to this meeting came just about 48 hours before this big dig unveiling. I e-mailed back and fussed about the lack of notice and the conflict with the Planning Commission meeting. I got no response. This conflict came off as if they didn't really want some folks to come. Now I know why.

Long term. Do we have any guarantees that when this dig is finished in 15 years or so, and you know just like the money the timeframe will grow, we'll still have a contract with the Titans for the use of the stadium? And when the Titans decide that they need a new stadium have we dug ourselves into a hole that we can't get out of?
A final master plan, paid for with a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and $200,000 from the Metro Parks Department, is scheduled to be presented in December. City Paper
Well, there's another $400,000 we'll never see again and could have been put to better use. I wonder how many policemen, teachers, emergency room visits or sidewalks that would have provided?

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