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Downtown Frankenstein: Robert Moses and Haydon Burns

After the Great Progressive Era of Jacksonville faded away in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1901, and the landed aristocracy that had governed it had diminished to nothing following the Great Depression, a new group forcefully took the reins of government determined to remake the city in their image. The good old boy system, helmed by Haydon Burns, was itching to make downtown modern, white, and corporate. There was a contempt for the past, both the poverty of the years between the wars, and the proud liberal heritage of the town which had allowed racial harmony, ethnic diversity, powerful women, and respected Jewish leadership to thrive in the dusk of the 19th Century. They were the new men, ruddy faced, scotch drinking, pug nosed would be industrialists of the new century, and they set upon their programme of recasting Jacksonville with gusto, and full throated enthusiasm. They didn't have to look far for a planning ethos which suited their purposes to a T.

Published April 14, 2012 in Urban Issues      53 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

The planner is probably the most important position in the real life workings of a city.  They have enormous power because they literally determine the future.  Good planners make life better for hundreds of thousands of people.  Bad planners can make it unbearable.  And believe it or not, there can be such a thing as morally bankrupt or evil planning that has the power to create more than just easy traffic or aesthetically pleasing intersections.  This city has had a mixture of all three over the past 80 years and we are even today reaping the stunning consequences of their motivations and the sometimes sordid goals that they hoped to achieve.  

But before we get ahead of ourselves, it is time to discuss what issues or effects of urban planning are really at stake here after all?  Just as importantly, what mistakes have we made that are still operationally causing harm to the city's growth, economy and culture?

Well first of all, the 'science' of urban planning is only about a hundred years old, the readers of Metro Jacksonville should know.  Now, certainly there have been planned cities over the millenia, dating back to Egypt, Rome and Greece, but the current practice of using planning and regulation in order to control long term development, economic activity and growth is relatively new.

Urban planning is a living science.  It is still developing and there are as many theories as there are proven solutions.

Obviously some things are self evident:  The idea that compact layout is less expensive than sprawl and low density layout is an example.  The idea that drainage has to be taken into account when building housing development is another.  But other things are not so clear cut.

The Americas (north and south) and Australia probably provide the best examples of diverse planning idea for modern cities, as many of them have been built within the past 150 years and the majority of their growth happened during the area of 'managed' planning.

We have described the state of Downtown Jacksonville as 'Downtown Frankenstein' on this site fairly often.  It's an easy metaphor that describes the mismatched pieces of abandoned plans and programs, with competing features and goals that have created a monster.  A sometimes deadly, brutal monster.  This is where we discuss the science that created the chimera.  We shall start with the mad scientist, whose powerful intellect and flawed character set the stage for our modern age.


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53 Comments

CS Foltz

July 13, 2010, 06:57:25 AM
stephen........great article! Explains  why certain things have been done the way they were! Vision is one thing, but a long range vision is something else completely! Point of view should be 100 years down range plus and that take a unique individual or team!

Wacca Pilatka

July 13, 2010, 08:41:23 AM
Fascinating as usual.

Question for everyone - what do you think would have been the best possible route for 95 through Jacksonville from an urban planning perspective?

thelakelander

July 13, 2010, 08:51:39 AM
Looking back, I'd say around the established and developed urban area at the time.  This would mean Edgewood Avenue to the west or the Arlington area to the east. 

While this option would have been better for the city's neighborhoods, it would have failed to meet that era's goal of separating neighborhoods along racial and economic lines and forcing through traffic into Jax's toll bridges.  

Wacca Pilatka

July 13, 2010, 09:22:58 AM
I never knew about Sugar Hill and 95's destruction of it until I read about it on here. 

Do you think it is ever a net positive for an interstate to pass through/near the downtown area of a city?  I get the impression that it's generally considered good exposure and imagery for cities, but it seems destruction, separation, or segregation of urban core neighborhoods is an inevitable consequence.

duvaldude08

July 13, 2010, 09:34:00 AM
I was just wacthing a segment on PBS about two weeks ago, and it was talking about the building of the bridges and the construction of 95 and how it literally cut through and destroyed and cut off neghiboorhoods. It is kind of sad actually. This article is truely an eye opener. I think this all lead to the great demise of our downtown as well.

TheProfessor

July 13, 2010, 09:56:39 AM
It is sad to think how much urban fabric was lost, but perhaps the city would not be as developed as it is had the skyscrapers not been built, but I don't this this many buildings had to be razed for so few skyscrapers.

Dog Walker

July 13, 2010, 10:13:24 AM
Don't anyone think that Stephen is exaggerating things in his article.  He is not and I have inside knowledge of what went on in those days.  It was worse than he has presented.

Jacksonville had the first expressway system in the South, even before Atlanta.  It was directly inspired by Mose's work in New York because we had some of the same difficulties that New York did, a need for a lot of bridges.

My mother worked for Hugh Dowling, a prominent attorney.  He was on the board of the Jacksonville Expressway Authority.  The Chairman of that board was Ferris Bryant, another local attorney, who was later governor of Florida.  Because of her outstanding skills with shorthand (trained court reporter) my mother kept the records of the meetings of the Expressway Authority.

She talked at the time of the overt placement of the expressway corridors based on separating black and white neighborhoods.  The placement of the Gilmore Street bridge, later the Fuller Warren (corrected name) bridge was specifically done so that the approaches to the bridge would divide North Riverside and Brooklyn from Riverside/Avondale.

But there was worse.  Once the routes for the expressway were established, but before they were made public, a select group of lawyers, politicians and judges were made aware of the route so that they could quietly begin buying up the houses at very low prices.

The City later used it's eminent domain powers to buy these same properties but paid much higher prices for them of course.  Easy way to reward your friends.

I was interning in the offices of the City Attorney, William Madison at the time and was frequently called over to witness the X's with which many of the black homeowners had signed their own deeds away under eminent domain for much, much less than the City had paid to the privileged white property owners.

The whole thing was amazingly blatant even for the time.

fsujax

July 13, 2010, 10:15:24 AM
^^Mathews Bridge? Isn't that the Fuller Warren?

Dog Walker

July 13, 2010, 10:20:26 AM
Thanks, FSU.  Retroactive anger and senior brain cells don't mix very well.  Went back and corrected the name.

The location of the Mathews Bridge is another story of corruption and influence by itself.  Ever wonder why there is that abrupt, dangerous right angle turn on MLK?

stephendare

July 13, 2010, 10:23:20 AM
Thanks, FSU.  Retroactive anger and senior brain cells don't mix very well.  Went back and corrected the name.

The location of the Mathews Bridge is another story of corruption and influence by itself.  Ever wonder why there is that abrupt, dangerous right angle turn on MLK?

Yes.  Why?

Do tell!

Dog Walker

July 13, 2010, 10:32:44 AM
Bill Cesery, Sr., among others.

Fallen Buckeye

July 13, 2010, 10:35:48 AM
It's hard to dispute the facts here. The explanation of how the one ways purposely cutting off Springfield from downtown is brilliant. So obviously we've put up several barriers to a vibrant core, but with smart policy and planning these are not insurmountable. We know that isolating downtown has been devestating to our city, so how much more important is it to facilitate connectivity in the urban core with smart transit options, reconverting to 2-way streets, etc.

fsujax

July 13, 2010, 10:36:27 AM
Stephen.....something to do with a river crossing that would have ended up on JU's property?

Wacca Pilatka

July 13, 2010, 10:47:40 AM
The gigantic ramp to the Hart that bypasses all of East Jacksonville/Fairfield might be the most blatant part of the expressway system's cutoff intentions.

finehoe

July 13, 2010, 12:57:18 PM
Once the routes for the expressway were established, but before they were made public, a select group of lawyers, politicians and judges were made aware of the route so that they could quietly begin buying up the houses at very low prices.

It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that similar goings-on are happening right now with the so-called outer beltway.

billy

July 13, 2010, 01:03:18 PM
The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
by Robert A. Caro
(if mentioned already,my apologies)
should be on the MJ required reading list

north miami

July 13, 2010, 01:25:18 PM
Fascinating as usual.

Question for everyone - what do you think would have been the best possible route for 95 through Jacksonville from an urban planning perspective?

Hind sight always clearer than fore sight,which is why planning 'vision' horizons spanning many years are not appropriate.(State growth management planning rules recognize such,with qualifications)

Most of us would today envision a different route for 95 through jacksonville and everywhere else.

stephendare

July 13, 2010, 01:28:32 PM
thanks Miami, for the image:

Vtlsgns

July 13, 2010, 06:11:45 PM
As is the norm, excellent article. Thanks Stephen.
Yet another prime example for the current "leaders" of Jacksonville to remember. Of course they won't though. Here's hoping!

stjr

July 13, 2010, 08:59:35 PM
Great article.  The mass of yellow showing the buildings destroyed combined with the destruction of the City's neighborhoods by the expressways still haunts us today and will likely do so for untold years to come.  It just shows the importance to putting thought, sensitivity, vision, and creativity into public works projects as their impacts typically last far beyond private sector investments.

Poor decisions over placement and construction of the Skyway, Courthouse, public parking garages, new roads and bridges, Amtrak station, intermodal center, etc. all combine to further dampen the future of our city.

Like so many, I keep looking for a defining moment where we turn the corner.  Watching the City Council squander city tax dollars and time over public prayer issues or the appointment of a Muslim to a little known city commission  while "Jax self-destructs" and JTA making a wrong turn at nearly every corner of its decision making just leaves me still waiting.....

kells904

July 13, 2010, 10:00:48 PM
I'm sick of waiting.

Jaxson

July 13, 2010, 11:07:25 PM
Boston fought Interstate 95, and Boston won!

spuwho

July 13, 2010, 11:21:57 PM
I wasn't around when the sins of our city fathers occurred, but I can offer some feedback.

- Jacksonville wasn't the only city to "suffer" from the massive highway spending of the 60's. The original IHS plan was not to make urban centers more accessible to the auto (believe it or not).  The original plan was to only use the IHS to connect the periphery of urban centers and have buses, interurban, rail and other forms provide the needed urban mobility.

Unfortunately, when our federal govt. announces a major spending program, it never seems to operate as planned, as it gets amended by the influence of insiders, politicians, power brokers and contractors.

Eisenhower was aghast once when visiting a city to see rows and rows of homes being torn down, disrupting neighborhoods. When he asked why so much was being demolished, he was told that they were building a new "super highway" as he had pushed through Congress. He was so upset he went back and tried to have the HTF changed so that urban disruption was not possible, but it was too late. At the end of his term, with little political capital, and Congress already releasing the funds through the FHA, the deed was done.

The stories of many urban centers being disrupted by the greed of highway money (ie: jobs, kickbacks, bribes, tax revenue) is lengthy and won't be repeated here.

As I read the history of Jax, I also read that many of the core buildings in downtown and LaVilla were at a level of condemnation or were becoming huge eyesores and safety hazards. The disinvestment in the Jax urban core was not driven by race ( as I read it) but by the shifting business patterns nationally.  Jacksonville was losing, and losing fast. The post WWII era was not favorable in Duval County and there was no way the city fathers could stop it unless they embraced the current trends, which at the time included lots of highways and urban renewal.

Now I don't agree with any urban plan that separates any race, so being this is the first time I have seen any evidence of the concept merits a new perspective when reading on local history.

While we can't erase these past sins entirely, we can look to our future with a healthy perspective and one of accountability to all involved. Lets take our history (good or bad) and use it in such a way that brings long term benefit to all without all of the baggage.

thelakelander

July 13, 2010, 11:40:07 PM
^I believe Jax's expressway system was constructed before the Interstate Highway System.  While what happened in Jax was not unique for that era, many of the selected corridors did effectively take out and separate neighborhoods along racial lines at the time.  So while not the only factors at the time, racial/social issues definitely played a role in the planning decisions made during this era.

Timkin

July 14, 2010, 12:38:16 AM
I 95 should have been configured around the city, instead of cutting right through it. Jacksonville will never recover what was lost through the choices made to cut two Interstate Highways ...

stephendare

July 14, 2010, 12:49:52 AM
spuwho, I would agree with you on most points, but since I (and several of us on the boards) have family who were part of the history of the time, you may rest assured that the destruction of these neighborhoods was racially based, and not because they were 'eyesores'.

Timkin

July 14, 2010, 12:53:10 AM
hardly.  They were Thriving Neighborhoods most likely. The expressway killed them

tufsu1

July 14, 2010, 08:09:33 AM
Boston fought Interstate 95, and Boston won!

well the north shore was separated from the downtown for decades....and only after spending $1.5+ Billion to bury 2-3 miles of road in tunnels are they able to "potentially" join these areas back together.

tufsu1

July 14, 2010, 08:12:09 AM
I 95 should have been configured around the city, instead of cutting right through it. Jacksonville will never recover what was lost through the choices made to cut two Interstate Highways ...

while hindsight is 20-20, many people planning the interstate highway system thought they were ensurig the viability of urban areas and downtowns by constructing expressways that directly served them.

stephendare

July 14, 2010, 08:15:34 AM
is this supposition on your part?  Ive read nothing that would make one think this.

I 95 should have been configured around the city, instead of cutting right through it. Jacksonville will never recover what was lost through the choices made to cut two Interstate Highways ...

while hindsight is 20-20, many people planning the interstate highway system thought they were ensurig the viability of urban areas and downtowns by constructing expressways that directly served them.

BridgeTroll

July 14, 2010, 08:20:02 AM
In addition cities and smaller towns fought tooth and nail to be included in the "system".  They feared being cut off from the commerce the Interstates would bring.  The famous "Route 66" is a good example.  When the Interstate system bypassed those towns they "withered on the vine".

Wacca Pilatka

July 14, 2010, 08:28:10 AM
^I believe Jax's expressway system was constructed before the Interstate Highway System. 

Yes, that's correct.  Same as in other cities such as Richmond.  The local superhighway systems were then integrated into the interstate system.

stephendare

July 14, 2010, 08:36:09 AM
Muncie was one such place that withered on the vine after not connecting to an interstate.

But the motivation was certainly not to help the downtowns.

It was to connect ever expanding cities one to another.  The interstates were originally built to serve military and commercial needs, primarily military.  Eisenhower learned a valuable lesson about troop movements over insufficient roads in Europe during ww2.

In fact the curves and grades of the highways were originally designed to accomodate tank movements (i think at top speeds of 90mph), not really cars.

There was no conversation about helping downtowns anywhere in that national discussion.   Mostly because 'downtowns' didnt need to be helped.  They were simply called 'cities' back then.

The 50s and 60s planning documents are literally concerned with the opposite.  They are about expanding 'capacity' through land development and suburbanization.

Which is moot anyways, since the Jacksonville Expressway predated the Interstate system, and was constructed for reasons determined by and for Jacksonville.

Fallen Buckeye

July 14, 2010, 09:36:16 AM
while hindsight is 20-20, many people planning the interstate highway system thought they were ensurig the viability of urban areas and downtowns by constructing expressways that directly served them.

I think you're right that we can't always assume bad intentions. Some of these people may have believed in their hearts that they were doing the right thing for their communities. There is really no way we can know for sure what's in a man's heart. It's all supposition.

stephendare

July 14, 2010, 09:38:10 AM
while hindsight is 20-20, many people planning the interstate highway system thought they were ensurig the viability of urban areas and downtowns by constructing expressways that directly served them.

I think you're right that we can't always assume bad intentions. Some of these people may have believed in their hearts that they were doing the right thing for their communities. There is really no way we can know for sure what's in a man's heart. It's all supposition.

except when they leave behind documents, explanations and the anecdotes of their friends, family and allies. :D

Fallen Buckeye

July 14, 2010, 09:52:54 AM
In that case it wouldn't really be assuming then.  ;)

while hindsight is 20-20, many people planning the interstate highway system thought they were ensurig the viability of urban areas and downtowns by constructing expressways that directly served them.

I think you're right that we can't always assume bad intentions. Some of these people may have believed in their hearts that they were doing the right thing for their communities. There is really no way we can know for sure what's in a man's heart. It's all supposition.

except when they leave behind documents, explanations and the anecdotes of their friends, family and allies. :D

finehoe

July 14, 2010, 11:13:13 AM
Another stated purpose of the Interstate Highway System was to provide an escape route out of the cities in the event of a nuclear war.

The Reduction of Urban Vulnerability: Revisiting 1950s American Suburbanization as Civil Defence by Kathleen A Tobin, Purdue University, Cold War History, Vol.2, No.2, January,2002:

Quote
This is an unrecognized if not forgotten history of the roots of sprawl in the U.S. as a defensive measure. The outcome of the defense was similar to that of the attack it was meant to survive - a cratering of the cities.

Although incorporation of the automobile into city design began early in the century, it has been since the 1950’s that American housing, retail and employment sites – the business campus, have been designed for the automobile. Distances are unwalkable and very often there are no sidewalks to connect buildings.

There are very few cities where owning an automobile is optional. Jurisdictions are cities in name and legal structure only. New urbanism is simply an attempt to accommodate the car.

There are many reasons for this. The physical landscape looks densely built, but household size is low, auto use is high, and effective densities continue to drop.

Stewart Brand has some positive things to say about cities. Few Americans do. They fear density, but do not understand that was built into the cake of the 1950’s Cold War.

stjr

July 14, 2010, 11:04:02 PM
Boston fought Interstate 95, and Boston won!

Boston may have escaped I-95, but it sure got a makeover with interstates 90 and 93. 

I think Washington DC probably is the largest city that mostly escaped the interstates.  I-95 circumvents it using the Beltway leaving only one dogleg (I-395) and and one skirmish (I-295).  Ironic, that Washington, birthplace of the interstate legislation, would itself mostly avoid the device.


As to Jax, while I-95 may have served as a racial divide, I believe we are mildly fortunate that it doesn't disrupt our urban fabric more, especially the core of downtown.  The loop to the west of town approaching the Fuller Warren, aside from the consequences mentioned, may have been, relatively speaking, the least intrusive route once the decision was made that it was going to pass to the western edge of downtown.  I think interstates in the downtowns of Richmond, Charlotte, and Tampa are much more "in your face" than here.  Then, you have cities like Philadelphia and Boston where big chunks of waterfront were eaten alive by interstates.  What those cities wouldn't give, I imagine, to undo that debacle.

ricker

September 12, 2010, 11:25:54 PM
I wish I could find more info on the old proposed but later shelved River Oaks Freeway through Boone Park?
I've wondered for years where that might've gone/what it would've connected?

ricker

September 12, 2010, 11:37:57 PM
Also -to the info elephants- how much of Roosevelt Blvd was originally intended to be elevated?
I heard -from the son of a cocacola bottler- that it planned to mimick SanMarco's expanse of 17.
I'm guessing such a design would not have so thoroughly isolated other walking lifeforms from precious Avondale and thusly were not adopted?
If I'm wrong, please know that I am officially begging to be corrected.

billy

April 14, 2012, 12:26:22 PM
Robert Caro biography of Robert Moses is a good reference, great book.

JFman00

April 14, 2012, 01:27:26 PM
I feel this discussion is incomplete without discussion of Daniel Burnham, of the Burnham plan of Chicago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnham_Plan

His work directly resulted in both Chicago's 25 miles of pristine, lakefront, urban green areas, and the surprisingly iconic Wacker Drive (underground/above ground scenes from the Dark Knight).

His ideas are still salient today.
http://burnhamplan100.lib.uchicago.edu/



stephendare

April 14, 2012, 01:34:08 PM
Great discussion point, JFman.

You can get some context to Burnhams early 20th Century Plan and the City Beautiful Movement here:
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php?topic=7410.0

stephendare

April 14, 2012, 02:07:49 PM
Another stated purpose of the Interstate Highway System was to provide an escape route out of the cities in the event of a nuclear war.

The Reduction of Urban Vulnerability: Revisiting 1950s American Suburbanization as Civil Defence by Kathleen A Tobin, Purdue University, Cold War History, Vol.2, No.2, January,2002:

Quote
This is an unrecognized if not forgotten history of the roots of sprawl in the U.S. as a defensive measure. The outcome of the defense was similar to that of the attack it was meant to survive - a cratering of the cities.

Although incorporation of the automobile into city design began early in the century, it has been since the 1950’s that American housing, retail and employment sites – the business campus, have been designed for the automobile. Distances are unwalkable and very often there are no sidewalks to connect buildings.

There are very few cities where owning an automobile is optional. Jurisdictions are cities in name and legal structure only. New urbanism is simply an attempt to accommodate the car.

There are many reasons for this. The physical landscape looks densely built, but household size is low, auto use is high, and effective densities continue to drop.

Stewart Brand has some positive things to say about cities. Few Americans do. They fear density, but do not understand that was built into the cake of the 1950’s Cold War.

Great point Finehoe, and I think you might enjoy the confirmation of this idea in the following forum discussion:

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,5492.0.html

The man who formulated our transportation policy was one of the pioneers of the Intersate System, and interestingly he was also one of the first people on the ground to see the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima.

Alan Manners Voorhees.

BackinJax05

April 14, 2012, 06:10:32 PM
Sad, but true. The 20th Street Expressway killed my grandparents' neighborhood. They lived on Liberty Circle, a few blocks north of the expressway and the intersection of 21st & Liberty Streets. It was once a nice area. Then the expressway cut the neighborhood in half & destroyed it.

nomeus

April 14, 2012, 06:14:09 PM
very top image is cropped too much just fyi

sheclown

April 15, 2012, 12:35:43 PM
fantastic article

Garden guy

April 15, 2012, 05:22:23 PM
Planners are powerful but doesnt council approve before action?

stephendare

April 15, 2012, 05:39:42 PM
Planners are powerful but doesnt council approve before action?

they do, but there are always three or four reasons that you can publicly give to explain why you have planned something, garden guy.  For example, was the Jacksonville Expressway meant to speed up business traffic from the North of the County to the Downtown?  Or was it meant to bulldoze the entire wealthy black neighborhood of Sugar Hill?  Or both?

So when this stuff goes to council, it is very easy to dress up what is happening in words everyone can feel good about.

Ocklawaha

April 15, 2012, 06:54:43 PM
But the motivation was certainly not to help the downtowns.

It was to connect ever expanding cities one to another.  The interstates were originally built to serve military and commercial needs, primarily military.  Eisenhower learned a valuable lesson about troop movements over insufficient roads in Europe during ww2.

In fact the curves and grades of the highways were originally designed to accommodate tank movements (i think at top speeds of 90mph), not really cars.

This is the same transportation trap that we see our national passenger rail system in, it's what I call "End Point Thinking." Amtrak like the interstates was given a list of imagined 'end point cities' then told to connect them. The trouble with this line of thought is that EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN IS JUST INCIDENTAL TO THE HIGHLY VALUED 'END POINTS.' As a result we have a passenger rail system that might connect Jacksonville with Miami, but it ignores two other prime routes. Why? Because all that matters in this line of thought is New York City and Miami.

The crazies that came up with this are also huge proponents of 'Non-Stop Travel'. Think what the phrase 'non stop' means to Ocala? Daytona Beach? St. Augustine? or Gainesville? The airlines once flew multi-stop routes, a trip from Jacksonville to Los Angeles on National Airlines might have involved stops in New Orleans, Houston and Phoenix. We now see the parasite motor carriers using this same science to completely gut what remains of our once extensive intercity bus network. When I became a Transportation Supervisor with Tamiami Trailway's we operated 43 runs in and out of Jacksonville. Our routes included the US Highway system, US 1 to St. Augustine, and the Florida-Georgia Parkway between Jacksonville and Birmingham. Because of the pressure to abandon the smaller towns or lose the cream of the business to unregulated parasites. These companies specialize in running from Jacksonville to Atlanta NON-STOP, or Miami, or Orlando etc. When I left Trailway's we were down to 14 schedules daily, all in the course of about 3 years.

What was once called 'Flyover Country' by the airlines, could just as easily become 'Bypass Country' on an interstate or rail line. The inability of Americans to get to specific destinations all across the land is becoming more and more limited at a time when gasoline prices are skyrocketing.

For the record Stephen, the fastest tank is our M1-J10 Main Battle Tank which peaks out 67.7 mph while the Chinese version of the 'worlds fastest tank' The Type 99, can reach speeds of 49.7 mph or 80 kph.

As for the dividends of this madness, when Amtrak was formed the US had over 8,000 passenger rail cars, today there are about 1,500.  The result is we can't serve those other points unless we cut train lengths to 3-4 cars each.

OCK

Garden guy

April 15, 2012, 07:59:24 PM
So our population is a bunch of sheep led by a fancy talkin city boy? It just seems we all voted people who are willing and ready to fuck our city to council. Why aren't we seeing more modern thinking non-goodole boy people running for council? Are we really stuck with what we've got...same type of people year after year?

Gravity

April 23, 2012, 03:40:51 PM
Didn't the federal government also assist with this type of planning by levying tax on extra rail lines or something similar to discourage the railcar systems?

Maybe it was the state. Seems like more than just a few good old boys in this conspiracy.

Dashing Dan

April 23, 2012, 04:09:27 PM
From 1962 to 1991, for all urban areas with a population of 50,000 or more, the federal government required that long range transportation plans be developed that would eliminate congestion within a 20 - 25 year period.  For Jacksonville, that plan included major freeway projects that nobody thought would ever be built, either because they were either too expensive or too disruptive.

Unfortunately, one or two of those projects did get built, either wholly or in part.
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