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JTA & Councilwoman Boyer Get It Right

They say you can't beat city hall, but that's probably because they've never tried! After visiting a relative recently, at the San Jose Manor, I was asked by Ms Sonia Alvarez, to help fix a problem at their lacking bus stop. What happened next is exactly how the system should work.

Published November 4, 2011 in News      20 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

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San Jose Manor Apartments is a beautiful retirement complex for those who are 55+ years of age. I visit with Sonia, a relative of my Colombian family, at the complex, fairly frequently. While there recently, she asked me why JTA won't put a trash can at their bus stop. Being on the new mayors Transportation Committee I felt it a to investigate it and see what I could do.







Walking out of the complex with my trusty camera, my transportation guy instincts kicked in. At the corners of both Galicia/Cadiz and St. Augustine Road on the Southside, everything wrong with our transit system came roaring into focus. What a mess; on the northbound side of St. Augustine Road, trash strewn about and an aging wooden bus bench in a sandy mud hole pretty much sums it up. And on the southbound side, the bus stop is in the middle of the block, nowhere near the intersection where one might expect to see someone trying to walk across the street.  The nearest cross walk is at the intersection of Old Kings Road and St. Augustine Road, about a quarter of a mile north, protected by a stoplight.







Now curious, I walked to the other bus stops east of the apartments at Old Kings Road and Galicia. Same story here too - a messy sand pile with an old wooden bench for passenger discomfort. Northbound needed cleaning up and a trash can, while southbound needed to be moved out of a rotten sand pit.

I started snapping photos, drew up a solution, to both get that trash can in and to address the other cosmetic issues I noticed upon probing, and sent the package to Councilwoman Lori Boyer. I wanted these amenities for these folks - it's a heavily used stop. Within a week, I got a call from Ms. Boyer's aid telling me the stops would be fixed. Almost immediately, JTA had the sidewalk torn up and painted markers and flags on the corners of St. Augustine and Galicia/Cadiz. Within three weeks a bus shelter went up on the new sidewalk on the corner of Galicia and St. Augustine. The bus stop on the southbound side of St. Augustine was moved up to the northside of Cadiz. The Old Kings Road stops were also fixed accordingly.









There is still the problem of these often feeble senior citizens having to play frogger while trying to cross over to the southbound side of St. Augustine Road. A painted cross walk with a standard, diamond-shaped, pedestrian crossing sign would at least make this a legal, if not safer location. I'm certain if this was an oversight, pressure will be forthcoming to correct it. But problems can be addressed, and with a little initiative, can be solved.







Lori Boyer is to be commended on immediate and effective action. Likewise, JTA has done an excellent job of making this an inviting place to wait for a bus. Ms Alvarez deserves the credit for bringing this to our attention. Anyone can do this, so let's make a positive impact. There are several more retirement apartment complexes throughout the city with similar exterior issues, and hopefully with a request to the right city council member, they'll all follow suit.


Editorial and photos by Bob Mann.







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20 Comments

Noone

November 04, 2011, 04:50:40 AM
Nice work. Just curious about the contrast in the new bus shelter on Moncrief and this one.
signage, color, name of street and number on shelter.
Congratulations to councilwoman Boyer. I'm also impressed with her performance.

tufsu1

November 04, 2011, 09:18:17 AM
JTA has new designs for its shelters....when installing the new ones downtown (somewhat different than sehlter design for other parts of the city), they removed some older ones and were going to put them elsewhere in town...this may be one of those.

Captain Zissou

November 04, 2011, 10:00:10 AM
Great job Bob and Lori!!!!  When a logical plan is pushed through the correct channels, the city seems willing to listen to it's citizens.

duvaldude08

November 04, 2011, 10:14:19 AM
Have anyone seen the new ones all down Main street? They are cool as well. Look COMPLETELY different than the new ones downtown. Just small things such as this make this city look a heck of alot better!

duvaldude08

November 04, 2011, 10:15:12 AM
Nice work. Just curious about the contrast in the new bus shelter on Moncrief and this one.
signage, color, name of street and number on shelter.
Congratulations to councilwoman Boyer. I'm also impressed with her performance.

Same Here! I hope some of the other council members follow in her footsteps. She's been amazing!

urbaknight

November 04, 2011, 10:49:33 AM
Let's remember this during the next election and keep her as long as we can.

exnewsman

November 04, 2011, 11:00:28 AM
I think a great touch by the JTA on this was putting in the larger shelter which can accomodate more people including two wheelchairs (shelter left). It could have easily just grabbed one of its smaller shelters but went the extra mile and put in the larger one with a very large concrete pad. Also, (you can see it to the far right in the finished photo), the wooden bench was kept (for extra seating) and placed on the concrete pad. Looks like JTA took a bad situation and made it great!

I bet the folks at JTA are saving this post - JTA gets kudos from Bob Mann (Ock). Bet they never thought that day would come.

Ocklawaha

November 04, 2011, 01:10:39 PM
JTA has new designs for its shelters....when installing the new ones downtown (somewhat different than shelter design for other parts of the city), they removed some older ones and were going to put them elsewhere in town...this may be one of those.

Right TU, I specifically asked that they recycle one if necessary for a rapid installation. Even so, it is one of the larger ones and it has definitely been touched up.

We have another situation down on Old St Augustine Road at a large 55+ retirement apartments/nursing facility just a quick glance doesn't look like their stops have anything more then a post and sign.

JTA really responded in a superb manner, I can't say enough good things about the way this was handled by Lori and JTA.

OCKLAWAHA

Kay

November 04, 2011, 02:07:49 PM
Coucilwoman Boyer is definitely a keeper!

Dog Walker

November 04, 2011, 02:16:22 PM
Councilwoman Boyer also makes the Energizer Bunny look slothful.  She is an absolute whirlwind.

Jason

November 04, 2011, 02:30:26 PM
Kudos to all involved.  Just another small touchup that has surely made many people happy and increased the QOL in that area.

I do like the new shelters on San Jose in Mardarin as well.

Bike Jax

November 04, 2011, 04:35:13 PM
I had my first interaction with Coucilwoman Boyer this past week during a council committee meeting and I have to say I was very impressed with the intelligent and well thought out questions she was asking concerning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Very impressed indeed.

Ocklawaha

November 04, 2011, 08:35:37 PM
Kudos to all involved.  Just another small touchup that has surely made many people happy and increased the QOL in that area.

I do like the new shelters on San Jose in Mardarin as well.

Jason, I agree with the Mandarin shelter on San Jose, this is an example of public/private partnership, naming rights and/or what a corporate sponsor can do for JTA. There is probably a story coming out of that little shelter quite soon. It is another bulls eye for JTA. Bravo boys and girls.

OCKLAWAHA

TheProfessor

November 04, 2011, 08:56:30 PM
An improvement indeed.  Is this a preexisting shelter?  It looks so dated

ricker

November 07, 2011, 03:33:15 AM
^ c'mon Professor.
I think, for me, a portion of what makes any if not all if this newsworthy is the fact that this went from before to after due in large part to smart reuse of needed materials.

WHY STORE THESE THINGS WHEN THE OVERWHRLMING MAJORITY OF OUR "busstops" ARE NOT UP TO SNUFF!?
it is simply unreasonable to expect all bus shelters to be new and shiny.

I give it an A+.

Ocklawaha

November 07, 2011, 01:47:41 PM
An improvement indeed.  Is this a preexisting shelter?  It looks so dated

Professor, best I can tell, this is a reuse of an older shelter that they had refurbished. I specificily asked for a 'used' shelter if it would speed installation. JTA has really done a fine job, as exnewsman has pointed out they arranged the shelter to accomodate walkers and wheel chairs. Those things won't go to waste in this neighborhood, there is a compounding pharmacy at this stop.

OCKLAWAHA                                               

duvaldude08

November 07, 2011, 01:55:38 PM
^^Who would I email to make some noise about the skyways stations. Sometimes just nice accomdations will make a person's ride much more pleasent. After seeing the skyway being exposed on the news I was pissed. They wont people to use the skyway, but NOTHING works and they have empty attendany booths. If they upgraded the turnstyles to a modern system, fix the change machines (that is so pathetic) and have attendants there to help passengers it would be completey different experience. SIMPLE THINGS. Hell if car washes have attendants on hand to assist customers. Again, who would I email with my concerns?

exnewsman

November 07, 2011, 02:26:39 PM
^^Who would I email to make some noise about the skyways stations. Sometimes just nice accomdations will make a person's ride much more pleasent. After seeing the skyway being exposed on the news I was pissed. They wont people to use the skyway, but NOTHING works and they have empty attendany booths. If they upgraded the turnstyles to a modern system, fix the change machines (that is so pathetic) and have attendants there to help passengers it would be completey different experience. SIMPLE THINGS. Hell if car washes have attendants on hand to assist customers. Again, who would I email with my concerns?


This is JTA's comment section.

http://www.jtafla.com/RidingJTA/showPage.aspx?Sel=19

Ocklawaha

November 07, 2011, 10:11:41 PM
^^Who would I email to make some noise about the skyways stations. Sometimes just nice accomdations will make a person's ride much more pleasent. After seeing the skyway being exposed on the news I was pissed. They wont people to use the skyway, but NOTHING works and they have empty attendany booths. If they upgraded the turnstyles to a modern system, fix the change machines (that is so pathetic) and have attendants there to help passengers it would be completey different experience. SIMPLE THINGS. Hell if car washes have attendants on hand to assist customers. Again, who would I email with my concerns?

Try to Visit with the councilman or woman for the district that needs improvement. Have a plan already drawn up, do the homework in advance. A good approach would be to stand around the Skyway and collect opinions and ideas, (make sure to get the name and address of the commentator). Be bold with your suggestions/proposal, speak to both the problem and the solution, including photos and maps in your package.

JTA currently has a call center  and I'd like to see them study the idea of moving some if not all of these employees to the customer service windows at various Skyway Stations. I'd suggest that the Skyway be free of charge and plugged into each bus route as the downtown connector.

JTA should also take advantage of the current political action in Washington DC, and apply for a Skyway extension to east Bay Street, San Marco Square, Baptist/Wolfson Hospital,Annie Lytle School/TOD,  Shand's and the Farmers Market. All of these are minor extensions and the right-of-way is already intact.

OCKLAWAHA

duvaldude08

November 07, 2011, 10:32:05 PM
^^Who would I email to make some noise about the skyways stations. Sometimes just nice accomdations will make a person's ride much more pleasent. After seeing the skyway being exposed on the news I was pissed. They wont people to use the skyway, but NOTHING works and they have empty attendany booths. If they upgraded the turnstyles to a modern system, fix the change machines (that is so pathetic) and have attendants there to help passengers it would be completey different experience. SIMPLE THINGS. Hell if car washes have attendants on hand to assist customers. Again, who would I email with my concerns?

Try to Visit with the councilman or woman for the district that needs improvement. Have a plan already drawn up, do the homework in advance. A good approach would be to stand around the Skyway and collect opinions and ideas, (make sure to get the name and address of the commentator). Be bold with your suggestions/proposal, speak to both the problem and the solution, including photos and maps in your package.

JTA currently has a call center  and I'd like to see them study the idea of moving some if not all of these employees to the customer service windows at various Skyway Stations. I'd suggest that the Skyway be free of charge and plugged into each bus route as the downtown connector.

JTA should also take advantage of the current political action in Washington DC, and apply for a Skyway extension to east Bay Street, San Marco Square, Baptist/Wolfson Hospital,Annie Lytle School/TOD,  Shand's and the Farmers Market. All of these are minor extensions and the right-of-way is already intact.

OCKLAWAHA

Gotcha. I work across the street from the San Marco Station. Im going to walk over there on break tomorrow and make some more observations
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