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Can a Streetcar cost less than a Faux Trolley?

Bob Mann, the resident transit consultant and ferroequinologist, examines the difference in the two systems and demonstrates that in a short number of years the faux trolley actually costs us more than a streetcar.

Published March 24, 2011 in Transit      198 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

The following article demonstrates a vast gulf between the trolley and faux trolley camps. One could call this "Clueless in Ogden," the sadest part is our own JTA has recently suggested that the "Riverside Trolley" will do three things:

1. Demonstrate the need/demand for a real streetcar  

2. Build "Trolley" ridership for a future streetcar

3. Create infrastructure stations, stops and streetscapes for a real streetcar.



The faux trolley, commonly known as the PCT or Potato Chip Truck.



The trolley, also known as a streetcar.


The following article reprinted from the New York Museum of Transportation "Headend" newsletter expresses concern over the faux - lie perpetuated by many across the country.

Quote
WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST

Some time back in these pages we offered a review of what a "trolley" is. We associate the word most often with electric streetcars and interurbans, and as we pointed out the term actually derives from the way the electric power for such vehicles is drawn by means of a spring-loaded pole bearing on an overhead wire. In our museum publicity efforts we even promote the fact that NYMT operates the "only trolley ride in New York State", and we do so with the knowledge that the only other competitor, light rail in nearby Buffalo, has cars equipped with a form of pantograph for overhead power pick-up that are thus not truly "trolley" cars.

With all that said, though, we might be fighting a losing battle in the public education department. We refer here to the rising popularity of those buses dolled up to vaguely resemble a streetcar. We’ve all seen them. They come in small "party" versions and in the large economy size that can fill in on a regular bus route. They're decorated in a style that looks like the designer got his or her inspiration from watching Mr. Rogers or "Meet Me in St. Louis", all multi-colored sheet metal and varnished wood, with a "cow catcher" just below the bike rack.

Worst of all, most members of the general public are far removed in time from the era when streetcars were commonplace in cities throughout the country. So, they have no real experience to refer to, and blithely assume that a "trolley" is that gaudy bus coming down the road. We don't know whether to laugh or pity these uninformed souls. In fact, they seem to be having such fun, we almost hate to burst their bubble.

http://www.nymtmuseum.org/headends/09spring/Spring09.html


Unless the particular metro area discussing streetcar verses PCT faux trolley has a tool such as Metrojacksonville.com, which at least gives us a chance to educate the political leadership and local media, most cities and reporters remain clueless... read on.


Quote
OGDEN -- The city plans to introduce two trolley-style buses to serve downtown in a yearlong $175,400 experiment to determine ridership for a possible permanent streetcar system.

The buses should begin operating within two months and will transport passengers six days a week, said Mayor Matthew Godfrey.

"It will help link all of downtown together," he said.....

Both trolley replicas would remain in operation for at least a year to collect ridership data for a proposed $160 million streetcar system extending along a busy corridor from the Intermodal Hub to Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital, both on Harrison Boulevard.

Introduction of the trolley replicas will help gauge whether a streetcar system would be successful, said Greg Scott, a transportation planner for the Wasatch Front Regional Council.

"It's a good realistic way to have wheels on the ground to see if it will fly."

Full article: http://www.standard.net/topics/transportation/2010/08/15/ogden-using-175400-experiment-determine-streetcar-system-need


However, Brad Thomas at the Cincy Streetcar Blog explains why Ogden's plan may fail.

Quote
Ogden using $175,400 experiment to determine streetcar system need

The city plans to introduce two trolley-style buses to serve downtown in a yearlong $175,400 experiment to determine ridership for a possible permanent streetcar system.

Operational costs, including the hiring of two drivers, fuel purchases and marketing, would total about $116,500.

Brad Thomas at the Cincy Streetcar Blog explains why that’s a bad idea. That’s $175,400 less money Ogden will have available to build their permanent streetcar system, and odds are the buses won’t be an accurate predictor of future streetcar ridership anyway. My prediction: the temporary trolley buses will be deemed a failure, and Ogden’s streetcar project will flounder, which is exactly what Cincinnati’s naysayers hoped would happen with our own streetcar project when they proposed trolley bus look-alikes. (And a quick browse of the comments section of the Standard-Examiner article proves that Cincinnati.com isn’t the only newspaper site with a comments section dominated by knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers.)

http://metro-cincinnati.org/?p=1532

Meanwhile, Tucson, Arizona's nearly 20 year old faux trolley experience suggests the challenges of using a faux trolley to gage the success of a real streetcar.

Quote
Starting on April 17, 1993, Tucson unwittingly began a test of whether riders prefer genuine streetcars or rubber-tired ersatz trolleys. So far the electric choice seems to be well ahead. During May, the first full month of operation, three times as many riders paid four times as much to ride half as far in the newly restored rail line than they would have paid to ride a modern “trolley” bus.

A ride on the historic line costs one dollar while the SunTran shuttle bus fare is twenty-five cents. The trolley line is only one mile in length while the bus route is about two miles and connects more activity centers including downtown Tucson and the convention center. Further discouraging riders, the streetcar only runs three days a week while the bus runs six days.

Although the streetcar duplicates the university end of the bus route, operating hours are such that Saturday daytime is the only period during the week that the two modes directly compete. Current streetcar hours are Friday, 6 P.M. to midnight; Saturday, 10A.M. to midnight; and Sunday, noon to 6 P.M. The dressed-up buses operate Monday through Saturday, daytime only.

Full article: http://www.heritagetrolley.com/TNERJTucson.htm



Tampa TECO Streetcar

So what will the new mayor of Jacksonville want to do? Oh I know, cut taxes and cut transit services, and generally propel us backward somewhere between neanderthalensis and the Jurassic Period.  So just how much COULD a "JTA style PCT Trolley Thing" save us over "expensive investments in fixed rail." Glad you asked.


PCT BUS  -VS-  JACKSONVILLE STREETCAR

The harm from our clinking, clanking, clattering collection of faux trolleys will be threefold — direct costs, opportunity costs, and lack of probative value.

The direct cost has been the costs of acquiring and operating the PCT buses.  In order for the PCT experiment to be as accurate as possible, the buses have to have a similar capacity and frequency to the streetcars. Like that will ever happen on JTA.

A single Birney (Tampa-Little Rock) streetcar can carry around 90 passengers.  The average PCT will carry 30 people.  Imagine that we could easily start a riverside streetcar line with 7 rail cars. Our fleet of PCT'S will have to number 21 to have the same seating capacity as the 7 Birney type streetcars.  Imagine the crowds that pack Everbank Field, the baseball grounds, arena, Landing, Art Walk, Riverwalk, or the TU Center, and on a line that extends from the Sports District to Park and King in Riverside, 7 streetcars doing the work of 21 buses. If JTA goes ahead with hybrid engines on the PCT'S the sticker price is a tad over $625,000 dollars a copy. A brand new heritage Birney Streetcar will run about $1,200,000 each. So for 21 PCT buses?  CHA CHING! $13,125,000 dollars worth of "savings." The 7 streetcars?  $8,400,000 pretty close to half as much. Savings?

$4,725,000

Since two thirds of mass transit costs are in "onboard personnel" drivers, motormen, engineers, conductors, etc... Break down the cost of 21 drivers, + two shifts (minimum) and you'll get 42 bus drivers, and we're not counting substitute drivers. Over on the TRACTION LINE for the same purposes we need 14 motormen... BIG SAVINGS JACKSONVILLE...HUGE. Keep on trackin' Juice fans.

Guesstimating that about one third of JTA'S budget is for mass transit, with 180 vehicles, one can assume that the average cost of operating a JTA bus is $185,000 dollars per year. This was calculated dividing JTA'S budget into thirds and dividing by the number of buses operated. Imagine blowing $3,885,000 annually for a fake. So let's say the cursed PCT'S run to the FTA maximum of 12 years, we'd drop $46,620,000 for a plastic "imitation trolley." Oh the savings just keep mounting. Meanwhile in Tampa, the TECO streetcar line operates 11 streetcars cars for 2,600,000 a year or about $236,000 annually per car. It would take 33 faux trolley buses to equal the same carrying capacity. In the same 12 year period one could expect JTA would spend $18,000,000 for real streetcars. Fleet Savings? $28,620,000 (It's that flushing sound a bus makes)

Wait! There's more! If we keep doing the Jacksonville Jig, sticking our heads in the sand while the world races past, the cost of money will go up. A similar system in another major city is estimated to escalate $5.1 million a year in price, so well save another $15.3 million in inflation alone. The other opportunity cost would be the delay of benefits to the city that would come from having a streetcar.  I will not attempt to quantify them in this posting, but it is something of which to be aware.

Combining the direct and opportunity costs leads to a cost of the twelve year PCT operation of over $48,645,000 million.  

The Streetcar will produce two main types of benefits — ridership benefits and economic development benefits.  The PCT will not.

Ridership on the PCT bus will be lower than it would be on a streetcar.  Route legibility of a bus route is worse than a streetcar.  Unlike a bus, someone unfamiliar with a streetcar route can see the tracks and know where the line goes.  People like to know where they are going and national statistical data on streetcar verses bus ridership bear this out.

Additionally to think our PCT can approach the performance of a streetcar assumes transit riders exhibit “mode-neutrality” when in reality they do not.  Mode-neutrality presumes that a transit rider will exhibit no preference for rail over buses.  This is not the case.  Many visitors to New York or Chicago will take the subway or the “EL” but will not ride a bus to get around.



Transit oriented development, as seen on a rainy day from the inside of a Tampa TECO Streetcar.

Finally, you will not receive the same economic development benefits with the bus as we would with a streetcar.  The reason the streetcar encourages economic development is because it is a permanent infrastructure investment. The tracks are laid in the ground and will not move.  People know that in 20 years the streetcar will still be running that route and make long term investments, like buying a house or opening a business, based on that fact.

By contrast, the very best bus route is not only temporary, it is explicitly temporary, even the highly vaunted BRT appears as a highway. Anyone who could wait to make an investment along the line likely would wait until the final decision on the streetcar could be made. If an entrepreneur wanted to locate a new business along the streetcar line because it would attract more customers and make it easier to get to the store, she would likely wait until the decision had been made on whether or not to actually build the streetcar before making the investment. Fewer people will buy a house or open a business along a bus route that will stop running in a few years and may or may not lead to a streetcar than would invest along an announced and funded streetcar line.

SOURCE: Taken, edited and recalculated to represent the Jacksonville Riverside "Trolley."


So at the end of 12 years of running the JTA PCT TROLLEY what do we have? A deserted road and a need to replace 21 buses, but if we built streetcar, we would own a transit system.


Article by Bob Mann







198 Comments

buckethead

March 24, 2011, 07:58:35 AM
A desire named streetcar.

I'm sure that's been used before. ;)

SunKing

March 24, 2011, 09:00:54 AM
an interesting analysis but I did not see the costs associated with the installation of the rail?

thelakelander

March 24, 2011, 09:11:07 AM
Or the costs associated with the installation of the street or the constant repaving of existing streets to accommodate for the wear and tear caused by frequent rubber wheeled service.  For some reason, whenever we start comparing these types of modes we forget that are annual maintainance costs associated with the ROW they operate on.

Anyway, the streetcar path from Newnan to Park & King is around 3.33 miles in length.  Capital costs for a heritage streetcar are anywhere between $5 - $10 million/mile.  A modern streetcar is probably $10 - $20 million/mile.  However, these costs would also include the purchase of streetcar vehicles.

Heritage Streetcar: $16.65 million - $33.3 million in capital costs

Modern Streetcar: $33.3 million - $66.6 million in capital costs

The last element not really discussed in this article would be the everlasting impact of TOD on the annual tax rolls.  The fixed mode will indirectly lead to the entire experience being a huge money maker for the city.  On the other hand, the rubber wheeled experience doesn't provide you with anything economically stimulating, meaning it will be forever subsidized with no indirect tax roll generating income.

wsansewjs

March 24, 2011, 10:59:21 AM
My dad lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been telling me that the Streetcars there are dying actually to the point that no one is using anymore. There are few talks going to get rid of it. I need to find the news articles on it.

-Josh

thelakelander

March 24, 2011, 11:14:58 AM
Little Rock's streetcars are basically tourist trains that loop you around downtown.  If we're going to make an investment in real mass transit, whatever we go with will need to actually tie urban neighborhoods and destinations together will reliable and end user friendly service.  This is one of the reasons I've never been a huge fan of the figure 8 streetcar loop concept for downtown.  As far as mass transit goes, my view falls in line with Mike Hogan's comments about downtown.  While downtown is important, the connectivity between it and the surrounding communities are more critical.  Get that connectivity piece right and we'll find that not only will DT benefit, but so will the rest of the impacted neighborhoods.  Nevertheless, with all of that said, Little's streetcars have bought in hundreds of millions in TOD to downtown Little Rock.  The indirect money invested in that community has already more than exceeded the amount of funds they spent to construct and maintain it.

Dashing Dan

March 24, 2011, 11:17:49 AM
Philadelphia operates actual rubber tire trolleys, i.e. oversize buses fitted with trolley poles that connect to overhead wires.  They were taken out of service for a long while because of replacement vehicles that were poorly designed.  But I believe that they now have newer replacement vehicles that are working fine.  The "trackless trolleys" are quiet, relatively high capacity, and energy efficient.   They can change lanes and move to and from the curb for stops, but they are restricted to streets that have overhead wiring in place. 

Chicago used to have its own trackless trolleys but they got rid of them a long time ago, due to the expense of maintaining the overhead electric power lines.

How would Mr. Mann feel about a system like that?

Lunican

March 24, 2011, 12:05:43 PM

MUNI Electric Trolley Bus in San Francisco

Dashing Dan

March 24, 2011, 12:20:47 PM
In that shot of a San Francisco trolley bus, the wires are very unobtrusive.  Nice!

Ocklawaha

March 24, 2011, 12:21:33 PM
My dad lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been telling me that the Streetcars there are dying actually to the point that no one is using anymore. There are few talks going to get rid of it. I need to find the news articles on it.
-Josh

Does ridership matter much when your 2 mile streetcar can do this? Remember that the River Rail Streetcar in Little Rock-North Little Rock is merely a downtown circle with a very short spur. Even so unlike the Skyway the streetcar blew away the projected ridership estimates.

Quote
Special to Passenger Transport

The Central Arkansas Transit Authority's "vintage streetcar" line in Little Rock, River Rail, is proving itself as an engine that propels more than just cars. It has electrified the economy and vitality of two downtown areas as well.

When the community leaders of central Arkansas envisioned a downtown streetcar line, they wanted to support the revival begun by the voters' approval of "The River Project," which consisted of a tax to build an 18,000-seat arena with only 300 new parking spaces, and to double the size of the Statehouse Convention Center. The streetcar line, in the words of a downtown developer, would "animate" the streets and bring new life to the urban core.

In addition, two commercial and residential mixed-use developments costing more than $80 million have been announced since that time, and existing buildings are undergoing renovation to accommodate new and intensive uses. An example is the 118-year-old Argenta Drug Store in North Little Rock, one of the oldest continuously operating pharmacies in the nation. A national cable TV show recently contributed to a $1 million restoration effort for the drugstore, which will be featured on a series of shows next fall.

The streetcar has provided an economic boost to the many food vendors in the River Market hall, and to the restaurants and bars in the River Market District. The River Market platform is the highest-volume boarding point for the streetcar.

Clinton Library, visitors are finding their way, and when they find the streetcar, they also find five hotels, restaurants, three more museums, a bed and breakfast, and two riverfront parks.

The streetcar line also enhances many business connections in the area. It directly connects two Chambers of Commerce buildings; bars and restaurants are adding menu items and microbrews named after the system; and a new restaurant called Sidetracks will open soon.

Two apartment developments with platforms on the line, one a restoration and the other new construction, opened before the streetcar line was finished, but the presence of the streetcar figured prominently in the planning, financing, and marketing of the units. Two corporations and one museum have contracted with the transit authority for naming rights of platforms, and more are being considered. Detailed planning is underway for a new $24 million minor league ballpark less than three blocks from the line, and additional development is in the works on at least eight
blocks.

The local governments invested less than $4 million to build the $20 million line, and the dividends being paid by the River Rail line are being discovered every day.

Little Rock Progress and Expansion

Based on presentation by Keith Jones, General Manager, Central Arkansas Transit AuthorityMore than 200,000 riders in first 12 months (140,000 forecast) 180,000 riders in 2005  Over $140 million of new development underway or announced. 2 more cars ordered for extension to Clinton Library, currently under construction
The 4,500 foot extension including enlarging the trolley barn and the two new cars is costing $8.5 million
 
Little Rock River Rail system showing the extension to the Clinton Library. The $47 million Tower Place Condominiums being built along the line in Little Rock. Condo development at Markham along the line. A $32 million minor league ball park being built in North Little Rock.  A $14 million Geneology Center is being built.

What your dad is no doubt refering to is the recent discovery that taking the streetcar line 7 miles north to Little Rock National Airport wouldn't become much of a magic bullet. However the same study did find that along that same route, in 3 or 4 phases, there are a number of possible expansion areas. The newspapers picked this up with headlines "No Light Rail to the Airport Study Says..."

Quote
LR won't see River Rail run to the airport
Posted: January 12th, 2011
BY JAKE SANDLIN ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE (Little Rock)

The $299,000 study is being done by URS Corp. of Fort Worth. About $195,000 remains out of that, officials said Wednesday, to refocus the study on different options for an extension.

"We decided to come back and amend the scope of the second phase of the study to look at the potential in Little Rock and North Little Rock," Wineland said. "We want to look at a plan where we can develop more within the communities." The airport study did identify a preferred route to the airport approaching from the south for any future light rail that might aid in planning for coming terminal renovations, said T.J. Williams, an airport spokesman.

"The decision does not rule out the ultimate extension of the River Rail to the airport but acknowledges that there are other alternatives for the next phase of rail extension that offer a greater economic benefit relative to the cost," Williams said.

In 2004, River Rail opened a $20 million, initial, 2 1 /2-mile section along two loops in Little Rock and North Little Rock, connected by rails crossing the Arkansas River on the Main Street Bridge.

A $9 million second phase opened in 2007 to the Clinton library and Heifer International. That link was designed to accommodate a future extension to the airport.

An interlocal agreement gives North Little Rock the next option for expansion because the second phase is entirely in Little Rock. However, Mayor Patrick Hays of North Little Rock said previously that he would forfeit that option if the airport extension would come next.

"Based on the findings, that kind of investment at this point was not prudent," Hays said Wednesday of the airport extension. "What we will move forward with is with Little Rock and North Little Rock identifying a stage three and stage four for expansion and where we want it to go and how we could do it." Hays said that while he would favor a route extension that helps connect what's offered in both cities, he wants to look at all possibilities in North Little Rock, including going north from downtown instead of east or west along the river.


Philadelphia operates actual rubber tire trolleys, i.e. oversize buses fitted with trolley poles that connect to overhead wires.  They were taken out of service for a long while because of replacement vehicles that were poorly designed.  But I believe that they now have newer replacement vehicles that are working fine.  The "trackless trolleys" are quiet, relatively high capacity, and energy efficient.   They can change lanes and move to and from the curb for stops, but they are restricted to streets that have overhead wiring in place.  

Chicago used to have its own trackless trolleys but they got rid of them a long time ago, due to the expense of maintaining the overhead electric power lines.

How would Mr. Mann feel about a system like that?

They are nice where they still operate, however you still have the labor-capacity problem of a bus, you still have the image of a bus - albeit somewhat nicer. Internationally they tend to have higher ridership then standard buses, but lower then rail, again it is believed because of the ability to see where you are going. In a high density corridor unsuitable for rail, they would make a great addition to a mass transit mix, but not a substitute for rail. In Jacksonville I can visualize the streetcars maintaining a downtown circulator running more or less east-west, BRT-SKYWAY and maybe TROLLEY BUS running more of a north south route. As for longer lines, one or two of the beach roads and San Jose come to mind as trolley bus territory.

OCKLAWAHA

Dashing Dan

March 24, 2011, 12:43:51 PM
you still have the labor-capacity problem of a bus,


What does that mean? ???

PeeJayEss

March 24, 2011, 01:35:49 PM
Philadelphia operates actual rubber tire trolleys, i.e. oversize buses fitted with trolley poles that connect to overhead wires.  They were taken out of service for a long while because of replacement vehicles that were poorly designed.  But I believe that they now have newer replacement vehicles that are working fine.  The "trackless trolleys" are quiet, relatively high capacity, and energy efficient.   They can change lanes and move to and from the curb for stops, but they are restricted to streets that have overhead wiring in place. 

I believe the bus-trolleys in Philly were previously regular streetcar lines. Eventually roads were paved around the tracks (so that you basically had streetcars on tracks in regular traffic lanes). Many times, jerks would double park ON the tracks, so the streetcar would have to wait indefinitely. The response to this was the bus-trolley, which follows the overhead lines just the same (basically a track), but can navigate around obstacles when necessary. Luckily, when Philly did this they largely didn't bother to remove the tracks. So the overhead lines are there and used by the bus-trolley, and the tracks are there but not being used (they make driving on the road more exciting, however). So when Philly recently (last decade) started to look at streetcars again and bring them back (such as the Girard Ave/Richmond Street line which reopened in 2003 I believe), there wasn't a whole lot that needed to be done besides traffic enforcement. Of course, the streetcars are still in the roadway (and thus have to wait in traffic like any car - though I believe they get preferential treatment at traffic lights).

Being that some spots are track only while others are track on road, its basically the same as the partial-BRT Jax is proposing (and I'd prefer completely dedicated track for my mass transit), the streetcars do class-up the joint.

Ocklawaha

March 24, 2011, 01:39:32 PM
If your bus seats 50 and your streetcar can seat 150 you will need 3 drivers for each motorman on the streetcar. The matter compounds when you couple a "trailer car" behind the lead streetcar and create a 2 car train for a capacity of 300 to 1 motorman. A similar experiment with the most modern high capacity BRT buses and high capacity LRV's still winds up with a highway vehicle being much more costly.

OCKLAWAHA

Lunican

March 24, 2011, 01:48:53 PM




The streetcars are clearly preferred in San Francisco.

PeeJayEss

March 24, 2011, 02:09:24 PM
If your bus seats 50 and your streetcar can seat 150 you will need 3 drivers for each motorman on the streetcar. The matter compounds when you couple a "trailer car" behind the lead streetcar and create a 2 car train for a capacity of 300 to 1 motorman. A similar experiment with the most modern high capacity BRT buses and high capacity LRV's still winds up with a highway vehicle being much more costly.

OCKLAWAHA

A single streetcar cab can fit 150 people? Aren't streetcars and buses about the same size? I don't understand the 3-fold difference. Also, you can have 2-cab buses. But agreed, a streetcar could have a bunch of cabs with 1 driver.

thelakelander

March 24, 2011, 02:18:02 PM
The streetcars are clearly preferred in San Francisco.

The same goes for New Orleans...







danem

March 24, 2011, 02:35:54 PM
I was wondering about this. When I watched the JTA video about the "trolley" that showed the gentleman riding it downtown to get to work, my first thought was "this is what a good BUS circulator is supposed to look like".

I've ridden streetcars in other cities before. I didn't know they had more capacity then buses!

peestandingup

March 24, 2011, 02:54:09 PM
I think the hijacking of the term "trolley" is to make people ignorant (and those who remember, forget about) what a real trolley system is.

I also think heritage streetcars work, but only in certain areas. Obviously, more historic areas (such as New Orleans, San Fran, and even places in the south like Savannah & Charleston they would work). but I'm not sure they would work here. Its not like Jax is a place that really values their historic fabric. With places like San Fran & New Orleans, they never really left, so it makes more sense to leave them the way they are.

Plus, is trying to use 100 year old technology really something we should be doing in the 21st century?? Don't get me wrong, seeing a real working heritage streetcar roll down Riverside would be an awesome sight, but overall I'd much rather see "modern streetcars" like Portland & DC are doing. I think that leaves room to grow & build a real infrastructure instead of just falling in love with the nostalgia.

DC


Portland

thelakelander

March 24, 2011, 02:59:59 PM
Just remember that the modern streetcar cost about two to three times as much as a heritage one, even a heritage car built from scratch.  At the end of the day, as long as the service is reliable, comfortable, frequent, end user friendly and takes people where they want to go, people will use the system regardless of vehicle style.    Nevertheless, my suggestion would be to get the infrastructure in and run them both.  Charlotte does this with their heritage trolley and LRT.

peestandingup

March 24, 2011, 03:14:49 PM
Do the modern ones cost more because of the vehicle used, the track, or both??

Dashing Dan

March 24, 2011, 03:18:09 PM
If your bus seats 50 and your streetcar can seat 150 you will need 3 drivers for each motorman on the streetcar. The matter compounds when you couple a "trailer car" behind the lead streetcar and create a 2 car train for a capacity of 300 to 1 motorman. A similar experiment with the most modern high capacity BRT buses and high capacity LRV's still winds up with a highway vehicle being much more costly.


So with no driver/operator on board, wouldn't the skyway be the best option of all?

thelakelander

March 24, 2011, 03:24:04 PM
Here is a decent summary.

Quote
New streetcar vehicles can be purchased in either "Modern" or "Heritage" form. Modern and Heritage streetcars both utilize essentially the same infrastructure; the tracks and overhead wire are easily integrated into the built urban environment using relatively low-impact construction techniques. Both Heritage and Modern cars can be air conditioned, and both can provide a comfortable ride given the short trip times involved.

There are differences in the vehicles to be sure; when designed together with a simple boarding platform, Modern Streetcars provide level boarding, and of course they offer the ultra-modern appearance and performance one would expect from today's technology. Some cities (such as Portland) have operated both Heritage and Modern cars on the same route. There are also significant differences in vehicle cost and complexity, a modern replica car selling from about $900,000 and a modern articulated streetcar at between $3.5 - 4.5M (the vehicle is also larger, see sidebar). It should also be noted that the technology gap is narrowing, with replica heritage cars becoming increasingly modern "under the hood".
http://www.railwaypreservation.com/vintagetrolley/vintagetrolley.htm

peestandingup

March 24, 2011, 03:35:22 PM
Its a shame we can't get any heritage streetcars aftermarket for cheap. Looks like the buy-out in the 30s & 40s fixed them pretty good though:



Boy, GM sure does like to destroy evidence that things even existed don't they?

EV1 Electric Cars

thelakelander

March 24, 2011, 03:44:53 PM
You could probably get used cars pretty cheap.  All you would need to do is hook up with a place that's getting ready to upgrade (like Toronto) and take the old cars off their hands.

iMarvin

March 24, 2011, 04:11:59 PM
On JTA's future plans website, they have a drawing of a streetcar and it's a modern style streetcar. It would go to 5 points.

CS Foltz

March 24, 2011, 04:36:07 PM
Taking in to account, new versus old, taking another cities discontinued "Rail Car/Trolleys" and setting it up here in Jacksonville, makes good sense to me! Even refurbished cars would be cheaper than new from the start. Cost would then reasonable for a startup operation! JTA has not thought of this or even made mention of the possibility....................BRT or bust appears to be their mantra! But they got a heck of a deal on making fake trolley's out of bus's though!

middleman

March 24, 2011, 10:08:02 PM
Jacksonville is not a tourist destination. As cool as it might be to run a Streetcar line from downtown to Riverside with nifty heritage street cars, I don't see why there is any reason to expect that you would get more ridership than the current Diesel-powered non-trolley trolleys. Get real people!

JeffreyS

March 24, 2011, 10:32:54 PM
Jacksonville is not a tourist destination. As cool as it might be to run a Streetcar line from downtown to Riverside with nifty heritage street cars, I don't see why there is any reason to expect that you would get more ridership than the current Diesel-powered non-trolley trolleys. Get real people!


We are not pitching this as a tourist ride. The advantages of fixed rail vs. buses disguised as trolley are numerous.  Most notably the fact that they tend to attract about $6 of development for every $1 spent. Our skyway has fallen short of this but can claim to have been partially responsible for many millions in development.  It will grow ridership but that is not the primary goal.

middleman

March 24, 2011, 10:51:22 PM
Come on... why would replacing the existing diesel non-trolley trolley with a streetcar increase ridership? As somebody has already pointed out, a streetcar system in Savannah or Charleston would probably be successful because, it would attract tourists. Here, replacing one system for another system isn't going to make a difference. What would make a difference is converting downtown into something people want to come to, AND at the same time, making the existing public transit system efficient enough to make the public want to ride it.

So, convince me why spending more money for tracks between downtown and Riverside magically makes taking public transit more popular than it is now????

Timkin

March 24, 2011, 11:19:04 PM
I cannot understand why the streetcar method , would not make sense, in the long run to JTA.. plus it seems like the concept itself would be more attractive to users than a stinking diesel bus, IMO.

thelakelander

March 25, 2011, 07:04:32 AM
Come on... why would replacing the existing diesel non-trolley trolley with a streetcar increase ridership?

Because fixed transit has a long history of spurring "transit" oriented development, while rubber wheeled transit doesn't.  In short, it builds its own ridership base, in addition to appealing to potential riders already living, working and playing along a particular corridor.

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As somebody has already pointed out, a streetcar system in Savannah or Charleston would probably be successful because, it would attract tourists. Here, replacing one system for another system isn't going to make a difference.

Providing reliable fixed mass transit options that connect your urban core areas isn't about attracting tourist.  If so, new LRT lines in Charlotte, Houston, Salt Lake City and St. Louis would be struggling for ridership right now.

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What would make a difference is converting downtown into something people want to come to, AND at the same time, making the existing public transit system efficient enough to make the public want to ride it.

Part of attracting people to take advantage of the existing public transit system involves providing fixed routes where feasible and modifying the existing bus lines to provide higher quality service along their corridors and acting as feeders into the fixed transit spine.  As for downtown, it will only be as successful as its connectivity with the neighborhoods surrounding it are.  If you really want to stimulate downtown, get you a fixed transit line that connects it with existing urban core residential, entertainment and commercial areas.  Not only will downtown benefit, but so will ever other neighborhood.

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So, convince me why spending more money for tracks between downtown and Riverside magically makes taking public transit more popular than it is now????

Its really not about convincing you, although I'm sure many here will.  Unless you plan to develop something within that particular mobility zone, you won't be asked to pay for it.

Traffic projections indicate that both Riverside Avenue and Park Street will be heavily congested by the end of the decade.  Thus, we have three options:

1. Do nothing and let the quality of living in the neighborhoods served by these streets decline.  In addition, this option also means those roads will eventually fall into despair from non-maintained wear and tear from over use (ever driven on a local street in Detroit or Flint?).

2. Purchase additional ROW and widen one or both to 4 or 6 lanes.  This would be the most expensive option by far and would destroy Riverside/Avondale.  Don't think so?  Take a drive down the side streets lining MLK Parkway and tell me how that highway benefited those historic neighborhoods.

3. Take the neighborhood's vision, goals and context into account and develop a transportation alternative that will help alleviate congestion issues on those major streets while also encouraging infill development in nearby Brooklyn and LaVilla.  Btw, this option is also a fraction of the cost of road widening and helps improve the quality of the areas impacted.  This option also works into the city's goal of reducing sprawl, encouraging infill development, creating a multimodal transportation network and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For these reasons above, option three was selected and included in the Mobility Plan as a fully funded 10-year CIE project.




Ocklawaha

March 25, 2011, 09:01:20 AM
If your bus seats 50 and your streetcar can seat 150 you will need 3 drivers for each motorman on the streetcar. The matter compounds when you couple a "trailer car" behind the lead streetcar and create a 2 car train for a capacity of 300 to 1 motorman. A similar experiment with the most modern high capacity BRT buses and high capacity LRV's still winds up with a highway vehicle being much more costly.

OCKLAWAHA

A single streetcar cab can fit 150 people? Aren't streetcars and buses about the same size? I don't understand the 3-fold difference. Also, you can have 2-cab buses. But agreed, a streetcar could have a bunch of cabs with 1 driver.

I think it's a popular American misconception, perhaps born of our heartfelt nostalgia for things lost... Just as all English sentences end on a down musical note, we tend to downsize all things past. "Cute little trolleys," "loved those little streetcars..." etc.  Fact is with perhaps the exception of the small single truck cars (which still generally measured in at 30 feet+) their never was such a thing as a "little streetcar."


Jacksonville Past, Streetcars were considerable bigger then their replacements.


This chart from United Streetcar demonstrates size differences of base model bus and modern streetcar.


Photo of the new Solaris Streetcar, again a pretty basic model.


No way, shape or form, is anyone going to confuse these streetcars with a bus size vehicle.


How about some cars from the dark days of dead streetcar lines having to beg for any new equipment, this scene in Cleveland.


Dallas Texas Light Rail Trains have blurred the differences in LRT and Streetcar.


Retired in 1961, this Pacific Electric Car might well have been the one I was in on my first "train" ride.


The PE car next to a Jacksonville type streetcar, and the streetcar is bigger then the buses of that era, imagine! Thanks to their size, the PE cars were affectionately known as "BLIMPS." And yes, they both ran on the streets of Los Angeles.

OCKLAWAHA

PeeJayEss

March 25, 2011, 09:06:10 AM
I want one!

hightowerlover

March 25, 2011, 09:20:39 AM
the guy who wrote "the trolley song" just died.  and mike hogan was ding ding dinging the bell.

JeffreyS

March 25, 2011, 09:47:16 AM
Come on... why would replacing the existing diesel non-trolley trolley with a streetcar increase ridership? As somebody has already pointed out, a streetcar system in Savannah or Charleston would probably be successful because, it would attract tourists. Here, replacing one system for another system isn't going to make a difference. What would make a difference is converting downtown into something people want to come to, AND at the same time, making the existing public transit system efficient enough to make the public want to ride it.

So, convince me why spending more money for tracks between downtown and Riverside magically makes taking public transit more popular than it is now????

Fixed rail attracts development because it is fixed.  The fake trolleys can and have changed route so a developer would be crazy to use them as a reason to invest and then have them change routes again. Development attracts people who would then use the fixed rail system.  Fixed rail is a preferred transit method for people they like it better than buses which is what our fake trolleys are.
Believe it or not there is a stigma to buses but you can break that stigma by having a multimodal preferred system for people. They will then gravitate to the buses that compliment the system.

Streetcars have proven themselves for 100 years. Buses only gained prominence here when the companies that produce the buses bought the streetcars they couldn't compete against and trashed them.

Debbie Thompson

March 25, 2011, 12:22:12 PM
Fixed development has already been proven in Jacksonville.  Remember the "bridge to nowhere?"  The Dames Point Bridge?  As soon as it was announced, development started in that area of Jacksonville, and it's now a vibrant area of the city where it used to be woods and fish camps only.  Of course, some people would not call that progress, but that's a discussion for another thread. :-)

Ditto with the Buckman Bridge, which had to be doubled in size in a fairly short time. And with I-295, which was supposed to be a "loop around the I-95 traffic" and quickly became logjammed itself due to the development that sprang up around it.

Over and over, fixed transit improvements have already proven themselves.  Even the Skyway could have worked if it actually went somewhere more than from outlying parking lots to downtown.

Ocklawaha

March 25, 2011, 01:18:37 PM
Come on... why would replacing the existing diesel non-trolley trolley with a streetcar increase ridership?


Someone has obviously spent very little time on public transit in a city with both streetcar and bus. Unless one was born without neuro-transmitters, deaf, and blind, there is simply no way a bus, ANY BUS, is even close.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/6KXabe-ufpc?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/6KXabe-ufpc?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/p39Pj8ka4B0?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/p39Pj8ka4B0?fs=1&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

OCKLAWAHA

danem

March 25, 2011, 02:33:36 PM
One of the biggest problems with buses that I've noticed is that they are stuck in the same traffic as everyone else. And with all the stops involved, this often means it taking longer to get anywhere than if one was able to drive and park.

Timkin

March 25, 2011, 03:27:48 PM
....and they stink... black diesel smoke blowing out of them after each stop . * cough cough cough

Dashing Dan

March 25, 2011, 03:39:14 PM

The fake trolleys can and have changed route so a developer would be crazy to use them as a reason to invest and then have them change routes again. Development attracts people who would then use the fixed rail system.  

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development. 

After all, many people are absolutely dependent on transit services, whereas (with certain notable exceptions) developers are able to look out for themselves. 

On that ground why pay for tracks and wires when buses and fake trolleys can move more or less the same number of people and are more flexible in terms of routing options? 

For me the best reasons are that electricity is potentially more sustainable than oil, electrically powered vehicles are cleaner and quieter, and up to a point, they accelerate more quickly.  Besides the additional fixed costs, the disadvantages of streetcars are that vintage streetcars are less comfortable, all streetcars are a bigger obstacle in mixed traffic, and you cannot adjust streetcar routes without sacrificing fixed costs. 

Personally I enjoy riding trains and trolleys more than I enjoy riding in buses or cars, but I don't expect the public to subsidize my enjoyment of trains anymore than I would expect to help someone buy a Porsche.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

March 25, 2011, 04:02:06 PM
One of the biggest problems with buses that I've noticed is that they are stuck in the same traffic as everyone else. And with all the stops involved, this often means it taking longer to get anywhere than if one was able to drive and park.

Busses aren't meant to get you anywhere faster than an automobile, they're there for those who don't have or as an alternative for those who do.  Taking the bus lengthens my commute by about 45 minutes, but I prefer it to driving (most days) because of the wind-down it affords me at the end of the day.

In other places, San Antonio for instance, it was quicker to take the bus back and forth because parking was at a premium or expensive.  For $12 (about the cost of 4 hours of parking) I had an unlimited pass that allowed me to move around DT, the Quarry and even to the airport when my trip was over, my brother didn't realize how efficient using the bus was.  (I was there visiting) -- unfortunately we don't have that problem here so as I tried to relay above, it's a matter of perspective.

danem

March 25, 2011, 04:25:13 PM
One of the biggest problems with buses that I've noticed is that they are stuck in the same traffic as everyone else. And with all the stops involved, this often means it taking longer to get anywhere than if one was able to drive and park.

Busses aren't meant to get you anywhere faster than an automobile, they're there for those who don't have or as an alternative for those who do.  Taking the bus lengthens my commute by about 45 minutes, but I prefer it to driving (most days) because of the wind-down it affords me at the end of the day.

In other places, San Antonio for instance, it was quicker to take the bus back and forth because parking was at a premium or expensive.  For $12 (about the cost of 4 hours of parking) I had an unlimited pass that allowed me to move around DT, the Quarry and even to the airport when my trip was over, my brother didn't realize how efficient using the bus was.  (I was there visiting) -- unfortunately we don't have that problem here so as I tried to relay above, it's a matter of perspective.

I've had good experiences with commuting by bus too and agree waiting for a bus is better than trying to find parking. Of course I was addressing the question asked earlier--why anyone should bother replacing "trolleys" (buses) with something else. I say it's preferable for the transit to be out of the traffic. The bus can be stuck in the same traffic jams, and depending on the route, can contribute to the congestion when it makes stops during busy times.

thelakelander

March 25, 2011, 05:08:42 PM

The fake trolleys can and have changed route so a developer would be crazy to use them as a reason to invest and then have them change routes again. Development attracts people who would then use the fixed rail system.  

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development.

Your assessment would go against the grain of history, especially this city's.  The best and most well used transportation facilities are typically designed to provide transportation and promote infill development that further feeds their use.  Those facilities that don't, typically struggle with ridership long term.  This is why its so critical to integrate transportation with land use planning.

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After all, many people are absolutely dependent on transit services, whereas (with certain notable exceptions) developers are able to look out for themselves.

There is no reason those absolutely dependent on transit services can't benefit from well designed transportation system that also spurs jobs and economic development in their own communities.  The long term benefit of this is that walkable eventually becomes an option because the transit system spurs retail and services that currently don't exist in the immediate area.  

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On that ground why pay for tracks and wires when buses and fake trolleys can move more or less the same number of people and are more flexible in terms of routing options?

Because fake trolleys don't spur the development, don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cost more in the long run and they typically fail in attracting the choice rider.  

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For me the best reasons are that electricity is potentially more sustainable than oil, electrically powered vehicles are cleaner and quieter, and up to a point, they accelerate more quickly.  Besides the additional fixed costs, the disadvantages of streetcars are that vintage streetcars are less comfortable, all streetcars are a bigger obstacle in mixed traffic, and you cannot adjust streetcar routes without sacrificing fixed costs.

Not adjusting routes is the main advantage of fixed transit.  Its more end user friendly to know that your transit route won't up and leave at the whim of a transit agency or a route's driver.  This is also critical for infill sustainable development, which is the result of integrating land use with mobility.  Streetcars also don't have to operate in mixed traffic.  While they can, service is more reliable when they can have a lane on existing ROW of their own.  In urban Jacksonville's case, we have this opportunity.  Primarily, because most of our original lines had their own ROW, so the ROW of those streets are typically wide enough for two way auto traffic and a separate lane or two for fixed transit.

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Personally I enjoy riding trains and trolleys more than I enjoy riding in buses or cars, but I don't expect the public to subsidize my enjoyment of trains anymore than I would expect to help someone buy a Porsche.

Why subsidize?  Publicly, you end up making millions in annual property tax revenue by sustainable infill economic development generated by your fixed transit investment, which also saves you millions by not having to do the alternative.  That alternative is spending more money to construct and subsidize additional roadway infrastructure.

JeffreyS

March 25, 2011, 05:12:07 PM

The fake trolleys can and have changed route so a developer would be crazy to use them as a reason to invest and then have them change routes again. Development attracts people who would then use the fixed rail system. 

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development. 

After all, many people are absolutely dependent on transit services, whereas (with certain notable exceptions) developers are able to look out for themselves. 

On that ground why pay for tracks and wires when buses and fake trolleys can move more or less the same number of people and are more flexible in terms of routing options? 

For me the best reasons are that electricity is potentially more sustainable than oil, electrically powered vehicles are cleaner and quieter, and up to a point, they accelerate more quickly.  Besides the additional fixed costs, the disadvantages of streetcars are that vintage streetcars are less comfortable, all streetcars are a bigger obstacle in mixed traffic, and you cannot adjust streetcar routes without sacrificing fixed costs. 

Personally I enjoy riding trains and trolleys more than I enjoy riding in buses or cars, but I don't expect the public to subsidize my enjoyment of trains anymore than I would expect to help someone buy a Porsche.

So would you contend roads are only built where people live or are used to spur development? It is all transportation and to get it right you have to use every resource it provides.

Dashing Dan

March 25, 2011, 06:47:50 PM
The primary benefit of transportation facilities should be to provide transportation.  Promoting favorable development patterns is also very important, but a secondary benefit.  How could anyone dispute that?   

thelakelander

March 25, 2011, 06:50:45 PM
They should be done in conjunction with neither being a priority over the other.  If you do this, you'll kill two birds with one stone and save your community a ton of money in the process.

stephendare

March 25, 2011, 06:52:30 PM
The primary benefit of transportation facilities should be to provide transportation.  Promoting favorable development patterns is also very important, but a secondary benefit.  How could anyone dispute that?    

http://www.salisburync.gov/lm&d/2020/ch03b/03bcityhistoryandcityform.htm

Ocklawaha

March 25, 2011, 06:58:52 PM

The fake trolleys can and have changed route so a developer would be crazy to use them as a reason to invest and then have them change routes again. Development attracts people who would then use the fixed rail system.  

On that ground why pay for tracks and wires when buses and fake trolleys can move more or less the same number of people and are more flexible in terms of routing options?

Hardly the more or less the same number, a fake trolley typically carries 30-50 passengers, and a heritage streetcar 101 passengers. And remember that with any bus, we are talking passenger per driver, but streetcars of any era can be made to entrain.

Not only as a development tool, which Jacksonville dearly needs, but try taking a bus down an otherwise abandoned railroad. For example we have a perfect opportunity to seize the day and snatch the right of way from a Newnan Street Line-East on Beaver (and yes, right off the end over the creek and through the woods) then duck north under the Arlington Expressway at the Union Street Warehouses - straight north between Springfield and Eastside to 1st to 8th to 21st - then veer off northwest on the former railroad across Liberty-Main-Pearl-44th and roll to a stop at Gateway Mall. The only part of that route you could travel with a bus is Newnan and a couple of blocks of Beaver. To get the same downtown/stadiums to Gateway speed you'd need a flying bus or the assistance of a Zeppelin with a lot of rope.

Bottom line, with streetcar you can have all of the benefits of a Skyway, a railroad, or a road in a single system. In Dallas you can cruise along a downtown street to the east near Deep Ellum, duck into a tunnel to City Place station, then Mockingbird, then fly down a former railroad mainline at 65 mph to your destination. Bus rapid transit does this in Miami but Bus Rapid Transit capital costs averaged about $13.5 million per mile for
busways, $9.0 million per mile for buses on HOV lanes, and $680,000 per mile on city streets, when escalated to 2000 dollars. Portland's modern streetcar loop cost $12.3 million per mile, and Kenosha and Memphis managed the same for under $5 million per mile. Modern railroad track "off road" can be built state of the art on former grades for under $5 million per mile affording almost unlimited freedom for time savings and later parkway improvements. 


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For me the best reasons are that electricity is potentially more sustainable than oil, electrically powered vehicles are cleaner and quieter, and up to a point, they accelerate more quickly.  Besides the additional fixed costs, the disadvantages of streetcars are that vintage streetcars are less comfortable, all streetcars are a bigger obstacle in mixed traffic, and you cannot adjust streetcar routes without sacrificing fixed costs.
 

It is particularly interesting to note that, even with its heavy capital costs, when operational costs are considered, St. Louis Metro's LRT exhibits total costs slightly less than the agency's bus operations. However, higher total passenger-mileage was carried on the bus system, so a more complete analysis would require taking into consideration the differing life-cycle costs for each mode (e.g., railcars last considerably longer than motor buses) by annualizing capital costs.

To obtain a total annualized cost figure for each mode, capital costs were annualized using common economic analysis. Annual operating costs were averaged for the 10-year period, as was annual passenger-mileage for each mode – reflecting the advantages of the longer lives of both LRT infrastructure and rolling stock.

For bus, average annual O&M costs were $104.6 million, and average passenger-mileage was 139.0 million. For LRT, average annual O&M costs were $26.2 million, and average passenger-mileage was 104.8 million.

Via this "averaging" method, with annualized capita costs, the total cost per passenger-mile for each mode was calculated as follows:

    · Bus – $0.88
    · LRT – $0.74

This suggests that, with total capital and operational costs considered, St. Louis's "capital-intensive" LRT ends up costing approximately 16% less per passenger mile than the agency's supposedly "cheap" bus system. 
SOURCE: NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION DATABASE


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"the disadvantages of streetcars are that vintage streetcars are less comfortable"

Sounds like you've been the victim of wooden seats in either the heritage streetcar reproductions or perhaps New Orleans? Even settle into the wicker seats in a REAL streetcar? Try the velvet seats of the O'Port Portugal car in Dallas, or the floating sensation of one of the old Turtleback Cars (a Jacksonville type car). Add the velvet seats to the Turtleback and there isn't a bus in the world that would ride as nice. Perhaps a point we should strive to educate JTA about, as based on the PCT buses, they too think streetcars need wooden seats.

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Personally I enjoy riding trains and trolleys more than I enjoy riding in buses or cars, but I don't expect the public to subsidize my enjoyment of trains anymore than I would expect to help someone buy a Porsche.

On this we agree, so why build an expensive bus system that will bring us all of the associated higher O&M costs and NONE of the higher ridership or development benefits. There is a DOE webpage on future fuel costs that ought to scare the BRT out of anyone: 
http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/WVU_FTA_LCC_Second_Report_11-03-2008.pdf


OCKLAWAHA

Dashing Dan

March 25, 2011, 07:55:43 PM
They should be done in conjunction with neither being a priority over the other.  If you do this, you'll kill two birds with one stone and save your community a ton of money in the process.

We agree that land use impacts should drive investments in transportation facilities, but why can't we also agree that transportation should be the primary benefit of a transportation facility?

Dashing Dan

March 25, 2011, 09:53:15 PM
The primary benefit of transportation facilities should be to provide transportation.  Promoting favorable development patterns is also very important, but a secondary benefit.  How could anyone dispute that?   

http://www.livemint.com/2011/03/26004352/Quick-Edit--Flip-side-of-the.html

 ???

thelakelander

March 25, 2011, 10:06:15 PM
They should be done in conjunction with neither being a priority over the other.  If you do this, you'll kill two birds with one stone and save your community a ton of money in the process.

We agree that land use impacts should drive investments in transportation facilities, but why can't we also agree that transportation should be the primary benefit of a transportation facility?

Because I believe they are linked and that we do ourselves a disservice by making it an either/or discussion.  When you isolate transportation by itself, you end up forever subsidizing a system that will always struggle to serve choice riders while also failing to spur indirect economic income.  In addition, by setting it up in this manner, you also make it more difficult to expand, since the common resident and city leader can't see the true benefits of good well planned transit investment.  When you mix transportation with land use, you do the exact opposite, not only making your community money through indirect and transit supportive TOD, but also improving the quality of life for your transit users as well.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 07:24:07 AM
We agree that land use impacts should drive investments in transportation facilities, but why can't we also agree that transportation should be the primary benefit of a transportation facility?

Because I believe they are linked and that we do ourselves a disservice by making it an either/or discussion.

Of course they should be linked.  Who said anything about an either or discussion?  

thelakelander

March 26, 2011, 09:05:45 AM
So, why keep trying to separate the two as made in this previous statement:

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development.

After all, many people are absolutely dependent on transit services, whereas (with certain notable exceptions) developers are able to look out for themselves.  

On that ground why pay for tracks and wires when buses and fake trolleys can move more or less the same number of people and are more flexible in terms of routing options?  

For me the best reasons are that electricity is potentially more sustainable than oil, electrically powered vehicles are cleaner and quieter, and up to a point, they accelerate more quickly.  Besides the additional fixed costs, the disadvantages of streetcars are that vintage streetcars are less comfortable, all streetcars are a bigger obstacle in mixed traffic, and you cannot adjust streetcar routes without sacrificing fixed costs.  

Personally I enjoy riding trains and trolleys more than I enjoy riding in buses or cars, but I don't expect the public to subsidize my enjoyment of trains anymore than I would expect to help someone buy a Porsche.

I've never made a statement that said transportation facilities should not be designed primarily to provide transportation and not promote development.  I've made the statement that they should be linked, if trying to get the most out of our public investments, especially in the urban core, which was originally developed with this link and has fallen apart since that mass transit link and end user friendly connectivity was taken away.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 09:16:49 AM
So, why keep trying to separate the two as made in this previous statement:

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development.

I've never made a statement that said transportation facilities should not be designed primarily to provide transportation and not promote development.  I've made the statement that they should be linked,

So do you agree or disagree with my initial statement, i.e. should transportation be the primary purpose for transportation facilities?  

We do seem to agree that a secondary purpose for transportation facilities should be to promote development, and that these two purposes should be closely linked.

stephendare

March 26, 2011, 10:24:50 AM
So, why keep trying to separate the two as made in this previous statement:

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development.

I've never made a statement that said transportation facilities should not be designed primarily to provide transportation and not promote development.  I've made the statement that they should be linked,

So do you agree or disagree with my initial statement, i.e. should transportation be the primary purpose for transportation facilities?  

We do seem to agree that a secondary purpose for transportation facilities should be to promote development, and that these two purposes should be closely linked.

Dan, did you check out the link that I provided for you?

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 10:30:52 AM
Dan, did you check out the link that I provided for you?

I'm not sure what you'd meant for me to find there.

stephendare

March 26, 2011, 10:36:35 AM
Dan, did you check out the link that I provided for you?

I'm not sure what you'd meant for me to find there.

Originally the idea of creating transportation was wholly designed for economic development.

stephendare

March 26, 2011, 10:40:45 AM
Ah.  I see.  I copied the wrong link.

I fixed it above, and here is the correct one again.  My apologies.

http://www.salisburync.gov/lm&d/2020/ch03b/03bcityhistoryandcityform.htm

thelakelander

March 26, 2011, 10:56:09 AM
So do you agree or disagree with my initial statement, i.e. should transportation be the primary purpose for transportation facilities?  

We do seem to agree that a secondary purpose for transportation facilities should be to promote development, and that these two purposes should be closely linked.

Yes.  I disagree with this initial statement:

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development.

There should be no primary and secondary goal if you want a successful, well used reliable mass transit system that gets the most bang out of your buck.  These two items come joined at the hip.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 11:33:30 AM

Yes.  I disagree with this initial statement:

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development.

There should be no primary and secondary goal if you want a successful, well used reliable mass transit system that gets the most bang out of your buck.  These two items come joined at the hip.

By definition there can be only one #1 goal.  

The primary goal of transportation facilities should be to provide transportation.  There are a number of closely linked secondary goals and/or constraints, including development, environmental quality, and safety, all of which should be addressed at the same time that a transportation facility is being designed.  

Personally, I favor the development pattern that allows the most people to circulate most freely, whether on foot, by bicycle, by transit, or if all else fails, by car.  For transit to work, it must meet the needs of those who it is intended to serve.

stephendare

March 26, 2011, 11:54:27 AM
I dunno dan.

I would have to disagree with you just simply on the grounds that it seems to be that you seem to be considering 'transportation' as a separate thing unto itself.  But transportation is really a relationship between two or more things.

We created mechanical transit originally as a way to alleviate density in the disease ridden, unventilated, undrainable, industrial city centers, you know?

The best solution to that old problem was to develop land just outside the industrial density zones into residential areas---as is amply demonstrated in the link I provided.  But in order to make that residential development work, the original designers of the residential only zones had to build in walkable retail areas that were geared to the needs of households, homes, families and residences.

These retail clusters were designed into the trolley stops from the beginning, and the little areas, (like five points here in town, post and stockton, park and king) became activity hubs that serviced the area around them.

These amenities were still available for the people in the urban center, but the real estate value of the urban core became so highly prized by the industrial and commercial users that the prices quickly got out of reach of the smaller family style butchers, bakers and grocers.

Built into the original DNA of the city was the idea of transit as a development tool.  The commercial use of the trolly (and train) stops in order to service the developing land was implemented because it was sustainable.

It was only after the old bike roads started getting converted over for automobiles that our development pattern became unsustainable.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 12:36:24 PM

On that ground why pay for tracks and wires when buses and fake trolleys can move more or less the same number of people and are more flexible in terms of routing options?

Hardly the more or less the same number, a fake trolley typically carries 30-50 passengers, and a heritage streetcar 101 passengers. And remember that with any bus, we are talking passenger per driver, but streetcars of any era can be made to entrain.

I should have said "order of magnitude" not "more or less the same" number.  I was thinking about trolleys and buses in relation to cars and trains.

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"the disadvantages of streetcars are that vintage streetcars are less comfortable"

Sounds like you've been the victim of wooden seats in either the heritage streetcar reproductions or perhaps New Orleans? Even settle into the wicker seats in a REAL streetcar? Try the velvet seats of the O'Port Portugal car in Dallas, or the floating sensation of one of the old Turtleback Cars (a Jacksonville type car). Add the velvet seats to the Turtleback and there isn't a bus in the world that would ride as nice. Perhaps a point we should strive to educate JTA about, as based on the PCT buses, they too think streetcars need wooden seats.

I've ridden heritage streetcars in Memphis and New Orleans.  I've also ridden a lot in PCC streetcars, which were designed in the Thirties to overcome the many perceived shortcomings of what we are now calling "heritage" streetcars.  San Francisco operates a substantial number of PCC streetcars, and Philadelphia has brought a few back.  So I guess my preference would be for PCC streetcars over "heritage" streetcars.  I do enjoy riding PCC streetcars, and the capacity of a PCC streetcar is somewhat higher than the capacity of a typical 40' bus.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 12:54:54 PM
I dunno dan.

I would have to disagree with you just simply on the grounds that it seems to be that you seem to be considering 'transportation' as a separate thing unto itself.  But transportation is really a relationship between two or more things.

The last straw came for the streetcar suburbs when governments began to subsidize highways into more distant areas.  But even before that happened, rising levels of auto traffic had made life in streetcar suburbs less pleasant.   

For transit to be the preferred choice, it has to offer decent frequencies, days and hours of service, and network coverage areas.  If you sacrifice any of these, then transit riders who can drive will start driving, and they will likely move away from areas where they might have access to transit. 

What do we gain from that?

buckethead

March 26, 2011, 12:55:43 PM
What is the #1 goal of blood?

A) To carry oxygen and nutrients to individual cells.

3) To carry CO2 and other waste from cells.

d) to circulate.

7) to exist and multiply.

B) To provide immune defenses.

f) I'm sure I have missed others. (hence, I get an "F" in hematology)

Transportation is the life blood of commerce. (bringing goods and services together with consumers as well as employees and employers) To ignore the commerce aspect is to make transportation irrelevant/obsolete. (read: JTA)

Ocklawaha

March 26, 2011, 01:37:31 PM
MASS TRANSIT


service (serv·ice)

2. a system supplying a public need such as transport, communications, or utilities such as electricity and water.

Phrases:

be at someone's service
   
be ready to assist someone whenever possible.

Origin:

Old English (denoting religious devotion or a form of liturgy), from Old French servise or Latin servitium 'slavery', from servus 'slave'. The early sense of the verb (mid 19th century) was 'be of service to, provide with a service'


JTA

accommodation (ac·com·mo·da·tion)

1. the available space for occupants in a building, vehicle, or vessel

Phrases:

there was lifeboat accommodation for 1,178 people.

Origin:

early 17th century: from Latin accommodatio(n-), from accommodare 'fit one thing to another' (see accommodate)

SOURCE: Oxford University Press


OCKLAWAHA

stephendare

March 26, 2011, 02:06:13 PM
I dunno dan.

I would have to disagree with you just simply on the grounds that it seems to be that you seem to be considering 'transportation' as a separate thing unto itself.  But transportation is really a relationship between two or more things.

The last straw came for the streetcar suburbs when governments began to subsidize highways into more distant areas.  But even before that happened, rising levels of auto traffic had made life in streetcar suburbs less pleasant.   

For transit to be the preferred choice, it has to offer decent frequencies, days and hours of service, and network coverage areas.  If you sacrifice any of these, then transit riders who can drive will start driving, and they will likely move away from areas where they might have access to transit. 

What do we gain from that?

Well the trolley companies were bought out and destroyed by GM.  GM couldnt create a need for universal car sales as long as there was such a great alternative to automobiles.  In the process, they began the destruction of the american cities for real.

Ocklawaha

March 26, 2011, 05:27:49 PM
It is true that the PCC CARS have an amazing ride, the paper wheels, and deferential axles make them quite special. But I love the old gals.


Velvet and brass, rose and mahogany, etched glass and enclosed passenger compartment, 2+1 seating, THIS IS MC KINNEY AVENUE'S 102 year old "Rosie", the little American made car repatriated from O'Port, Portugal.

On her 100th Birthday, UPTOWN DALLAS threw a party complete with a long parade and dozens of bands... You'll remember the statement at the JTA BRT meeting? "The people HATE RAIL, they love the BUS!" Yeah, looks like it to me too.

OCKLAWAHA

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 05:44:57 PM
I might disagree with some of your thinking, but I have a soft spot for almost anything on rails. 

I was on a train when I learned to walk.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 06:49:01 PM
Well the trolley companies were bought out and destroyed by GM.

Go ahead and blame GM but I blame the feds. 

The feds paid most of the cost of the postwar highways, and they also subsidized mortgages for new suburban houses at the same time that in-town neighborhoods were being red-lined.

stephendare

March 26, 2011, 07:00:04 PM
Well the trolley companies were bought out and destroyed by GM.

Go ahead and blame GM but I blame the feds. 

The feds paid most of the cost of the postwar highways, and they also subsidized mortgages for new suburban houses at the same time that in-town neighborhoods were being red-lined.

I do agree that the Feds had a heavy hand in the sorry mess.  But GM actually started a good 20 years earlier than the Feds, and were the ones who profited the most during the era.

When you are talking about federal policy, keep in mind that it takes about 30 to 40 years to see the fruits of national policy initiatives.

GMs buyout of the trolley companies began during the 1930s in earnest.  Federal road building and suburban expansion didnt really take place until after 1950----same time as rural electrification and the large infrastructure projects of the Post War era.

Most people these days are not aware that the depression didnt end with the commencement or end of the war.  The US was still in financial depression until the early fifties, and the Eisenhower era solution to getting the economy working domestically was the heavy stimulus funding that came from the GI bill and the beginning of the interstate system.  (of course no one called him a communist back then, or hoisted any mispelled signs about his birth certificate onto national television sets.)

But the move to suburbanization was a planned and implemented process.  Sprawl was anticipated, and encouraged, although the full extent of the feedback process was never contemplated.  It sprang out of the Progressive Era, and was started with the best of intentions.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 07:08:42 PM
What is the #1 goal of blood?

The primary goal of blood is to keep us alive.  The secondary goals of blood are to keep us healthy and functioning at some level. 

So even if it's not fulfilling either of its secondary goals, we still need blood for its primary goal, or we'd be dead.

thelakelander

March 26, 2011, 07:37:15 PM
^However, you're dead if blood is being isolated on its own to keep you alive.  The same goes with mass transit.

thelakelander

March 26, 2011, 07:49:23 PM

Yes.  I disagree with this initial statement:

Call me crazy but my view is that transportation facilities should be designed primarily to provide transportation, rather than to promote development.

There should be no primary and secondary goal if you want a successful, well used reliable mass transit system that gets the most bang out of your buck.  These two items come joined at the hip.

By definition there can be only one #1 goal.

By who's definition?

Quote
The primary goal of transportation facilities should be to provide transportation.  There are a number of closely linked secondary goals and/or constraints, including development, environmental quality, and safety, all of which should be addressed at the same time that a transportation facility is being designed.

The primary goal should be the creation of a cost efficient transportation network that accomplishes many things.  Once we force ourselves into isolating the benefits of a well integrated transportation network, we set ourselves up for failure (especially in a dense urban core environment).

Quote
Personally, I favor the development pattern that allows the most people to circulate most freely, whether on foot, by bicycle, by transit, or if all else fails, by car.

This is what we should be shooting for and what is being strived for as the goal of the mobility plan.  However, you'll never reach this point with a one-size fits all mentality, discrediting or not focusing on the impact that good transit investment can have on the build environment, which directly affects the end user.

Quote
For transit to work, it must meet the needs of those who it is intended to serve.

Yes.  However, meeting the needs of those it is intended to serve also means laying the foundation for sustainable growth patterns that support the use of the system provided and the needs of its users.  These things aren't mutually exclusive.

thelakelander

March 26, 2011, 08:03:04 PM
I dunno dan.

I would have to disagree with you just simply on the grounds that it seems to be that you seem to be considering 'transportation' as a separate thing unto itself.  But transportation is really a relationship between two or more things.

This is pretty much my disagreement.  Quite frankly, you really shouldn't attempt to isolate anything on its own in an urban setting.

dougskiles

March 26, 2011, 08:05:47 PM
To me, it is all about which type of development do you want to promote?  When we only build systems to meet current needs then we are choosing to continue the existing development patterns.  Many patterns will only change when the transportation system changes.

So the question isn't really do we want streetcars, commuter rail, or a skyway extension - but what type of neighborhoods do we want to have?

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 08:10:24 PM
^However, you're dead if blood is being isolated on its own to keep you alive.  The same goes with mass transit.

This comment makes no sense to me.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 08:20:01 PM
I don't know how ranking objectives can be seen as the same as isolating or ignoring any of them, and I don't see where I've said anything that is really different from what everyone else is saying. 

Logically, or by nearly any accepted definition of the word "one," you can't have more than one #1 goal unless you are coaching a middle school soccer team.  Transit is too important for a "let's all be winners" approach.   So is urban development.

I'm done with this thread.  Let's start a fresh one on a different topic.  I'm game.

Ocklawaha

March 26, 2011, 08:55:39 PM


Perhaps it's time for a transit 101 primer article? The TROLLEY PARK PHENOMENON was exactly the type of thing that we are describing Lake. It was usually an end-of-the-line development underwritten by the streetcar and/or utility companies. The reason? Develop, develop and develop, and fill the car seats even on weekends and holidays, in a nation that largely slept on every Sabbath Day. It worked too, some 2,000 "Trolley Parks," sprang to life throughout the nation, Jacksonville was lucky, we had 5!  Roosevelt Park, Masons Park, The Florida Ostrich Farm, Dixieland (which probably had heavy investment by the ferry company in addition to the above principals), and a "Negro Picnic Ground at the edge of a swamp" today we call it 5-Points! Argument could be made that the original Florida Alligator Farm, Jacksonville Zoo (in Springfield), Phoenix Park, and Mann-Jennings Park (later a CCC project on the Ostrich Farm car line) were also "Trolley Parks".

Look at those same sections of town today.
Roosevelt/Masons Parks = Durkeeville
Ostrich Farm = Panama Park
Dixieland = Southbank
Picnic Grounds = 5-Points
Zoo = Springfield
Phoenix Park = Phoenix
Mann-Jennings Park = Long Branch

Ortega Company, laid out the tract, brought it into the city limits, and incorporated the Ortega Traction Company to connect it with Jacksonville Traction in Riverside.  Ortega Village? Fairfax? Avondale? Murray Hill? Fishweir? College & King? College & Stockton? Myra & Stockton? Myra & Margaret? Margaret & Dellwood? Oak & King? Oak & Stockton? Oak and Margaret? 5-Points? Brooklyn? Even the massive expansion of Camp Johnston, which today we call NAS JAX! 100% STREETCAR DEVELOPMENT and today, we apparently don't have a single politician with enough historical smarts or urban skill to realize it.

West of Fairfax all of the development was wrapped around automobiles and bus transit, I challenge anyone to prove to me that Blanding, Normandy or Cassat Avenues are more livable then any of the above.


OCKLAWAHA

Ocklawaha

March 26, 2011, 08:57:29 PM
^However, you're dead if blood is being isolated on its own to keep you alive.  The same goes with mass transit.

This comment makes no sense to me.

While I can't answer for Lake, to me he is saying simply, if those blood vessels don't network together, if they are isolated (see Skyway), if they don't go where the body needs them, WHEN THE BODY NEEDS THEM... Your dead and so is your transit system.


OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

March 26, 2011, 09:19:21 PM
^Pretty much. 

thelakelander

March 26, 2011, 09:23:43 PM
To me, it is all about which type of development do you want to promote?  When we only build systems to meet current needs then we are choosing to continue the existing development patterns.  Many patterns will only change when the transportation system changes.

I'm not sure we're even doing a good job of meeting present demands now.  From the look of our existing bus system, it appears we can use high frequency spines (something that fixed transit does pretty well).  However, in the one place where the fixed mode exists (DT), we subsidize bus operations to compete against it (ex. downtown loop) and we're planning for more duplication (ex. BRT Southbank).

Quote
So the question isn't really do we want streetcars, commuter rail, or a skyway extension - but what type of neighborhoods do we want to have?

Luckily, we've answered these questions over and over again.  Now we just need our leaders to follow the adopted community visioning plans.

thelakelander

March 26, 2011, 09:35:01 PM
I don't know how ranking objectives can be seen as the same as isolating or ignoring any of them, and I don't see where I've said anything that is really different from what everyone else is saying.  

Logically, or by nearly any accepted definition of the word "one," you can't have more than one #1 goal unless you are coaching a middle school soccer team.  Transit is too important for a "let's all be winners" approach.   So is urban development.

This approach has led to the disfunctional transit system we have in place today.  Its time to go back to what actually works.

If forced to identify the #1 goal, I guess it would be to develop a sustainable community.  To achieve this goal there are several things that have to implemented and integrated with each other correctly.  Transit, like land use, density, walkability, street level connectivity, etc. are the things that help get us to that goal.  

You're not going to get anywhere near that goal by substituting fixed transit with faux trolleys.  Even within the realm of transit planning, they serve two completely different roles.  In a true integrated network that is designed for the end user, buses and rail actually end up supporting and complementing each other instead of being either/or options.  We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

Dashing Dan

March 26, 2011, 10:30:36 PM
Except for semantics I don't see much disagreement here.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

March 26, 2011, 10:31:27 PM
I'm starting this by making the assumption that most reading aren't frequent users of the system that's presented in JAX.  I will follow that sentiment with the face that I wasn't ever one of those who used the bus for anything except as my bitch when coming up to a stoplight (you know who you are and why.) 

After following this blog for a while, I decided to give it a shot and lo and behold, I found an alternative that not only helps me commute to and from work, but put me in a group that feels as though I can talk down to those who don't have the same luxury as myself.

I don't have the delay issues, the mean-spirited driver issues, the not-knowing-when-my-bus-will-arrive issues, I have the esteemed opportunity to be able to hop on a bus, when I expect it to be there, make a transfer withing 5-10 minutes and arrive where I expect to at the time I planned.  I'm somewhat of an oxymoron, minus the oxy, when transverxing the bus service, but I seem to always find a way, moron or not.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

March 26, 2011, 10:33:57 PM
I think that a fixed rail system from DT to 5-points is a fantastic idea.  Some of you are criticizing the TOD, but wouldn't you hop on a trolley from O'Brothers to TSI if you knew that it would be running every 10-15 minutes?  I would.  You enjoy the outdoor people watching from O'Brothers, but you really want to go to a club for a little while, but you don't want to get stranded.  A fixed rail/trolley system can give you that.  In giving you that it can also offer other developers a reason to open a bar/club/restaurant/gym/something that people want to visit because they are located on a stop on a route that people travel on that is always going to stop  somewhere near here ever so often.   Basically you have had an undivided market thrown your direction, what are you going to provide them?

Non-RedNeck Westsider

March 26, 2011, 10:38:08 PM
I use the trolley when it's available, but the problem with JTA is that I don't have to wait on the trolley - with 35 min headtimes on offpeak hours.  I can catch the trolley, the R5, the WS12, the WS6 or the WS2 and get close to where I have to be.  The real unfortunate part of all of this, which a fixed rail service with short headtimes can fix, is that there are 3-4 lines travelling down a similar path.  Between the 4 you would expect no more than a 5 minute wait, but they have them back to back to back to back so it ends up being a 10 minute window with a 45 - 60 minute wait between windows - unneccesary duplication that could be fixed to provide an awesome service.

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 06:54:55 AM
^Bingo.  We certainly don't need fixed transit spines all over town but there are areas/opportunities (especially in the urban core) where there is significant route duplication where we would be better served by having neighborhood routes feed into a central transit spine with frequent reliable service. 

For example, just imagine, if we were able to get rid of the downtown loop the majority of buses make?  Not only could we cut down on operations costs, service frequencies would be improved on all routes currently forced to take that serpentine path through the core.

On the Westside, if there were a streetcar paid for by the mobility plan, routes like the faux trolley, R5, WS12, WS6 and WS2 could be shortened and redeployed to provide better and more frequent service to in areas not adjacent to the fixed path, instead of all of them eventually making a similar path to get into DT.  At the same time, such an option would also put the type of transit system in place that connects riders with existing destinations (such as Five Points, St. Vincent's, DT, Riverside Avenue offices) while also stimulating TOD in underutilized areas along the way, like Brooklyn.  Long term, new TOD along that path could possibly help shorten existing individual transit trips through the introduction of land uses and job opportunities currently not in this specific area of town.

dougskiles

March 27, 2011, 08:11:17 AM
Luckily, we've answered these questions over and over again.  Now we just need our leaders to follow the adopted community visioning plans.

I don't believe that it will be our elected leaders who take us there.  The business community and neighborhood groups will need to take the lead.  We need to put the frustrated urban neighborhood groups together with the developers who are getting tired of sitting on the sidelines.  Together they will have to work to get the attention of JTA and City Hall.

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 09:04:05 AM
With the work of the community so far, we've made pretty good progress over the last five years.  I heard the mobility plan has recieved a good review from DCA so far and could be adopted by the city this summer.  While it won't solve everything, in the upcoming years it will help to have that funding mechanism in line to help us get started on some multimodal projects (transit, bike, ped).

In addition, I was reading a topic on another forum about Jacksonville's 2010 census numbers.  Even though our city is +700 square miles, the urban area tracts that average above 3,000 residents/mile is only around 83 square miles.  Imo, this is the area where we should rally for better mass transit and sustainability.  I think we'll improve our chances by focusing on those who have chosen to live the urban lifestyle as opposed to rallying people 20 miles outside the core, who still fight not to have sidewalks installed in their communities.

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 09:11:39 AM
I don't see the point in fighting against fake trolleys.  Fake trolleys = Buses, and

In a true integrated network that is designed for the end user, buses and rail actually end up supporting and complementing each other instead of being either/or options.

Noone

March 27, 2011, 09:20:43 AM
Luckily, we've answered these questions over and over again.  Now we just need our leaders to follow the adopted community visioning plans.

I don't believe that it will be our elected leaders who take us there.  The business community and neighborhood groups will need to take the lead.  We need to put the frustrated urban neighborhood groups together with the developers who are getting tired of sitting on the sidelines.  Together they will have to work to get the attention of JTA and City Hall.

I agree. And the same approach to take the lead not only applies on land but also the water (river).

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 10:02:47 AM
I don't see the point in fighting against fake trolleys.  Fake trolleys = Buses, and

In a true integrated network that is designed for the end user, buses and rail actually end up supporting and complementing each other instead of being either/or options.


As long as we understand their true purpose and don't try and present them in a different light, then there is no fight.  We'll understand and work for fixed transit along the corridors where it makes sense and use rubber wheeled transit as circulators to tie in various neighborhoods with that high frequency fixed transit spine.  

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 10:19:30 AM
I appreciate that.  In my view fake trolleys are precursors to larger buses.  Hopefully, as ridership grows, larger buses will take their place. 

As a newbie, how do I go about starting another thread?

middleman

March 27, 2011, 11:54:30 AM

Your whole premise is that the current bus/fake-trolley system doesn't move the same people today from downtown to Riverside and back that a projected streetcar system would be projected to move. This just doesn't make sense. Where are the new riders coming from? The only riders I know travel the DT to Riverside stretch on the existing Riverside trolley. Do you think more riders will all of a sudden appear if this route is converted to a streetcar? I would say maybe, but only if the DT area was renovated with more commercial and residential areas. And where are the plans on those? Mostly dropped altogether or stuck on hold.

I can personally tell you that the stinky non-trolley trolleys pick up passengers in the Fidelity/LPS area on Riverside to the 5 points area every day around lunch time and that route generally runs an near-full capacity. If there was a streetcar there instead with double the capacity, you WILL NOT SEE ANY DIFFERENCE in ridership. People in that area don't say "no, I don't think I'll go out to lunch today because I don't like riding in stinky camouflage buses". And when XX Millions of dollars later a streetcar is built, those same potential customers aren't going to say, "Yes, lets go down to Riverside or Avondale today because we can rid nice shiny expensive new heritage streetcars". Its not going to happen!

Somebody mentioned the Dames point bridge as an example of "If you build it, they will come!". This analogy isn't even close. A new St Johns river crossing was desperately needed, and once hooked up to the east loop around the city all of a sudden all that traffic east of the St Johns could head north to the shipyards, airport, Savannah, etc instead of having to drive through downtown. Same with the Buckman bridge. Sure those projects spurred growth! They were major new interstates with HUGE traffic counts almost instantly appearing after opening.

Our DT streetcar runs a few miles from Newnam/Bay, to the convention center, down industrialized Park Ave, over through Riverside and up to King. Most of that replaces an existing trolley route. Just what part of that route do you expect to wildly grow? Think developers will be scrambling to knock down Auto Parts places on Park to put up new Condos? There will be little new growth in the Riverside area, that's mostly a historic district and should be left alone.

So, what are we spending this money for again? I expect you will blow me off again as a pest, but I see this project ending up like the skyway. Lots of money down the shitter with no measurable results. If you want to invest money in rail, let's get a commuter rail to SA and GCS rolling.

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 12:19:13 PM
No reason to blow you off. Instead, I'll attempt lead you to the light. That is, once I get in front of a computer later today.

stephendare

March 27, 2011, 01:36:27 PM
I appreciate that.  In my view fake trolleys are precursors to larger buses.  Hopefully, as ridership grows, larger buses will take their place. 

As a newbie, how do I go about starting another thread?

But that isnt what happens, Dashing Dan.

The system allows for routes to be changed literally by a phone call, and the smaller routes never grow into larger routes because they cannot be depended on.

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 02:55:32 PM
Alright.  I'm back and nice and round after having lunch at Soul Food Bistro.  Now I'll try and address your comments, middleman.

Your whole premise is that the current bus/fake-trolley system doesn't move the same people today from downtown to Riverside and back that a projected streetcar system would be projected to move. This just doesn't make sense. Where are the new riders coming from? The only riders I know travel the DT to Riverside stretch on the existing Riverside trolley. Do you think more riders will all of a sudden appear if this route is converted to a streetcar? I would say maybe, but only if the DT area was renovated with more commercial and residential areas. And where are the plans on those? Mostly dropped altogether or stuck on hold.

I can personally tell you that the stinky non-trolley trolleys pick up passengers in the Fidelity/LPS area on Riverside to the 5 points area every day around lunch time and that route generally runs an near-full capacity. If there was a streetcar there instead with double the capacity, you WILL NOT SEE ANY DIFFERENCE in ridership. People in that area don't say "no, I don't think I'll go out to lunch today because I don't like riding in stinky camouflage buses". And when XX Millions of dollars later a streetcar is built, those same potential customers aren't going to say, "Yes, lets go down to Riverside or Avondale today because we can rid nice shiny expensive new heritage streetcars". Its not going to happen!

That's not my premise.  I don't know how you came to that conclusion.  The streetcar project in the mobility plan will be put in place to facilitate traffic congestion that is projected to swamp our streets by 2030.  So we're planning for a 20-year period, not what currently exists today.  In addition, plans also take into account law, which requires municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, incorporate alternative forms of mobility and the city's desire to redirect growth to areas where significant public infrastructure already exists.  As far as ridership goes, think of the streetcar line as a transit spine with frequent service.  Existing bus routes, like the faux trolley, would be modified to provide better service to areas not adjacent to the fixed transit spine.  Thus, some of your future ridership already exists via the multiple westside bus routes and faux trolley route that currently serves this particular corridor.

Quote
Somebody mentioned the Dames point bridge as an example of "If you build it, they will come!". This analogy isn't even close. A new St Johns river crossing was desperately needed, and once hooked up to the east loop around the city all of a sudden all that traffic east of the St Johns could head north to the shipyards, airport, Savannah, etc instead of having to drive through downtown. Same with the Buckman bridge. Sure those projects spurred growth! They were major new interstates with HUGE traffic counts almost instantly appearing after opening.

Sounds a lot like Charlotte, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Salt Lake City and St. Louis' experience with their new rail lines that have opened over the last decade and a half.  Infrastructure spurs development.  It always has.  However, roadway infrastructure tends to be autocentric, encouraging sprawl, while mass transit is pedestrian oriented, spurring denser walkable development instead.  Adopted neighborhood visioning plans call for the urban core to become the walkable community it originally was.  To achieve this goal, infrastructure that facilitates this type of lifestyle is a priority of infrastructure that rips neighborhoods apart.

Quote
Our DT streetcar runs a few miles from Newnam/Bay, to the convention center, down industrialized Park Ave, over through Riverside and up to King.

The riverside streetcar line is a part of a regional transportation network that will include local buses, faux trolleys, BRT, commuter rail, Amtrak corridor service and additional streetcar lines.  Placed in this perspective, there's no reason to have a discussion that presents it as an isolated transit investment.

Quote
Most of that replaces an existing trolley route. Just what part of that route do you expect to wildly grow? Think developers will be scrambling to knock down Auto Parts places on Park to put up new Condos? There will be little new growth in the Riverside area, that's mostly a historic district and should be left alone.

As a part of the mobility plan, allowable building density were dramatically increased as a part of the plan to integrate land use with mobility.  Looking at this 3 mile corridor, there are significant opportunities for infill development.  You may think Park is built out, but the majority of Brooklyn is vacant land and buildings.  There is room for massive redevelopment in this area between I-95 and downtown.  In addition, with viable mass transit in place, opportunities for infill development on existing service lots at office complexes like Fidelity and BCBS become feasible.  


This is Brooklyn.  Lots of room for infill development from looking at this pic.

In Riverside, has a major parking problem on its hands as it gains popularity as one of America's best neighborhoods.  The streetcar option (along with new bikeway infrastructure) puts mass transit in a position to help alleviate this problem, as opposed building large non-compatible parking garages, surface lots.  Congestion-wise, it also a context sensitive alternative over demolishing rows of historic structures along Riverside Avenue and Park Street for roadway widening.  Despite Park & King's success, there are several areas along King Street where infill mixed-use development would be considered a major positive to the quality of living in the area.  Last, but not least, Riverside has a huge medical center within its boundaries with limited room for expansion.  Better transit creates the opportunity to convert existing medical parking lots into medical facilities that can be designed to integrate seamlessly into the surrounding historic context.


The parking lots in this aerial of St. Vincents are suitable spaces for context sensitive infill development in Riverside.

Quote
So, what are we spending this money for again?

In this case, the transportation improvement cost taxpayers nothing.  Money for its construction would be generated by private development within that specific development area, over a 10-year period.  This is why I mentioned in the previous post that convincing you of the benefits won't be needed to move this project forward.

Quote
I expect you will blow me off again as a pest, but I see this project ending up like the skyway. Lots of money down the shitter with no measurable results.

The skyway struggles for multiple reasons.  However, the entire system and urban core does.  Thus, it makes no sense to isolate and condem it without properly evaluating the condition of the context it was meant to serve.  Nevertheless, put me in control of mass transit for a year and I promise you I'll turn dramatically increase the skyway's ridership and show you measurable results.  If you're willing to compromise you local signage and advertising moral values, I'll eliminate fares and still drop O&M costs as well.

Quote
If you want to invest money in rail, let's get a communter rail to SA and GCS rolling.

Those projects are in the works too.  However, they'll be a little more complicated to pull off because you'll be running passenger trains on someone else's property.  Hopefully, this helps answer the questions you raised.

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 04:31:28 PM
Come on... why would replacing the existing diesel non-trolley trolley with a streetcar increase ridership?

I think middleman makes a good point here, and I'd love to see it refuted.

According to this chart, streetcars (about 8 down from the top) have about the same capacity as buses in mixed traffic (at the bottom).


So if this chart is correct and their capacities are roughly the same, how would streetcars outperform (fake) buses? 

On the land use side, increases in density could be allowed for either option.

stephendare

March 27, 2011, 04:41:40 PM
For the same reason as all others.  Predictability.

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 05:22:28 PM
But why would someone invest in a higher density development if the capacity isn't there to support it?

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 05:35:33 PM
I see, we're ignoring the economic development benefits associated with fixed transit, although this is a major goal of the city and urban core neighborhoods.  

Anyway, I hope everyone here already knows that LRT is basically a streetcar operation designed for rapid transit.....right?  Considering the ROW width of our urban core streets, I see no reason that we can't design a streetcar operation that moves within its own lanes instead of mixed-traffic.  That alone, would significantly boost capacity.  Before pigeon holing and stereotyping an entire mode (as that chart seems to do), let's define the type of operating services, land use benefits and financial costs, we desire.  Once these goals are in place, we can then have a logical discussion on the streetcar vs. faux trolley  (remember faux trolleys serve a different purpose than fixed transit).

Anyway, I made the same point about Florida's HSR project that I'm going to make right now.  You can do a lot of things with rail infrastructure.  If we're going to now argue about capacity, it can always be designed to be upgraded to LRT, if desired.  For example, in Charlotte, they operate heritage streetcars and LRT on the same tracks.  In Memphis, their recent streetcar line down Madison was designed to LRT standards.  So, when capacity needs to be increased, all they'll have to do is purchase larger LRT cars.



Quote
The Charlotte Trolley is a heritage streetcar which operates in Charlotte in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The line runs along the former Norfolk Southern right of way between Tremont Avenue in the Historic South End in a northerly direction to its terminus at 9th Street Uptown. It runs on tracks shared with the LYNX Blue Line.

Quote
The Charlotte Trolley represented the return of streetcar service to the city of Charlotte since the closure of its original network on March 14, 1938, which had been in operation since May 18, 1891. The return of the trolley came on August 30, 1996, running in the evenings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons for an initial six month trial period. The trial period occurred on a 1.8-mile rail line between the Atherton Mill trolley barn and Stonewall Street.

Through the initial six months of operation ending on February 28, 1997, the trolley saw a ridership of 25,000. As a result of the success of the trial run of the trolley, Norfolk Southern awarded the trolley a one-year extension of the agreement to use its track.

After a new bridge was completed over Stonewall Street, 7-day a week service commenced between Atherton Mill in the South End and 9th Street Uptown on June 28, 2004. Operations prior to that date was run by a group of volunteers (some retirees) where some of them was hired by CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System) which has operated the Trolley since that time. At that time, CATS purchased 3 replica trolley to Car #85, a vintage trolley dating back to the 1920's.

Service was temporarily halted on February 5, 2006, when construction began on a new track system for the Charlotte LYNX light rail system. Initially service was to only be halted for a year, with the trolley running approximately a year before light rail service commenced. However, by November 2006 CATS determined it would be unfeasible to run the trolley service with the corridor still under construction. Service resumed on April 20, 2008, and the vintage trolley cars now run on the same tracks as the LYNX trams.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Trolley

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 05:49:18 PM


If you don't want to pay for track infrastructure to support LRT style service along a streetcar line (I assume, you'd want stops spaced closer than 1/4 - 1/2 mile apart), you can just purchase modern streetcar vehicles with larger capacities when ridership demands.  Adding an extra car or purchasing a higher capacity vehicle when the demand reaches such a level is way cheaper than having to widen a road with constrained ROW or adding more buses to clog and pollute the already congested streets (remember, when you plan, you plan for the future, not today's conditions).

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 05:55:31 PM
But why would someone invest in a higher density development if the capacity isn't there to support it?

This sounds like a good question for the developers that spent hundreds of millions of their own money building TOD along new streetcar lines in Portland, Tampa, Kenosha and Little Rock.


http://www.urbanindy.com/2010/10/25/report-from-railvolution-portland/

Let's introduce some streetcar related TOD facts into this opinionated discussion.  Here is a link to a Fort Worth streetcar study that has compiled some statistical data on recently completed or proposed streetcar projects across the country.

http://visioncincinnati.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/streetcar-data-in-other-cities1.pdf

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 05:59:44 PM
I'm not giving opinions just pitching high hanging curve balls.

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 06:01:23 PM
Cool.  I like playing the role of a roided up Barry Bonds.  I'm ready for another pitch.

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 06:20:37 PM
OK

As an alternative to LRT vehicles on streetcar tracks in mixed traffic, how about articulated buses?

(Given the TOD angle, that one might be more like t-ball than a hanging curve.)

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 06:27:34 PM
On the land use side, increases in density could be allowed for either option.

I missed this one remark. You can rezone land use as much as you want to but that doesn't mean transit oriented development and density actually happens.   The type of infrastructure you invest in will determine the style of built development that takes place.  Historically, the fixed mode "stimulates" denser development because of its permanence.  The rubber wheeled option doesn't, because of its "flexibility."  Thus, if you want economic development (this is what we want in places like Brooklyn, LaVilla, Downtown, the Northside, etc.), you invest in things that spur the style of development you seek.  If walkable economic development and job creation isn't a concern or you just want to provide feeder lines to a fixed transit spine, go with rubber wheeled options.

Here are a few quotes from a Summer 2010 St. Louis article on this exact issue.

Quote
As many as a half-dozen modern or vintage trolley lines might soon join the nearly 30 such systems operating in U.S. cities — and St. Louis hopes to be one of those getting on board.

"Streetcars are making a comeback because cities across America are recognizing that they can restore economic development downtown — giving citizens the choice to move between home, shopping and entertainment without ever looking for a parking space," said Peter Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration.

Quote
Plans for a Loop Trolley have crept along for years. But on July 8, the U.S. Department of Transportation gave the project a $24,990,000 "urban circulator" grant. Such grants also went to streetcar projects in Cincinnati; Charlotte, N.C.; and two in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The department picked the winners from among 65 projects seeking funding.

A total of $293 million in grants handed out last month is part of President Barack Obama's "livability initiative" to better coordinate transportation, housing and commercial development.

Quote
Portland, Ore., developer John Carroll, a fervent advocate of the streetcar project, said the Pearl District's residential density is highest on the blocks closest to the rails. Daily ridership, projected at 2,700 when the line began service, is approaching 13,000, he said. Carroll said that key to the streetcar's success was making it "a driver" of economic development.

"Our punchline is that we're not going to be a photo opportunity for Grandma and the grandkids," he said. "It will be a vital component of the regional transportation system. Our basic plan doesn't involve cool ideas. We wanted to pour concrete that mattered to the community."

Quote
San Francisco's streetcar line is an integral part of the Bay Area's transit system.

Ford said daily ridership peaks at 24,000 during the summer tourist season but added that the line also gets heavy use by daily commuters connecting to light rail and the city's subway system.

He said streetcars do more for economic development than buses.

"Rail projects are very expensive," Ford said. "But rail projects tend to be permanent. And you get the economic development around stops that you normally don't see with bus operations."
http://www.stltoday.com/business/article_19a93293-77db-570c-b3ac-a720bea8bf14.html

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 06:36:36 PM
OK

As an alternative to LRT vehicles on streetcar tracks in mixed traffic, how about articulated buses?

(Given the TOD angle, that one might be more like t-ball than a hanging curve.)

Articulated buses don't spur TOD either.  At least not in this country so far.  In Canada, Ottawa has combined them with dedicated busway infrastructure.  That has been a success, but the cost of constructing dedicated busways is just as high as building full blown LRT.  I think Cleveland's Health Line is probably one of this country's best recently completed BRT corridors.  However, its really more of a "complete streets" project than bus transit.  Some development has taken place.  However, it would have happened regardless of the roadway infrastructure investment because of the universities and medical facilities that were already expanding along Euclid Avenue.

In addition, since we happen to be talking about a transit corridor connecting DT and Riverside, I don't think either of these end points would benefit from larger buses running in their streets.  Quite frankly, we need to be getting rid of the ones already operating in DT (the skyway should be the DT peoplemover) and BRT through a historic residential district is flat out a bad idea.

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 06:41:52 PM
By the way, I see little benefit to placing streetcars in mixed traffic.  Let's take a street like Park through Brooklyn.  It's a constrained 60' roadway facility with two 5' sidewalks and four 10' vehicle lanes.  Instead of keeping the four lanes, take it down to two for vehicles and use the extra 20' for transit and bicycle lanes.  If you want to speed in your automobile, take the six lane Riverside Avenue or Interstate 95.

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 07:22:51 PM
just fyi, the lanes on Park street thru brooklyn are 8'.  I measured them myself with a wheel.  But you don't need 4 lanes through there, that's for sure.

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 07:29:16 PM
That must mean the sidewalks are 9' wide.  That's even better.

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 07:38:46 PM
I don't recall that you have a full 60' through there, but maybe you do.

tufsu1

March 27, 2011, 07:48:57 PM
if it is 4-8' lanes with 2-9' sidewalks, the total ROW is 50'...same is true with 10' lanes and 5' sidewalks

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 08:12:43 PM
I could have sworn it was 60' wide but it could be 50'.  I don't have access to Google Earth right now but whatever it is, I know its pretty narrow.

Ocklawaha

March 27, 2011, 08:21:10 PM
Your whole premise is that the current bus/fake-trolley system doesn't move the same people today from downtown to Riverside and back that a projected streetcar system would be projected to move. This just doesn't make sense. Where are the new riders coming from? The only riders I know travel the DT to Riverside stretch on the existing Riverside trolley. Do you think more riders will all of a sudden appear if this route is converted to a streetcar? I would say maybe, but only if the DT area was renovated with more commercial and residential areas. And where are the plans on those? Mostly dropped altogether or stuck on hold.


Your missing a couple of historical facts.

streetcars attract more riders then buses (of any type) for reasons not exactly understood, but well documented.

From 1947-1987, From a reciprocal point of view, 2.5 percent of the rail service remained, carrying 1.3 percent of the passengers, a loss of 48 percent over 30 years. Bus service, which inherited most of the rail ridership, lost 54 percent of its 1945 riders, despite the rail riders added to bus over that period. Considering that new buses on improved highways often replaced worn-out streetcars on bad track, the overall result is disconcerting and may help to focus on the transit's loss of market share.

After rail service was eliminated in Oklahoma City and its environs, transit use fell 97 percent on a per capita basis. In the western Milwaukee suburbs, when new buses replaced the old rapid transit rail line in 1951, ridership dropped 54 percent over a 2-yr span. Bus running time was 10 minutes longer than rail at that time, suggesting a loss of 21-22 percent of the riders. The balance of the loss, however, must be attributed to the mode. At the Waukesha rapid transit station, when buses were loading at the rail platform ahead of the rail car or train, only 26 percent of the passengers chose the bus, despite the 20 percent lower fare. It is probable that the lower fare offset the longer time, leaving the low modal share to passenger preference. Should you want more I can supply you with a list of cities that experienced a similar phenomenon.


Quote
I can personally tell you that the stinky non-trolley trolleys pick up passengers in the Fidelity/LPS area on Riverside to the 5 points area every day around lunch time and that route generally runs an near-full capacity. If there was a streetcar there instead with double the capacity, you WILL NOT SEE ANY DIFFERENCE in ridership. People in that area don't say "no, I don't think I'll go out to lunch today because I don't like riding in stinky camouflage buses". And when XX Millions of dollars later a streetcar is built, those same potential customers aren't going to say, "Yes, lets go down to Riverside or Avondale today because we can rid nice shiny expensive new heritage streetcars". Its not going to happen!


Again, your flying in the face of documented experience and mountains of evidence. When I first proposed the streetcar system in Jacksonville, essentially the same route planed today, a regional marketing agency involved in the project did a study and estimated 500,000 unique passengers a year would visit Jacksonville JUST TO RIDE THE STREETCARS. How many visitors do you think we have gotten from our fake PCT trucks buses? I can tell you somewhere in the neighborhood of zero. How do you explain the difference in the OLD PUEBLO TROLLEY and the PCT in Tucson? The PCT operated all day, it operated on a identical route but continued on into the heart of the city (the trolley stopped way short), and had a fare that was not even 50% of the trolley fare...result? The trolley carried several times the number of passengers even though it only operated on weekends, with limited trips, and all volunteer labor. How many volunteers do you suppose JTA gets to run those PCT's? How about maintain them? Anybody here volunteer to maintain the roads on the PCT routes? McKinney Avenue Streetcar in Dallas operates a full-typical transit schedule, and does it with ONE PAID EMPLOYEE!

EXPERIENCE:
"Yes, lets go down to Riverside or Avondale today because we can rid nice shiny expensive new heritage streetcars".  That is precisely what we will get, the choice rider who would NEVER ride the PCT BUS or any other bus. The people that for whatever reason feel the bus is a low status transit mode, rolling welfare van, stinky, bumpy, whatever. A heritage streetcar is not a replica anything...it IS a real working authentic experience...enough of one that some 90 streetcar museums in this country alone thrive on. 5 million railfan's around the world are literally counting the days when they can add another mile of "rare trackage" to their collected ridership experiences. I was at the IBLS 1980 International meet of (LIVE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE BUILDERS AND COLLECTORS) in Los Angeles, a club from Japan chartered a 747 to bring them and their equipment just for fun. Thousands attended, just as they attend airshows, or tall ship festivals. As a preferred mode of travel, having a heritage streetcar system is like installing a permanent tall ship fest or Blue Angel show every day of the year. http://www.touristrailways.com/namerica/index.html

"no, I don't think I'll go out to lunch today because I don't like riding in stinky camouflage buses." You might not get this statement, what you get TODAY is a statement from the many who won't go out to lunch today because they NEVER RIDE IN A STINKY CAMOUFLAGE BUS...or any other bus.
 

Quote
Somebody mentioned the Dames point bridge as an example of "If you build it, they will come!". This analogy isn't even close. A new St Johns river crossing was desperately needed, and once hooked up to the east loop around the city all of a sudden all that traffic east of the St Johns could head north to the shipyards, airport, Savannah, etc instead of having to drive through downtown. Same with the Buckman bridge. Sure those projects spurred growth! They were major new interstates with HUGE traffic counts almost instantly appearing after opening.

Our DT streetcar runs a few miles from Newnam/Bay, to the convention center, down industrialized Park Ave, over through Riverside and up to King. Most of that replaces an existing trolley route. Just what part of that route do you expect to wildly grow? Think developers will be scrambling to knock down Auto Parts places on Park to put up new Condos? There will be little new growth in the Riverside area, that's mostly a historic district and should be left alone.



So you believe LaVilla and Brooklyn are built out? Really? Frankly I don't completely agree with using Park Street, since the Skyway will someday be over on Riverside (as soon as JTA see's a sign of life in redevelopment and apparently they haven't noticed 200 Riverside). IF THIS HAPPENS, then I would suggest a historical alignment from BAY-MYRTLE (THRU THE SUBWAY) FOREST-RIVERSIDE. I think the historical redevelopment along Jacksonville Terminal/La Villa and West Brooklyn which has a cluster of very old buildings would rock that whole area to life. Beyond that, there is enormous potential for vertical development around 5-Points and Park & King. Phase 2 of the streetcar would likely go toward the stadium via Newnan and East Beaver... The reason? From the Union Street Warehouse all the way to GATEWAY MALL, the city owns the railroad right of way. This is a ready made speedway for exclusive line, higher speeds, and tremendous development potential. Alternately the north line could continue on to AP Randolph and run north to the end, jogging west to Palmetto and the city owned railroad line. Randolph is both a historic area as well as a struggling neighborhood with limitless potential.

Quote
So, what are we spending this money for again? I expect you will blow me off again as a pest, but I see this project ending up like the skyway. Lots of money down the shitter with no measurable results. If you want to invest money in rail, let's get a commuter rail to SA and GCS rolling.


You sound as though you really don't want answers, that perhaps your mind is already made up. If the streetcar attracts more passengers then you know it won't attract development? And you know that how? It sure isn't from working inside the industry and reading several thousand reports almost all of which point to streetcar being one of the hottest development tools of the new century.  As Lake and Stephen have pointed out, streetcars are place makers and ridership accelerators, while buses at best serve a preexisting base.

"For each dollar invested, the city would reap approximately $14 in new economic activity." see: http://www.cincystreetcar.com/economicdevelopment.html

“I see local residents ride the streetcar to go to lunch, kids use it like it’s an amusement ride, and tourists are on it,” Rett Tucker says. “There’s a combination of uses, all of which are positive.” see: http://www.developeronline.com/streetcars-spur-development-in-urban-cores/

Long Beach City Councilmember Suja Lowenthal views her city’s pursuit of a streetcar as a way to appeal to new transit riders who are attracted to fixed rail: “streetcars serve a different customer than buses, attracting more choice riders and tourists/visitors who are willing to travel on a rail system in an unfamiliar city.” see:  http://www.cp-dr.com/node/2816



The Impact

    * The streetcar, which also services areas surrounding downtown and connects people to the regional light rail and bus systems, has spurred approximately 100 projects worth $2.3 billion in development along the service line.
    * The projects included over 7,000 housing units and 4.6 million square feet of office and retail space. Because this new development is occurring where there is easy streetcar access, developers can allocate space and resources to more and better quality development instead of additional parking.
    * Ridership is three times greater than projected: 2009 levels were up to 12,000 riders per day, contributing to the decline of vehicle use in Portland, while such use has increased in American cities overall.
see: http://www.iscvt.org/what_we_do/climate/case_studies/portland.php

Anyway, the point is, what I learned overall was that streetcars are a very powerful economic development tool, can help to transform cities, and are much more broadly popular than many other forms of mass transit in the U.S. They improve livability of a city.  see:  http://www.downtownslc.org/media-coverage/street-car-is-focus-of-mayor-address-17



OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

March 27, 2011, 08:24:13 PM
Ock, that's not my quote.

Ocklawaha

March 27, 2011, 08:40:01 PM
Ock, that's not my quote.

MY BAD MAN! The whole piece was FUBAR when I posted it... must be another classic case of me not being half as think as you high I am!  Hey at least military grade poison is good for something!

I fixed it. Thanks.


OCKLAWAHA

Dashing Dan

March 27, 2011, 11:05:40 PM
if it is 4-8' lanes with 2-9' sidewalks, the total ROW is 50'...same is true with 10' lanes and 5' sidewalks

I worked on a TOD study for that area about 4 years ago.  I think that the cross section for that part of Park Street is even less than 50' 

As I recall, our recommendation was for two travel lanes, a parking lane on the inbound side, and a bulb at Park and Stonewall for a transit shelter.  Chris Flagg did a sketch for it.

buckethead

March 28, 2011, 08:16:48 AM
Save your money folks! No more studies needed.

I want to get on a streetcar.

There is no why... there only is.

thelakelander

March 28, 2011, 08:41:12 AM
According to google earth and the sanborn maps in my office, the Park Street ROW is 60'.  The sidewalks just happen to be wider.

Dashing Dan

March 28, 2011, 08:54:32 AM
According to google earth and the sanborn maps in my office, the Park Street ROW is 60'.  The sidewalks just happen to be wider.

uh-uh.  If the sidewalks had been that wide we wouldn't have needed that bulb.

tufsu1

March 28, 2011, 09:10:47 AM
I checked it this morning as well...Lake is correct...the ROW is 60'....and the lanes are around 9 feet.

PeeJayEss

March 28, 2011, 09:29:36 AM
Save your money folks! No more studies needed.

I want to get on a streetcar.

There is no why... there only is.

+1, but I'll give a why. I work near Park and King and live in Riverside so I am in the target demo. I have no ridden the "trolley," but I would be all over a streetcar. In fact, if there were a streetcar from DT to Riverside, I would probably move to DT. I live in Riverside now and love it, but I want to live downtown (even if its empty - i am willing to sacrifice if my being there will help convince a company to stay or move in). Then I'd ride the streetcar everyday.

Does the trolley run to RAM? It should if it doesn't, but I'd rather it be a streetcar. It absolutely makes a difference.

Dashing Dan

March 28, 2011, 09:50:48 AM
I checked it this morning as well...Lake is correct...the ROW is 60'....and the lanes are around 9 feet.

I stepped off the inbound sidewalk on my way downtown just now.  It's less than 10' wide, probably closer to 9'

With 32' between the curbs, the usable right of way is closer to 50' than 60' no matter what the official right of way is. 

On my own street the official right of way is 100' but from the way the right of way is laid out, you'd have a very tough time taking that land out of people's yards.

Dashing Dan

March 28, 2011, 09:52:31 AM
The basic problem is that you barely have enough space between the curbs for even three lanes.

Dashing Dan

March 28, 2011, 10:23:18 AM
Does the trolley run to RAM? It should if it doesn't, but I'd rather it be a streetcar. It absolutely makes a difference.

It runs past RAM on Saturdays, but the time between the (faux) trolleys is very long - over an hour.

thelakelander

March 28, 2011, 10:44:48 AM
The basic problem is that you barely have enough space between the curbs for even three lanes.

Only if you want 12' wide lanes, which should be discouraged on a street like Park.  All a streetcar would need is a single lane and an occassional passing siding.  So it appears that there is proper room between the existing curbing if there was a desire to not run such a service in mixed traffic.

buckethead

March 28, 2011, 10:49:31 AM
Does the trolley run to RAM? It should if it doesn't, but I'd rather it be a streetcar. It absolutely makes a difference.

It runs past RAM on Saturdays, but the time between the (faux) trolleys is very long - over an hour.
Jacksonville has a trolley?!!???!!

Dashing Dan

March 28, 2011, 10:52:26 AM
Jacksonville has a trolley?!!???!!

This thread has definitely gone on for too long!

stephendare

March 28, 2011, 10:54:15 AM
Jacksonville has a trolley?!!???!!

This thread has definitely gone on for too long!

lol.

Welcome to the world of online debate, Dashing Dan.

We have threads that have been going on since the founding of the site 6 years ago.

Check out "Global Depression?"

Dashing Dan

March 28, 2011, 10:59:50 AM
The basic problem is that you barely have enough space between the curbs for even three lanes.

Only if you want 12' wide lanes, which should be discouraged on a street like Park.  All a streetcar would need is a single lane and an occassional passing siding.  So it appears that there is proper room between the existing curbing if there was a desire to not run such a service in mixed traffic.

32' between curbs = 3 10' lanes plus 1' on each side for gutters.

tufsu1

March 28, 2011, 11:10:53 AM
I can assure you that the travel lanes on Park Street are not 8' wide....they are at least 9'

Dashing Dan

March 28, 2011, 11:27:56 AM
I measured the lanes myself.  The distance between the curbs is 32'.  You don't forget something like that.

wsansewjs

March 28, 2011, 11:42:38 AM
I have personally seen a gaming forum has a thread that went on over 29,000 pages. That is one big bum to the server's resources.

-Josh

thelakelander

March 28, 2011, 12:35:54 PM
The basic problem is that you barely have enough space between the curbs for even three lanes.

Only if you want 12' wide lanes, which should be discouraged on a street like Park.  All a streetcar would need is a single lane and an occassional passing siding.  So it appears that there is proper room between the existing curbing if there was a desire to not run such a service in mixed traffic.

32' between curbs = 3 10' lanes plus 1' on each side for gutters.

If that's what it is, leave two travel lanes at their current width and give the remaining 16' to fixed transit.  You only need around 12' in width for a bi-directional modern streetcar lane, so you'll have an extra 4' to use for greenery and bulb out areas.

Dashing Dan

March 28, 2011, 12:58:50 PM
The "extra" 4' would be needed for widening two 8' travel lanes to 10'.  Believe me it's really tight through there.

Ocklawaha

March 28, 2011, 06:38:44 PM
Looks like everyone is right, the streets "official" right-of-way has obviously been violated.  Still like Myrtle best... Riverside SKYWAY, Park BRT, Myrtle Streetcar... Yeah, so it's 30 years away from completion, but isn't that what we call VISION and PLANNING?


62' right-of-way - about 57' usable

51' right-of-way - wide open

OCKLAWAHA

middleman

March 28, 2011, 09:57:30 PM



Again, your flying in the face of documented experience and mountains of evidence. When I first proposed the streetcar system in Jacksonville, essentially the same route planed today, a regional marketing agency involved in the project did a study and estimated 500,000 unique passengers a year would visit Jacksonville JUST TO RIDE THE STREETCARS. How many visitors do you think we have gotten from our fake PCT trucks buses?

OCKLAWAHA

Sorry Ock... I don't have time to answer to all of your response, but since this was one of most outrageous of your claims, can you please share with us the marketing study that determined that "an estimated 500,000 unique passengers a year would visit Jacksonville JUST TO RIDE THE STREETCARS." ?

I assume since currently Jacksonville DT is an absolute ZERO as a tourist destination, that for a streetcar line alone to bring 500K new tourists a year, seems like a wee bit of a stretch, don't you?

Look y'all, if Jax actually had DT tourist destinations like Tampa has, a Streetcar would make sense, just like it does it Tampa. But 500K of new visitors each year just to visit a Streetcar line, when there is nothing else? Sorry I'm not that gullible. I assume the folks you were pitching the streetcar line to weren't that gullible either.

I think a streetcar line would work and would attract lots of riders if
1) You put it somewhere there is ALREADY attractions which people would want easy access between. A line from Atlantic to Jax Beach comes to mind. Or perhaps a loop around St Augustine.
2) A DT Jax line would work if PEOPLE LIVED DOWN TOWN!!!. And also if there was a real destinations on the route between DT and Riverside. Right now there are a few office buildings and most of those are half-empty.
3) A DT Jax line running to Union Station would work, if Union Station was actually used as a transportation hub. Put a commuter rail station there and now we are talking.
4) And what the hell are you pushing Myrtle Avenue for??? This area is the armpit of the city. The city is having a hard time getting new development on Riverside. Me suspects the gentrification of Myrtle might be several decades off.

Look guys, I know you guys all love your rail, but spending that kind of money and hoping the it will instantly bring new development sound suspiciously like what they said about the Skyway. Don't you think it would be a bit more prudent to find ways to bring people back to the City first, THEN build your streetcars?

thelakelander

March 28, 2011, 10:02:30 PM
Spending what kind of money?  Also, when did people start equating mass transit as being only for tourist?  Am I missing something here?  Last, infrastructure spurs growth, not the other way around.  If this wasn't the case, there would have been no need to build JTA or Argyle Forest Boulevard.

JeffreyS

March 28, 2011, 11:00:39 PM
Trying to separate out every angle as independent is just so short sited. Planning is a comprehensive task and I have hard time believing people don't get that.

thelakelander

March 29, 2011, 06:36:18 AM
Unfortunately, that's one of the main reasons things that need to be coordinated rarely get done in this city.
Looks like everyone is right, the streets "official" right-of-way has obviously been violated.  Still like Myrtle best... Riverside SKYWAY, Park BRT, Myrtle Streetcar... Yeah, so it's 30 years away from completion, but isn't that what we call VISION and PLANNING?


62' right-of-way - about 57' usable

51' right-of-way - wide open

OCKLAWAHA

Ock, from those aerials, it appears that none of those buildings encroach on the public ROW in either image.  The building heights in the aerials appear to be at an angle.  The taller the building is, the more it appears that its over the ROW line.  However, if you look at wear the building meets the sidewalk, it appears the ROW line and edge of sidewalk are the same.

tufsu1

March 29, 2011, 09:29:45 AM
of course all this focus on Park Street is unnecessary....

The general proposed streetcar route according to the 2035 LRTP is Park Street from the Prime Osborn across the viaduct....then it turns through the Brooklyn Park area and then down Riverside Avenue to Margaret Street....this was done to take advantage of the additional ROW on the six-lane Riverside Ave. set aside for skyway extension, which we won't see for at least 10 years (if ever)

Dashing Dan

March 29, 2011, 09:43:40 AM
of course all this focus on Park Street is unnecessary....

The general proposed streetcar route according to the 2035 LRTP is Park Street from the Prime Osborn across the viaduct....then it turns through the Brooklyn Park area and then down Riverside Avenue to Margaret Street....this was done to take advantage of the additional ROW on the six-lane Riverside Ave. set aside for skyway extension, which we won't see for at least 10 years (if ever)
Whatever the width, a plan for streetscape improvements to Park Street has already been developed.  These improvements don't have to wait in line behind a skyway extension or a streetcar line. 

thelakelander

March 29, 2011, 10:39:11 AM
True.  However, they should be modified to fit whatever the long term transit plan is before one spec of dirt is turned (assuming the plan means altering what exists between the curbs today).  Not doing so, would be fiscally irresponsible.

Example: Elizabeth Avenue in Charlotte, NC

Although all we ever focus on about Charlotte's mass transit plans is their new LRT line, they are also aggressively working on a streetcar plan as well.



Like what has been suggested repeatedly on MJ, they plan to implement the streetcar incrementally as the funds become available to expand.  The image above includes all of their long term LRT (blue, purple, silver) and streetcar lines (green).  The image below highlights their streetcar starter (red), which will connect Uptown to a community college and medical center campus south of it.





A few years back, the funds became available to do a streetscape project on Elizabeth Avenue.   Since Elizabeth Avenue is one of the streets that they wanted their future streetcar to run down, they actually laid the streetcar tracks in as a part of that project.  Thus, when they start building their streetcar (they just won a $25 million urban circulator grant from the Feds this past summer), they won't have to rip up this section of street and redo it.


Elizabeth Avenue

Dashing Dan

March 29, 2011, 11:07:11 AM
True.  However, they should be modified to fit whatever the long term transit plan is before one spec of dirt is turned (assuming the plan means altering what exists between the curbs today).  Not doing so, would be fiscally irresponsible.
Quote
from tufsu
The general proposed streetcar route according to the 2035 LRTP is Park Street from the Prime Osborn across the viaduct....then it turns through the Brooklyn Park area and then down Riverside Avenue to Margaret Street....this was done to take advantage of the additional ROW on the six-lane Riverside Ave. set aside for skyway extension, which we won't see for at least 10 years (if ever)

Based on input from tufsu, lakelander's concerns should not be any problem on this part of Park Street.

thelakelander

March 29, 2011, 11:16:40 AM
If the Park Street viaduct is used, you should be concerned, at least up to Dora or Price Street, until further study is completed.  That's roughly a four block stretch of Brooklyn.

Ocklawaha

March 29, 2011, 11:33:09 AM
Sorry Ock... I don't have time to answer to all of your response, but since this was one of most outrageous of your claims, can you please share with us the marketing study that determined that "an estimated 500,000 unique passengers a year would visit Jacksonville JUST TO RIDE THE STREETCARS." ?

Which part is outrageous? Could it be that you apparently have never visited and/or are otherwise ignorant of the museum industry in this country, and it's accompanying tourism? Could it be because you believe that only if Gettysburg happened next to Disney would it get any visitors? Just as Civil War or Military buff's keep the turnstiles humming at the National Military Parks, because they are sought out. Likewise railroad and transportation museums or unique operations are sought out throughout the world.

The report was done by a major marketing company on the Southbank, and could be found in the streetcar project reports done by DDA in 1982-84.


Quote
I assume since currently Jacksonville DT is an absolute ZERO as a tourist destination, that for a streetcar line alone to bring 500K new tourists a year, seems like a wee bit of a stretch, don't you?

Really? ZERO tourism? How about:
*Locally, 42,900 jobs were supported by tourism, accounting for nearly 11 percent of our workforce in 2009.
*Duval County welcomed over 2.6 million overnight visitors who generated $1.5 billion in economic impact for Jacksonville.
*Jacksonville is still primarily a leisure destination with 82.5 percent of travelers in town for vacation, visiting friends or relatives or events. Twenty-three percent of visitors were in town for business purposes in 2009.
*Jacksonville visitors had a 92 percent satisfaction rate with the destination proving how viable our city is for tourism.


Quote
Look y'all, if Jax actually had DT tourist destinations like Tampa has, a Streetcar would make sense, just like it does it Tampa. But 500K of new visitors each year just to visit a Streetcar line, when there is nothing else? Sorry I'm not that gullible. I assume the folks you were pitching the streetcar line to weren't that gullible either.

Actually it was much worse then that, THEY BOUGHT THE SKYWAY, lock, stock and barrel! At that time (mid-1980's) we could have built approximately 35 miles of modern light-rail or streetcar on exclusive right-of-way. The nations FIRST heritage streetcar (as proposed) would have laid the track and groundwork for the downtown portion of such an eventual system.

Quote
I think a streetcar line would work and would attract lots of riders if
1) You put it somewhere there is ALREADY attractions which people would want easy access between. A line from Atlantic to Jax Beach comes to mind. Or perhaps a loop around St Augustine.


AGREED! How about 25,000 people all gathered in the densest compact space in Duval? How about MOSH? Everbank Field? The Riverwalk? Arena? Friendship Fountain? MOCA? Riverside Arts Market? Baseball Grounds? Cummer Museum? Jacksonville Terminal? Convention Center? Jacksonville Historical Museum (JHS) Old St. Lukes?  Jacksonville Landing? Fairgounds? Brewster Hospital? San Marco and 5-Points Village shopping districts? Yeah... NOTHING.

Ever stuff rocks, pebbles, sand and water into a mason jar? It doesn't work unless the big rocks go in first...DOWNTOWN is our big rock.


Quote
2) A DT Jax line would work if PEOPLE LIVED DOWN TOWN!!!. And also if there was a real destinations on the route between DT and Riverside. Right now there are a few office buildings and most of those are half-empty.

CSX, BLUE CROSS, EVERBANK and FIDELITY FEDERAL alone could keep it humming, toss in a few thousand residents and another 15,000 daily downtown employees, and the fact that 5-Points and Park & King are prime destinations for unique restaurants, and entertainment as well as shopping districts which creates critical mass at one end and critical need/supply at the other. (the Skyway conversely has only mass and mass)

Quote
3) A DT Jax line running to Union Station would work, if Union Station was actually used as a transportation hub. Put a commuter rail station there and now we are talking.

BINGO! What pray tell do you think we are proposing?

Quote
4) And what the hell are you pushing Myrtle Avenue for??? This area is the armpit of the city. The city is having a hard time getting new development on Riverside. Me suspects the gentrification of Myrtle might be several decades off.

Myrtle would be used between Bay and Forest, or Bay and Price and hence to Forest.  There is a likelyhood that the Lee Street Viaduct over the railroad yard will be removed (JTA built it too low and trains won't fit under most of  it). That leaves us with Riverside and Myrtle, but Riverside is not suitable for streetcar between Bay and Leila Streets, and it already has Skyway right-of-way, Skyway drawings, and a Skyway facility. Myrtle on the other hand is the historic streetcar route and probably already has track under the pavement. The subway which is a long-lived flooding problem was actually designed with drainage and pumps...UNDER THE STREETCAR TRACK IN THE CENTER...which the City has filled in, 2 fixes in one project? The area between the subway and Forest contains a couple of blocks of historic recyclable buildings, the McCoy's Creek Greenway, and ample vacant land for future development with a freeway interchange at Forest. It goes well with using what we already have.

Quote
Look guys, I know you guys all love your rail, but spending that kind of money and hoping the it will instantly bring new development sound suspiciously like what they said about the Skyway. Don't you think it would be a bit more prudent to find ways to bring people back to the City first, THEN build your streetcars?

READ THE LINKS we've provided... EVERY SINGLE LIGHT RAIL PROJECT IN THE COUNTRY HAS RESULTED IN EXPLOSIVE DEVELOPMENT.

As Lake said, this isn't even really about tourists, but in the original incarnation, tourism could/and still can be used as a back door into a comprehensive system, open as it is to volunteerism and unique grants. Because both historic cars and modern cars can operate on the same track, and because we are always looking for ways to boost tourism we should not discount the idea of a McKinney Avenue style "working museum."


OCKLAWAHA

Ocklawaha

March 29, 2011, 12:59:08 PM
of course all this focus on Park Street is unnecessary....

The general proposed streetcar route according to the 2035 LRTP is Park Street from the Prime Osborn across the viaduct....then it turns through the Brooklyn Park area and then down Riverside Avenue to Margaret Street....this was done to take advantage of the additional ROW on the six-lane Riverside Ave. set aside for skyway extension, which we won't see for at least 10 years (if ever)

Yeah, I've seen it... PLEASE DON'T TELL ME YOU DREW IT! It's a horrible idea for several reasons...

A typical Jacksonville FUBAR of a someday Skyway route, already owned and planned, then the classic Jacksonville Jig of "Oh well, screw that, we'll build this instead, and if and when THAT comes along we'll uh... umm? OH I KNOW! WE'LL LOOK STUPID AGAIN! Jacksonville has demonstrated almost ZERO ability to stick with a plan.

Riverside is now more like a freeway then a pedestrian friendly avenue, so let's toss a pedestrian friendly mode of transit right down the sideline.

Geography 101, looking at a map of Brooklyn and imagineering how it might someday look filled out, the people in the offices, homes, or recreational facilities along Riverside might have 3 modes of travel... BUS, STREETCAR and SKYWAY. The people along Park on the other hand will get BUS (depending on the viaducts future) and have to walk 4 blocks to reach the same transit. The poor souls on Myrtle will have to walk 8 blocks!

We seem to be discounting the buildability and recycling possibilities on Park or Myrtle. We flush those ideas because well... Brooklyn is 10 years off... maybe 20 or 30... so forget it, we'll cross that bridge AFTER we've screwed the pooch. Hey I've got a great idea, let's builld a BRT line UNDERNEATH our Skyway in the Southbank. That ought to match up well with the cluster F**k that seems to be on Brooklyn's horizon.

Imagine you live in the center of this image...



JACKSONVILLE PLAN?


MJ CONCEPT ALTERNATIVE A

OCKLAWAHA

tufsu1

March 29, 2011, 01:47:49 PM
Sorry ock, but I'm with lake on this one...I know you really want to use that "tunnel" but it makes little sense to run the streetcar on Myrtle.

Now I'm all for having the streetcar run on Park from the viaduct on down to Forest and then switch over to Riverside...that should happen if the extension of the Skyway is still on the table...if not, then the streetcar should follow the route on the top graphic.

thelakelander

March 29, 2011, 02:14:13 PM
The Park Street viaduct doesn't reach grade till Stonewall Street, so a Leila Street crossover is probably a no go without significant reconstruction.  From a TOD and transit user perspective, you would want to take advantage of Park's central location at least until Dora or Price Street.  Speaking of Brooklyn, that would put within three blocks of every spot in the neighborhood and fuel infill everwhere between Myrtle and Riverside.  Such a connection would also still hit Everbank, BCBS, Fidelity, RAM and Cummer right at their front door while still being within a block or two of the YMCA and Haskell.  

As for the skyway extension down Riverside, I love fixed transit as much as you guy's do (well maybe not as much as Ock) but its a waste to do a streetcar and a skyway extension so close together to serve the same area.  Since the streetcar would stretch into Riverside, it should be designed to serve the big offices on Riverside Avenue and stimulate infill walkable development in Brooklyn.  Take the money that it would cost to extend the skyway to Forest Street and use it to get the skyway down to Atlantic Avenue in San Marco or fixed transit to the stadium.

Also, in both maps there is a ton of transit duplication.  If we're going to invest in fixed transit, let's run it like a transit spine and funnel as many existing bus riders into it as possible.  In short, lose the parallel bus lines down Park & Riverside.  The only bus lines shown, should be those that feed riders into the transit spine before turning around and heading back to their specific neighborhoods of service.

Nevertheless, we're getting way ahead of ourselves.  Let's make sure the plan that would establish a funding mechanism for the project is in place first (hopefully it will be adopted before Peyton leaves office).  The time to study and vet specific alignments is still off in the distance.

Dashing Dan

March 29, 2011, 02:49:56 PM
I do feel that it would be better to extend the skyway out into San Marco.

Regardless of whether or not it gets a streetcar, Park Street needs help - the sooner the better.
 

thelakelander

March 29, 2011, 03:09:32 PM
I can't argue here.  San Marco's landscape presents a unique challenge that really only the skyway is best set up to serve.  Same goes for Park Street.

Timkin

March 29, 2011, 03:21:53 PM
I definitely agree that Park St. is in need of upgrade..  I have a question though,,, It was mentioned the viaduct would need to go because it is too low for rail ... would it be replaced or done away with altogether ?

Dashing Dan

March 29, 2011, 03:43:36 PM
I vote for replacement not removal.  Removal of the Lee Street/Park Street viaduct would be very bad overall.

johnnyroadglide

March 29, 2011, 03:46:11 PM
Are we talking about the Park St viaduct right next to Union Station? The one that FEC and NS and CSX go under every day?

Dashing Dan

March 29, 2011, 03:46:32 PM
In lieu of extending the skyway directly out along Riverside, it make make better sense to extend the skyway out into Riverside from the convention center.  At least it's worth a look.

Dashing Dan

March 29, 2011, 03:47:22 PM
Are we talking about the Park St viaduct right next to Union Station? The one that FEC and NS and CSX go under every day?

yes - at least that's what I am talking about

Timkin

March 29, 2011, 03:48:07 PM
Extend the Skyway to  Annie Lytle , as Ock has suggested for years..  a good place to extend it to, and a new use for an old School House. :)

thelakelander

March 29, 2011, 03:55:59 PM
I vote for replacement not removal.  Removal of the Lee Street/Park Street viaduct would be very bad overall.

+1.  There is no way that viaduct will be torn down and not replaced.  That would be a horrible decision and blow to the future of that area and the downtown area in general.

johnnyroadglide

March 29, 2011, 04:09:23 PM
Are we talking about the Park St viaduct right next to Union Station? The one that FEC and NS and CSX go under every day?

yes - at least that's what I am talking about

Well thats my question then. If trains already go under it now, why are we talking about replacing it because its too low for trains to go under. Confused look on my face.

tufsu1

March 29, 2011, 04:16:38 PM
because the freight tracks that are there now go under the highest point of the bridge....new tracks closer to the building would need to be installed for commuter rail/Amtrak...and those would cross under the bridge as it slopes down.

That said, I think it may be possible to dig the tracks down a few feet and get under the viaduct....that would kill the old pedestrian tunnels that are there, but because of ADA and other consideration I really doubt those could have been reused anyway

Ocklawaha

March 29, 2011, 04:38:04 PM
That's the whole catch, the LEE STREET viaduct (historic name) will come down before commuter rail and Amtrak start using Jacksonville Terminal again as a service stop. There is currently room for only 3 tracks underneath. Sadly the old viaduct was beautiful and suddenly "in need of replacement - beyond repair," when the Convention Center moved to Jacksonville Terminal and Water Street was extended to create a view. Five will get you fifty that there was nothing wrong with that viaduct that a band-aid repair job wouldn't have fixed. To create the all important view (which they almost immediately destroyed with Skyway and ramps) the north end of the viaduct was shortened and the gradient steepened considerably.

Someday we'll have commuter rail and intercity passenger trains will be splitting and combining at our Terminal again, maybe not in my lifetime, but when they do 3-4 tracks is going to be laughable. So it's a given, the viaduct WILL COME DOWN, the question is will it be replaced? With the current traffic loads, I doubt it. what I hear in the JTA rumor mill? "No replacement."

The subway would be cool I'll grant you that TU, but beyond cool there are other important things to consider, the aforesaid viaduct situation, and the fact that Myrtle would open a gateway straight into the heart of the restored Durkeeville neighborhood. In fact if that is the route that is someday chosen, I'd install the switches as the BAY-MYRTLE-FOREST line was being built for future use.
Myrtle has the makings of a very cool historic district, it would just take a catalyst to make it happen.
It also puts the streetcar right at JTA'S maintenance facility gate.
The future park along McCoy's Creek would make the Myrtle line the primary access link. Perhaps there is a potential extension of Dennis Street to come in and match up with Lelia as a creek side drive?
If we plan to rebuild the viaduct AGAIN, then there is opportunity to use Park or Lelia, as any new viaduct could match the grade on the south side of the creek with streetcar installed.

Just for the sake of understanding where my vision comes from, here's a quick sketch that lays out the lines and the primary bus routes (not all bus routes shown).



OCKLAWAHA

Ocklawaha

March 29, 2011, 05:02:29 PM
because the freight tracks that are there now go under the highest point of the bridge....new tracks closer to the building would need to be installed for commuter rail/Amtrak...and those would cross under the bridge as it slopes down.

That said, I think it may be possible to dig the tracks down a few feet and get under the viaduct....that would kill the old pedestrian tunnels that are there, but because of ADA and other consideration I really doubt those could have been reused anyway

Not possible to dig down the tracks TU, it's already in violation of FRA rules when JTA lowered them for the current viaduct. IN THE FLOOD PLAIN, could mean that all of south Florida would be cutoff from freight or passenger rail with a single tropical storm, no hurricane needed.

The tunnels ramp up to the platforms and would meet or closely match ADA standards, they are no different then the same ramp/tunnels in Dallas, or Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. Also, PSsssst...THEY'RE BACK on the RADAR for Amtrak.




OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

March 29, 2011, 05:25:00 PM
This is nonsense.  If the viaduct comes down, it will be replaced.  Current Downtown TCEA plans still call for Park to one day be widened (although I doubt this happens).  It is a critical link in the urban street network.  Its not going anywhere.  So, if that viaduct is a clearance issue, it will either be replaced or we probably won't have commuter rail.

Timkin

March 29, 2011, 05:34:25 PM
Not that it matters now, but I just cannot help but wonder why the original viaduct was actually torn down.    Was it unstable ?    Looks like replacing the now existing with something that somewhat resembles what was there would be the most feasible thing.

thelakelander

March 29, 2011, 05:41:49 PM
I believe the planners of that era wanted to make a view corridor down Water Street, between the convention center and downtown.  Unfortunately, they made an isolated "suburban-style" decision with little thought about how it would impact the things surrounding it.

Timkin

March 29, 2011, 05:48:18 PM
And now, in order for rail to be enhanced , it must be replaced.. I suppose they built it , never dreaming that rail might someday , take off again. 

I , for one, would see it replaced with something looking a little more like the first Viaduct.

middleman

March 30, 2011, 10:08:06 PM
Really? ZERO tourism? How about:
*Locally, 42,900 jobs were supported by tourism, accounting for nearly 11 percent of our workforce in 2009.
*Duval County welcomed over 2.6 million overnight visitors who generated $1.5 billion in economic impact for Jacksonville.
*Jacksonville is still primarily a leisure destination with 82.5 percent of travelers in town for vacation, visiting friends or relatives or events. Twenty-three percent of visitors were in town for business purposes in 2009.
*Jacksonville visitors had a 92 percent satisfaction rate with the destination proving how viable our city is for tourism.


I have the feeling you are looking at the tourist statistics for Metro Jacksonville, which includes the beaches, Amelia island, and St Augustine. That is meaningless when we are talking about Downtown. Downtown has virtually no tourists. A few daytrippers come in from the suburbs to the museums, and its a very few. The Cummer Museum is a marvelous and its gardens are one of the prettiest places in the universe. It barely gets by. BECAUSE THERE ARE NO TOURISTS IN DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE!!!

You're throwing questionable numbers out there to make your point, but what its really doing is making you lose all of your credibility. Claiming 500K yearly tourist flocking to Jacksonville just to ride the streetcar is simply ridiculous. Now, if Jacksonville had what Tampa has, a world-class aquarium, and the equivalent of the Ybor City museum district, then maybe that streetcar line running between them would get your 500K riders. (Has it reached 500K yet?). But Jacksonville has NOTHING to attract outside riders like that, all Jax has is the downtown Workers commuting to Riverside, and the workers looking for an easy ride to the restaurant districts AND THEY ALREADY HAVE THAT!

Look, I'm just trying to inject some common sense into this conversation. A streetcar alone is going to be another waste of money like the Skyway. If a lot of other things happen first, like a thriving DT entertainment district, the promised development along Riverside, the revamped Union Station that actually is a transportation hub, and maybe a couple of serious tourist attractions (an Aquarium in Jacksonville? a world-class railroad musuem?)... then build your streetcar and maybe it will pay for itself.

BTW, I hear what you are saying about the ball fields, the south jax museums, etc... problem is there are no immediate plans for streetcars going there. So stop trying to embellish your argument with nonsense that's not going to happen. Maybe they might be planned in 25 years, but after the first streetcar line fails, you'll never get another streetcar extension funded in this city. Does that argument sound familiar??? (HSR, Skyway)

Kay

March 30, 2011, 10:24:05 PM
This is nonsense.  If the viaduct comes down, it will be replaced.  Current Downtown TCEA plans still call for Park to one day be widened (although I doubt this happens).  It is a critical link in the urban street network.  Its not going anywhere.  So, if that viaduct is a clearance issue, it will either be replaced or we probably won't have commuter rail.

Please god let's not widen yet another road.  The Brooklyn Master Plan calls for Park St. to be the neighborhood commercial street-pedestrian friendly.  What does TCEA stand for?

thelakelander

March 30, 2011, 11:24:04 PM
Transportation Concurrency Exemption Area.  Btw, I don't think that road will ever be widened, nor should it or any other street in the historic core.  However, I did notice that the JEDC had suggested a widening (they also suggested a fare free skyway) in the 2005 TCEA documents.

Ocklawaha

March 30, 2011, 11:54:17 PM
Really? ZERO tourism? How about:
*Locally, 42,900 jobs were supported by tourism, accounting for nearly 11 percent of our workforce in 2009.
*Duval County welcomed over 2.6 million overnight visitors who generated $1.5 billion in economic impact for Jacksonville.
*Jacksonville is still primarily a leisure destination with 82.5 percent of travelers in town for vacation, visiting friends or relatives or events. Twenty-three percent of visitors were in town for business purposes in 2009.
*Jacksonville visitors had a 92 percent satisfaction rate with the destination proving how viable our city is for tourism.


I have the feeling you are looking at the tourist statistics for Metro Jacksonville, which includes the beaches, Amelia island, and St Augustine. That is meaningless when we are talking about Downtown. Downtown has virtually no tourists. A few daytrippers come in from the suburbs to the museums, and its a very few. The Cummer Museum is a marvelous and its gardens are one of the prettiest places in the universe. It barely gets by. BECAUSE THERE ARE NO TOURISTS IN DOWNTOWN JACKSONVILLE!!!

So what if we are looking at Tourism for the whole city, (and no, those numbers do not include Amelia Island or St. Augustine which gets over 6,000,000 per year alone).  Better check your math, if 82.5% are beach tourists (the vacationers) that leaves 455,000 DOWNTOWN! Moreover you are completely oblivious to the other 45,000 I would need to reach 500,000 tourists downtown, because at that rate you are trying to convince our readers, on any given day only 123 people are in town not on business... You've obviously spent WAY too much time in the sticks around Flagler County and not enough time walking along the Riverwalk on weekdays.

Quote
You're throwing questionable numbers out there to make your point, but what its really doing is making you lose all of your credibility. Claiming 500K yearly tourist flocking to Jacksonville just to ride the streetcar is simply ridiculous. Now, if Jacksonville had what Tampa has, a world-class aquarium, and the equivalent of the Ybor City museum district, then maybe that streetcar line running between them would get your 500K riders. (Has it reached 500K yet?). But Jacksonville has NOTHING to attract outside riders like that, all Jax has is the downtown Workers commuting to Riverside, and the workers looking for an easy ride to the restaurant districts AND THEY ALREADY HAVE THAT!

I didn't originate the report that 500,000 people will ride the streetcars, DDA did in their study, and I am repeating it because based on other tourist mecca's like Memphis, or Portland, or Tacoma, that's exactly the type of numbers they get. Add to that the fact that geography places Jacksonville between 49 states and DISNEY/UNIVERSAL/SEA WORLD, and percentage wise, we get far more tourists passing within a quarter mile of downtown then any of those other cities. I won't lose my credibility, you made a statement and asked a question:
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Your whole premise is that the current bus/fake-trolley system doesn't move the same people today from downtown to Riverside and back that a projected streetcar system would be projected to move. This just doesn't make sense. Where are the new riders coming from?
All I've done is answer you. If you continue to Troll this discussion and ignore the links we've posted just to argue, then there is absolutely no point in wasting our time.  
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"But Jacksonville has NOTHING to attract outside riders like that"
Did you bother to look at the TOURIST RAILWAY INDUSTRY? If you had you'd be singing a different tune, Jacksonville doesn't need anything to have a successful streetcar line, the streetcar IS THE ATTRACTION and all the rest... Cummer Museum, Riverwalk, etc. are gravy.

Quote
Look, I'm just trying to inject some common sense into this conversation. A streetcar alone is going to be another waste of money like the Skyway. If a lot of other things happen first, like a thriving DT entertainment district, the promised development along Riverside, the revamped Union Station that actually is a transportation hub, and maybe a couple of serious tourist attractions (an Aquarium in Jacksonville? a world-class railroad museum?)... then build your streetcar and maybe it will pay for itself.

Your not injecting anything but ignorance into this discussion because you completely lack any working knowledge of streetcars and railroad museums, or streetcar transit statistics in America. Worse still, your posing as someone that "knows," when all you are doing is repeating the same negative argument over and over expecting a different result.
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"I can personally tell you that... If there was a streetcar there instead with double the capacity, you WILL NOT SEE ANY DIFFERENCE in ridership... those same potential customers aren't going to say, "Yes, lets go down to Riverside or Avondale today because we can rid nice shiny expensive new heritage streetcars". Its not going to happen!"
How many railroads or streetcar projects have you worked on? If the answer is none, then your argument is merely opinion with no factual foundation.

Quote
BTW, I hear what you are saying about the ball fields, the south jax museums, etc... problem is there are no immediate plans for streetcars going there. So stop trying to embellish your argument with nonsense that's not going to happen. Maybe they might be planned in 25 years, but after the first streetcar line fails, you'll never get another streetcar extension funded in this city. Does that argument sound familiar??? (HSR, Skyway)

Currently this is still in speculation, the actual route might change or be longer then we anticipated, there is a certain pull toward Beaver Street and the Stadium District that might manifest itself in actual construction.  To use these points in a speculative argument is not embellishment, merely an option that has presented itself. BTW, the Skyway may have funding lined up by the end of this year for expansion south within a 10 year window. The streetcar funding will also come to life by the end of this year, and it's window is pretty immediate. I don't understand what your beef is all about with "spending money" or "another Skyway" because none of these projects will be funded by property taxes.


OCKLAWAHA

PeeJayEss

March 31, 2011, 02:19:00 PM
If a lot of other things happen first, like a thriving DT entertainment district, the promised development along Riverside

I'd dare say you're starting to see the DT entertainment district. Granted, its not where Laura St hits the river (though when there's an event there it gets real crowded, and though not thriving the rest of the time, you get pretty good crowds on weekends), its a bit scattered, and its not particularly friendly to peds. But you hang out in the Bay-Adams/Liberty-Main around 2:30am on a Friday night and you will see a lot of folks getting pushed out of bars and nightclubs. You've got half a dozen unique, quality (subjective) bars all within a couple blocks, plus a couple good food places that are open fairly late, a music and drinking place apparently about to open, and if there's something going on at the theatre, forget about it. And the Landing isn't too far off for the non-lazy. Add to that all the food places (granted, many close early), museum, skyway stop south of Hemming and that area is ripe for a nightlife explosion. Heck, if that area gets a couple bars you'd probably see enough demand for the Skyway to run late.

Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but no one has ever accused me of that before.

To further hijack the thread, why are all the streets downtown 4 lanes? I feel like allowing 2-way traffic on Forsyth and Adams would help things. Or (they are both actually 3 lanes in a single direction right?), make them both 2 lanes in 1 direction (or one lane each direction for each road) and throw in some serious bike lanes. Not that its particularly difficult to navigate downtown on a bike what with the lack of cars, but it'd be nice to make the bicycler official.

Also, middleman, I get the sense from your comments that, though you are disagreeing with Ock on some points (which I would generally discourage as he really knows this stuff), you are supportive of mass transit and downtown awesomeness, so thumbs up!

middleman

March 31, 2011, 10:05:30 PM
Ock, I'm challenging your numbers, because they need to be challenged. Plain old common sense can deduce that a new streetcar line alone will NOT attract 500K new tourists to downtown. And plain old common sense can deduce that the tourist at the beaches are not going to come into town just to ride a streetcar. I don't need to be a railroad man to know a streetcar line between neighborhoods that have no particular attractions isn't going to become a big tourist attraction... it takes more than that.

BTW, I walk the Riverwalk or the 5 points area almost every day. Do you? I ride the non-trolley trolley often, maybe every week or too, do you? I am a regular patron at the Cummer, are you? I'm all over downtown and never see "tourists". Businessmen, plenty. Tourist no. Downtown Jax is pretty near to ground zero as far as tourists go. You have a very long way to go to build up this city to the point that it can sustain the type of rider populations you are talking about. That is NOT a negative message, its a "we need to get off our butts and turn Jax into a world-class place" message.

And as long as we are dropping credentials on the table, I have a degree in math with 35 years experience. And its my educated OPINION that the numbers you are throwing around are questionable, and therefore should be questioned!!! I'm doing this so if you guys do happen to get to meet with the JTA, you don't make fools of yourself with trumped up claims and dubious math that doesn't add up. I'm just looking out for you.

And I hope that your don't drop the TROLL label on everybody that challenges you. Very charming.

Timkin

March 31, 2011, 10:18:39 PM
I didn't read where Ock labeled you a troll?  ?  ?

middleman

March 31, 2011, 10:37:55 PM
It reads like "troll" to me:

All I've done is answer you. If you continue to Troll this discussion and ignore the links we've posted just to argue, then there is absolutely no point in wasting our time. 

Timkin

March 31, 2011, 10:43:53 PM
Ock is not one to name-call.. I feel sure he would not deliberately "label" yourself or anyone else.. his post quote findings from another source. They are not "his" numbers.  I don't see where he labeled you in any way. 

When it comes to finding someone with more knowledge about rail and streetcars, I think you would be hard-pressed to match Ock's , and that is not to say that you did not make valid points, nor that you are not entitled to your opinion .. you definitely are.   

buckethead

March 31, 2011, 10:59:46 PM
Quote
If you continue to Troll

He did use the word troll.





As a verb. It speaks to an action, not a person.

You'll be hard pressed to find anyone more patient and tolerant than ock, despite his vast resume regarding this very issue. I've heard rumors that he has designed complete rail systems for nations. (Should that be Nations with a capital "N"?)

I'd say his views are relevant.

None of this is to say that differing views aren't encouraged. Buuuut, if Ock say's buckethead is trolling, there's a good chance that buckethead needs to review his own posts.

middleman

March 31, 2011, 11:01:07 PM
Ok, here are some real numbers on a working streetcar. The TECO line in Tampa. The TECO line passes the following attractions in downtown tampa:

Ybor Museum State Park
Hilton Garden Inn Ybor
Centennial Park - Ybor
Central Ybor (shopping & dining)
HCC Ybor Campus
Hampton Inn - Ybor
Con Vincente De Ybor Historic Inn
USF Downtown
Port Authority Headquarters
2 Cruise Terminals
American Victory Museum Ship
Florida Aquarium
Channelside Bay Plaza (Shopping & Dining)
Visitors Information Center
Yacht StarShip Cruises
Tampa Bay History Center
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel
Embassy Suites - Harborside
Tampa Convention Center
Hyatt Regency Hotel
GreenLine and PurpleLine Trolley lines linking the rest of downtown
--- and everything being built in between ----

Pretty impressive, huh? Here's the link:
http://www.tecolinestreetcar.org/about/maps/downtown_network_map_12_01_10.pdf

So what do you think last year's ridership was? Less than 400000 (Feb 2010 - Jan 2011)

Jacksonville's streetcar line will have:
The Landing
The Prime Osbourne Convention Center
The non-functional Union Station
Beautiful Park Ave or (barf) Myrtle Ave.
Fuller-Warren Farmer's market (weekends)
Cummer Museum
5 points shopping district
Maybe a couple of B&Bs in Riverside
St Vincent's Hospital

And THIS is supposed to attract 500000 riders?

My point is Ock is basing his whole argument on a study done in the mid-eighties, which has no basis in fact... just pie-in-the-sky "maybe if we tell em half a million they'll give us the money to build it"

Don't get me wrong... I want to see Jax have a downtown district like Tampa does. I want to see a historic streetcar line, I'll be the first in line. But if we put it in and do nothing else, let's just say, it isn't going to meet rider expectations.

Timkin

March 31, 2011, 11:03:32 PM
and ummm... dare I ask who stated we would do nothing else?

buckethead

March 31, 2011, 11:04:52 PM
TOD

Copy/Paste/Google

middleman

March 31, 2011, 11:12:26 PM
BTW, I have no problem being told I'm TROLLing the discussion. Maybe it seemed like I was. I take no offense, but someone else might have a thinner skin. Its better to just leave terms like that alone.

middleman

March 31, 2011, 11:17:05 PM
and ummm... dare I ask who stated we would do nothing else?

As I understood Ock's claim, the streetcar alone would be the catalyst that attracts the masses, that starts the development ball rolling. My position has been that you need to create a reason to travel downtown first, then build your streetcar, like Tampa did. Otherwise, you might end up with another Skyway-like failure that throws future streetcar development into a black hole for another decade or two.

thelakelander

March 31, 2011, 11:21:34 PM
There really is no reason to go to DT Tampa now. It's condition is pretty similar to DT Jax.  However, that streetcar has helped spur a lot of infill development in the Channel District and Ybor, since it opened in 2002.

Ocklawaha

March 31, 2011, 11:25:36 PM
Ock, I'm challenging your numbers, because they need to be challenged. Plain old common sense can deduce that a new streetcar line alone will NOT attract 500K new tourists to downtown. And plain old common sense can deduce that the tourist at the beaches are not going to come into town just to ride a streetcar. I don't need to be a railroad man to know a streetcar line between neighborhoods that have no particular attractions isn't going to become a big tourist attraction... it takes more than that.

Why do people ride museum streetcars when there is no other attraction there but the museum streetcars? Why did Old Pueblo Trolley which competed head on with a PCT BUS but only ran 3 days a week with limited trips, a more limited route, much higher fares pile up better ridership numbers then the PCT? The PCT ran the exact same route DAILY all day (like the Riverside PCT) the routes were identical, same streets, but the streetcar stopped short of going all the way into town. You will not convince me as this is my life's vocation and an avocation with passion. So if you don't want to read the links we have posted, then I just guess we will remain in a state of disagreement. I will, however reserve the right to laugh when the streetcar blows away whatever ridership estimate they give it for its first year. Plain old common sense might tell you that a Goodwrench Mechanic might be just as smart as a doctor, so next time you find yourself ill, check in at the local Chevy dealer and let me know how that works out for you.


Quote
BTW, I walk the Riverwalk or the 5 points area almost every day. Do you? I ride the non-trolley trolley often, maybe every week or too, do you? I am a regular patron at the Cummer, are you? I'm all over downtown and never see "tourists". Businessmen, plenty. Tourist no. Downtown Jax is pretty near to ground zero as far as tourists go. You have a very long way to go to build up this city to the point that it can sustain the type of rider populations you are talking about. That is NOT a negative message, its a "we need to get off our butts and turn Jax into a world-class place" message.


As a matter of fact I do... I'm always downtown, but I'm a dedicated FIXED ROUTE transit rider and the Skyway has indention's in those front cars where my fat ass has wore it down. Until I got the pneumonia I was downtown almost all the time, day and night... and "I SHALL RETURN..." (a little stolen drama there). I meet people from all over the country, ESPECIALLY on the Skyway. A long way to go to reach the populations I'm talking about? If your referring to the 2+  million tourists that come to the city every year, we're already there. St. Augustine, add another 6 million. These are the billion dollar plus benefit of being in Florida. I agree that we need even more, but we don't need a thing to make the streetcar into the hottest development tool in the last 50 years.

Quote
And as long as we are dropping credentials on the table, I have a degree in math with 35 years experience. And its my educated OPINION that the numbers you are throwing around are questionable, and therefore should be questioned!!! I'm doing this so if you guys do happen to get to meet with the JTA, you don't make fools of yourself with trumped up claims and dubious math that doesn't add up. I'm just looking out for you.

And I hope that your don't drop the TROLL label on everybody that challenges you. Very charming.

No not everyone, I just like to piss people off! As for JTA? Our last 3 or 4 public meeting confrontations (and there are MANY) have generally ended in them being the fools. "The people hate rail, they'll never vote for streetcar in Charlotte." "There are no tunnels under Jacksonville Terminal." "To rebuild that old railroad to Gateway we'd have to cross LONG BRANCH CREEK and that would be like bridging the NILE." and one of my favorite quotes... "YOU RAIL GUYS ARE A BUNCH OF DAMN FLYING MONKEYS!" Ooh and then there was that BRT video in front of the City Council... wow, just wow.  I've been in some type of transportation for 30+ years... and who knows? We can always use another "mathamagician" the numbers Light Rail in general is piling up around the world are getting out of hand.

OCKLAWAHA

middleman

March 31, 2011, 11:29:02 PM
There really is no reason to go to DT Tampa now. It's condition is pretty similar to DT Jax.  However, that streetcar has helped spur a lot of infill development in the Channel District and Ybor, since it opened in 2002.

I don't understand. DT Tampa has actual attractions that real people come to visit. I love the new aquarium, and Ybor City's museums are fascinating. Jax has nothing like it.

You are correct though about the infill development along the TECO streetcar line. Hopefully we can get the same effect here, but like I've been saying, you need to get people to come DT first.

tufsu1

April 01, 2011, 07:53:00 AM
I don't know Middleman...I'll take the Cummer Museum and MOCA over some of the museums in Ybor City...plus we have RAM, the Riverwalk, the library, and the Landing all along or near the proposed streetcar line.

thelakelander

April 01, 2011, 08:06:58 AM
Funny thing though. Even with all that new development around the Tampa streetcar line, it still attracts less riders than the skyway because it's only set up to serve tourist. Go figure. Btw, Middleman, Ybor and the Channel District aren't a part of DT Tampa. Distance wise, the Channel District is our Brooklyn/LaVilla and Ybor is our 5 points.

Garden guy

April 01, 2011, 08:13:32 AM
Would'nt it be cool to be the first city to have a completely solar trolly system covering 50% of our city.....hey..i can dream...i know something so advance will probably never happen with our leaders but hey..i can dream.

middleman

April 01, 2011, 08:46:48 AM
Funny thing though. Even with all that new development around the Tampa streetcar line, it still attracts less riders than the skyway because it's only set up to serve tourist. Go figure. Btw, Middleman, Ybor and the Channel District aren't a part of DT Tampa. Distance wise, the Channel District is our Brooklyn/LaVilla and Ybor is our 5 points.

What was the skyway's ridership last year? (I could look it up, but I know you know)

Ocklawaha

April 01, 2011, 09:02:57 AM
44,375 - Skyway Express - 18% growth... well at least those are the ones that found a working turnstile and paid to ride.

OCKLAWAHA

stephendare

April 01, 2011, 09:51:44 AM
Ok, here are some real numbers on a working streetcar. The TECO line in Tampa. The TECO line passes the following attractions in downtown tampa:

Ybor Museum State Park
Hilton Garden Inn Ybor
Centennial Park - Ybor
Central Ybor (shopping & dining)
HCC Ybor Campus
Hampton Inn - Ybor
Con Vincente De Ybor Historic Inn
USF Downtown
Port Authority Headquarters
2 Cruise Terminals
American Victory Museum Ship
Florida Aquarium
Channelside Bay Plaza (Shopping & Dining)
Visitors Information Center
Yacht StarShip Cruises
Tampa Bay History Center
Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel
Embassy Suites - Harborside
Tampa Convention Center
Hyatt Regency Hotel
GreenLine and PurpleLine Trolley lines linking the rest of downtown
--- and everything being built in between ----

Pretty impressive, huh? Here's the link:
http://www.tecolinestreetcar.org/about/maps/downtown_network_map_12_01_10.pdf

So what do you think last year's ridership was? Less than 400000 (Feb 2010 - Jan 2011)

Jacksonville's streetcar line will have:
The Symphony Hall
The Times Union Performing Arts Center
The Chamber of Commerce.
The Landing
The Prime Osbourne Convention Center
The operational Union Amtrak Station
Beautiful Park Ave or (barf) Myrtle Ave.
Fuller-Warren Farmer's market (weekends)
Cummer Museum
5 points shopping and Entertainment Diistrict
Park and King Shopping and Entertainment District
St Vincent's Hospital

Plus within three blocks, the Hemming Park Cultural District
Friday Musicale
Publix in Five Points
The largest population centers of riverside.

And THIS is supposed to attract 500000 riders?


The answer, middleman is 'yes'.  Instead of being a simple tourist attraction, it would be the backbone of four walkable residential districts which have been attracting carless or single car households for the past ten years.

Its not Ock's studies that are based in the 80s. Its your assumptions about the changing world around you.  More and more people are opting to live in villagey areas so as to not have to depend on cars.  Riverside (and the beaches) has been the epicenter of that movement here in Jacksonville for a while.

PeeJayEss

April 01, 2011, 10:24:31 AM
Bob Dylan once wrote, The times, they are a-changin. Ron Burgundy had never heard that song.

Heck, even Republicans are getting Prius' these days. Mass transit is on its way

Ocklawaha

April 01, 2011, 10:28:09 AM
Enjoy Y'all...  

Quote
SEATTLE:
The end of the year data shows continued ridership growth on the South Lake Union Streetcar.  There were over half a million riders in 2010, a 15 percent increase over 2009, and 25 percent greater than ridership in 2008, the first full year of operation. http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2011/01/10/streetcar-ridership-continues-to-grow/

Quote
PORTLAND
Back in 2008, when gas prices were peaking and employment hadn't yet collapsed, transit ridership was positively soaring.  But since then, a slowing economy and falling gas prices have pulled transit numbers back to earth.  In Portland, for example, about 9 percent fewer riders boarded the bus in mid-2010 than in mid-2008, according to the preliminary monthly numbers. But there's at least one transit system that's bucking the trends:  Portland's streetcar.  The most recent numbers show that the streetcar notched its highest-ever spring ridership in 2010, while total streetcar ridership in the first half of the year is up by 11 percent over the same period in 2008.
http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2010/09/14/portland-streetcar-defies-gravity

Quote
Transportation Streetcar Ridership Mysteriously Rising...
Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 1:40 PM

The folks over enviro research group Sightline pointed out an interesting mystery: Why the hell is streetcar ridership rising?!

TriMet ridership has been up and down since 2008 (with bus ridership down nine percent), but for some reason the streetcar stats are up by 11 percent. As Clark Williams-Derry over at Sightline says:

I truly have no idea what's fueled the streetcar's gravity-defying ridership stats. Neither, apparently, do the folks at the Portland Streetcar. In their view, nothing significant has changed in or near the streetcar route that would explain the increase. The areas serviced by the streetcar were fully developed by 2008; there haven't been major new employers on the route; the streetcar hasn't increased its service; and nearby transit has basically remained the same. You can't attribute the gains to effective marketing, since the streetcar doesn't even have a marketing budget.  http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/09/16/streetcar-ridership-mystertiously-rising

Quote
PHOENIX
The region's light-rail system beat ridership expectations in its first month of regular service. Metro chief Rick Simonetta reported Wednesday that by every measure, Metro carried more riders in January than planners had predicted would ride after a year of service. Average weekday ridership was nearly 5,000 more than expected. More surprisingly, Saturday ridership was about 10,000 more than expected, and mostly attributed to special events. The numbers are important for several reasons. If light rail's popularity holds, the ridership numbers will bolster the region's claims that the federal government should help pay for light-rail extensions being planned
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2009/02/19/20090219railnumbers0219.html#ixzz1IHbTNXYB

Quote
PITTSBURGH
"Impressive ridership increases and local public enthusiasm for Pittsburgh's light rail system have fueled new expansion, including extending 1.2 miles from a new station downtown, linking up with several sports stadiums, a community college, the Carnegie Science Center, and new corporate offices there. The LRT system would then be positioned for further expansion to serve that section of the urban area."  http://www.detroittransit.org/streetcar/success.html

Quote
DENVER
"First opened in 1994, Denver's 5 mile light rail line was so successful, it's been expanded multiple times, all on-time and on-budget. Ridership after the July 2000 expansion exceeded forecasts by 58%. After the 2002 expansion, ridership was 34% higher than anticipated."

"Denver is now building the Transportation Expansion Project, a $1.7 billion project to replace 19 miles of aging and congested freeways. Upon completion in Dec. 2006, the T-REX will feature 19 miles of light-rail, 13 transit stations, bike and walking paths and 16 miles of highway expansions." http://www.detroittransit.org/streetcar/success.html

Quote
NEW ORLEANS
This past January, the Federal Transit Administration signed an agreement with the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority for $45 million in federal economic stimulus funds to build a new, 1.5-mile streetcar line. It would link Canal Street with the Union Passenger Terminal, a 1954 structure that’s now home to the Amtrak and Greyhound stations.

Skeptical New Orleanians wondered why. Of course, connecting to a regional transportation center was a sensible thing. But the line passed block after block of bleak, asphalt-savanna surface parking that flanks partially filled office towers. Why not route the new streetcar through communities that already had a denser residential population?

The answer came pretty quickly. Routing the streetcar through an underused part of the city, it turned out, was like adding water to sea monkeys. The blocks came to life almost immediately.

The New Orleans experience also helps answer a common question among transit planners and cash-strapped municipalities: Why streetcars? Why not just expand bus routes? They’re cheaper, more flexible to route, and far quicker to implement.

The short answer: because where streetcars go, people follow. People simply like streetcars better than buses—studies suggest that ridership typically increases by about one-third when streetcars replace a bus route. They’re smooth. There’s less lurching. And there’s less uncertainty about where they end up. http://www.architectmagazine.com/planning/a-desire-named-streetcar.aspx

OCKLAWAHA
Every transit mode serves a certain demographic and purpose. Redevelopment follows streetcars because of their permanence and because stopping every few blocks an entire corridor can be served. Two-thirds of all development in central Portland has been within 3 blocks of the streetcar lines. In these ways a streetcar can do what no bus can achieve, however it takes all of the instruments in the orchestra to perform a symphony. So a streetcar spine, with just a potential to be fed by bus, BRT, water taxi's, commuter rail, peripheral garages and Skyway, should make beautiful music.
 


OCKLAWAHA  ;D

Ocklawaha

April 01, 2011, 10:34:35 AM
If building a streetcar is a chicken and egg proposal, building ahead of development or waiting for development to happen, then the streetcar represents the egg.

OCKLAWAHA

Timkin

April 01, 2011, 12:32:29 PM
As fuel prices , car prices, insurance prices, maintenance prices, etc for automobiles continue to rise (and you are kidding yourself if you think any of these are going to go down anytime in the near future) more and more folks will be trying to save money anyway they can.  That , in part would account for an increase of rider use for these methods of transportation. 

 Not because I know Ock, nor that I befriend him.. I simply think the man knows what he is taking about. period.

middleman

April 01, 2011, 07:50:14 PM
If building a streetcar is a chicken and egg proposal, building ahead of development or waiting for development to happen, then the streetcar represents the egg.

OCKLAWAHA

I hope you are right Bob. I promise to check out all of your links and analyze them for signs of hope.

middleman

April 01, 2011, 08:01:01 PM
Stephen, you changed my quotes. Is that allowed on this forum? If somebody reads my quotes in your reply, they aren't going to know you changed them. This forum should forbid such editing. You are a moderator here aren't you? Have you changed any of my original message? Jeez, if I disagree with you guys, you can make me look as bad as you want, can't you? This is simply unacceptable.

Ocklawaha

April 01, 2011, 11:13:03 PM
If building a streetcar is a chicken and egg proposal, building ahead of development or waiting for development to happen, then the streetcar represents the egg.

OCKLAWAHA

I hope you are right Bob. I promise to check out all of your links and analyze them for signs of hope.

Thanks my friend, I couldn't ask for anything more. If you REALLY want a quick education on LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (which includes: modern streetcar, heritage streetcar, vintage streetcar, interurbans, and so-called "light rail" which is actually more like the traditional interurbans) check out:   http://www.lightrailnow.org/search.htm   and enter topics like LRT VS BUS, or STREETCAR RIDERSHIP, or BRT failures, etc... and you'll get dozens of fact filled essays, articles and reports that will open your eyes. Their home page is very interesting too, and updated all of the time.

That 1983/4 report by the DDA, was indeed just about "tourist trolleys" it HAD TO BE, because JTA was certain that any talk of streetcar would torpedo the chance at free money to build a giant overhead monstrosity we call the Skyway. So the focus of the report was tilted though the plan all along was to do what Memphis, Little Rock and Tampa have done, build a "cutesy vintage streetcar line and pack it with happy tourists" but what we withheld from the media was THOSE SAME LINES COULD THEN BE USED FOR SERIOUS MASS TRANSIT. Which was the goal all along.  Imagine if the blockheads at JCCI and a half dozen other political offices hadn't created a cluster F--K with the both concepts... We would have been right behind San Diego, and about on par with Portland (minus the mountains) as pioneers in the light rail revival. It is actually our concept that is now at work across the country and when all light rail development is counted today we'll be about number 70.

ONE MORE PROBLEM WITH THE PCT'S, when the new hybrids come along, you might want to memorize the fire exits. Streetcars make OZONE and buses make FIRE! REALLY.  Did y'all know that while the PCT BUSES smell like burning diesel fuel, and a working streetcar smells like OZONE?

Ozone is created when an electrical arc splits oxygen molecules to get the ozone and they recombine into O3. You can smell it around an electric motor that is running or during a close electrical storm.

Ozone has a characteristic sharp odor (ever smell the rain?) though it can be mildly irritating. The O3 molecule quickly breaks down throwing off an oxygen atom that is VERY reactive. Exposure to high enough levels of free oxygen can cause burns at room temperature.  It is generated every time an arc occurs in small quantities.  Universal motors, electric trains (both real and model), tools and appliances, streetcars, and trolley buses, produce enough with the sparking from normal operation to be detectable...  Actually, ozone is a fairly sweet smelling gas and not pungent at all. When lightning strikes during a storm you get that 'fresh', Spring-like smell. That is caused by the lightning's energy creating ozone. Ozone has a half life of around 20 minutes so it isn't around long, but it is VERY corrosive and you should not breathe it in although you want to because of its pleasant odor.  No wonder cities with streetcars are said to have wonderful air quality. Though ozone can be a pollutant at ground level it is critical high in the atmosphere, and since it's only around for a short time and low levels on streetcars... well... enjoy the smell of a hot trolley.

Arcing also causes a lot of heat (many thousands of degrees). This can lead to burning of insulation, a huge and growing problem with modern hybrid buses as until recently none of the standard diesel bus builders had a clue about heat generation from an arcing electric motor... And now, CHA CHING! Are we all finding out. Most of these modern wonders which includes a good share of the nations new BRT bus fleets are now having to be retro fitted to prevent fires.

OZONE? WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! BUT FRIENDS, CHECK OUT OUR FRIENDLY JTA DIESELS!

Diesel Exhaust Composition
There are many components of diesel exhaust, including  (1) carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide;  (2) nitrogen oxides; (3) sulfur oxides; (4) hydrocarbons;  (5) unburned carbon particles (soot); and (6)  water. Exhaust from diesel engines is considered to contribute to more than 50% of ambient particulate matter with a mass median aerodynamic diameter less than 10 pm (PM10), greatly contributing contributing to overall air pollution. For fine particulate matter with a diameter below 2.5 pm (PM2.5) and ultra-fine particles with a diameter below 0.1 pm, this contribution is even higher. These carbon particles are small enough to be inhaled and deposited in the lungs but have a large surface area. Organic compounds from diesel exhaust with known toxic and carcinogenic properties, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), adhere easily to the surface of the carbon particles and are carried deep into the lungs. The majority of these particles tend to be found in the greatest concentration within the immediate vicinity of busy streets or highways. Diesel engines emit other toxic compounds in disproportionately higher concentrations than gasoline engines, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, ozone, formaldehyde, benzene, and smaller organic molecules. Diesel engines also produce 26% of the total nitrogen oxides in outdoor air.  More attention has been focused on the hundreds of different types of organic molecules created from the high-compression ratios of diesel engines because many are highly toxic.



http://www.michigandieselcleanup.org/nosootyair/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Toxicity_of_Diesel_Exhaust_and_Primary_Care._clinical_review.JABFM_.Jan_08.pdf

OCKLAWAHA

stephendare

April 01, 2011, 11:20:32 PM
Stephen, you changed my quotes. Is that allowed on this forum? If somebody reads my quotes in your reply, they aren't going to know you changed them. This forum should forbid such editing. You are a moderator here aren't you? Have you changed any of my original message? Jeez, if I disagree with you guys, you can make me look as bad as you want, can't you? This is simply unacceptable.

Your original quote is unchanged and there is a link provided to it in my post.

My post is my post, yours is yours.
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