Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oy Vey

The City Paper cannot wait to pave over Bells Bend and they want to sell you their heart-tugging phantasm sans the slippery slope that leads to the development of every square inch of rural greenspace that doesn't sit on flood plain. It still looks like a MetroCenter do-over to me.


  1. Wow. I'm stupified. I have nothing to say, other than to express how awful that piece was.

  2. So next week when William writes the fictional how awful it was you guys will cheer? Funny.

    I want to pave over the green space so I had written this back in May.

  3. Let's see: one fictional bad scenario in a year of biased reporting, slanted analysis, developer-promotional editorials. And you want us to give the NCP credit for that? Credit for finally doing the right thing?

    You either miss or purposefully ignore my point about the slippery slope (which I've made consistently): once the camel's nose of urban development gets under the rural tent, then there is no line that can't be crossed by developers. Your much-heralded conservation zoning can be rolled back because new urbanism has already started. Roads can be widened to allow more traffic, which in turn justifies rezoning other Bells Bend properties for buildings outside of MTC, but consistent with MTC. Then one day Nashvillians wake up and the entire Bend has been nickeled and dimed into either MTC or MetroCenter.

    What some of us are saying is that if you draw the line firmly now when there are no bridges or roads or sewers or mixed-use high-rises, then the chances increase that more rural greenspace will be preserved than if you allow the camel into the tent by starting with its very small nose.

  4. Richard, I think a pro/con series about MTC is fine. But William's piece is about the least sophisticated way possible to "debate" MTC. It's just awful in its simplification.

    However, I read your commuter rail piece at the time and agreed with it. A comprehensive and user-friendly mass transit system is a precondition of smart growth, and it's one example of how a partnership between government, developers and neighborhood interests would succeed.

    I'd argue that MTC would actually be an obstacle to mass transit, however. The Ashland City to Nashville rail corridor goes right through Scottsboro, and that's the closest existing piece of legacy infrastructure to the MTC site. Building a new rail line would require using more of the set-aside Bells Bend land to create a terminus, as no other usuable land of sufficient density, bar Nashville West, as anywhere nearby. So if there's a transit alternative to 40,000+ cars a day, it'll be Scottsboro, and boom, OHB becomes part of MTC and the whole camel is in the tent.