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When Downtown's Policies Went to the Southside

In addition to studying and writing about the urban policies that have created vibrancy and success around the country, Metro Jacksonville has also spent a few years documenting the artificial impediments that hold downtown Jacksonville back. We have repeatedly suggested that a combination of downtown specific conditions make it very difficult for any retail or services to succeed, a fact demonstrated by its nearly complete collapse. In these humorous graphics, we conjecture what would happen if those same policies were implemented in the most successful retail area of the city: The St. Johns Town Center.

Published April 27, 2010 in Urban Issues      63 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article




Parking (cont...)



 "too far from the curb" (the meter maids were equipped with measuring tape and all cars 13 or more inches from the curb were given a 25 dollar fine. This was so strictly enforced that the metermaids were often not visible as they were kneeling to measure the distances),

"Too far away from meter" (same as the curb, but the allowable distance was 16 inches).

Before Metro Jacksonville and Councilwoman Suzanne Jenkins lobbied the City successfully to change the Parking Ordinance, shoppers were routinely being issued 50-70 dollars worth of multiple tickets by parking enforcement. That cleared them off the street in no time.




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63 Comments

Charles Hunter

April 27, 2010, 06:21:00 AM
Funny stuff!

and sad, too.

I was going to say you forgot the confusing purple wayfinding signs - but even confusing signs would be an improvement at SJTC, which does not seem to have anything to guide the lost shopper searching for a certain restaurant or store.

Actionville

April 27, 2010, 08:29:29 AM
This is hilarious

north miami

April 27, 2010, 08:36:28 AM


and........

 The St.Johns Town Center renamed Jacksonville Town Center

SkipnStones

April 27, 2010, 09:34:02 AM
Of course the obvious fly in the soup, the gorilla in the room is that St. Johns Town Center is managed by private investment and downtown Jacksonville is managed by bureaucrats, incompetent city management and pontificating politicians eager to further their personal agendas.

Lets face it the city council and the Mayors office have never produced a consolidated effort, that has not been undermined by special interest and personal political payoffs. There is ONLY one one solution to this quagmire affecting the revitalization of downtown Jacksonville. The city government must get the hell out of the way!

For Jacksonville to ever have a unified approach to revitalization one person ( entity ) must be given full authority to implement agreed methods and designs towards revitalization. City politicians and management bureaucrats should only be consulted on infrastructure complexities.
 
All contracts, quota's and community interests should be protected by what is currently guaranteed by law.

What private entity would ever continue to employ a management team that has the historical track record of city management, the Mayors office and the City Council?

Of course, the city is never going to release its perverted strangle hold on the power to accomplish nothing......except add more flies to your soup!

 

Lunican

April 27, 2010, 10:16:52 AM
What exactly is the city charging for? The privilege to park in front of an abandoned building?





thelakelander

April 27, 2010, 10:20:14 AM
Quote
What exactly is the city charging for? The privilege to park in front of an abandoned building?

People say that's to stop office workers from parking there all day.  Anyway, that building was taken down a few years ago by bulldozer.  So now you pay to park in front of an abandoned overgrown lot.  Its so effective, that no one parks there.

Lunican

April 27, 2010, 10:22:39 AM
Yeah, it's completely ridiculous. How many businesses can really survive in an environment like this?

Nature taking downtown back...



stephendare

April 27, 2010, 10:48:19 AM
What's amazing is that it seems so simple.  If you simply look at downtown objectively and look at these policies, it would only take half a second before you surmised that there really is only one possible outcome to them.  And we got that outcome.

Our downtown is performing exactly according to design, and we are busy changing everything about it except the things that actually matter.

So far, billions of dollars have been wasted in order to produce this:

What exactly is the city charging for? The privilege to park in front of an abandoned building?






JaxNative68

April 27, 2010, 11:16:50 AM
no one is parking there because there is nowhere to go, not because of the stupid parking meter.  what is more troubling to me in these pictures is the number of buildings the city has allowed to be torn down.  you can't trade buildings one for one and expect the area to grow. in the case of dt jax we have been trading a dozen buildings for one which is far more destructive to the urban fabric.

Lunican

April 27, 2010, 11:30:30 AM
So how do you think the SJTC would respond to implementing the policies in place downtown?

Actionville

April 27, 2010, 11:41:06 AM
where should the homeless shelters go?

SkipnStones

April 27, 2010, 11:57:37 AM
The homeless require shelter not location. The transportation company contracted by the city should transport the homeless to an area where there is ample acreage to provide shelter, rehab and education.
The existing jail should be evacuated and utilized or razed..then established on the same site (homeless)....which should be contracted out to private company.....not the Jacksonville government!
 

ESHC

April 27, 2010, 12:03:25 PM
A better questions to ask would be:
Is there a way to coordinate services so everyone in Jacksonville has a safe place to stay? OR
Is there a way to create more affordible housing throughout Duval County so people and families can move out of shelters into a home?

stephendare

April 27, 2010, 12:06:50 PM
A better questions to ask would be:
Is there a way to coordinate services so everyone in Jacksonville has a safe place to stay? OR
Is there a way to create more affordible housing throughout Duval County so people and families can move out of shelters into a home?

+1

plus simply providing a damn shower and a bathroom during daytime hours would be um....i dunno...obvious.

ESHC

April 27, 2010, 12:10:39 PM
Working on that - of couse all buildings we are considering fall within a JEDC master planed area.

Ocklawaha

April 27, 2010, 12:12:11 PM
No sweat, the new Convention Center converted from an 1912 vintage logging railroad terminal will be built in Sawmill Slough. It will host at least one Monster Truck, Gun, Aluminum Boat show, or Survivalist show per month.

The Town Center will spend $200,000,000 Million Dollars to connect itself to the outer edge of the Publix Parking Lot, with a high tech Skyway Express.  It is predicted the Skyway Express will carry 250,000,000 Million riders per year, making it the most advanced and busiest transit system in the world. Depending on the success of the starter line consideration will be given to future expansion to Bermuda.  JTA spokesman Mike Milner said, "People hate rail, so we built this 19 tire, 4 mile express, at a 500% higher cost, to show the world that rail is at last dead!"



OCKLAWAHA

lindab

April 27, 2010, 12:34:30 PM
This is hilarious but sadly true. You forgot to add: build colossal  buildings to span several streets thus creating a cluster of dead end streets. Combine it with aforementioned one-way streets for Moto-X, Freestyle and Road Racing games.

My other personal favorite - spray paint cryptic marks on the sidewalks, streets, light posts to indicate future repairs and let it become street art for the next five to ten years.

JaxNative68

April 27, 2010, 01:02:48 PM
A better questions to ask would be:
Is there a way to coordinate services so everyone in Jacksonville has a safe place to stay? OR
Is there a way to create more affordible housing throughout Duval County so people and families can move out of shelters into a home?

+1

plus simply providing a damn shower and a bathroom during daytime hours would be um....i dunno...obvious.

why should the city provide a shower and a bathroom during the daytime hours when they already take their morning baths in the sink of the ground floor restroom in my office building?  Its one less expense for the city.  It got so bad we had to have locks installed on the core restroom doors.  Nothing say class A office space like a naked homeless man washing his balls in the women's restroom sink.

stephendare

April 27, 2010, 01:06:19 PM
A better questions to ask would be:
Is there a way to coordinate services so everyone in Jacksonville has a safe place to stay? OR
Is there a way to create more affordible housing throughout Duval County so people and families can move out of shelters into a home?

+1

plus simply providing a damn shower and a bathroom during daytime hours would be um....i dunno...obvious.

why should the city provide a shower and a bathroom during the daytime hours when they already take their morning baths in the sink of the ground floor restroom in my office building?  Its one less expense for the city.  It got so bad we had to have locks installed on the core restroom doors.  Nothing say class A office space like a naked homeless man washing his balls in the women's restroom sink.

I think you answered your own question. ;)

tufsu1

April 27, 2010, 01:10:50 PM
no one is parking there because there is nowhere to go, not because of the stupid parking meter.  

actually street parking in downtown Jax. is pretty heavily used....far more so than other big cities in FL....even on weeknights, parking on Forsyth, Adams, Bay, Hogan, etc. is well utilized.

Lunican

April 27, 2010, 01:24:20 PM
actually street parking in downtown Jax. is pretty heavily used....far more so than other big cities in FL....even on weeknights, parking on Forsyth, Adams, Bay, Hogan, etc. is well utilized.


fsujax

April 27, 2010, 01:27:32 PM
^^I know those spaces are full on Sunday mornings! haha

stephendare

April 27, 2010, 01:29:26 PM
^^I know those spaces are full on Sunday mornings! haha
no parking enforcement either.

GideonGlib

April 27, 2010, 01:38:33 PM
This is great, sad, but great.

tufsu1

April 27, 2010, 01:42:26 PM
actually street parking in downtown Jax. is pretty heavily used....far more so than other big cities in FL....even on weeknights, parking on Forsyth, Adams, Bay, Hogan, etc. is well utilized.




is this one of the streets I mentioned?

stephendare

April 27, 2010, 01:45:02 PM
Quote
actually street parking in downtown Jax. is pretty heavily used....far more so than other big cities in FL

looks like downtown to me. ::)

Lunican

April 27, 2010, 01:46:49 PM

Car after car is literally road-blocked from coming downtown. During this exercise in mass evacuation, the few roads that remain open lead directly to the interstate. Residents and patrons alike are ushered away, whether they like it or not.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2007-feb-large-venues-and-small-business-why-government-makes-it-impossible-to-coexist

Doctor_K

April 27, 2010, 01:53:34 PM
I've always wondered why they were so adamant to herd everyone out of downtown after a game or event...

stephendare

April 27, 2010, 01:55:44 PM

Bewler

April 27, 2010, 02:25:45 PM
This is hilarious but sadly true. You forgot to add: build colossal  buildings to span several streets thus creating a cluster of dead end streets. Combine it with aforementioned one-way streets for Moto-X, Freestyle and Road Racing games.

My other personal favorite - spray paint cryptic marks on the sidewalks, streets, light posts to indicate future repairs and let it become street art for the next five to ten years.

Don't forget to construct a multimillion dollar skyway rail in the SJTC that takes you to the following locations, the lake across the street, the Target loading dock, and the woods near 9A.

Ocklawaha

April 27, 2010, 02:52:43 PM
This is hilarious but sadly true. You forgot to add: build colossal  buildings to span several streets thus creating a cluster of dead end streets. Combine it with aforementioned one-way streets for Moto-X, Freestyle and Road Racing games.

My other personal favorite - spray paint cryptic marks on the sidewalks, streets, light posts to indicate future repairs and let it become street art for the next five to ten years.

Don't forget to construct a multimillion dollar skyway rail in the SJTC that takes you to the following locations, the lake across the street, the Target loading dock, and the woods near 9A.


As you can see, we did that on the previous page:

Quote
No sweat, the new Convention Center converted from an 1912 vintage logging railroad terminal will be built in Sawmill Slough. It will host at least one Monster Truck, Gun, Aluminum Boat show, or Survivalist show per month.

The Town Center will spend $200,000,000 Million Dollars to connect itself to the outer edge of the Publix Parking Lot, with a high tech Skyway Express.  It is predicted the Skyway Express will carry 250,000,000 Million riders per year, making it the most advanced and busiest transit system in the world. Depending on the success of the starter line consideration will be given to future expansion to Bermuda.  JTA spokesman Mike Milner said, "People hate rail, so we built this 19 tire, 4 mile express, at a 500% higher cost, to show the world that rail is at last dead!"


OCKLAWAHA

Your idea for stations are really good though, and as we make the change from DPM to Monorail, we should add at least one or two of these stellar destinations!

OCKLAWAHA

finehoe

April 27, 2010, 03:04:52 PM
You guys are a trip.

We have to laugh, because banging your head against the wall starts to hurt after a while.

stephendare

April 27, 2010, 04:05:30 PM
lol.  Well seriously, finehoe.  When something is this obvious, the laughter is always based on pent up incredulity.

Bill Ectric

April 27, 2010, 04:26:07 PM
I love the one about "spray paint cryptic marks on the sidewalks, streets, light posts to indicate future repairs and let it become street art for the next five to ten years." This is so what really happens!

Ocklawaha

April 27, 2010, 04:50:38 PM
Steven? Did the City and Federales do 12 or 14 studies to build that Town Center Skyway North and South, through the length of the middle of the place?

Sure is a good thing JTA stepped in and built it East and West so it can someday be expanded to reach destinations in the future.


OCKLAWAHA



lindab

April 27, 2010, 05:06:38 PM
Studies? Studies? They forgot to advertise them to the public and so no comments were ever received and they concluded the public did not care - As usual.

pwhitford

April 27, 2010, 05:37:40 PM
I read these posts (especially Steven and Ock's) and I feel like Pagliacci: 

"I guess I'll have to play Pagliacci and get myself a clown's disguise
And learn to laugh like Pagliacci with tears in my eyes."
-from Billie Holiday's song "The Masquerade is Over"

My adopted city it killin' me.

Bewler

April 27, 2010, 05:59:49 PM
As you can see, we did that on the previous page:

Whoops, ya beat me to it. Good show.

nvrenuf

April 27, 2010, 06:05:46 PM
Don't forget turning PF Chang's into a megachurch and giving them the road directly in front of their building. Plus allow them to close off several lanes of traffic on the major thoroughfares for their parishioners so that they can quickly escape the shopping heathens.

Ocklawaha

April 27, 2010, 08:47:40 PM
Don't forget turning PF Chang's into a megachurch and giving them the road directly in front of their building. Plus allow them to close off several lanes of traffic on the major thoroughfares for their parishioners so that they can quickly escape the shopping heathens.

No! No! No! Churches would attract people, that's just what their expecting us to do!
Look's like I picked a really bad day to stop sniffing glue!


OCKLAWAHA

9a is my backyard

April 27, 2010, 09:27:16 PM
Fantastic use of satire MJ!  This really puts things into perspective

spalmer7

May 18, 2010, 07:57:18 PM
Nice article. The poor grammar and bad punctuation was annoying, but a good article nevertheless.

JaxNative68

May 18, 2010, 09:42:26 PM
^ it was intensionally used to show the native tongue y'all.

stephendare

May 28, 2010, 09:35:07 AM
Fantastic use of satire MJ!  This really puts things into perspective

Thanks 9A!

stephendare

October 20, 2010, 09:32:48 AM


http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,10058.0.html

Another major company abandoning Downtown for the Southside.
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,10073.0.html

Modis Bails Downtown. Contributing Reason: Parking Policy Sucking so Badly.
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,9268.0.html

stephendare

October 20, 2010, 09:38:08 AM

BOfficer

January 24, 2011, 12:11:30 PM
Nice article!  It's amazing how many residents of Jacksonville are all for a Downtown change of scenery.  We've been talking about it for years.....when will it start! 

tayana42

January 24, 2011, 03:39:45 PM
Let's begin the downtown renaissance with the new Mayor.  I don't know who is the one to make it happen; perhaps we need to be asking the right questions of the candidates.

tufsu1

January 24, 2011, 04:59:31 PM
perhaps many of us already are

Garden guy

January 26, 2011, 07:55:58 AM
As long as the billionaire land owners of jacksonville control the purse strings in this city and the good ole boy world thives downtown will never be...they can't make any money developing downtown...personally i perferred jtb with a cow field on it...

tufsu1

January 26, 2011, 08:14:06 AM
well garden guy....since you have shown no interest in supporting any of the Republican candidates for Mayor, which Democrat has the best plan for downtown?

BridgeTroll

January 26, 2011, 09:37:24 AM
Yeah Garden Guy.  Who is your candidate?  Since there are more registered Dems in Duval than republicans... why do republicans keep getting elected?  Same with Rick Scott.  Just where were those dem voters?

Let me answer for you GG... they cant be bothered... they are much more comfortable complaining about their opponents than actually voting.  ::)

tufsu1

January 26, 2011, 11:59:36 AM
well BT...I'm a pretty solid Democrat....it is just that for this election, I find one Republican (Audrey) head and shoulders over any of the Democrats.

BridgeTroll

January 26, 2011, 12:46:49 PM
I understand tufsu... and my reply is really only directed at garden guy.  GG, like faye are blinded by ideology, and are rather bitter about it.  A quick review of GG's posting history will reveal a clear history of it.  :)

tufsu1

January 26, 2011, 01:17:56 PM
I understand tufsu... and my reply is really only directed at garden guy.  GG, like faye are blinded by ideology, and are rather bitter about it.  A quick review of GG's posting history will reveal a clear history of it.  :)

understood....I'm also trying to get both of them to see the light

ChriswUfGator

January 26, 2011, 02:11:04 PM
I find one Republican (Audrey) head and shoulders over any of the Democrats.

+1

stephendare

March 18, 2011, 07:39:19 PM
When Downtown's Policies Went to the Southside



In addition to studying and writing about the urban policies that have created vibrancy and success around the country, Metro Jacksonville has also spent a few years documenting the artificial impediments that hold downtown Jacksonville back.

We have repeatedly suggested that a combination of downtown specific conditions make it very difficult for any retail or services to succeed, a fact demonstrated by its nearly complete collapse.  

In these humorous graphics, we conjecture what would happen if those same policies were implemented in the most successful retail area of the city: The St. Johns Town Center.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-apr-when-downtowns-policies-went-to-the-southside

Ocklawaha

March 18, 2011, 09:21:38 PM
Don't worry Stephen, some Bozo's think switching the meters to credit card and cell phone accounts will cure all the trouble and people will once again flock to the Town-Center.

I don't like going there because of those damn homeless missions the city permitted around the centers parking lots, and besides not feeling safe, I can't angle park worth a damn!


OCKLAWAHA

Garden guy

March 19, 2011, 07:48:50 AM
I understand tufsu... and my reply is really only directed at garden guy.  GG, like faye are blinded by ideology, and are rather bitter about it.  A quick review of GG's posting history will reveal a clear history of it.  :)

understood....I'm also trying to get both of them to see the light
I"m so happy to get on your nerves...without men like men and others on there..this world would be filled with republicans that have put this country and this city where we are today...why do we want more of you......we don't! And you welcome...i enjoy  putting mirrors up...and I'm not bitter...I'm pissed of our city is a loosing city and it's because of ideas and ideals of people like you...so you guys have a good time dumping on me and others but we know we are soo far more evolved than you....have a great day....yours truly...

FSBA

November 05, 2013, 12:02:12 PM
In light of last night's meeting, way too much of this article is still true and on point.

stephendare

November 05, 2013, 12:04:18 PM

Overstreet

November 15, 2013, 08:57:21 AM
We go out of downtown after games because that is where we are going.

tom-joseph

November 15, 2013, 11:23:38 AM
Well it was only 50 years ago when downtown was sort of lively, already developed and busy and prosperous.

Rather than new plans and weird actions perhaps a question is what did we do to destroy it. Jail and all was always there and the poor waiting round Hemming Park, I remember in the 1950s. Parking always a problem.

What happened was the rise of the shopping malls and the expressway expansions and the move of the big corporations to the suburbs. Additionally the urban space surrounding downtown was left to rot as people with money fled to the suburbs.

This same scenario was repeated by many another town. (to the same effect)

The problem was not flight to the suburbs but a winner take all mentality. The money and attention of finance and politics moved to where the money was (is). This move of attention was paired with neglect of the older parts of this town and others.


Why not maintain both the old town and develop the new?


To be equitable there has to be some consideration to the less profitable areas, simply because they are there and every bit a part of the city as new land development. Going entirely overboard on the new stuff going up, is undemocratic and uneconomic. It is cheapness really and a lack of imagination. Imagine if the old cities of Europe let the city centers deteriorate and only favored strip malls and suburban houses.

Cities that maintain their past areas with quality gain an enormous advantage in the long run. To do so a city has to have real ambition not booster-ism and schemes.


There are cities across Europe that maintain town centers that exist from Roman Empire time. Jacksonville seem to be unable to deal with a time scale of 50 years.

I am not talking about historic restricting but the lively maintenance of a thriving downtown and other parts of the city forgotten. We used to do better. All we had to do (or do) is not be distracted by the flow of cash and attention into new development only.







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