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The Seven Blunders of Jacksonville

We've given you a list of the Seven Wonders, now it's time to give you Seven Blunders.

Published November 2, 2007 in Opinion      37 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article




7. The creation of JTA

Sometimes consolidation can be a bad thing.  The decision for our expressway authority to take over our mass transit system is a prime example of this.  While JTA has done a great job of highway planning, its efforts to run a dependable mass transit system leave a lot to be desired.  This little act of giving a road building control over mass transit has cost the Jacksonville taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the last few decades and we still have a system that lacks the basic essentials needed to be dependable and attract choice riders.

 

 

6. Not taking advantage of Super Bowl XXXIX

Salt Lake City used hosting the Winter Olympics to get light rail.  Houston did the same with the Super Bowl.  Detroit and San Diego used the big game to help jump start downtown revitalization and entertainment districts.  If you look into the past, you'll find that most cities have taken advantage of hosting big events to push legacy projects through.  Here, we squandared that opportunity for three lighted bridges, a few paved roads, and a carnival on Bay Street that packed up and left town the morning after the game.

 


5. Rail transit planning

At one point we had over 70 miles of streetcar track in this town and we tore it all out in 1936 for buses.  40 years later, we constructed a downtown people mover to nowhere which cost the same amount of money as a light rail line running from downtown to the airport would have. 

Today, our transit authority is trying to push a larger boondoggle down our throats called Bus Rapid Transit.  If we never touched the streetcars in the first place, there would be no need to spend a billion dollars on BRT and our community's development patterns would have been completely different, greatly eliminating a large portion of the sprawl we deal with today.

 

 

4. Elimination of gridded streets

Bad zoning can have a negative impact on a city's growth.  The decision not continue the city's gridded street network and to allow cul-de-sac developments that force all of their traffic onto single throughfares like Beach, Blanding, and Atlantic Blvds has been disasterous.  This has resulted in a community that has been planned for cars as opposed to pedestrians.  In the event that mass evacuations are needed, we'll always be limited due to a lack of parallel alternative streets.

 


3. Demolishing our history

Imagine a city with a vibrant blues and jazz nightlife district, a theater district, a mile long row of mansions lining Riverside Avenue, wharves filled with fresh seafood markets, and a downtown loaded with a diverse collection of architecture from all ages.  These are the type of things that people travel to places like Charleston, Seattle, New Orleans and San Francisco to see.  Believe it or not, we had it here, but over the past 30 years we have continued to rip our history to shreds for bland office buildings, parking lots and ill-advised parks.  Our shortsightness has gotten so bad that today we have heated debates on whether an expanded convention center is even needed due to the lack of things to do around downtown... because we tore everything down.

 


2. Bridge Planning

You don't have to stay at a Holiday Inn to realize that we are a city split down the middle by a large river.  Unfortunately, there are only two river crossings outside of the downtown core.  It's also no secret that gridlock awaits anyone trying to cross the Buckman and Matthews Bridges or driving down Atlantic, Beach and JTB during rush hour.  The solution to these congestion problems revolved around two decisions: not constructing the Timuquana Bridge and not constructing the 20th Street Bridge.  These decisions will forever leave us struggling to get the upper hand on our traffic congestion situation.

*Honorable mention goes to the construction of the Dames Point Bridge.  Because it was not built as a tunnel, similar to those in Mobile, AL and Norfolk, VA, our port's growth will be restricted if ships continue to grow in size.

 


1. Running the Movie industry out of town

In 1916, Jacksonville was the home to more than 30 movie studios and considered the Silent Film Capitol of the country.  Fed up with the industry's reckless ways, such as using fire alarms to get people out of buildings to create crowd scenes, the community ran the industry off to a sleepy little hamlet called Hollywood.  As of 2005, while attracting tire distribution centers make the front page in our paper, with Hollywood at the center, the motion picture and television industry has created over 1.3 million American jobs at an average wage of $73,000, generating $60.4 billion for the U.S. economy.

 

Feel free to debate, or create your own list.








37 Comments

jeh1980

November 02, 2007, 04:57:35 AM
We all due respect, but I would have to disagree on some of these entries...especially about the JTA, and the part about us "destroying our history." The number one real blunder of all time is that we who would spoke negative about our mayor (yes, Mayor Peyton does need to do better as a mayor 'cause WE are responsible for putting him back in the office) and the city council, had never let our voices heard in front of ANYBODY who works for the city. If we care about what needs to be done in our downtown, then we need to stand up and speak out...not in anger. Plain and simple. >:(

Ocklawaha

November 02, 2007, 07:05:22 AM
We REALLY agree on this one, I figure giving JTA our transit was at least 5 of the 7 sins. Since the highway bandits and their lobby wrecked the streetcars, railroads and urban transit in general, giving them control of Transit is rather like the fox watching the hen house. Of course we now lived in an enlightened age where all transit is believed to be complimentary to one another, at least that is the common spin. Yet pick up any article from Motor City or any highway construction journal or lobby publication and they are still spewing the same old ire. The Expressway Authority was a great idea, but show me another major City who's asphalt gods run the metro...

Destruction, we are certainly kings of that area too. Remember the old Acosta Bridge? Fuller Warren? Both were to be spared or preserved in part as public displays or piers...Uh Huh? The Trolley Barns? Florida's First Skyscraper? First Theme Park? Second Theme Park? The World War II ship building ways? Railroad to the Beaches? Fairfield, the oldest and largest neighborhood to escape the great fire? LaVilla, once filled with classic old hotels and warehouses is now? gone? Brooklyn? I count about 6 homes left, where did it go? Certainly progress replaces some of the old with some of the new, but THANK GOD, San Francisco didn't take the Jacksonville approach to Cable Cars, or New Orleans to Trolleys. THANK GOD, Fort Sumpter SC isn't a condo resort, and Ft. Worth or Oklahoma City's Stockyards districts are not Oil Refinerys.

Did we have to tear down the old Imeson Airport terminal building? Could we have found a better use for the original Union Station, burned and mostly gone today, then storage of highly combustible chemicals? Could we have kept at least one or two of the old downtown wharfs? That famous Oriental Gardens, did we have to build houses all over it too? Condos made a nice replacement for the San Jose Country Club, but Epping Forest? REALLY!


Ocklawaha

vicupstate

November 02, 2007, 08:11:18 AM
One very glaring omission.....

Losing UF to Gainesville a century + ago.

There are others, but that is all I have time for at the moment....

fsujax

November 02, 2007, 08:22:58 AM
What about losing Busch Gardens to Tampa Bay? I think that was a huge blunder.

ashmead

November 02, 2007, 08:23:38 AM
I think the RiverView Jail deserves to be on this list...

downtownparks

November 02, 2007, 08:41:06 AM
I think that the riverview jail, along with the county courthouse, city hall annex, school board, ect, ect, ect all fall under the same as the loss of the wharf district, and the demolition of La Villa and East Jacksonville. It was all done in the name of urban renewal, and while it was done between Mayor Hayden Burns through Mayor Delaney, and still continues to a much smaller degree, the fact of the matter is, rather than save or actually redevelop, we demolished. In some cases where they felt there was some value they built government buildings there.

hightowerlover

November 02, 2007, 08:42:50 AM
Ok I don't know why Transportation is about the only thing talked about on this website any more....

But what about the court house?  I agree with some of the posts, I guess it's just hard to limit yourself to seven when this town has made so many mistakes :)  And I like that the bridges are a wonder and a blunder.

thelakelander

November 02, 2007, 09:07:01 AM
We lost Busch Gardens to Tampa and UF to Gainesville? 

As for the courthouse, it was discussed but some felt it still could have a happy ending.  However, that was before we found out the price may be going up again.

Steve

November 02, 2007, 09:22:54 AM
The reason transportation was mentioned three times on the list was because if we were halfway decent with ours, we wouldn't be in the position we were in today with road construction.

As far as Busch Gardens, while we were in the discussion for it, we never had it.  Now, if they had been here, and packed their bags and left, then absolutely.

raheem942

November 02, 2007, 11:05:56 AM
We all due respect, but I would have to disagree on some of these entries...especially about the JTA, and the part about us "destroying our history." The number one real blunder of all time is that we who would spoke negative about our mayor (yes, Mayor Peyton does need to do better as a mayor 'cause WE are responsible for putting him back in the office) and the city council, had never let our voices heard in front of ANYBODY who works for the city. If we care about what needs to be done in our downtown, then we need to stand up and speak out...not in anger. Plain and simple. >:(
i love that and i will agree 100%

thelakelander

November 02, 2007, 11:33:21 AM
I'd say most of the vocal posters on this site do not sit quitely behind their computer.  They are out there pounding on the 4th floor's door, attending meetings and donating their time for civic purposes on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, the majority of the Jacksonville community could care less unless its an issue that hits them personally.

vicupstate

November 02, 2007, 01:18:44 PM
I think the RiverView Jail deserves to be on this list...

I was thinking of that one also.  It is an eyesore, and jails are very expenseive to build, so it will be there for a decade or better, at least.   

Steve

November 02, 2007, 01:45:13 PM
We all due respect, but I would have to disagree on some of these entries...especially about the JTA, and the part about us "destroying our history." The number one real blunder of all time is that we who would spoke negative about our mayor (yes, Mayor Peyton does need to do better as a mayor 'cause WE are responsible for putting him back in the office) and the city council, had never let our voices heard in front of ANYBODY who works for the city. If we care about what needs to be done in our downtown, then we need to stand up and speak out...not in anger. Plain and simple. >:(

I completely agree - which is why the Board of this site meets at least once a week to discuss how they can get this information out to the people that make decisions.  In the last month, we have collectively been to more than 5 public meetings and spoken out, met with the media on multiple occassions, and have written an editorial for the Times-Union, and was the main source behind another one.

We also have more meeting planned for the next few weeks.  If it weren't for the whole day job thing (and putting food on the table), we'd be doing this all day.

downtownparks

November 02, 2007, 03:27:15 PM
I am also active.

Steve

November 02, 2007, 04:12:26 PM
I am also active.

Absolutely - I know for a fact that downtownparks has been extremely active in the community, particulary his community of springfield.

I also know of other people on the site that are active in the community.  I think one of the things that's great about this site is that it brings together people who truly care about the community, and are willing to fight for this.  None of us believe that the site alone with solve Jacksonville's problems.

jbm32206

November 02, 2007, 04:20:57 PM
I'm also very active, and care deeply about this city and what goes on. I know for a fact, that most of those who do speak up on the forum, don't sit idly by either.

Ocklawaha

November 02, 2007, 06:05:18 PM
Quote
I completely agree - which is why the Board of this site meets at least once a week to discuss how they can get this information out to the people that make decisions.  In the last month, we have collectively been to more than 5 public meetings and spoken out, met with the media on multiple occassions, and have written an editorial for the Times-Union, and was the main source behind another one.

Well, as for me, I refuse to work and don't do a darn thing all day...Daddy just sends me a check!

My day?

7:00 am shuttled Chris to his new job.

Went home and read up on rail transit.

11:00 Went to a Doc appt at the VA, which burned 2 hours WITH THE DOCTOR (I'm falling apart).

Wandered into Springfield Railroad Yard, did some study, found a number of tracks are now "available" for transit or other use, and that one of the three railroads using it has signs up saying NO TRESPASSING JAXPORT RY!!! Meaning we own part of that too.

Still haven't found the redbird subway car.

Next found Evergreen Avenue, and recalled it was an old Trolley Line. Followed it to Evergreen, at that point a huge hole in the road exposed a row of ties and spikes! "So I got a sack of Trolley line spikes".

Went on up Buffalo and Evergreen, following the old Atlantic Coast Line to the Trout River...Awesome, the track is still there to within one lot of the river, and still in use only a block south.

Checked a fantastic old house on a hilltop right in the middle of the old industrial/Port area...for sale! Too cool.
 
Wandered back to the NS terminal, and spotted two used (for Sale?) small switch engines within the "COMPOUND".

Found a super cool factory building on Liberty Street, with a 3-4 block long "trolley" track alongside. The whole thing leads into Swisher, but the old factory(?) has classic wall decor and is for sale...Put in an inquiry.
 
Talked to a number of folks in the hood that said they knew of Trolleys in the neighborhood..."Check over on Panama and Palmetto."  Didn't see a thing but did find a junk yard that has mature trees in the back of the lot, so there might be some good hunting.????

Found the HQ for the Talleyrand Terminal Railroad Company, along with a couple of locomotives and an open office, but not a soul to be seen ANYWHERE!

Wound up in the old FORD PLANT, nice folks gave me the run of the place, wow was the front rooms (offices?) ornate! Back in the day! Walked through and around the whole building, solid as a rock!?! The windows need to be replaced, there are only about 10,000 of them!! LOL! The pier at both the NE and SE corner is damaged and sagging. There are two railroad tracks that run long way's one inside and one outside on the North side. said WE could come back for MJ photos inside.

Was hailed by a tugboat crew to see who I was for security purposes, ended up having a fun chat and got a job offer for Chris as a deckhand, I told him about it and he's excited about the chance.

Went to the Tail Gate Party train place, and found the missing Chicago South Shore Interurban car isn't there?? So where did it go??

Anyone that joined the bet, Libby won! The little cheap watch fell off the day Niki-D's Pizza. So went to Julies on Atlantic to have new batteries and band put on the railroad approved job. She does great work in the old World (Greek) EU traditions, worth a visit if you haven't gone.

Talked to maybe 2 dozen folks about rail transit Jacksonville and METRO-JACKSONVILLE.COM...

Finally, picked up Chris at 4 pm, so you see, I don't do a thing but sit and write, rants and raves...!!!


Ocklawaha
Professional Slacker!

thelakelander

November 02, 2007, 06:13:31 PM
Interesting day.  I believe the "trolley" track near Swisher is an old abandoned industrial spur that ran off the S-Line.  There's a few of them in that area, which btw, would make a great urban loft district connected to downtown by rail.

Let me know when you can get us into that Ford Plant.  I'll be there with a camera.

vicupstate

November 02, 2007, 06:54:02 PM
So can someone fill me in on the Timuquana and 20th Street Bridges?  Is the Timuquana bridge the one that was proposed to run through the middle of Riverside, and which lead to the creation of Riverside Avondale Preservation?   If so, killing that turkey was a wonder not a blunder.

Here is my list:

1) Killing off the Film industry.

2) College/University screw-ups.  This is more than just one item but I lumped them together.  A) 1800's -Losing UF to Gainesville. B) waiting until 1972 before establishing a public 4-year liberal arts college.  My hometown of Florence SC (1970 population 84,0000) even beat that by two years.  C) When a college finally did come, locating it in the distant suburbs D) closing what litle presence that UNF did have Downtown D) allowing the young but emerging Law School to grow at Southpoint, when DT was the logical choice for both the school and the city. 

3) Destroying the city's historic architecture.  My take is the same as MetJax's.  DT, LaVilla, Fairfield, Brooklyn, and now even parts of supposedly 'protected' Springfield.  The list is long and tragic.

4) Post-Super Bowl Let-down.  The SB showed the outside world, as well as the city residents themselves, the true potential the city's DT had.  There was been very little follow-up, and there has not been one business/industrial announcement related to the exposure that the city received.
 
5) Courthouse delays.  In addition to ultimately costing the taxpayers $100-200 million before it's all over with, it has stalled probably another $100mm in new construction in the vicinity of the new site.  Construction that would be going on at this very moment, when the construction industry is contracting.   Lastly, the delay prevents the current site from being converted to a higher and better (and tax-paying) use.

6)  Transportation Screwups:  Again, many things lumped into one. A) Ripping out streetcar system B) Elevated Skyway to nowhere, when an at-grade light rail (a la San Diego) would have been better C) tolls on I-95 that sullied the city's reputation 

If BRT goes through, it will be it's own blunder and much higher on the list too.   

7) Allowing the city to become the poster child for River and air pollution.  It will be another generation or two before that reputation, and it's accompanying inferiority complex, will finally totally fade from the collective memory.   

Dishonorable Mention: River view Jail.  See my previous post.     

thelakelander

November 02, 2007, 07:33:25 PM
Timuquana would have run from Timuquana (just North of NAS Jax, but far south of Riverside) to JTB.  During it's early stages, a tunnel was considered as opposed to a bridge.  The result of not having a single crossing from the county line to Downtown is the major reason for gridlock on I-95, the Buckman, Blanding, San Jose and a host of other roads in that area.  Instead of having options to diffuse traffic, its forced up or down into the Buckman.

I-10east

November 02, 2007, 11:08:27 PM
Just playing devil's advocate; Hopefully no one won't think that I'm an "antagonist". LOL.

Regarding #7 "The creation of JTA" ??? IMO that title is pretty harsh. My whole theme is 800+ miles; What city in America hafta deal with over 800 miles of land, and incorporate the freakin' "NY MTA like" transit system all across a city the size of Jax? It's not JTA fault that Jax and Duval became one. If Jax had buses running every ten minutes, and ran all through the night, Metrojaxers will STILL complain; It's all about having a rail system; Rail, rail, rail, rail, rail. I don't understand that way of thinking; I know someone is gonna say about the traffic, and smog and that's a buncha hogwash IMO; Remember "Jax don't have the bad traffic like ATL" and the smoke on buses is nothing like it used to be. Hey, I gotta another thought for the railhuggers; How bout expanding the Skyway, instead of worrying about another rail system? Away from DT (which the skyway should go), low lined track(just like any other light rail) can help cut down cost.

Regarding #4 "Elimination of gridded streets" Name a city that has gridded streets across 800+ miles? Jax has PLENTY of gridded streets. Normally in cities, the further you are from DT, the grid streets are gonna disappear. Hell, Jax has grid streets pretty far from DT Jax in places like Murray Hill, Westbrook, North Shore, Panama, and Paxon; IMO to expect grid streets all over Jax, a city over 800+ miles of land is insane.

I wholeheartedly agree with the majority of the other blunders.

My take on some other noteworthy blunders...

The renovation of the Jax Coliseum, just to tear it down shortly.

The renovation of the old Brentwood Apts (which included vinyl siding on the exterior, heating & AC to all of those apts, and a laundry room) just to raze all of that for the new Brentwood; The negative not being the new Brentwood, but just wastin' all of that $ on the old one.



Lunican

November 03, 2007, 12:08:50 PM
Quote
Hey, I gotta another thought for the railhuggers; How bout expanding the Skyway, instead of worrying about another rail system? Away from DT (which the skyway should go), low lined track(just like any other light rail) can help cut down cost.

The Skyway is not rail, it's just a people mover (horizontal elevator) with a max speed of 35mph and a cost per mile that is much higher than traditional rail. It really isn't feasible to expand it to the outskirts of the city.

Ocklawaha

November 03, 2007, 11:37:52 PM
Quote
Regarding #7 "The creation of JTA" Huh IMO that title is pretty harsh.

Why is it harsh to label a highway building organization as not qualified for mass transit? Highways which are by nature pro-fuel, asphalt, concrete, rubber, internal-combustion, automobile, truck and bus. These same groups or lobby's have banded together many times to destroy Rail, or other transit options throughout the country in their own interests. While times have changed, the highway lobby still spews miles of print and spin around the offices of Washington, DC and Tallahassee. You seem thrilled that the fox is watching the hen house.

Quote
My whole theme is 800+ miles; What city in America hafta deal with over 800 miles of land, and incorporate the freakin' "NY MTA like" transit system all across a city the size of Jax? It's not JTA fault that Jax and Duval became one. If Jax had buses running every ten minutes, and ran all through the night, Metrojaxers will STILL complain; It's all about having a rail system; Rail, rail, rail, rail, rail. I don't understand that way of thinking;


It has to do with services, and increasing mobility options and access in a fuel short future. Electric rail, or trolley bus or Skyway can be powered by many options, including Solar, Wind, Water, Geo-thermal, Hydrogen Fuel Cell. Each mode has it's place. Rail is the undisputed king of speed and capacity, therefore the trunk routes should go to rail that we already have in place. Trolleys and Trolley Buses, make great medium distance secondary trunk line vehicles. Skyways or peoplemovers are quite limited to being downtown core shuttles or special case route systems, airports, theme parks, etc. As for size, better check with Oklahoma City, or Carson City just to name a couple. Oklahoma City by the way has a smaller bus system then ours by far, and once had a much larger electric trolley AND interurban system. When the highway lobby killed it to "Improve" it with modern flexible buses, the ridership dropped over 90%!

Quote
I know someone is gonna say about the traffic, and smog and that's a buncha hogwash IMO; Remember "Jax don't have the bad traffic like ATL" and the smoke on buses is nothing like it used to be.

Traffic from Saturdays Air Show at the Beach extended from the Beach to Downtown, solid gridlock from 4 pm until 6:30pm. I went from Hodges to San Pablo via Beach Blvd, and it took me 38 minutes! I'm happy for Atlanta if they don't have our traffic! That smoke on the buses has been cleaned up as much as 80% to90% IF we pay the same for the bus as the higher capacity, longer lived rail car. With BRT the frequency of the buses or the headways of one bus every 45 seconds downtown, would greatly increase the sulfur and carbon emissions.

Quote
Hey, I gotta another thought for the railhuggers; How bout expanding the Skyway, instead of worrying about another rail system? Away from DT (which the skyway should go), low lined track(just like any other light rail) can help cut down cost


Really? Did you know San Diego built a 17 mile rail system for less then 1/3 of the cost of our Skyway? If mono-rails were the future then why did we ever build railroads in the first place? Did you know that mono-rails have been around since the mid 1800's? They are expensive, slow and bring a host of problems. Why would anyone want to ride the Skyway to Orange Park at 35 MPH, when the adjacent Railroad track speed is 79 MPH?
Another reason we don't build monorails on the ground is there is NO WAY to effect a railroad crossing for them. Again the City or Government must spring for expensive overpasses at every crossing, road or sidewalk.
I do advocate bringing the Skyway into the edges of the Central Core to tie to a system of rail and buses, at these end point terminals, the Skyway could come down to ground level to allow across the platform transfers from one mode to the other. I also believe the Skyway should be fare-free, it's cost absorbed by a transit-fuel tax or transit district tax, so it becomes the Cities moving sidewalk, gateway or magic carpet.

I'd love to write more, but I have a sudden urge to go hug my Trolley Photos.


Ocklawaha

3dave

November 05, 2007, 09:22:20 AM
For a long long time, Jacksonville has been controlled by those  with large intentions of self-enrichment,and to heck with the city and the people. It is that which is behind the 7 blunders. Jax is and has never been known for anything. The way NYC is known for simply  being NYC, like New orleans, for its music,cuisine,Marde gras, How Miami is known for its Latin flavor, how Baltimore was for its seafood,and shipping,. Jacksonville has never offered much of anything to anyone exxcept for  its crooked political teams over the years that have sucked up alot of money and left the city in its current condition.

We also lost a Mercedes -Benz plant to Alabama, because the low education level of the work force in jacksonville....We didnt get a BMW distribution center for the same reason. Daimler-Chrysler looked elsewhere for a plant too.It seems the only thing Jacksonville could be known for is "self-inflicted bad decisions,and shooting itself in the foot". There is alot here,if it was cultivated,and made right. But too often,the main thing about Jacksonville is said "Thers just nothing there". Except the buckle on the Bible Belt....

fsujax

November 05, 2007, 10:24:54 AM

We also lost a Mercedes -Benz plant to Alabama, because the low education level of the work force in jacksonville....We didnt get a BMW distribution center for the same reason. Daimler-Chrysler looked elsewhere for a plant too.

This is not the only reason.  You surely must know that the states that each of these plants is located in put millions worth of incentives towards those deals.  I wrote a research paper on the BMW deal for S.C., while in grad school. It has nothing to do with uneducated workforce in Jacksonville.  Those projects had massive state backing. The State of Florida was not going to subsidize any of these plants to locate to Jacksonville.

Charles Hunter

November 11, 2007, 03:22:15 PM
RE: Timuquana Bridge
Does anyone here really think that the good folks in Ortega, and it's yacht club, and Epping Forest, and San Jose riverfront dwellers, to say nothing of NASJAX (think airspace), would allow a bridge from Timuquana Rd. to JTB?  A tunnel would eliminate the visual and airspace issues, but would likely cost much much more.  On the east side, a tunnel would still likely come to the surface in the San Jose area.  The same San Jose area that killed extending JTB west across Philips Hwy and the FECRR.  On the west, coming to the surface would be do-able, but tight, trying to avoid the yacht club, but getting 'up' before Roosevelt.

3dave

November 15, 2007, 12:25:31 PM
Thanks FSUJAX.....I stand corrected. Indeed,I do recall alot of talk about the  incentives that the other states anted up with,and we wouldnt. This still troubles me though,because we certainly do have an NFL franchise that took alot of doing to get here,and that all in all,employs a heck of alot less people than a car plant would have,and that continues to up the ante just about everytime as far as the money it takes to keep the team here.Granted,hot dogs,souvineer stand,and clean up  help can get done with less educated workers,but I would have supported a large auto plant much more than a football team,whos owner is buddy-buddy and well connected with a certain other family here who happens to also run the city via its fairhaired son...

Ocklawaha

November 15, 2007, 04:13:12 PM
Quote
Does anyone here really think that the good folks in Ortega, and it's yacht club, and Epping Forest, and San Jose riverfront dwellers, to say nothing of NASJAX (think airspace), would allow a bridge from Timuquana Rd. to JTB?

hee hee, this is easy. You simply turn the project over to JTA! They hold PEDC meetings and community cheering sessions limited to 3 minute responses. Then they lose the tapes and transcripts of the meetings, but the "factual information" is still somehow submitted to Tallahassee and Washington. Next they get the funding and buy out 1/2 of Ortega and San Jose... ah hell, maybe NAS and San Marco too! Not that they will need all of that land for a bridge, but they can develop it and sell it when the bond issue comes up. The cash thus raised, the City puts up it's share and badda bing, badda biff!

INSTANT BRIDGE!

The public BE DAMNED! This is JACKSONVILLE!


Ocklawaha

jeh1980

December 18, 2007, 07:21:50 AM
The movie industry moved out west not because we don't want to have fame, but its because there was a tragic accident happening during a silent film. And we blame Jacksonville for running the film industry out of town?
Well, I agree and disagree. We wasn't ready for fame back then. But years later, we have redeemed ourselves. Although, we didn't build another film studio, we did have some films that were shot on-location in Jacksonville.

Creature From the Black Lagoon - 1954
New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking - 1988
Brenda Starr -1989
G.I. Jane - 1997
The Devil's Advocate - 1997
Ride - 1998
Why Do Fool Fall In Love - 1998
Force Of Nature - 1999
Tigerland  - 2000
Sunshine State - 2002
Basic - 2003
The Manchurian Candidate - 2004
Lonely Hearts - 2006
Monster House  - 2006
Moving McAllister - 2007 ...just to name a few.

And there were some films that were made for TV and some TV shows sometime ago like "Safe Harbor"(stars Robert Hays) and "Pointman"(stars Jack Scalia). 8)
 

thelakelander

December 18, 2007, 08:23:33 AM
A few isolated films shot here over the last 100 years can't replace the multi-billion dollar economic engine we ran off.  Accident or not, its probably the largest blunder in the history of our community.

copperfiend

December 18, 2007, 10:52:58 AM
There are other reasons the movie industry moved out west. One of the main reasons is Thomas Edison. He would sue filmmakers because he owned all of the film making patents. The move to Southern California made it nearly impossible for them to be enforced.

Ocklawaha

December 18, 2007, 12:20:12 PM
A couple of other reasons is rain... It is MUCH easier to film with created rain, then to have a sunny day film wiped out by days of rain and clouds. It's also harder to convince someone the cowboy is "Way Out West" when pine tree's and big puff clouds are all around. To make a swamp scene for Tarzan, some shots WERE done in Silver Springs. These scenes could be used in various made to TV films as well as the big screen originals. Others were believe it or not, filmed not far from my desert cabin in Cottonwood Springs California. For miles in all directions there is NOTHING but rock and bare cacti furnace. "FURNACE CREEK" isn't really all that far and it's in "Death Valley". Yet at Cottonwood back in the day was one of Disney's friends narrow gauge railroads (imported from Hawaii), a several mile track that ended in a loop at a grove of Cottonwood Trees, some non-native grasses and movie sets. The Spring produces maybe a tea cup an hour of water but it keeps the ground moist and that is all the tree's needed. Haul in a few more "bushes, or rope vines," and Abbott and Costello could hear "Africa Screams". Instant Jungle in the middle of hundreds of miles of NADA! (BTW: Cottonwood Springs was destroyed after the railroad was moved out, and RV dirt bikers and weekend shooters have reduced it a a couple of damp stumps). What brought them was near perfect weather all year in the LA basin, and access to eternal sun in hell holes like my place. Try doing a Moonscape in Jacksonville? A wild west shootout? How about a mountain rescue? Mountain lions don't look nearly as impressive when they are under a palmetto as when on top of a rock. Trust me, I'll send you a few...

Ocklawaha
Sometime resident of LANDERS, CALIFORNIA, "500 miles from no-where, 2 feet from HELL!"

thelakelander

December 18, 2007, 12:44:41 PM
There are advantages on the East Coast, as well.  We'll never know what the ultimate impacts of the industry that bought us our zoo, could have been if it had not been ran off during its infancy in 1916, before the roaring 20s.  The movie industry really took off in Hollywood during the 1920s.  Sound came online around 1929 and that industry became a good economic buffer for that community during the Great Depression.  Considering we had a pretty good boom during that same time period, if both were combined in one location, that could have resulted in a larger more compact historic urban core than what we have today.   

Coolyfett

January 24, 2008, 01:01:42 AM
Quote
  Lunican
November 3, 2007, 12:08 pm
Re: The Seven Blunders of Jacksonville

Quote
Hey, I gotta another thought for the railhuggers; How bout expanding the Skyway, instead of worrying about another rail system? Away from DT (which the skyway should go), low lined track(just like any other light rail) can help cut down cost.

The Skyway is not rail, it's just a people mover (horizontal elevator) with a max speed of 35mph and a cost per mile that is much higher than traditional rail. It really isn't feasible to expand it to the outskirts of the city.

I disagree with this. The Skyway does need to be expanded. As far as outskirts I only see 2 locations as importance. The Jacksonville International Airport and The Beaches(Jacksonville/Atlantic/Neptune).....I have much to say about this matter.

thelakelander

January 24, 2008, 06:19:03 AM
The skyway is the wrong type of technology to expand to the beaches.  Something like bus rapid transit and eventually light or commuter rail would make much better sense to provide access to the beaches.

Coolyfett

January 24, 2008, 09:36:32 AM
The skyway is the wrong type of technology to expand to the beaches.  Something like bus rapid transit and eventually light or commuter rail would make much better sense to provide access to the beaches.

Whatever the situation....Some sort of people mover needs to be in place to connect downtown to the airport and to the beaches. I don't really know the difference between light rail and commuter rail. I'm checking wikipedia now.

Steve

January 24, 2008, 10:01:38 AM
We've already done the work - http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/72/90/

This should give you a good understanding of the different types of Rail systems discussed.

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