Letter to City Planners

Hello ,

I am the property owner and resident at (0000) Asbury Road, next door to two properties that have been sold to the developer Landmark. I attended the developer’s meeting last week, and I have these specific concerns:

Flood plain:

Landmark’s development plan includes six homes on the western side of these properties, in flood plain of Overall Creek. They plan to raise or build up at least some of this ground. I have serious concerns about this plan.

Has there been a recent study of Overall Creek’s flood patterns, a study within the last 5 years? Overall creek flooded over 12 feet, reaching well up onto my property in February 2019. It flooded at least 10 feet once in 2018, and twice the year before that. I can show you those flood water levels on my property, if you need to measure.

Overall Creek behaves much differently now that the woods upstream are nearly gone. The riparian zones may have been preserved, but the acres of woodlands in the watershed that used to soak up rainfall are now mostly gone. The city and/or county needs to re-evaluate Overall Creek’s flood plain levels and floodway.

I do not need to tell you that flowing water is a tremendous force. This artificial elevation that Landmark plans to make will wash out. Eddying will undercut and washout my land, and possibly slump onto my property.

Moreover, the development’s lowest 4 homes at least will flood. Landmark should seriously consider the effect this would have on their reputation.

Upstream, that elevation would effectively dam the creek, flooding homes (0000 0000 0000) on Dixie Lane and in Spring Creek development. Those homes are currently in less danger from floodwaters.

Water mains: Mine and my neighbor north of me (0000 Asbury Road) have our water mains on the easternmost of the two properties that has just sold. We need the city to either relocate both of these water mains, or the new development’s HOA to maintain our easement. Those lines and mains need to be protected during and after the builders’ work on the site.

Trees on fence line: My fence around my eastern, southern and western border is dependent on the trees growing there. Any living tree that is within one foot of my fence needs to be left standing and unharmed, its roots and branches untouched and its base not covered by or deprived of any soil.

Water flow from the development onto my property: Rainwater currently flows from the developer’s site onto my property along the eastern edge, where my driveway has its lowest elevation. It then collects into a small vale and enters Overall Creek. This water flow needs to continue to occur in this location, over this approximately thirty food spread, as it does now.

Well: I have a well on my site, which we planned to use again in the near future for homesteading and animal husbandry. I am concerned that blasting next door will interrupt the karst flow of water that feeds water to this well.

Heat: The ambient temperature in Asbury Park will rise with the absence of the tall trees in this development. Please request that Landmark use light-colored roofing, such as light tan or white/light gray. Dark roofs create updrafts in winter that rob homes of their heat, and in summer a dark roof heats up the home and the air around it. If possible, please encourage the use of light colored roofs. Changing from black to light gray/white roofing made a big difference for the better in my old house.

Traffic:

The intersection of Hord Road at Old Nashville Hwy, being so close to the bridge over 840, has almost zero line of sight from that direction. Many more cars will need to exit there in the future. Can you increase reflector strips on the bridge and signage warning of the intersection? Are there other actions the city or county could take to improve the situation for drivers exiting Hord Road at ONH?

The intersection of Asbury Road and Old Nashville Hwy often has limited line of sight due to brush. Can this intersection be kept more clear, and its road sign placed to be better seen by traffic on Old Nashville Hwy? Can intersection signs be added from both directions on ONH?

The intersection of Asbury Lane onto Medical Center is already well established as a poor connection, especially if one is exiting to the left. Please make a change that will save lives and reduce the traffic flow problem from Asbury Park. I have three suggestions:

Re-work the timing of the lights at Convention Center Blvd to give people leaving and entering Asbury Lane more opportunity to turn.

Alternately, add a traffic plate trigger on Asbury Lane and a recessed light on the west-bound side, such as is used at Bell Road (in Nashville) before the intersection with the off ramp.

Second alternative, since Asbury Lane is already S curved before meeting Medical Center, please extend the Lane to meet Medical Center further east from where it now meets, and create an intersection that can host a traffic light.

Thank you so much for hearing my concerns. I look forward to attending the planning and council meetings, and hope to speak to you there.

Thank you,

(signed)

3 September 2019

Surge of Road Building? Thanks but I Wanted a Bus

Radio news told me yesterday that my state is going to spend a gajillion dollars and 15 years building new lanes on congested interstates. This seems an exercise in futility – the roads they plan to expand already have four lanes on each side. All those previous lane additions have filled up with even more automobiles.

http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/tennessee-s-surge-road-improvements-also-brings-lots-construction

I wrote the following on the radio news’ website:

“I want effective bus routes to relieve congestion. I want to get on the bus at the corner of my street and get off a bus 15 miles later, up the street from my office. I want bus and I want news of light rail corridors being added so that I can get around town without having to fire up a single-unit combustion engine, waste a bunch of gasoline, and go it alone to fight traffic.

If I need to get from my house in Murfreesboro to my allergist’s office in Franklin and want to use our current mass transit, the Metro website tells me it would take two and a half days. That it stupid.

Nashville and its surrounds are one of the largest cities in the richest country on Earth. We should have a transit system that puts the rest of the world to shame, where each of us could travel in comfort and ease instead of taking our chances head-to-head against lunatics on the road.

Buses and trains are 1000% safer than automobiles. Adding bus routes would not cause 15 years worth of construction delays, it would just relieve congestion.”

I did not fact check the actual safety percentage of bus and train versus automobile. But the National Safety Council report for 2015 says, “38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2015, and roughly 4.4 million sustained injuries that resulted in medical consultations”.

http://www.newsweek.com/2015-brought-biggest-us-traffic-death-increase-50-years-427759

http://asirt.org/initiatives/informing-road-users/road-safety-facts/road-crash-statistics

https://journalistsresource.org/studies/environment/transportation/comparing-fatality-risks-united-states-transportation-across-modes-time

Basically, each American has a 1 in 6,800 chance of dying in a car wreck each year. If I calculated correctly, you are 97% more likely to die if you drive rather than take a commuter bus or train. And that actually includes the drivers of those buses and trains. One quarter of commuter bus and train deaths are actually just the drivers.

Sure, people need to drive. I get it and I like driving, too. But I get no thrill or sense of rugged individualism from a boring commute to work. And now, for the privilege of continuing this tedious drive, I will have to deal with years of construction getting in my way instead of just catching a quick bus ride.