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The Role Of Mass Transit In Brooklyn's Renaissance

A redevelopment renaissance is underway in Brooklyn. However, there is one major problem. Brooklyn is physically separated from the downtown core. With this in mind, what role will mass transit play?

Published December 21, 2012 in Transit      124 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article



An aerial of Brooklyn with an overlay of the proposed Unity Plaza, 220 Riverside, Riverside YMCA, and Riverside Park projects.

With 220 Riverside underway and the Riverside YMCA's proposed project, Brooklyn is on the verge of becoming the hottest area of Jacksonville's urban core. On Wednesday morning, Mayor Alvin Brown added gas to the fire by signing legislation authorizing the city to move forward with public investment to support the development of Riverside Park.

According to a press release from the Mayor's Office, with 300 apartments and 65,000 square feet of retail, Riverside Park would become a neighbor to the 220 Riverside project, a $30 million investment that broke ground in November at Riverside Avenue and Jackson Street. That project includes 294 residential units along with 16,500 square feet of retail space, anchoring a public park provide enough green space to accommodate roughly 1,000 people.  In addition, the Riverside YMCA is proposing to construct a new 85,000 square foot structure across the street with room to add a mid-rise mixed-use development at a later date.


massing model of the Riverside Park project shown in white.  Graphic courtesy of Metro Jacksonville's Jason.

As for Riverside Park, its retail component will most likely result in downtown's only new grocery store for the foreseeable future. In essence, not only is Brooklyn poised to make a comeback, it has the ingredients to become it's own self enclosed urban node with limited connectivity with the rest of downtown. Without addressing the issue of mass transit, Brooklyn simply becomes an isolated node of activity and a competitor to the revitalization of the rest of downtown.  This goes against the basic principle of urban living in downtown, which is for residents to enjoy a lifestyle that doesn't require a trip to the car to access basic necessities.


massing model of proposed Brooklyn projects.  Graphic courtesy of Metro Jacksonville's Jason.

Considering the momentum and Brooklyn based focus, it's time for the Mayor's Office, the Downtown Investment Authority (DIA), Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), and the City Council to get together and seriously attempt to address the role mass transit can play in bringing the overall downtown core to the next level.

With this in mind, here are a few projects worth taking a look at in Brooklyn:


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124 Comments

Spence

December 21, 2012, 03:06:18 AM
I drew a sketch of almost exactly this and have made time to make very brief presentations to two FDOT folks who smiled, and said "we are working on it" - the "no-frills" mass transit connection between the OpCtr in Brooklyn, and DT proper.
I had only asked for five minutes time, so I did not expect much of a presponse as these are freinds and I just dropped in on them at home recently.

Very exciting to see here!!

Spence

December 21, 2012, 03:09:36 AM
A nearly perfect (even if only temporary) connection solution!

Noone

December 21, 2012, 04:43:32 AM
I'm definitely warming up to rail. It was MJ and last year when we were in Boston we spent an extra day just using the rail and then took Amtrack to Maine.

Have you guys reached out to CSX? Has anyone approached anyone about the laying of the track and making this a jobs program for Jacksonville residents? Again I don't pretend for a second to know how the track is laid but I keep thinking about the Pub Crawl Rail Team and just laying 25' or 50' of track. For those people who are out of work the rail guys who would be overseeing this may say "Hey Joe, Did you see that guy Mike?"  "I did. Before  the last break he had a Food truck lined up and was telling everyone they had 5 minutes to run into Mark's and get their drink orders lined up." I'm glad he's on our team."

vicupstate

December 21, 2012, 06:42:14 AM
Whatever happened to the Marks Gray Law Firm plans from years ago?  Are they going to take the one vacant parcel left on Riverside?

Charles Hunter

December 21, 2012, 06:48:52 AM
Good article, and the "no-frills" Skyway station seems to a no-brainer.

fsujax

December 21, 2012, 08:02:00 AM
great article.

thelakelander

December 21, 2012, 08:41:10 AM
Thanks!

I'm definitely warming up to rail. It was MJ and last year when we were in Boston we spent an extra day just using the rail and then took Amtrack to Maine.

Have you guys reached out to CSX? Has anyone approached anyone about the laying of the track and making this a jobs program for Jacksonville residents? Again I don't pretend for a second to know how the track is laid but I keep thinking about the Pub Crawl Rail Team and just laying 25' or 50' of track. For those people who are out of work the rail guys who would be overseeing this may say "Hey Joe, Did you see that guy Mike?"  "I did. Before  the last break he had a Food truck lined up and was telling everyone they had 5 minutes to run into Mark's and get their drink orders lined up." I'm glad he's on our team,"

I believe JTA has approached CSX about studying to possibly utilize some of their corridors for commuter rail and that continues to be an ongoing process.  However, CSX doesn't stand in the way of utilizing the Skyway to access Brooklyn or a streetcar line between Riverside and Downtown.  Neither option would utilize or cross CSX ROW.

Wacca Pilatka

December 21, 2012, 08:56:56 AM
What's the origin of the name Mixon Town?  This is the first time I have encountered it.  Thanks.

Jason

December 21, 2012, 09:55:51 AM
Good article, and the "no-frills" Skyway station seems to a no-brainer.

And the beauty of the "no-frills" station is that it would be at grade.  So all that is necessary is a concrete slab and covering, a couple small sidewalk extensions, fencing around the beam, and then just dig a hole to recess the monorail beam in the ground allowing the tram riders to exit at grade level.  Then some trenching between the station and the adjacent Operations/Maintenance facility for basic signaling and communications.  Because the system is now free (hopefully forever) there would be no need for change machines, ticket machines, turnstyles, etc. 

Jason

December 21, 2012, 10:07:15 AM
Here are a couple more images.

















fsujax

December 21, 2012, 10:15:29 AM
nice work Jason.

jcjohnpaint

December 21, 2012, 10:31:55 AM
Great job Jason.  Wonderful article

Tacachale

December 21, 2012, 11:07:23 AM
That Skyway extension idea is really solid. Not only would it be attractive for folks in this area, it should be affordable too. Very good work, guys.

tayana42

December 21, 2012, 11:50:16 AM
M A K E  I T  H A P P E N !

duvaldude08

December 21, 2012, 12:21:02 PM
There is no excuse not to extend it to Brooklyn at this point. The need is there.

JeffreyS

December 21, 2012, 12:25:59 PM
Yes if JTA would just announce a skyway platform now for when the projects are completed it would benefit everything going on in the area.

JaxNole

December 21, 2012, 05:31:44 PM
What are the current roadblocks and have they changed from 5 years ago? What's the largest roadblock and what can we do to obliterate it?

thelakelander

December 21, 2012, 06:10:28 PM
The original roadblock was said to be the recession, which killed Mile's Brooklyn Park project.  That has changed with the construction of 220 Riverside and pending development of Riverside Park.  Now, I assume money is the roadblock.

Jdog

December 22, 2012, 10:29:37 AM
So the Skyway would come down to ground level while making a tiny jog south / southwest to get it to Riverside Avenue? 

It's not like it would stop at Leila Street. 

Ocklawaha

December 22, 2012, 10:38:54 AM
Actually JDog the Skyway already has the stub switch that will become the Riverside Line eventually. Just as it comes into the Maintenance area there would be a single track switch which would take the track east and southeast to the corner of Lelia and Riverside.


Jdog

December 22, 2012, 10:45:57 AM
Thanks...

simms3

December 22, 2012, 02:07:49 PM
I'm probably the only one who doesn't believe Brooklyn needs the Skyway...not enough there, too expensive.

Charles Hunter

December 22, 2012, 02:13:44 PM
Take a look at an aerial image, it only requires a few feet of guide-beam and a passenger platform  The cost has to be pretty small, in transportation infrastructure terms (cf. Kernan/Atlantic or Kernan/Beach overpasses).  No one is talking about extending the elevated dual guideway down to Blue Cross (Forest Street).

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 02:59:24 PM
I'm probably the only one who doesn't believe Brooklyn needs the Skyway...not enough there, too expensive.

Looking at the Riverside Park site plan, it appears there will probably be a grocery store and CVS style pharmacy literally across the street from the Skyway's operational center.  There's also a good chance a chunk of that retail ends up being pretty similar in style to restaurants/dining spots near the Riverside Publix.  While great for those living in Brooklyn, it basically means those living in the rest of downtown will still be driving cars to access this commercial area because I seriously doubt that cluster of specific uses is going to pop up anywhere in the North or Southbank anytime soon.  Thus, if you can put in a cheap ground level platform where the Skyway already is, directly tapping into those developments and connecting them with the rest of downtown's residents, why not?

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 03:07:52 PM


It's really hard imagining extending a ground level guideway like this with a bus station style platform will break the bank.  Out of all the transit investments Jacksonville can make, with the pending development, this seems like something that will get the most bang for the public buck.  I don't know the logistics involved but if it were possible, I wouldn't mind them using the guideway in the image above as a make shift temporary solution.

Ocklawaha

December 22, 2012, 06:42:16 PM
Most railroad yards include storage tracks, a clean out track, a rip track (repairs in place) along with the various shop tracks themselves. For this reason and the fact that we actually have quite a few of these little trains, I'd stick with our original plan. Sending a line (single track) to the corner of Lelia and Riverside would be a very simple build.

Like the plan above, I wouldn't double track the line to Atlantic in San Marco either, trains could simply be scheduled to go down and back clearing any train holding at Kings Avenue.  Set the "hammerhead piers" in place for future double track and build the platforms at Atlantic, but I'd only construct one track at this time.

As soon as the San Marco branch clears the Florida East Coast Railway, I'd run right down the west side parallel to the railroad all the way to Atlantic. Between Landon Avenue and Atlantic we should bring it to ground level and once again produce a 'deep discount' station.

Lastly I'd address the one glaring weakness of the Skyway system, it doesn't serve all of downtown and to do that it should at least go as far as the Berkman/Police Station area as a phase one of a future stadium/East Jacksonville link. Again I'd place the "hammerhead piers" to handle an eventual double track but only build a single line of track at this time. When the phase two extension all the way to the stadiums and East Jacksonville took place we simply lay the double track to the Berkman/Police Station, and repeat the process to the end of the line at the stadiums. The major difference in the northern and east Jacksonville lines is that they would remain elevated stations.

As a final note, the Skyway needs to cross State Street and serve FSCJ/Bethel/Health Department with a station at Hogan and 1St Streets. Again, we could use this economy way of construction and it would get us many more passengers... SAFE PASSENGERS that don't have to play frogger with State and Union Streets.

tufsu1

December 22, 2012, 07:09:04 PM
Ock...once again I ask this...knowing you won't get both, would you rather see the skyway extended to the stadium area or a streetcar route to the area?

dougskiles

December 22, 2012, 07:14:32 PM
Single track and on the ground seems like it would be the best option for the San Marco extension after clearing the tracks.  I asked a high ranking JTA official about this once and was told it couldn't be done because the power comes from the track.  It seems like a security fence with an alarm sensor would solve that problem.  Having the station on the ground and accessible from either side would be far less expensive and less intrusive in the neighborhood.

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 08:18:06 PM
Ock...once again I ask this...knowing you won't get both, would you rather see the skyway extended to the stadium area or a streetcar route to the area?

The skyway.  The area has been so demolished that there isn't the need for a daily high usage transit line out there.

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 08:36:14 PM
^Why would you extend the skyway then (to the stadium)? It will cost you three times as much to extend the skyway than doing streetcar and probably twice as much as doing LRT. So you'd be paying significantly more for less.

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 08:47:18 PM
^Why would you extend the skyway then (to the stadium)? It will cost you three times as much to extend the skyway than doing streetcar and probably twice as much as doing LRT. So you'd be paying significantly more for less.

Well the reason that I would do it, is to conform with the original intention of the skyway itself, and that is to act as a circulator/connector that allows people to easily access the points on its routes without adding to the traffic burden at street level.

Probably the only time that there is significant traffic in that area which would warrant the need for an off ground circulator system would be during the heavy programming that goes into the stadium and arena.  At the same time, it would create an actual reason for crowds that are currently parking out by the stadium and then being herded out of the downtown as quickly as possible by cops to access the downtown central district.

If the skyway is going to be a useful tool for the city to use, then we are going to have to plan on a use which conforms with its natural strengths.

The Skyway was designed to work at peak usage of a densified downtown, and I think the future will present those opportunities again, but we need to lay down the infrastructure now while its still relatively cheap.

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 09:03:26 PM
I'm responding on my phone so my response won't be to detailed. I'm convinced that the skyway can serve as a circulator without accessing the stadium. You can serve that area just as well with the streetcar (also a circulator) that's already a part of the mobility plan, JTA master plan, and TPO LRTP. I simply don't see the value in paying more for nostalgia.

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 09:08:07 PM
By the same token, with a streetcar going through Brooklyn to Five Points, I'm still not sold that it makes sense to extend the Skyway south of Forest, even though that was the original plan. We evolve organically, so a plan that may have made sense in 1970 doesn't necessarily make it the best solution in 2012.

Spence

December 22, 2012, 09:22:52 PM
Somewhat agree.

A ground level, Again "no-frills" transfer station to street car (bus for immediacy) at both the Operation/Maintenance facility in Brooklyn
AND the Parador partners garage
Seem to be the most feasible ways to extend the useful life of the monorail while connecting the dots to the Arena/Stadium and Five Points areas.

I hope the appropriate decking and overhang heights can be figured for permanence at both locations so that these transfer stations can be built to last.

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 09:28:53 PM
By the same token, with a streetcar going through Brooklyn to Five Points, I'm still not sold that it makes sense to extend the Skyway south of Forest, even though that was the original plan. We evolve organically, so a plan that may have made sense in 1970 doesn't necessarily make it the best solution in 2012.

I dont think anyone would use the same Plan from the 70s, Lake.  Most of what they designed it around no longer exists.

And it would be a mistake to simply view the Skyway as a surrogate trolley system or bus replacement system (although it can be used in this way).

An offground skyway transit system isnt really a circulator.

The skyway sytems had a different kind of purpose and function that will make sense once again, even after we lean on it as trolley system surrogate.

Its not just transit, its a kind of transit that triples (and in some cases, quadruples) the passenger capacity of the streetway that it traverses.

With the de densification of downtown and the completely shitty implementation of the system it is basically useless except as a circulator surrogate.

But if you crossed the street and made a station built into FSCJ Campus (and maybe stretched it over to Shands,
Built a line straight into the structure of Baptist Hospital
Extended it to the Stadium, and on Riverside avenue, bulit it into the development structures including the BlueCross BlueShield building, then you would have a set of functioning connections that would allow the system to work as intended.

We have to find a better way to ease traffic congestion than demolishing all possible end point buildings.

Im going to go out on a limb here, and predict massive densification of the areas between Springfield and Five Points over the next fifteen years----with or without good leadership.

Designing for a future in which the skyway serves a second, more powerful purpose after a run as a simple circulator system makes a lot more sense than just waiting for the time to come.

Land prices and construction projects have been driven radically down.  This is the time to spend on all transit and infrastructure projects.

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 09:38:19 PM
Anytime you guys want to get together in person to discuss the reality of budgets, funding mechanisms, and land use/transportation policy, let me know. I've seen nothing here presented that the most logical solution for the stadium district is to fund an expensive extension of the skyway in that direction. I've also seen nothing to suggest that the Skyway can't be effective without a +$30 million extension in that particular direction. I'd rather see funds spent on solutions that can serve just as well for a significantly lower cost to the taxpayer.

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 09:53:37 PM
Anytime you guys want to get together in person to discuss the reality of budgets, funding mechanisms, and land use/transportation policy, let me know. I've seen nothing here presented that the most logical solution for the stadium district is to fund an expensive extension of the skyway in that direction. I've also seen nothing to suggest that the Skyway can't be effective without a +$30 million extension in that particular direction. I'd rather see funds spent on solutions that can serve just as well for a significantly lower cost to the taxpayer.

meh.  it will triple in cost later.

And the problem that Ive noticed with all of the conversation about transit in this town is a basic unwillingness to discuss intentionality with transportation.

The skyway system, using an appropriately scaled platforming system certainly will not cost 30 million.

I came across this realization the other day when in a separate conversation, I was trying to figure out why every current plan has such a duplication of routes.

The truth is that there are sidereal benefits that are not conventionally discussed in connection with each of these different circulation/transit/transportation systems.

Fixed, ground level rail lines have an economic benefit, for example, that wasnt traditionally discussed in connection with transit until about the time we started discussing it on these forums and the community at large.

Of course, the mechanics of its retail stimulative effects (fixed stops= plannable traffic clusters and walking traffic that are more beneficial to a potential merchant, layover times between headways guarantee a steady stream of customers, etc..) were being discussed in a very few other places, but we were definitely on the forefront of that discussion even nationally.

But there are also sidereal benefits to skyway system, and even moving sidewalks.

In doing a little bit of research, and of course remembering conversations from a couple of decades ago, it turns out that the duplication of routes doesnt really have any negative benefits as long as you are using the different types of transit correctly to maximize their built in qualities.

In a hyper dense environment, the skyway could easily run at full capacity over streets that are crowded with both fixed trolley/streetcar lines, buses, and cars, without creating a net negative.

But if you are attempting to use all forms of transit simultaneously as simple 'circulator systems', then you end up making them compete against each other.

Such is the case in this discussion.

I realized that I havent ever heard a single discussion about the built in benefits of an elevated system in connection with utilizing the skyway.

There are plenty of other examples of course.  From how the Els function in Chicago, and the Subway in New York to the elevated walkways converted from the elevated trains in Chelsea.

And I think that if we are going to intelligently discuss the skyway, we are going to have to keep its primary design function in mind, even as we use it for a simple circulator in the meantime.

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 09:58:14 PM
The real failure of the skyway system is that Jacksonville embarked on a general de densification operation for the city at large while simultaneously demolishing the elements of densification in the area it was built to serve---many of them by the boneheaded agency which proposed the damn system in the first place.

The skyways inherent purpose is to service rapid densification and create lane multiplying transit corridors.

Viewed in this light, it really makes the stupidity of the transit planners at JTA demolishing all of the densification fabric along the route path (to make way for constructing the station and a potential line that would go between state and union, and of course a huge parking enterprise concocted as a funding mechanism for the Authority) seem even more colossal than it did before.

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 10:33:26 PM
Let me respond to a few things.

And it would be a mistake to simply view the Skyway as a surrogate trolley system or bus replacement system (although it can be used in this way).

Nobody has done this.  However, it would be a mistake to not put the skyway within the context of an overall city plan.  When you do this, with an open mind, you won't come to the conclusion of the skyway "must" be extended to the stadium hell or high water.

Quote
An offground skyway transit system isnt really a circulator. The skyway sytems had a different kind of purpose and function that will make sense once again, even after we lean on it as trolley system surrogate.

Nobody ever mentioned anything being a surrogate.  A streetcar is simply another mode in an overall regional transit network.  No mode, not even the Skyway, can be a success on its own.  We've got to get past that train of thought for true success.

For the benefit of our readers who may not be up to snuff on the various forms of mass transit, the grade of a transit technology has nothing to do with whether it is a circulator or not.  In general, a circulator is a transit system less than 3 miles in length that connects urban destinations in a high density setting.  The Skyway, streetcars, PRTs (personal rapid transit) rubber wheeled trolleys, etc. are all examples of circulators.

Here is a link for further clarification: http://www.apta.com/resources/hottopics/circulators/Pages/default.aspx

Quote
But if you crossed the street and made a station built into FSCJ Campus (and maybe stretched it over to Shands, Built a line straight into the structure of Baptist Hospital Extended it to the Stadium, and on Riverside avenue, bulit it into the development structures including the BlueCross BlueShield building, then you would have a set of functioning connections that would allow the system to work as intended.

Possibly, if you modify land use policy to force a certain outcome.  However, when looking at things from a regional perspective and not a "make the skyway work as originally intended" perspective, there maybe options to achieve success that may not follow a plan from the 1970s.  For example, if you have an urban commuter rail or LRT line between downtown and the airport, utilizing the S-Line, there's really no need to extend the Skyway to Shands.  Why, because when you start looking at things from a regional perspective, you'll see Shands would be served by several other modes (BRT, urban commuter rail, streetcar, local bus, bikeways, etc.).  So instead of forcing the Skyway into a destination already served, take that $30 million and get the Skyway to San Marco, BRT to the Beach or commuter rail to St. Augustine.  No need to burn your transit stash in one specific corridor, simply because the skyway was originally supposed to connect with Shands in 1971.

Quote
We have to find a better way to ease traffic congestion than demolishing all possible end point buildings.

I agree, but we should not be demolishing buildings for any mode of mass transit.

Quote
Im going to go out on a limb here, and predict massive densification of the areas between Springfield and Five Points over the next fifteen years----with or without good leadership.

That's not really going out on a limb.  That's simply following the nationwide trends of downtown redevelopment and the benefit of density changes as a result of the mobility plan's land use policies.  We'd pretty much have to really screw things up to not see some decent movement back into the downtown core and immediate surrounding neighborhoods.

Quote
Designing for a future in which the skyway serves a second, more powerful purpose after a run as a simple circulator system makes a lot more sense than just waiting for the time to come.

My professional advice would be to look at things from an overall transit perspective and not a "making the skyway work like it was originally intended" perspective.  if we do that, we'll end up with a workable overall transit system that effectively serves a New Town, Springfield or Murray Hill just as much as downtown.  In doing so, what's best for the Skyway as a part of that network will come to light.

Quote
Land prices and construction projects have been driven radically down.  This is the time to spend on all transit and infrastructure projects.

Ideally, that sounds great but that's not the world we live in and it won't be anytime soon.  We can't even maintain the grass on the side of our highways, parks, or keep our public schools open.  We can't even approve economic incentive deals in a timely manner.  We still don't know where the money will come from to dredge the river for an expanded port.  There's no money for a multi-billion dollar expansion of city wide transit and infrastructure projects.  Things will be done incrementally.  Thus, you have to prioritize certain corridors over others.  That's just the reality of the world we live in.

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 10:45:30 PM
Lake, how would you describe the function of an elevated transit system.

Also,what would you consider to be the best possible application for a lane multiplying transit system?

And more to the point, how would you retrofit the streets once such multipliers are necessary?

This is after all, a city at sea level.

The problem that Jacksonville ran into in the first place was not having the infrastructure in place for densification after the trolley system was dismantled.  Hence the resultant massive efforts to create new infrastructure to accomodate cars and the beginning of the age of demolition and the demassification through zoning of the entire city.

Say the city had followed a more sustainable path starting in the 1930s, and that we had somehow resisted the impulse to pursue an infrastructuralization economic model through zoning?

We would have needed a lane multiplier transportation system for the same reason that we needed real estate multipliers like the skyscrapers.

It would have had to be an elevated system, because we are at Sea Level..

This is a new dimension to introduce to our conversations, but once again, if we are ever going to properly plan for either the future or properly utilize what infrastructure we have in place, we should be thinking along these lines.

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 10:52:28 PM
I think it is obvious that the single first corridor in our downtown that would be overwhelmed by traffic if there were to be the slightest movement in a positive direction towards density would be the bay street corridor leading to the stadium.

We look at it now, and we see a mostly dead road that could easily be served by a trolley connection, but if given the slightest bit of real estate development that put respectable local traffic on that road, it would be in rapid need of a lane multiplier---trolley or streetcar notwithstanding.

As you know, I personally could give a shit about the comings and goings of the stadium (not on my usual menu of preferred activities) and Im not really all that enthusiastic about the skyway, but even from a planning viewpoint, it would still make sense-----if what we are planning for is density.

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 11:01:45 PM
Anytime you guys want to get together in person to discuss the reality of budgets, funding mechanisms, and land use/transportation policy, let me know. I've seen nothing here presented that the most logical solution for the stadium district is to fund an expensive extension of the skyway in that direction. I've also seen nothing to suggest that the Skyway can't be effective without a +$30 million extension in that particular direction. I'd rather see funds spent on solutions that can serve just as well for a significantly lower cost to the taxpayer.

meh.  it will triple in cost later.

It won't cost you triple if you don't do it because it's not needed.  However, you will pay at least triple in immediate capital costs to get to the stadium over a streetcar because you "want" it.

Quote
And the problem that Ive noticed with all of the conversation about transit in this town is a basic unwillingness to discuss intentionality with transportation.

The skyway system, using an appropriately scaled platforming system certainly will not cost 30 million.

I generate numbers on stuff like this for a living. I'm pretty sure you'll have a hard time getting an elevated mile long extension of the Skyway under $30 million and I'm being generous. That would include an appropriately scaled platforming system. With that said, at $30 million per mile, that would be significantly cheaper than the +$100 million per mile spent on the existing system.  However, that's still three times as much as a no-frills streetcar line similar to what Little Rock constructed.  At the end of a day, I'd choose a three mile streetcar.  Those two extra miles at the same cost could easily serve a Springfield or Eastside as well as the stadium.

Quote
I came across this realization the other day when in a separate conversation, I was trying to figure out why every current plan has such a duplication of routes.

Get rid of those forced JTA BRT lines and you'll quickly discover there's little duplication in the fixed transit corridors.

Quote
Fixed, ground level rail lines have an economic benefit, for example, that wasnt traditionally discussed in connection with transit until about the time we started discussing it on these forums and the community at large.

No argument here. I agree 100%.

Quote
Of course, the mechanics of its retail stimulative effects (fixed stops= plannable traffic clusters and walking traffic that are more beneficial to a potential merchant, layover times between headways guarantee a steady stream of customers, etc..) were being discussed in a very few other places, but we were definitely on the forefront of that discussion even nationally.

While we've elevated that discussion locally, it was already taking place nationally. 

Quote
But there are also sidereal benefits to skyway system, and even moving sidewalks.

In doing a little bit of research, and of course remembering conversations from a couple of decades ago, it turns out that the duplication of routes doesnt really have any negative benefits as long as you are using the different types of transit correctly to maximize their built in qualities.

Take away or modify BRT and that duplication goes way.

Quote
In a hyper dense environment, the skyway could easily run at full capacity over streets that are crowded with both fixed trolley/streetcar lines, buses, and cars, without creating a net negative.

By the time Jax is hyper dense the lifespan of the Skyway will have passed.  Nevertheless, LA's LRT system moves over 200,000 people a day with an at-grade LRT system just fine.  Portland moves over 130,000 a day.  I doubt Jax will even reach either city's density in our lifetimes. 

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But if you are attempting to use all forms of transit simultaneously as simple 'circulator systems', then you end up making them compete against each other.

Such is the case in this discussion.

I really do think you're somewhat confused by some of the transit terminology.  As laid out in the city's various transportation plans, none of the fixed transit systems compete against each other.  The major issue is the BRT corridors which parallel rail lines and the Skyway.

Quote
I realized that I havent ever heard a single discussion about the built in benefits of an elevated system in connection with utilizing the skyway.

There are plenty of other examples of course.  From how the Els function in Chicago, and the Subway in New York to the elevated walkways converted from the elevated trains in Chelsea.

You shouldn't compare a 2.5 mile downtown circulator in a second rate city with heavy rail systems in two of the three largest cities in the US.  Jax isn't ready for a heavy rail system.  Forcing one here would make us the laughing stock of the US.

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And I think that if we are going to intelligently discuss the skyway, we are going to have to keep its primary design function in mind, even as we use it for a simple circulator in the meantime.

It's primary role is a downtown circulator.  You can't turn it into a Chicago EL, BART, NYC Subway, or even a Miami Metrorail.  Those are completely different animals.  At best, you hope to make it as successful as Miami's Metromover.

Ocklawaha

December 22, 2012, 11:09:10 PM
Ock...once again I ask this...knowing you won't get both, would you rather see the skyway extended to the stadium area or a streetcar route to the area?

The skyway.  The area has been so demolished that there isn't the need for a daily high usage transit line out there.

Well TU, I come down on the Skyway's side on this one, shock as that might be to some.

My reasons are somewhat inclusive of what Stephen has posted, but I think there is a couple of larger questions that the Skyway alone can answer.

If we went to the populace tomorrow to ask for funding to complete the Skyway or build a streetcar we'd probably be shot. No wonder, those fools that wouldn't listen to reason and started building the Skyway while doing their damnedest to erase every shard of evidence, building or streetcar remaining in the city, have ZERO credibility with the average citizen.  JTA made huge promises and launched a campaign of terror on fixed rail, then when the Skyway started to sputter they simply walked away and quit. At least this is what happened in the eyes of the citizenry.

I think to be fully functional it doesn't have to go to 'the stadium,' merely a destination station somewhere around Bay and Washington Streets. It MUST go to San Marco at Atlantic, and should go to 1st Street at Hogan and Forest. This would restore the faith of the citizens who put so much hope into the virtually abandoned little trains.

Virtually abandoned? How long did the banner stretch across Bay Street proclaiming "I'm going to the Gator Bowl?" Just look at the condition of the system, the lack of the center cars, the elevators that smell like piss, escalators that are broken more often then not, empty information booths, bolted down rest rooms, complete lack of JTA human presence anywhere substituting a Wal-Mart intercom in place of a roving assistant.

Fair free the people have proved that they will use the system, how much more could they use it if it actually connected all 5 directions of the core; North, East, West, South and Southwest?  Not unlike The Landing parking lot deal, the city has not kept it's bargain with the citizens and it has done irreparable damage to mass transit in Jacksonville.

There are a couple of other reasons too: ONE: I've got a hunch that changing the way we build the Skyway would result in a massive reduction in construction costs.  TWO: Sending a streetcar down Bay Street whilst dealing with game day traffic is a suicide wish as far as public trust.

Streetcar is MUCH better suited to private right-of-way and for that reason I wouldn't take it to Shand's or the stadium. I would jog on Beaver and head straight north to Gateway on the abandoned F&J railroad route, crossing under the Skyway at Newnan. Streetcar would shine on that open stretch of track like a mini-metro and it would awaken all of East Jacksonville, Springfield and Brentwood and Gateway to new TOD investment.  Streetcar could anchor those communities with LaVilla, Durkeeville, Brooklyn, 5-Points and Riverside.

I want to invite my engineer friends and perhaps a representative or two from the industry to go over the Skyway with me and see what we can come up with.  As you know I was able to get a fairly firm quote on streetcar track for $4 million a mile, with another million or so for overhead, signaling and minimal stations.

I think Stephen and I speak for the whole of Jacksonville when we say Bay Street belongs to the Skyway.   

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 11:12:13 PM
Anytime you guys want to get together in person to discuss the reality of budgets, funding mechanisms, and land use/transportation policy, let me know. I've seen nothing here presented that the most logical solution for the stadium district is to fund an expensive extension of the skyway in that direction. I've also seen nothing to suggest that the Skyway can't be effective without a +$30 million extension in that particular direction. I'd rather see funds spent on solutions that can serve just as well for a significantly lower cost to the taxpayer.

meh.  it will triple in cost later.

It won't cost you triple if you don't do it because it's not needed.  However, you will pay at least triple in immediate capital costs to get to the stadium over a streetcar because you "want" it.

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And the problem that Ive noticed with all of the conversation about transit in this town is a basic unwillingness to discuss intentionality with transportation.

The skyway system, using an appropriately scaled platforming system certainly will not cost 30 million.

I generate numbers on stuff like this for a living. I'm pretty sure you'll have a hard time getting an elevated mile long extension of the Skyway under $30 million and I'm being generous. That would include an appropriately scaled platforming system. With that said, at $30 million per mile, that would be significantly cheaper than the +$100 million per mile spent on the existing system.  However, that's still three times as much as a no-frills streetcar line similar to what Little Rock constructed.  At the end of a day, I'd choose a three mile streetcar.  Those two extra miles at the same cost could easily serve a Springfield or Eastside as well as the stadium.

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I came across this realization the other day when in a separate conversation, I was trying to figure out why every current plan has such a duplication of routes.

Get rid of those forced JTA BRT lines and you'll quickly discover there's little duplication in the fixed transit corridors.

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Fixed, ground level rail lines have an economic benefit, for example, that wasnt traditionally discussed in connection with transit until about the time we started discussing it on these forums and the community at large.

No argument here. I agree 100%.

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Of course, the mechanics of its retail stimulative effects (fixed stops= plannable traffic clusters and walking traffic that are more beneficial to a potential merchant, layover times between headways guarantee a steady stream of customers, etc..) were being discussed in a very few other places, but we were definitely on the forefront of that discussion even nationally.

While we've elevated that discussion locally, it was already taking place nationally. 

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But there are also sidereal benefits to skyway system, and even moving sidewalks.

In doing a little bit of research, and of course remembering conversations from a couple of decades ago, it turns out that the duplication of routes doesnt really have any negative benefits as long as you are using the different types of transit correctly to maximize their built in qualities.

Take away or modify BRT and that duplication goes way.

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In a hyper dense environment, the skyway could easily run at full capacity over streets that are crowded with both fixed trolley/streetcar lines, buses, and cars, without creating a net negative.

By the time Jax is hyper dense the lifespan of the Skyway will have passed.  Nevertheless, LA's LRT system moves over 200,000 people a day with an at-grade LRT system just fine.  Portland moves over 130,000 a day.  I doubt Jax will even reach either city's density in our lifetimes. 

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But if you are attempting to use all forms of transit simultaneously as simple 'circulator systems', then you end up making them compete against each other.

Such is the case in this discussion.

I really do think you're somewhat confused by some of the transit terminology.  As laid out in the city's various transportation plans, none of the fixed transit systems compete against each other.  The major issue is the BRT corridors which parallel rail lines and the Skyway.

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I realized that I havent ever heard a single discussion about the built in benefits of an elevated system in connection with utilizing the skyway.

There are plenty of other examples of course.  From how the Els function in Chicago, and the Subway in New York to the elevated walkways converted from the elevated trains in Chelsea.

You shouldn't compare a 2.5 mile downtown circulator in a second rate city with heavy rail systems in two of the three largest cities in the US.  Jax isn't ready for a heavy rail system.  Forcing one here would make us the laughing stock of the US.

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And I think that if we are going to intelligently discuss the skyway, we are going to have to keep its primary design function in mind, even as we use it for a simple circulator in the meantime.

It's primary role is a downtown circulator.  You can't turn it into a Chicago EL, BART, NYC Subway, or even a Miami Metrorail.  Those are completely different animals.  At best, you hope to make it as successful as Miami's Metromover.

meh.

Give it a little time and think about it.

The above just doesnt take into account the nature of the elevated lane multipliers or densification.

And yes, I know it was being discussed in some places, nationally (as I noted) but not really in very many places, and the fact that we were so ahead of the bell curve for the general national discussion is something to be proud of.

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 11:16:28 PM
Lake, how would you describe the function of an elevated transit system.

I'm not sure of what your shooting for here. You could have an elevated streetcar, LRT, heavy rail, commuter rail, BRT, or Skyway.  You differentiate systems based on technology used not elevation. Most systems tend to have a mix of grades depending on the corridors served.  However, you'll rarely find extensive heavy rail systems elevated or underground outside of the largest urban cities in this country. 

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Also,what would you consider to be the best possible application for a lane multiplying transit system?

What is a lane multiplying transit system?  Give me a little bit more detail on what your envisioning and I'll try relate it to the professional terminology used.

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And more to the point, how would you retrofit the streets once such multipliers are necessary?

This is after all, a city at sea level.

If you're worried about flooding from global warming building an elevated rail system across Jax should be the last thing on your mind.  Nevertheless, all you need for a rail based transit system is its own ROW (I'm not of fan of running fixed rail in mixed traffic).  When your ridership grows, couple a few cars together, which would increase the capacity of each train.

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We would have needed a lane multiplier transportation system for the same reason that we needed real estate multipliers like the skyscrapers.

It would have had to be an elevated system, because we are at Sea Level.

If you want a city wide elevated transit system, you'll need to demolish the Skyway and start over.  The technology used on the Skyway isn't designed to be anything more than a small urban circulator.  For citywide coverage, you'll need to switch to something like LRT or heavy rail.  Good luck as finding the billions for either.

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This is a new dimension to introduce to our conversations, but once again, if we are ever going to properly plan for either the future or properly utilize what infrastructure we have in place, we should be thinking along these lines.

If sea levels rise, which I believe your adding to this discussion, my advice would be to have our ancestors leave town or buy a boat.

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 11:21:26 PM
meh.

Give it a little time and think about it.

The above just doesnt take into account the nature of the elevated lane multipliers or densification.

What is an elevated lane multiplier?  Can you provide a link to an official definition?

thelakelander

December 22, 2012, 11:38:31 PM
There are a couple of other reasons too: ONE: I've got a hunch that changing the way we build the Skyway would result in a massive reduction in construction costs.

Compared to the original cost of the Skyway or compared to the capital costs of other modes?

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TWO: Sending a streetcar down Bay Street whilst dealing with game day traffic is a suicide wish as far as public trust.

My advice would be to simply take a lane out of Bay and use it as fixed transit ROW, if that's the exact route to be used.  Bay Street isn't that much different in the width of streets Houston's LRT runs down. 



Also, you can change the direction of game day traffic much easier than you can build a streetcar or Skyway extension.  We shouldn't let that be a major influence of planning transit.

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Streetcar is MUCH better suited to private right-of-way and for that reason I wouldn't take it to Shand's or the stadium.

Jacksonville owns these streets and the urban core has a gridded street network. There's no reason public ROW can't be used exclusively for transit so that it doesn't mix with cars.  I believe mixing fixed transit with regular street traffic on any Jacksonville street would be a huge mistake.

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I want to invite my engineer friends and perhaps a representative or two from the industry to go over the Skyway with me and see what we can come up with.  As you know I was able to get a fairly firm quote on streetcar track for $4 million a mile, with another million or so for overhead, signaling and minimal stations.

I'd love to see what they come up with.  However, when you put together these estimates, they can't just be for the installation of track, overhead, etc.  You've got to factor in every thing it costs to start from their design on paper to their actual operation because John Q. Public is going to have to pay for it.

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I think Stephen and I speak for the whole of Jacksonville when we say Bay Street belongs to the Skyway.   

Count me in as the exception. When I started in the transportation planning industry I was a big fan of a Skyway Bay Street extension.  However, at that time, I viewpoint was also on seeing the Skyway completed without really studying all options available to our disposal or understanding the true path of what it takes to get these projects off the ground in our environment.  Now I'm not locked into it anymore for a variety of reasons already explained.

However, getting back to the Skyway and Brooklyn, an extra station at the operations center to tie into Riverside Place and 220 Riverside, makes all the sense in the world.  Here, we have the same issue the Skyway has with San Marco.  A major activity center just outside the Skyway's service area.  The major difference with Brooklyn is that the Skyway is already there.  All it needs is a simple no-frills station.

stephendare

December 22, 2012, 11:43:38 PM
Well this was the point of the old 'skyway systems'.

They were created to provide an answer to the inadequate urban transit ways in the wake of vertical expansion.

You cant really expand the number of lanes through widening them in established cities.  The cost and harm to the urban environment is just too great.

Yet in any densifying system--which had been an ongoing trend since the advent of steel girder construction--- the demands placed on those transit ways continue to increase.

The reduction of car size that took place after the 1970s took up some of the burdens of those transitways (and I use this term to include all traffic----lanes of travel for pedestrian, streetcar, bus, automotive, and cyclists)

But the Feds were willing to fund skyways as 'people movers' because they did the same thing that skyscrapers did for real estate:  i.e. they multiply the amount of available real estate, thereby bringing down the cost of land acquisition and development.  They multiply the number of traffic lanes on any given transit way.  And the new lane is capable of very rapid, mass movement for people needing to travel within the designated domain of influence created by the systems connection.

Voila! No need to expand the width of the roadways, the removal of ground level carbon monoxide exhaust from the streets, and greater safety for the ground level users of the transitways.

Subways can do the same thing by running them underneath the established transitway real-estate, but obviously they are not an option here.

And personally I think that these systems will be even more important in the next couple of decades, as we have designed a municipal sprawl pattern that will take two generations to readjust to a sustainable growth pattern of concentric densification rings.

As our city (and many others) is presently designed, a far greater number of motorists have to travel to the old urban core(s) in order to support densification efforts.  Where will they park?

What will they do when confronted with a traffic grid that was inadequate to accomodate the population of the 1960s and 70s, much less our current population?

We can alleviate that congestion by greater options for mobility, like biking and walking (and segways etc).

We can alleviate multiple parking space per car demands by implementing mass transit circulators like street cars and the skyway system (and I have ccome to the conclusion that a sole reliance on peripheral parking schemes creates so much corruption and duplication of services that they simple arent worth it)

But how will we solve these problems long term?

Well in my opinion, the best strategy is to complete a workable skyway system that serves in the present as a streetcar circulator surrogate.  Im not married to any particular shape of that system, but the most logical corridors in need of lane multipliers are Riverside Avenue and the Stadium district.

The stadium transitway is already overwhelmed during games, and when you combine long term planning with the obvious benefits of connecting the 80 thousand patrons back into the downtown economic district, its just an obvious first expansion.

Connecting the stadium customers with Hemming Park, the Omni/Landing and the urban core would bring economic benefits that would help overcome the toxic bubble for small businesses.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 12:01:00 AM
Well this was the point of the old 'skyway systems'.

They were created to provide an answer to the inadequate urban transit ways in the wake of vertical expansion.

Peoplemovers were an urban experiment gone bad.  There's a reason the feds haven't funded anymore outside of Jacksonville, Miami, and Detroit.

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You cant really expand the number of lanes through widening them in established cities.  The cost and harm to the urban environment is just too great.

Yet in any densifying system--which had been an ongoing trend since the advent of steel girder construction--- the demands placed on those transit ways continue to increase.

You don't need to expand the lanes in Jacksonville's urban core.  We have a decent grid.  What we don't have is a decent transit system.  We don't have to invest in an citywide elevated system or subway to provide residents with a decent transit system that doesn't require roadway expansion.

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But the Feds were willing to fund skyways as 'people movers' because they did the same thing that skyscrapers did for real estate:  i.e. they multiply the amount of available real estate, thereby bringing down the cost of land acquisition and development.  They multiply the number of traffic lanes on any given transit way.  And the new lane is capable of very rapid, mass movement for people needing to travel within the designated domain of influence created by the systems connection.

Isn't the Skyway just a name Jax choose to call it's particular system?  The Skyway isn't a particular mode such as LRT or streetcar.  It was originally a people mover and converted into what's essentially a monorail.


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What will they do when confronted with a traffic grid that was inadequate to accomodate the population of the 1960s and 70s, much less our current population?

We can alleviate that congestion by greater options for mobility, like biking and walking (and segways etc).

The establishment of a multimodal street network was a major part of the mobility plan and the context sensitive streets guidelines that the council is currently discussing implementing.  As long as we implement the projects in the LRTP, mobility plan, etc. and follow the land use policies highlighted in the mobility plan, I think we'll be just fine transportation wise.  The key issue is.....for us to follow and implement them.

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We can alleviate multiple parking space per car demands by implementing mass transit circulators like street cars and the skyway system (and I have ccome to the conclusion that a sole reliance on peripheral parking schemes creates so much corruption and duplication of services that they simple arent worth it)

But how will we solve these problems long term?

Well in my opinion, the best strategy is to complete a workable skyway system that serves in the present as a streetcar circulator surrogate.  Im not married to any particular shape of that system, but the most logical corridors in need of lane multipliers are Riverside Avenue and the Stadium district.

The stadium transitway is already overwhelmed during games, and when you combine long term planning with the obvious benefits of connecting the 80 thousand patrons back into the downtown economic district, its just an obvious first expansion.

Connecting the stadium customers with Hemming Park, the Omni/Landing and the urban core would bring economic benefits that would help overcome the toxic bubble for small businesses.

You're either putting your thoughts or downtown in box.  The Skyway and streetcar are two small parts of a much larger implementation plan.  Everything from modifying the local bus routes to commuter rail, complete streets roadway widenings and even AAF and Amtrak play a major role.  Neither can work effectively without being fed ridership from these other modes or a significant modification in land use policy.

At least with 220 Riverside and Riverside Place in Brooklyn, there's some decent density coming from the land use side.  Now we've got to best connect to that density with viable transit.  When you evaluate all the options out there, the Skyway makes the most sense due to its existing proximity and the timeline of Brooklyn developments. 

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 12:11:35 AM
No lake.

They werent conceived as just a 'people mover'.  There was a pretty good amount of information about the purpose of the system prior to it being built.

And the grid that we have was wholly inadequate by the 1980s.

They had to convert both sides of the Matthew Bridge to one way travel every morning and rush hour evening and redivert the Main Street Bridge in order to accomodate the traffic.

Even so, when I had my office on Adams Street in 86-87, it would sometimes take a half an hour just to get from Adams and Laura over to the Main Street Bridge.

We had to build blocks of property over the riverfront and tore down half of the buildings to accomodate the parking.

Trust me when I tell you that we do not have an adequate or even a decent grid.

But I agree with you that we need an decent transit system.  And that will help in the short term.

I would suspect that Detroit and Miami both made the same kinds of mistakes that Jacksonville did, incidentally.

But in 1970, the connection between public works and business sustainability just wasnt on the radar.

There are such obvious mistakes that should never have been made.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 12:14:13 AM
And Jacksonville, Miami and Detroit are not the only cities that have elevated transit systems in place.

They were just the only ones that tried to implement stand alone systems funded by the Feds.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 12:28:08 AM
No lake.

They werent conceived as just a 'people mover'.  There was a pretty good amount of information about the purpose of the system prior to it being built.

And the grid that we have was wholly inadequate by the 1980s.

From wikipedia:

The JTA Skyway is a people mover in Jacksonville, Florida, in the United States. It is operated by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The course of its 2.5-mile (4.0 km) track includes the Acosta Bridge, spanning the St. Johns River, which divides downtown Jacksonville. Each train is automated by ATC (Automatic Train Control), can have two to six cars, and travels at up to 35 mph (56 km/h) per hour. There is currently no fare to ride the Skyway.

The Skyway has evolved after many years of study by both citizens and professional transportation planners. The concept of a downtown peoplemover was originated in the early 1970s as part of a comprehensive mobility plan. The first study was completed by the Florida Department of Transportation and the planning department of the city of Jacksonville. In 1977, these two agencies brought the project to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) for continued development and implementation.

Following completion of an 18-month feasibility study, Jacksonville was selected by the federal Urban Mass Transit Administration as one of seven cities to participate in the nationwide Downtown Peoplemover Program. The plan called for the construction of a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Phase I system (see map of routes and station locations). Other examples of operating downtown people mover systems are the Miami Metromover and the Detroit People Mover.
Work on the initial 0.7-mile (1.1 km) Phase I-A segment was begun in 1984. It had only three stations (Terminal, Jefferson and Central). This work was completed in 1989 and two vehicles operating in a double shuttle configuration were placed in service. The technology used was the French MATRA system.

Implementation of the full 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Phase I system began in 1992. Negotiations with MATRA to provide systems for the new extensions were not successful. In October 1994, a new supplier—Bombardier Inc.—was awarded the contract for the new extensions as well as the job of replacing the MATRA technology that was operating on Phase I-A. Bombardier is supplying a version of its UM III monorail vehicles which are like those currently in use at the Tampa International Airport in Florida. These new vehicles operate without drivers on a monorail beam, 34 inches (86.4 cm) wide and 28 inches (71.1 cm) deep. These beams rest on a guideway that is 11 feet (3.35 m) wide and is constructed with a 30-inch (76.2) high parapet wall on each side to reduce noise, aid drainage and provide for personnel protection.

All stations are 120 ft (36.6 m) long and designed to accommodate anywhere from a two to a six car train consist. Station platform widths are typically 28 ft (8.5 m) but may be wider at the three multimodal stations ( see the photo of the intermodal Florida Community College at Jackson (FCCJ) station). There are 18 bus bays in this station as it is Jacksonville's major bus transit transfer point. It has won awards for its design and is regarded as a state-of-the-art intermodal transit station. The maximum waiting time for vehicles has been set at 180 seconds or three minutes. The maximum line capacity is 3,600 persons per hour per lane without need to replace system components. As can be observed on the system map, the point of confluence of the primary routes, the Y-junction switch, presents a significant operation constraint on the system limiting the number of trains that can be operated on the system at any one time.


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


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Trust me when I tell you that we do not have an adequate or even a decent grid.

The urban core street grid is adequate.  What made it worse at the time was a combination of several things.  These include no fixed transit, no bike infrastructure, toll bridges, two additional drawbridges, and no Dames Point Bridge.  Also, the Arlington/Regency area was the primary suburban retail epicenter of the city at the time. 

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 12:34:18 AM
And Jacksonville, Miami and Detroit are not the only cities that have elevated transit systems in place.

They were just the only ones that tried to implement stand alone systems funded by the Feds.

You're confusing still the technology of people movers with heavy rail systems.  Peoplemovers (at least ours) aren't designed to move nearly as many people as heavy rail.  Also, any type of technology can be elevated.  However, elevation doesn't define the system, the technology used does.  The Skyway, Miami's Metromover, and Detroit's Peoplemover were the only three downtown peoplemovers funded by the UMTA's failed peoplemover program.  Also, the majority of transit systems in the US have been funded with federal dollars.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 12:36:49 AM
Here are a few scans from the 1970s drawings of the downtown peoplemover, which became known as the JTA Skyway:



stephendare

December 23, 2012, 12:39:11 AM
And Jacksonville, Miami and Detroit are not the only cities that have elevated transit systems in place.

They were just the only ones that tried to implement stand alone systems funded by the Feds.

You're confusing still the technology of people movers with heavy rail systems.  Peoplemovers (at least ours) aren't designed to move nearly as many people as heavy rail.  Also, any type of technology can be elevated.  However, elevation doesn't define the system, the technology used does.  The Skyway, Miami's Metromover, and Detroit's Peoplemover were the only three downtown peoplemovers funded by the UMTA's failed peoplemover program.  Also, the majority of transit systems in the US have been funded with federal dollars.

Im not confused in the slightest.  I was here when all that was happening and wrote about it at the time.

Having Federal funding and complying with a design guideline that was developed by the Feds are two different things.

Ill see if I can find you some of the old literature on the subject tomorrow.

It really doesnt matter what the technology is, incidentally.

Trains still performed a valuable and important function when their main technology was a live oxen.

This is about capacity and function in reality, and how best to use the asset for the funtion intended while making it serve a useful purpose in the meantime.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 12:40:24 AM
Here are a few scans from the 1970s drawings of the downtown peoplemover, which became known as the JTA Skyway:





yes remember when we were examining these a few years ago?

Interesting route lines eh?

Our local people really made such collosal mistakes.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 01:13:19 AM
Actually as it turns out, Wikipedia has a good beginning point.

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

Starting in the late 1960s and into the 1970s, people movers were the topic of intense development around the world. Worried about the growing congestion and pollution in downtown areas due to the spread of cars, many countries started studying mass transit systems that would lower capital costs to the point where any city could afford to deploy them. Most of these systems used elevated guideways, which were much less expensive to deploy than underground tunnels. However, elevating the track causes problems with noise, so traditional steel-wheel-on-rail solutions were rare as they squealed when rounding bends in the rails. Rubber tired solutions were common, but some systems used hovercraft techniques or various magnetic levitation systems.

Two major government funded APM projects are notable. In Germany, Mannesmann Demag and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm developed a system known as Cabinentaxi during the 1970s. Cabinetaxi featured small cars with from four to eight seats that were called to pick up passengers on-demand and drove directly to their destination. The stations were "offline", allowing the cabs to stop by moving off the main lines while other cars continued to their destinations. The system was designed so the cars could be adapted to run on top or bottom of the track (but not easily converted from one to the other), allowing dual-track movements from a single elevated guideway only slightly wider than the cars. A test track was completed in 1975 and ran until development was completed in 1979, but no deployments followed and the companies abandoned the system shortly thereafter.

In the U.S., a 1966 federal bill provided funding that led to the development of APM systems under the Downtown People Mover Program. Four systems were developed, Rohr's ROMAG, LTV's AirTrans, Ford's APT and Otis Elevator's hovercraft design. A major presentation of the systems was organized as TRANSPO'72 at Dulles Airport where the various systems were presented to delegations from numerous cities in the US. Prototype systems and test tracks were built during the 1970s. One notable example was Pittsburgh's Skybus, which was proposed by the Port Authority of Allegheny County to replace its streetcar system, which, having large stretches of private right of way, was not suited for bus conversion. A short demonstration line was set up in South Park and large tracts of land were secured for its facilities. However, opposition arose to the notion that it would replace the streetcar system. This, combined with the immaturity of the technology and other factors, led the Port Authority to abandon the project and pursue alternatives. By the start of the 1980s most politicians had lost interest in the concept and the project was repeatedly de-funded in the early 1980s. Only two APMs were developed as a part of the People Mover Program, the Metromover in Miami, and the Detroit People Mover.

Although these government-funded systems were generally considered failures, several APM systems developed by other groups have been much more successful. Notable among these systems are the Docklands Light Railway deployed in London, while the French Véhicule Automatique Léger and the Canadian Bombardier ART have both won developments around the world. The Vancouver SkyTrain system is the largest fully automated metro system in the world, with over 60 km of track. These systems are on the "heavy" end of the APM scale. Lighter systems with shorter tracks are widely deployed at airports; the world's first airport people mover was installed in 1971 at Tampa International Airport in the United States. APMs have now become common at large airports and hospitals in the United States.

Driver-less metros have become common in Europe and parts of Asia. The economics of automated trains tend to reduce the scale so tied to "mass" transit (the largest operating expense is the driver's salary, which is only affordable if very large numbers of passengers are paying fares), so that small-scale installations are feasible. Thus cities normally thought of as too small to build a metro (e.g. Rennes, Lausanne, Brescia, etc.) are now doing so.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 04:57:33 AM
Im not confused in the slightest.  I was here when all that was happening and wrote about it at the time.

Having Federal funding and complying with a design guideline that was developed by the Feds are two different things.

Ill see if I can find you some of the old literature on the subject tomorrow.
It sounds like it. We've gotten way off track from the original thread topic and you're butchering the terminology of what was actually constructed here (the Skyway) with other systems in larger cities that were designed and actually constructed to serve a completely different role than the Skyway.

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It really doesnt matter what the technology is, incidentally.

Trains still performed a valuable and important function when their main technology was a live oxen.

The type of mode (heavy, LRT, streetcar, people mover, bus, etc.) certainly does matter if you've come to the conclusion that investing in something that cost more than other modes of rail, with less capacity is worth investing in. 

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This is about capacity and function in reality, and how best to use the asset for the funtion intended while making it serve a useful purpose in the meantime.

If this is truly about capacity and function in reality, then the skyway can't be used like the Chicago EL or NYC Subway.  Elevated or or at grade, it actually functions more like a horizontal elevator moreso than a citywide mass transit spine.   There is a key reason there only ended up being three downtown versions of peoplemover transit systems in the US.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 05:23:15 AM
From your quoted source above:

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By the start of the 1980s most politicians had lost interest in the concept and the project was repeatedly de-funded in the early 1980s. Only two APMs were developed as a part of the People Mover Program, the Metromover in Miami, and the Detroit People Mover.

While they mistakenly excluded the Skyway, this is what I've already explained about the Downtown People Mover Program. Only three of these systems were constructed in urban settings in the US: Jacksonville, Miami, and Detroit.  To date, Jax and Detroit's have been failures.  Miami's has fared much better in recent years due to it being fed riders from Metrorail and Tri-Rail and that municipality modifying their land use policies to encourage pedestrian scale transit oriented development. 

If we'd follow the Miami Metromover model, we'd invest in a station at Brooklyn to tap into that new development, extend a short leg to San Marco to tap into that existing population base, and invest in other modes to penetrate various areas outside downtown, which also end up feeding riders downtown circulator (the Skyway in our case).  In fact, Detroit is now following this model by going with modern Streetcar, BRT, and building a city wide bike network that will become a part of a connected transit network that includes the existing Detroit People Mover.

Btw, while it's an APM (automated people mover), Canada's Vancouver SkyTrain system is designed in a different manner from the US version of APMs that were apart of the Downtown People Mover program.



To serve a similar role as the Skytrain in Vancouver, we'd have to literally shut the Skyway down and rebuilt the entire system.  You'd be better off building LRT all over the city, which is what the majority of the US has done over the last 30 years.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 09:15:04 AM
Im not confused in the slightest.  I was here when all that was happening and wrote about it at the time.

Having Federal funding and complying with a design guideline that was developed by the Feds are two different things.

Ill see if I can find you some of the old literature on the subject tomorrow.
It sounds like it. We've gotten way off track from the original thread topic and you're butchering the terminology of what was actually constructed here (the Skyway) with other systems in larger cities that were designed and actually constructed to serve a completely different role than the Skyway.

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It really doesnt matter what the technology is, incidentally.

Trains still performed a valuable and important function when their main technology was a live oxen.

The type of mode (heavy, LRT, streetcar, people mover, bus, etc.) certainly does matter if you've come to the conclusion that investing in something that cost more than other modes of rail, with less capacity is worth investing in. 

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This is about capacity and function in reality, and how best to use the asset for the funtion intended while making it serve a useful purpose in the meantime.

If this is truly about capacity and function in reality, then the skyway can't be used like the Chicago EL or NYC Subway.  Elevated or or at grade, it actually functions more like a horizontal elevator moreso than a citywide mass transit spine.   There is a key reason there only ended up being three downtown versions of peoplemover transit systems in the US.

meh.

The reason the feds only paid for three systems is because demassification obviated the need for them mostly.  But the re urbanization policies of the past 15 years will bring that need back soon enough.

And im not confused in the slightest., although I think you might be.  I think you are trying to talk about the terminology of the tech rather than the function it was meant to serve.

There really isnt a strict terminology with these things as systems anyways.  Some of them are called by the technology like the monorail in Disney.  Some of them are called People Movers to express their function, and some of them are called Automated Guideway Transit to express their economics.

The term 'people mover' is used to describe at least three different technologies according to the wikipedia article.

If we are going to split hairs about terminology, then the 'skyway' would most legitimately be called a 'carveyor system'.

I answered TUFSU's question as to which mode I would prefer, and Ive backed it up with my reasons----none of which are semantic.

The Skyways were just a little before their time, and they were implemented by a generation that didnt understand the connection between transit and urban environments.

But one thing that they got right was the labor costs and thinking about affordable ways to implement transit.

I dont think that the skyway should mimic any of the other systems built by the feds.  In order to make them useful, both Miami and Detroit had to go through the same process of re interpreting how they were deployed---and to what purpose.

And we will have to do the same thing.

The mistakes I think that the system made when designed were:

1.  Attempting to use it as the central core to a proposed citywide light rail system and designing it with that in mind, instead of thinking about how it would function as a small stand alone system.

2.  Attempting to emulate Disneys economic model of it primarily being a parking lot conveyor belt designed for two trips per person---back and forth to single level parking lots that they themselves owned.

3.  The mass demolitions perpetrated by the JTA itself which destroyed the traffic density generators that they needed to serve.

Other thoughts:

The original line was proposed to be built right down to the campus of the Blue Cross Blue Shield.

In a near future, which sees the redevelopment of Brooklyn, and further densification of Riverside in general, what is the plan for downtown to riverside access?  with a lot of local traffic on Riverside Avenue, generated by new buildings along the roadway will there be a need for more lanes?

When the people mover was proposed, that whole stretch was pretty awful as well.  Since then, we multiplied the lanes a good bit in the reconstruction of Riverside Avenue.  Will we have to do so again in the future? 

Truly I think the easiest and most obvious next step should be a joint construction project to build a joined station onto the Florida State College Campus.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 09:24:32 AM
Um.. okay.  In closing, the Skyway is just a name.  There are no "Skyways". What we refer to as the Skyway was originally designed as a peoplemover and the technology has been changed into a monorail but it still serves it's purpose as a downtown circulator.  Quite different from the EL and NYC Subway, which are heavy rail systems.
If the key factor in your argument is you desire an elevated system, then that's another topic altogether.

Nevertheless, I think anyone who truly understands transit knows what I was trying to explain and why it matters in a discussion like this.  Anyway, let's get back on track about discussing the validity of connecting Brooklyn with the rest of downtown.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 09:39:44 AM
Um.. okay.  In closing, the Skyway is just a name.  There are no "Skyways". What we refer to as the Skyway was originally designed as a peoplemover and the technology has been changed into a monorail but it still serves it's purpose as a downtown circulator.  Quite different from the EL and NYC Subway, which are heavy rail systems.
If the key factor in your argument is you desire an elevated system, then that's another topic altogether.

Nevertheless, I think anyone who truly understands transit knows what I was trying to explain and why it matters in a discussion like this.  Anyway, let's get back on track about discussing the validity of connecting Brooklyn with the rest of downtown.

If the skyway is just a name, why spend so many paragraphs polemicizing the 'terminology'?

And I do think this is something that you might be better to think about for a bit.

It doesn't matter a hill of beans what the technology is, except in terms of cost and implementation.  Transit ---at least for those who understand it truly--- is best served by understanding the unintended consequences as well as the obvious ones.  Sixty plus years of demolitions kind of prove that.

You will see that I added a few paragraphs above.  I didnt realize you were already up and posting.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 09:41:13 AM
Um.. okay.  In closing, the Skyway is just a name.  There are no "Skyways". What we refer to as the Skyway was originally designed as a peoplemover and the technology has been changed into a monorail but it still serves it's purpose as a downtown circulator.  Quite different from the EL and NYC Subway, which are heavy rail systems.
If the key factor in your argument is you desire an elevated system, then that's another topic altogether.

Nevertheless, I think anyone who truly understands transit knows what I was trying to explain and why it matters in a discussion like this.  Anyway, let's get back on track about discussing the validity of connecting Brooklyn with the rest of downtown.

Here is a question, Lake. 

Why did New York build a subway system instead of running more trolleys at grade?

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 09:53:39 AM
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If the skyway is just a name, why spend so many paragraphs polemicizing the 'terminology'?

I was originally trying to get further detail on understanding why you were advocating a more expensive and inefficient solution to tufsu1's question. Then as you started to veer into our side discussion, I wanted to clear up some things you mentioned as transit truths that were wrong so the average reader would not be confused. I think, if we're going to try and talk about transit from a professional level, we have to keep things professional. If not, the battle for correct implantation is already defeated.

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It doesn't matter a hill of beans what the technology is, except in terms of cost and implementation.
It really does matter if you want a workable mass transit system. If your corridor calls for commuter rail, it makes no sense to put in heavy rail, a people mover, or streetcar.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 10:07:15 AM
NYC build underground tunnels for their transit system for the same reason San Diego and Denver built at-grade LRT. It was deemed the best viable solution for that specific urban environment. In the same manner, given our circumstances in Brooklyn, a ground level skyway station seems to a viable transit solution.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 10:11:06 AM
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If the skyway is just a name, why spend so many paragraphs polemicizing the 'terminology'?

I was originally trying to get further detail on understanding why you were advocating a more expensive and inefficient solution to tufsu1's question. Then as you started to veer into our side discussion, I wanted to clear up some things you mentioned as transit truths that were wrong so the average reader would not be confused. I think, if we're going to try and talk about transit from a professional level, we have to keep things professional. If not, the battle for correct implantation is already defeated.

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It doesn't matter a hill of beans what the technology is, except in terms of cost and implementation.
It really does matter if you want a workable mass transit system. If your corridor calls for commuter rail, it makes no sense to put in heavy rail, a people mover, or streetcar.

meh.  loaded vocabulary notwithstanding, there wouldnt be anything efficient or cost effective about implementing a streetcar system to the stadium whose primary benefit is to deliver walking traffic at grade to waiting retail.

the reason being that the street traffic generated would only happen for a few hours a month, and mostly the streets would be bare until development begins to happen at the riverfront.  But hey, at least you would be paying salaries for the operators during all the times that no one is down there.  And then still have to pay additional operators in order to handle the loads during game times.

Doesnt sound 'cost efficient' to me.  And yet doing nothing is not really an option.

The best economic use of trolleys is with embedded retail and commercial at the stops/stations because of the potential customer base between headways.

The best use of the skyway is getting large groups of people rapidly to and from destinations, which would help generate traffic at the core district stops.

I don't think you cleared up any transit 'truths' incidentally.  I suspect you were just engaging in some good old fashioned argumentation.

I think the choices have a pretty clear cut set of criteria.

1.  Is the intent to create street traffic and is there a greater benefit from walking people on the streets spending money (as in the case of Riverside Avenue perhaps?

2.  Is the intent to alleviate vehicular traffic with a premium on speed, rather than pedestrian interactivity.

If the first option is the goal, then streetcars at grade will help with economic development

If the second option is the goal then automated skyways will keep the traffic itself from becoming a deterrent and allow for capacity.

Those are the two considerations that would guide my thinking as a simple gauge, if I were thinking about either Brooklyn or the Eastside as projects on their own.

I think Ock has additional opinions on how best to serve the Eastside district.  Perhaps he can weigh in.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 10:12:58 AM
NYC build underground tunnels for their transit system for the same reason San Diego and Denver built at-grade LRT. It was deemed the best viable solution for that specific urban environment. In the same manner, given our circumstances in Brooklyn, a ground level skyway station seems to a viable transit solution.

Lol.  No duh, Lake.  Outside of Jacksonville people don't normally build things because they deem them to be the worst viable solution for their specific urban environment.

What I was asking about was 'why'?  What would have been the determining factor that made it the best solution?

Ocklawaha

December 23, 2012, 01:23:30 PM
There are a couple of other reasons too: ONE: I've got a hunch that changing the way we build the Skyway would result in a massive reduction in construction costs.

Compared to the original cost of the Skyway or compared to the capital costs of other modes?

The original cost of the system should have been enough to prevent it from ever being built, a classic "I told you so," case. That being said, a large chunk of that went to the electrical, signaling and computer system, not to mention the railroad yard and shop building and equipment. Today all we need to build is track and the track doesn't have to be built inside a elevated channel, build it like the Disney system.

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TWO: Sending a streetcar down Bay Street whilst dealing with game day traffic is a suicide wish as far as public trust.

My advice would be to simply take a lane out of Bay and use it as fixed transit ROW, if that's the exact route to be used.  Bay Street isn't that much different in the width of streets Houston's LRT runs down
With the Skyway, we apparently don't even need to lose a lane.



Also, you can change the direction of game day traffic much easier than you can build a streetcar or Skyway extension.  We shouldn't let that be a major influence of planning transit.

With the Skyway, we don't even need to lose a lane and it won't change the new directional traffic pattern. Again, that restores the public trust in getting our money's worth out of the directional traffic control on Bay. 

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Streetcar is MUCH better suited to private right-of-way and for that reason I wouldn't take it to Shand's or the stadium.

Jacksonville owns these streets and the urban core has a gridded street network. There's no reason public ROW can't be used exclusively for transit so that it doesn't mix with cars.  I believe mixing fixed transit with regular street traffic on any Jacksonville street would be a huge mistake.

When a musician "takes a ride," he is not talking about transportation, and when a transportation geek says private right-of-way it simply means a physical separation from all other modes regardless of who owns the real estate.  ;D

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I want to invite my engineer friends and perhaps a representative or two from the industry to go over the Skyway with me and see what we can come up with.  As you know I was able to get a fairly firm quote on streetcar track for $4 million a mile, with another million or so for overhead, signaling and minimal stations.

I'd love to see what they come up with.  However, when you put together these estimates, they can't just be for the installation of track, overhead, etc.  You've got to factor in every thing it costs to start from their design on paper to their actual operation because John Q. Public is going to have to pay for it.

Yes, this ought to be interesting.

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I think Stephen and I speak for the whole of Jacksonville when we say Bay Street belongs to the Skyway.   

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Count me in as the exception. When I started in the transportation planning industry I was a big fan of a Skyway Bay Street extension.  However, at that time, I viewpoint was also on seeing the Skyway completed without really studying all options available to our disposal or understanding the true path of what it takes to get these projects off the ground in our environment.  Now I'm not locked into it anymore for a variety of reasons already explained.

However, getting back to the Skyway and Brooklyn, an extra station at the operations center to tie into Riverside Place and 220 Riverside, makes all the sense in the world.  Here, we have the same issue the Skyway has with San Marco.  A major activity center just outside the Skyway's service area.  The major difference with Brooklyn is that the Skyway is already there.  All it needs is a simple no-frills station.

I not a huge fan of the Skyway, but we have it, it's major expenses are behind us and I think it's time we make a serious effort to figure out what it would cost to make it work for the whole downtown core. It might turn out that something else is better then the Skyway but we should be careful not to continue to ignore that investment least it turn out to be found valueless.

ANY stations beyond what we currently have should be minimalist in their design (except where the station could be within a building or serve as a historic preservation effort such as Fire Station 5) but your right, JTA should launch on the Brooklyn stop immediately allowing construction workers access via Skyway. It's WAY past time for some ink to start flowing in the engineers office.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 02:02:06 PM
The original cost of the system should have been enough to prevent it from ever being built, a classic "I told you so," case. That being said, a large chunk of that went to the electrical, signaling and computer system, not to mention the railroad yard and shop building and equipment. Today all we need to build is track and the track doesn't have to be built inside a elevated channel, build it like the Disney system.

As you know from our previous discussions and planning sessions, I'm we'll aware of that, which it why I'd say we'd be lucky to get it in the $30 million/mile range.  That number is significantly cheaper than what we've already invested, yet still significantly higher than some other modes.

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TWO: Sending a streetcar down Bay Street whilst dealing with game day traffic is a suicide wish as far as public trust.

My advice would be to simply take a lane out of Bay and use it as fixed transit ROW, if that's the exact route to be used.  Bay Street isn't that much different in the width of streets Houston's LRT runs down
With the Skyway, we apparently don't even need to lose a lane.



Also, you can change the direction of game day traffic much easier than you can build a streetcar or Skyway extension.  We shouldn't let that be a major influence of planning transit.

With the Skyway, we don't even need to lose a lane and it won't change the new directional traffic pattern. Again, that restores the public trust in getting our money's worth out of the directional traffic control on Bay.

You just need to spend three times as much.  Bay already has four lanes. Without a detailed study, I'm not sold the extra money spent is worth saving a lane, especially when a major side benefit in a reduced Bay is a more pedestrian friendly/bike friendly corridor in the heart of the Northbank.

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Streetcar is MUCH better suited to private right-of-way and for that reason I wouldn't take it to Shand's or the stadium.

Jacksonville owns these streets and the urban core has a gridded street network. There's no reason public ROW can't be used exclusively for transit so that it doesn't mix with cars.  I believe mixing fixed transit with regular street traffic on any Jacksonville street would be a huge mistake.

When a musician "takes a ride," he is not talking about transportation, and when a transportation geek says private right-of-way it simply means a physical separation from all other modes regardless of who owns the real estate.  ;D

However, we all know its much easier to secure "private" ROW on ROW already owned by the entity implementing the system.  So if COJ wants to invest in transit on its streets, it controls its own destiny.  Start trying to get ROW from entities like CSX, FEC, or the private sector and your implementation process just got a little more difficult and expensive.


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I think Stephen and I speak for the whole of Jacksonville when we say Bay Street belongs to the Skyway.   

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Count me in as the exception. When I started in the transportation planning industry I was a big fan of a Skyway Bay Street extension.  However, at that time, I viewpoint was also on seeing the Skyway completed without really studying all options available to our disposal or understanding the true path of what it takes to get these projects off the ground in our environment.  Now I'm not locked into it anymore for a variety of reasons already explained.

However, getting back to the Skyway and Brooklyn, an extra station at the operations center to tie into Riverside Place and 220 Riverside, makes all the sense in the world.  Here, we have the same issue the Skyway has with San Marco.  A major activity center just outside the Skyway's service area.  The major difference with Brooklyn is that the Skyway is already there.  All it needs is a simple no-frills station.

I not a huge fan of the Skyway, but we have it, it's major expenses are behind us and I think it's time we make a serious effort to figure out what it would cost to make it work for the whole downtown core. It might turn out that something else is better then the Skyway but we should be careful not to continue to ignore that investment least it turn out to be found valueless.

ANY stations beyond what we currently have should be minimalist in their design (except where the station could be within a building or serve as a historic preservation effort such as Fire Station 5) but your right, JTA should launch on the Brooklyn stop immediately allowing construction workers access via Skyway. It's WAY past time for some ink to start flowing in the engineers office.

All this is good but doesn't mean we should simply expand the Skyway at all costs without seriously consideration of how it logically fits into a regional wide network and the cost effectiveness of such expansion.  That's a quick way to burn public dollars and damage the overall image of mass transit in a city where most already consider the system as a huge waste.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 02:25:01 PM
meh.  loaded vocabulary notwithstanding, there wouldnt be anything efficient or cost effective about implementing a streetcar system to the stadium whose primary benefit is to deliver walking traffic at grade to waiting retail.

I have to get you out of this DVI styled mindset of only focusing on this specific mile.  The streetcar I was referring to is the one already in the various transportation plans that connects the urban core neighborhoods with downtown and who's construction costs would be possibly generated by the mobility fee.  So its primary benefit is much more than possibly serving the stadium or delivering walking traffic to waiting retail.

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the reason being that the street traffic generated would only happen for a few hours a month, and mostly the streets would be bare until development begins to happen at the riverfront.  But hey, at least you would be paying salaries for the operators during all the times that no one is down there.  And then still have to pay additional operators in order to handle the loads during game times.

Doesnt sound 'cost efficient' to me.

No what you describe does not sound cost efficient.  Fortunately, what you're describing is not accurate.

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And yet doing nothing is not really an option.

The best economic use of trolleys is with embedded retail and commercial at the stops/stations because of the potential customer base between headways.

The best use of the skyway is getting large groups of people rapidly to and from destinations, which would help generate traffic at the core district stops.

For shits and giggles, can you explain how you've come to this conclusion?  What data are you basing your opinion upon?

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I don't think you cleared up any transit 'truths' incidentally.  I suspect you were just engaging in some good old fashioned argumentation.

Let's revisit you're original post a couple pages back, which as a response to tufsu1's question to Ock:

Ock...once again I ask this...knowing you won't get both, would you rather see the skyway extended to the stadium area or a streetcar route to the area?

The skyway.  The area has been so demolished that there isn't the need for a daily high usage transit line out there.

Since I've pressed to see further explanation of your original comment above, your position has changed from favoring the skyway because the corridor doesn't need a daily high usage transit line to favoring the skyway because you think it can move masses of people rapidly like the Chicago EL or NYC Subway....but you're not confused?  I'm sorry but this is like trying to nail jello to a wall. :D

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I think the choices have a pretty clear cut set of criteria.

1.  Is the intent to create street traffic and is there a greater benefit from walking people on the streets spending money (as in the case of Riverside Avenue perhaps?

2.  Is the intent to alleviate vehicular traffic with a premium on speed, rather than pedestrian interactivity.

If the first option is the goal, then streetcars at grade will help with economic development

If the second option is the goal then automated skyways will keep the traffic itself from becoming a deterrent and allow for capacity.

Those are the two considerations that would guide my thinking as a simple gauge, if I were thinking about either Brooklyn or the Eastside as projects on their own.

I don't think those are choices at all.  Especially, the second because neither will have a significant impact on alleviating auto traffic congestion. 

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I think Ock has additional opinions on how best to serve the Eastside district.  Perhaps he can weigh in.

Where were you guys back in 2006-09 when all of this stuff was being worked into the LRTP, mobility plan, etc.?  We had this site up and information was definitely discussed here.  At what point do we stop play play debating online, roll up our sleeves and get something off the shelf?  I think we have a true opportunity with the Skyway in Brooklyn and even utilizing the mobility fee for a variety of multimodal projects if we can focus our lobbying efforts.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 02:31:25 PM
Btw, here is a link to the transit projects identified to be funded in the 2035 long range transportation plan.  It includes the streetcar corridor:

http://www.northfloridatpo.com/images/uploads/general/LRTP_summbrochure.pdf

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 02:48:14 PM
NYC build underground tunnels for their transit system for the same reason San Diego and Denver built at-grade LRT. It was deemed the best viable solution for that specific urban environment. In the same manner, given our circumstances in Brooklyn, a ground level skyway station seems to a viable transit solution.

Lol.  No duh, Lake.  Outside of Jacksonville people don't normally build things because they deem them to be the worst viable solution for their specific urban environment.

What I was asking about was 'why'?  What would have been the determining factor that made it the best solution?

What does this have to do with opening a Skyway station in Jacksonville's Brooklyn?

Nevertheless, I have a feeling you want to make a point about how the opening of a subway 108 years ago in a city where roughly 16k people per mile resided, somehow applies to the Skyway serving Everbank Field in a corridor where there are more parking spaces than people.  Go for it.  However, when you do, go ahead and answer why NYC didn't apply the same solution to the Staten Island Railway, which serves an area 8 times as dense as Jax.


Staten Island Railway

Ocklawaha

December 23, 2012, 02:54:53 PM
Subways can do the same thing by running them underneath the established transitway real-estate, but obviously they are not an option here.The stadium transitway is already overwhelmed during games, and when you combine long term planning with the obvious benefits of connecting the 80 thousand patrons back into the downtown economic district, its just an obvious first expansion.

Connecting the stadium customers with Hemming Park, the Omni/Landing and the urban core would bring economic benefits that would help overcome the toxic bubble for small businesses.

Actually Stephen, a subway could be built in Jacksonville its no different then laying railroad track inside the Miami or Ft. Lauderdale tunnels. It is not an option here until we top the 4-5 million mark and that population would have to live in a dense corridor such as downtown to the beaches.

The stadium transitway is already overwhelmed during games, and when you combine long term planning with the obvious benefits of connecting the 80 thousand patrons back into the downtown economic district, its just an obvious first expansion.

Connecting the stadium customers with Hemming Park, the Omni/Landing and the urban core would bring economic benefits that would help overcome the toxic bubble for small businesses.

This is the greatest immediate effect of taking it to the stadiums, it opens up downtown to 15,000-80,000 fans rather then herding them out without an option of stopping somewhere along the way.

[You're confusing still the technology of people movers with heavy rail systems.  Peoplemovers (at least ours) aren't designed to move nearly as many people as heavy rail.  Also, any type of technology can be elevated.  However, elevation doesn't define the system, the technology used does.  The Skyway, Miami's Metromover, and Detroit's Peoplemover were the only three downtown peoplemovers funded by the UMTA's failed peoplemover program.  Also, the majority of transit systems in the US have been funded with federal dollars.

Detroit, Michigan: Detroit People Mover downtown, and ExpressTram at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana University Health People Mover
Jacksonville, Florida: JTA Skyway
Las Colinas, Irving, Texas: Las Colinas APT System
Paradise, Nevada: Mandalay Bay Tram
Miami, Florida: Metromover (Downtown People Mover), MIA Mover
Morgantown, West Virginia: Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit
Washington, District of Columbia: United States Capitol Subway System Dirksen/Hart Line
Queens, New York: AirTrain JFK Airport
Chicago, Illinois: ATS Chicago ORD
Dallas, DFW
Orlando, OIA

There are actually many more systems, some publicly funded and some not. The disconnect is that from 1994/95 to date the "Jacksonville People Mover," isn't a classic Automated People Mover (APM) it a 'driverless' monorail system more like a mini metro. It's only not usable as such because we clipped it's wings right after takeoff.

tufsu1

December 23, 2012, 02:56:12 PM
As lake has said, we need to stop debating and changing our minds so much....we have a plan and we need to speak with one voice to get it implemented....that's what the highway crowd has been doing for decades and our landscape shows they've been pretty successful.

Btw, as to the skyway terminology....there were/are skyway systems in other cities such as baltimore and minneapolis....and they are elevated pedestrianwalkways. 

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 03:11:49 PM
The stadium transitway is already overwhelmed during games, and when you combine long term planning with the obvious benefits of connecting the 80 thousand patrons back into the downtown economic district, its just an obvious first expansion.

Connecting the stadium customers with Hemming Park, the Omni/Landing and the urban core would bring economic benefits that would help overcome the toxic bubble for small businesses.

This is the greatest immediate effect of taking it to the stadiums, it opens up downtown to 15,000-80,000 fans rather then herding them out without an option of stopping somewhere along the way.

On the surface, this works for any fixed mode.  However, where are you going to park the cars?  You aren't going to get that number of people driving to ride it by parking at Kings Avenue Station and the Prime Osborn.  If not implemented properly, the only immediate effect we're going to hear is the giant sucking sound of money draining from our wallets. For anything at the stadium to effectively move people in masses, you need a decent complementing system tying downtown and the Skyway (or streetcar) with the burbs.  At the very least, that could mean at least one commuter rail line to the Southside or Clay County already in operation.

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[You're confusing still the technology of people movers with heavy rail systems.  Peoplemovers (at least ours) aren't designed to move nearly as many people as heavy rail.  Also, any type of technology can be elevated.  However, elevation doesn't define the system, the technology used does.  The Skyway, Miami's Metromover, and Detroit's Peoplemover were the only three downtown peoplemovers funded by the UMTA's failed peoplemover program.  Also, the majority of transit systems in the US have been funded with federal dollars.

Detroit, Michigan: Detroit People Mover downtown, and ExpressTram at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana University Health People Mover
Jacksonville, Florida: JTA Skyway
Las Colinas, Irving, Texas: Las Colinas APT System
Paradise, Nevada: Mandalay Bay Tram
Miami, Florida: Metromover (Downtown People Mover), MIA Mover
Morgantown, West Virginia: Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit
Washington, District of Columbia: United States Capitol Subway System Dirksen/Hart Line
Queens, New York: AirTrain JFK Airport
Chicago, Illinois: ATS Chicago ORD
Dallas, DFW
Orlando, OIA

There are actually many more systems, some publicly funded and some not. The disconnect is that from 1994/95 to date the "Jacksonville People Mover," isn't a classic Automated People Mover (APM) it a 'driverless' monorail system more like a mini metro. It's only not usable as such because we clipped it's wings right after takeoff.

Ock, how many of those in this list were funded by the UMTA's downtown peoplemover program?  Which ones where they?  Also, do you know what were the others in that program that were never built?

Ocklawaha

December 23, 2012, 03:33:34 PM
As lake has said, we need to stop debating and changing our minds so much....we have a plan and we need to speak with one voice ro get it implemented....thats what the highway crowd has been doing for decades and our landscape shows theyve been pretty successful.

Btw, as to the skyway terminology....there were/are skyway systems in other cities such as baltimore and minneapolis....and they are elevated pedestrianwalkways.

True TU, the 'Skyway' was a brand applied to our monorail by JTA, just as 'People Mover' is the brand name for the city buses in Anchorage. A pedestrian sky bridge does not include use of a structure constructed primarily for automobiles, however, there is no rule saying you couldn't call a structure constructed above grade primarily to allow pedestrians to cross a city right-of-way a 'Monorail,' no matter how inaccurate that might be.

I tend to think the Skyway started off as a classic APM Automated People Mover, and ended up as a classic, albeit tiny, monorail system.

Quote
I think Ock has additional opinions on how best to serve the Eastside district.  Perhaps he can weigh in.

Where were you guys back in 2006-09 when all of this stuff was being worked into the LRTP, mobility plan, etc.?  We had this site up and information was definitely discussed here.  At what point do we stop play play debating online, roll up our sleeves and get something off the shelf?  I think we have a true opportunity with the Skyway in Brooklyn and even utilizing the mobility fee for a variety of multimodal projects if we can focus our lobbying efforts.

Well part of that time I was either 8,000 feet up in the Andes or 30,000 feet over the Caribbean Sea.

I do think that on game days the Skyway feeding in from Rosa Parks or a new stop across State Street, from Jacksonville Terminal, from Brooklyn and from San Marco at Atlantic and all terminating at a station near the stadium would be the optimum use of the Skyway.

I wouldn't take it into the stadium at the expense of all of the other venues in Fairfield/East Jacksonville. Likewise I wouldn't send a streetcar straight up Bay to the same area since the Newnan//Beaver/Lafayette/Duval loop would serve the same purpose AND put us on the road for Gateway.

Any of these ideas have to be taken as a part of a 'whole system' concept letting each mode do what it does best to compliment the others seamlessly.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 03:49:32 PM
Quote
Where were you guys back in 2006-09 when all of this stuff was being worked into the LRTP, mobility plan, etc.?  We had this site up and information was definitely discussed here.  At what point do we stop play play debating online, roll up our sleeves and get something off the shelf?  I think we have a true opportunity with the Skyway in Brooklyn and even utilizing the mobility fee for a variety of multimodal projects if we can focus our lobbying efforts.

Well part of that time I was either 8,000 feet up in the Andes or 30,000 feet over the Caribbean Sea.

I'm pretty sure you were in Jax when the North Florida TPO LRTP, JTA Streetcar study and Mobility Plan were being created.  You even attended a few meetings.  Were you a stakeholder or on the citizens advisory committee for either BRT, commuter rail, or streetcars?

Quote
Any of these ideas have to be taken as a part of a 'whole system' concept letting each mode do what it does best to compliment the others seamlessly.

+1,000

Ocklawaha

December 23, 2012, 05:48:41 PM
Quote
Quote
Where were you guys back in 2006-09 when all of this stuff was being worked into the LRTP, mobility plan, etc.?  We had this site up and information was definitely discussed here.  At what point do we stop play play debating online, roll up our sleeves and get something off the shelf?  I think we have a true opportunity with the Skyway in Brooklyn and even utilizing the mobility fee for a variety of multimodal projects if we can focus our lobbying efforts.

Well part of that time I was either 8,000 feet up in the Andes or 30,000 feet over the Caribbean Sea.

I'm pretty sure you were in Jax when the North Florida TPO LRTP, JTA Streetcar study and Mobility Plan were being created.  You even attended a few meetings.  Were you a stakeholder or on the citizens advisory committee for either BRT, commuter rail, or streetcars?

Absolutely Lake, but from 2006-May of 2007, I was still a resident of Colombia, a mere technicality to be sure, but honesty reigns.

As you know I was on the streetcar committee and am still serving as a part of the commuter rail committee. For BRT I was more of a royal pain in the ass having just come from Bogota (though I lived in Medellin) I was/still am wanting to wash away filth that was high frequency, dedicated bus rapid transit.

Quote
Any of these ideas have to be taken as a part of a 'whole system' concept letting each mode do what it does best to compliment the others seamlessly.

+1,000

We are in total agreement,  and fact is, the Skyway being fare free (another metrojacksonville idea) has put it on track to top 1.33 million passengers in the coming year. As I pointed out in another thread, East Jacksonville would probably bump it to the 2 million a year mark or about 20% of our total annual transit ridership. There are about 140 major events held in the Arena/Baseball Grounds/Everbank Field, not counting anything at Metropolitan Park or the Fair Grounds. If the Skyway carried only 3,600 people per event x two directions it would increase the ridership by 1,008,000, easily passing the 2 million passengers a year target.

I view planning these complimenting systems as if we could take a sunburst pattern not unlike this clock for each mode, stack the clocks one atop of the other and give each a slight twist and you'd see a multi modal program.

For Example:

Jacksonville Terminal/Blanding/Argyle/Cassatt/Post/Normandy    BRT
Jacksonville Terminal/Atlantic/Beach/JTB    BRT
Jacksonville Terminal/Pearl/Lem Turner/Dunn/JIA    BRT

Yulee/Airport Road/Panama/Springfield/Durkeeville/Jacksonville Terminal RDC/DMU or    LRT.
Green Cove Springs/Orange Park/Kent Campus/jacksonville Terminal    RDC
St. Augustine/Bayard/Avenues/Jacksonville Terminal    RDC

Gateway/Brentwood/Springfield/East Jax/Jacksonville Terminal    Rapid Streetcar/Heritage Interurban
Jacksonville Terminal/Myrtle/West Brooklyn/5-Points/Riverside/Park and King    Heritage Streetcar
Jacksonville Terminal/Myrtle/Durkeeville Stadium

Central Station/Riverplace/Kings Avenue/San Marco   Skyway
Central Station/Brooklyn/Forest    Skyway
Central Station/Rosa Parks/Health Dept/VA Clinic/Shands    Skyway
Central Station/Newnan/Police HQ/Randolph  Skyway
Central Station/Myrtle/Farmers Market-Woodstock   Skyway

Ocklawaha

December 23, 2012, 06:50:27 PM
Oh and you asked me how many cities were in the UMTA program, it started out with 38 cities applying for an automated people mover.  The technology was at the 1964 NYC Worlds Fair Expo, designed by Disney, people rode in mock sports cars on what amounted to a conveyor belt. Then a new line was built as transportation in Disneyland's Tomorrow Land but the 'vehicles' had no wheels or moving parts except for a roof that tilted out of the way mechanically as the 'car' entered a station. If I recall they ran on 2 second headways (Randall O'Toole would be proud)  and the guideway was a system of hundreds of rubber tires powered electrically. UMTA got a hold on the concept and working with Disney, and announced the pilot program. In typical fashion cities were eliminated in rounds, I think it went down to 10, then they decided on 5 winners but only funded 3 systems.

thelakelander

December 23, 2012, 08:04:52 PM
So those funded cities were Jacksonville, Miami, and Detroit.  Any idea on who the other winners were that didn't receive funding?

Charles Hunter

December 23, 2012, 08:25:33 PM
According to this article, LA, St. Paul, Cleveland, and Houston were the first cities selected, and Baltimore, Miami, and Detroit could develop DPMs (Downtown People Movers) with existing grants.
http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/dpmhist.htm
Then Congress added Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and St. Louis, and UMTA added Norfolk, VA.  Cleveland, Houston, and St. Paul (the last after a public vote) withdrew.
Interestingly, Indianapolis now has a privately funded DPM.

stephendare

December 23, 2012, 08:54:33 PM
Just got back from a full  day of chores and labor in springfield.  Will be reading and catching up shortly.

Noone

December 24, 2012, 09:00:54 AM
Thanks!

Your welcome.

I'm definitely warming up to rail. It was MJ and last year when we were in Boston we spent an extra day just using the rail and then took Amtrack to Maine.

Have you guys reached out to CSX? Has anyone approached anyone about the laying of the track and making this a jobs program for Jacksonville residents? Again I don't pretend for a second to know how the track is laid but I keep thinking about the Pub Crawl Rail Team and just laying 25' or 50' of track. For those people who are out of worIk the rail guys who would be overseeing this may say "Hey Joe, Did you see that guy Mike?"  "I did. Before  the last break he had a Food truck lined up and was telling everyone they had 5 minutes to run into Mark's and get their drink orders lined up." I'm glad he's on our team,"

I believe JTA has approached CSX about studying to possibly utilize some of their corridors for commuter rail and that continues to be an ongoing process.  However, CSX doesn't stand in the way of utilizing the Skyway to access Brooklyn or a streetcar line between Riverside and Downtown.  Neither option would utilize or cross CSX ROW.

HO,HO,HO, Away the tables and chairs Go. 2012-732

You continue to miss the point with CSX.  CSX- Where are YOU? Mr. Ward, Mr. Halverson. Does everyone remember when Ronnie Fussell at a Jacksonville city council meeting showed up with a box of studies and reports and put them on the table for all to see? It was a big overflowing box. We don't need a study to lay rail!

Right now we have the Hemming Plaza Seat  Hoggers that will soon be replaced by the Hemming Plaza Bench Warmers 2012-732 and someone correct me but the accelerated legislative calendar can have this done by Jan. 8th.

PUBLIC, PRIVATE, PARTNERSHIP! Just what is It?

Not talking about crossing any CSX row. Just a straight streetcar line of track with oversight by  CSX a corporate GIANT DOWNTOWN and turn it into a job fair for anyone who wants to volunteer and Make It Happen and at the same time give the rail guys an opportunity to evaluate people that may want a career. Take it straight down Bay St.

Hey, Donna and Tim Deegan  what about a 100' of pink railroad ties and pink rail?
The Sulzbacher rail team
CSX rail team
Jaguars rail team
Jail rail team (Why not?)
Hemming Plaza rail team
My favorite.
The Pub Crawl rail team

I'm All In

2012 is 2025

Ocklawaha

December 24, 2012, 11:03:12 AM
Noone, you would soon discover that the very LAST people on earth that would have anything to do with passengers (liability) on rail, are the railroad companies themselves. This is part of the reason why the entire world industry is watching the FECI/All Aboard Florida concept.

From the late 1930's-early-1950's the railroads poured billions into modern passenger trains, stations and employees, but by 1959 it was clear that it would be a disastrous investment. It literally brought down the entire industry and you might recall by 1970, (when my High School counselor laughed and told me to get out of his office for suggesting I would one day work for a railroad) it appeared to many that there would be no railroads by 2000.

The government stepped in in 1971 and took a very few '15' trains for a 'new national system' and the railroads became freight only carriers. By 1990, with fuel prices climbing, and deregulation allowing the railroads to abandon their branchlines and focus on intercity freight the mold was set for the future.

Railroads as a rule do no want you on their property, don't want to open ANY door to passengers and will absolutely do anything in their power to stop a passenger project. Just look at the Tampa Streetcar's $400,000 dollar insurance premium because they simply cross a seldom used spur of CSX.

Many people have come to us shouting 'Trains for people - call CSX or FEC or NS' but the truth is we have no friends in the industry.

thelakelander

December 24, 2012, 02:32:28 PM
Yeah, Noone, CSX is the last company in town that's going to do what you're suggesting with CSX for a streetcar. You'd save time and money avoiding them.

spuwho

December 24, 2012, 11:31:23 PM
Hawaii is getting a 20 mile system. 3.3 billion will come from local taxes...wow!

WASHINGTON – The Federal Transit Administration has signed an agreement to provide $1.55 billion to the city and county of Honolulu to build Hawaii’s first-ever rail transit system. The 20-mile line will have 21 stations that will link West Oahu, Pearl City, Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Honolulu International Airport, downtown Honolulu, and Ala Moana Center, Oahu’s largest shopping center.

In total, the Federal Transit Administration is providing just under $1.8 billion in federal funds for the $5.1 billion project, including $1.55 billion through the Major Capital Investments Program, $209.9 million in federal formula funds and $4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Local taxpayers are providing $3.358 billion – about 65 percent – of the total project cost through a half-percent general excise and use tax surcharge paid by Oahu tourists, residents, and businesses.

ricker

December 25, 2012, 12:08:27 AM
A 20 mile system for less than 3.5 billion!

that IS impressive!

in other news,
it deeply concerns me that the aerial with overlay for this article's subject matter leaves the Old Fire Station no.5 covered by an ominous shadow.

Jax Tracks could revive our endangered structures!

spuwho_You suggesting another Better Jax Plan -esque half cent tax hike?
For a special taxing district, to complement the Mobility Plan, I might vote YES

spuwho

December 25, 2012, 12:24:41 AM
A 20 mile system for less than 3.5 billion!

that IS impressive!

in other news,
it deeply concerns me that the aerial with overlay for this article's subject matter leaves the Old Fire Station no.5 covered by an ominous shadow.

Jax Tracks could revive our endangered structures!

spuwho_You suggesting another Better Jax Plan -esque half cent tax hike?
For a special taxing district, to complement the Mobility Plan, I might vote YES

The project is actually over 5 billion:

In total, the Federal Transit Administration is providing just under $1.8 billion in federal funds for the $5.1 billion project,

I am an advocate for "directed" taxing when it comes to transit.  I don't like transit funding being mixed in with large funds with other purposes as it makes it subject to too much political dogfighting.  But before we talk taxing bodies or directives, we really need a comprehensive plan.

I hope the funds out of the mobility plan will trigger better planning activities.

thelakelander

December 25, 2012, 12:57:31 AM
A 20 mile system for less than 3.5 billion!

that IS impressive!

The Hawaii project is actually pretty expensive.  I believe it's heavy rail.

spuwho

December 25, 2012, 02:45:40 AM
You can get the details on the new HART System here:

http://www.honolulutransit.org/

Most of it follows an old military narrow gauge railroad ROW that encompassed Pearl Harbor and down to the ports of Honolulu.

As you can see they are moving along with the project.



I have been on the tourist line that remains that starts in Ewa past the West Loch between Pearl and Barbers Point and runs out to the power plant on the SW side of Oahu. Oddly, you can follow the ROW on Google Maps as the camera car drove all the way out to Kaena Point on the dirt. Oahu has a rich rail history dating back to when it was a leading exporter of sugar cane and pineapples. The military rail was all that was left by the early 80's.

http://www.hawaiianrailway.com/index.html



So while it appears this is Hawaii's first "rail" activity, it actually is just a revival. Ask Ock if he has ever seen a GE 25 ton narrow gauge switcher?

Ocklawaha

December 25, 2012, 09:12:25 PM
Balance of the Hawaii Information moved to a new thread: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,17038.0.html

stephendare

December 26, 2012, 09:04:58 AM
NYC build underground tunnels for their transit system for the same reason San Diego and Denver built at-grade LRT. It was deemed the best viable solution for that specific urban environment. In the same manner, given our circumstances in Brooklyn, a ground level skyway station seems to a viable transit solution.

Lol.  No duh, Lake.  Outside of Jacksonville people don't normally build things because they deem them to be the worst viable solution for their specific urban environment.

What I was asking about was 'why'?  What would have been the determining factor that made it the best solution?

Lake in all the blather about how DVI thinks about transportation and the rest of it, I haven't noticed that you answered this question.

thelakelander

December 26, 2012, 09:56:20 AM
I see you were confused enough that you thought I was talking about DVI? What does DVI have to do with extending the Skyway to tap into 220 Riverside and Riverside Park?  I didn't really engage in the discussion about what NYC did over a century ago because it has nothing to do with the central point of this thread......

Here is a link to today's article which visually highlights what I was trying to explain:

Understanding Transit in Jacksonville

stephendare

December 26, 2012, 10:03:47 AM
meh.  loaded vocabulary notwithstanding, there wouldnt be anything efficient or cost effective about implementing a streetcar system to the stadium whose primary benefit is to deliver walking traffic at grade to waiting retail.

I have to get you out of this DVI styled mindset of only focusing on this specific mile.  The streetcar I was referring to is the one already in the various transportation plans that connects the urban core neighborhoods with downtown and who's construction costs would be possibly generated by the mobility fee.  So its primary benefit is much more than possibly serving the stadium or delivering walking traffic to waiting retail.


apparently I mistook you for the other lakelander?

So, no reason as to 'why'? New York built underground rather than an at grade system?

At least we both see absolutely no connection between DVI and the questions of transit, now.

stephendare

December 26, 2012, 10:11:49 AM
I didn't really engage in the discussion about what NYC did over a century ago because it has nothing to do with the central point of this thread......

Good lord Lake!

For some reason no one told me that New York had stopped using those obsolete old subways.  I knew they were old, but I didnt realize that the City had outgrown them!

Thunderation! :o

thelakelander

December 26, 2012, 10:27:47 AM


New York also operates the Staten Island Railway, which runs primarily above grade.  However, none of this stuff has anything to do with or is productive to the topic of this thread. The last time I checked, the name of this article was "The Role Of Mass Transit In Brooklyn's Renaissance". I guess I should have included that it was intended to address Jacksonville's Brooklyn and not NYC's, which has nothing to do with opening a "no-frills" affordable Skyway station in Jacksonville's Brooklyn?  Nevertheless, if you want to learn more about the NYC Subway, here is a link where you can find the answers you seek: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_Subway

stephendare

December 26, 2012, 10:37:08 AM


New York also operates the Staten Island Railway, which runs primarily above grade.  However, none of this stuff has anything to do with or is productive to the topic of this thread. The last time I checked, the name of this article was "The Role Of Mass Transit In Brooklyn's Renaissance". I guess I should have included that it was intended to address Jacksonville's Brooklyn and not NYC's, which has nothing to do with opening a "no-frills" affordable Skyway station in Jacksonville's Brooklyn?  Nevertheless, if you want to learn more about the NYC Subway, here is a link where you can find the answers you seek: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_Subway

So then, you don't actually know why the subway made more sense than an at-grade rail system?

curious.

But I do think that we are at basically the same place that new york was at a hundred years ago:

To wit, pondering the establishment of a mass transit system that favors sustainable economics and redensification.

Nothing too disimilar about that junction, since mankind has neither developed the ability to fly from one building to the next naturally, nor swim about underwater via a new late stage growth of gills.  Also no star trek style teleporters have been developed.  So we are stuck with the old chestnuts arent we?

Bikes, rail, cars, automated sidewalks.

And amongst rail, we can choose our 'heaviness' or 'ightness' and we can choose to build at grade, or some elevated or subterranean version thereof.

Unless you are promoting mass transit by balloon, atomic core driller, astral projection, or rocket suit, I think that neatly sums up our options.

And they don't sound remarkably different from the list of options considered by New York in the late 1880s.

thelakelander

December 26, 2012, 11:34:36 AM
But I do think that we are at basically the same place that new york was at a hundred years ago:


http://pleasurephoto.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/mulberry-street-market-little-italy-new-york-city-1900/

New York City 1900 population: 3,437,202
New York City 1900 population density: 11,381/square mile (Manhattan was 84,091 residents/square mile)



Jacksonville 2011 population estimate: 827,908 
Jacksonville 2011 population density estimate: 1,100.1/square mile

Umm, okay.

Quote
To wit, pondering the establishment of a mass transit system that favors sustainable economics and redensification.

So after all of that, your basic point that relates to this thread is that you believe we need the Skyway to have an elevated station in Brooklyn instead of being at ground level because somehow an elevated station favors sustainable economics and redensification and ground level one doesn't?

stephendare

December 26, 2012, 11:50:09 AM
But I do think that we are at basically the same place that new york was at a hundred years ago:


http://pleasurephoto.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/mulberry-street-market-little-italy-new-york-city-1900/

New York City 1900 population: 3,437,202
New York City 1900 population density: 11,381/square mile (Manhattan was 84,091 residents/square mile)



Jacksonville 2011 population estimate: 827,908 
Jacksonville 2011 population density estimate: 1,100.1/square mile

Umm, okay.

Quote
To wit, pondering the establishment of a mass transit system that favors sustainable economics and redensification.

So after all of that, your basic point that relates to this thread is that you believe we need the Skyway to have an elevated station in Brooklyn instead of being at ground level because somehow an elevated station favors sustainable economics and redensification and ground level one doesn't?

So New York dismantled the old subway system?  Since they just didnt have a reason for building it (or no one could remember why?)

Im pretty sure that the part of my posts that you decided would be best answered by listing all the different ways you can use shrimp was an answer to a question from TUFSU about which transit form i would choose (Only being able to choose one or the other) to serve the stadium district.

Since then weve been treated to a dissertation that the funtion of transit modes is synonymous with the variations of rail, and the implication that no sidereal effects of the various modes exist.

And the conversation has taken a more meaningful turn, about how best to plan for a future using the various tools already in our possession.

Cheap does no always mean right, which seems to be a dominant theme in this conversation so far.

If you can cut costs while intelligently using something for its assets, thats good stewardship, but investing in something cheap that works for the next ten minutes at the cost of making an already existing asset worthless just doesnt seem terribly smart.

Of course the skyway can always be expanded in the future when its most needed.  That should drive up the price a bit, but hey!  Were saving money right?

From a budget surplus you can just underwrite it.

But city after city has demonstrated a land use multiplier effect from either transit system that has unintended consequences.

Now, if you would like to drop the subject until you are better prepared to debate it, then I am all for that!

But the answer to "what is the best foreign policy of the united states?" just isnt a list of all the state capitols.

stephendare

December 26, 2012, 12:08:52 PM
Incidentally, the timing for the decision to build a subway and elevated train system:

I suspect it had more to do with this:

Decision to build the First Subway: 1894 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_IRT_subway_before_1918
First Electric Train System: 1881  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport

although apparently new york started with a 'skyway' system to nowhere in 1867http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Side_and_Yonkers_Patent_Railway



I think its pretty clear that the decision to build a subway specifically had more to do with the technology being available rather than some realization that the City of New York was at a specific density. ;)

ps.  the decision by the Manhattan city elders to build mass transit started in 1890, when Manhattan was a separate city, with population of 1,441,216.

Ocklawaha

December 26, 2012, 12:29:38 PM
New York City did indeed have surface streetcars + EL's + Ferries +


Here is the Brooklyn System.


TIMES SQUARE - STREETCARS


CABLE CARS

stephendare

December 26, 2012, 12:33:32 PM
New York City did indeed have surface streetcars + EL's + Ferries +


Here is the Brooklyn System.


TIMES SQUARE - STREETCARS


CABLE CARS

as well as steam powered lines in the streets!

Pretty much as soon as the technology was available.

thelakelander

December 26, 2012, 12:37:08 PM


The last couple of pages ;D







Great renderings Jason.  Ock, any idea of how much it would cost to construct a ground level Skyway platform at the Skyway's Operations Center?

Ocklawaha

December 26, 2012, 01:34:51 PM
Yes using an industry cost guide of $250,000 for a BRT station or $500,000 for light rail, I'd say we'd be in for at or under the BRT station cost. Reason? The stop in Brooklyn will not need the elevators, escalators and overhead cross walks used in many light rail stations. Staying with the minimalist concept would serve us well, the largest cost for the Skyway System is likely to be in the automatic train stop linked to the safety fencing. The butterfly roof would hopefully set a standard for all future Skyway stations.

tufsu1

December 26, 2012, 02:31:25 PM
btw....as for NYC subways, check out the Second Avenue project.

It has been bantered about for over 80 years....and finally the first phase (covering 33 blocks) is under construction...at a cost of over $1 billion!

http://www.mta.info/capital/future/avenue-subway.php

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

and yes, while NYC finally moves ahead on heavy-rail subway expansion, they are also doing commuter rail, light rail, and BRT.

JeffreyS

December 26, 2012, 06:42:53 PM
I think elevated platform in Brooklyn is best simply for aesthetics and we may extend it a bit in the future. After that concentrate on streetcar and the existing rail lines ROW and there best use. If we can make some of that happen Skyway to San Marco. 

Ocklawaha

December 26, 2012, 11:09:59 PM
I think elevated platform in Brooklyn is best simply for aesthetics and we may extend it a bit in the future. After that concentrate on streetcar and the existing rail lines ROW and there best use. If we can make some of that happen Skyway to San Marco.

I'm curious why the modern minimalist station is less aesthetically pleasing to the eye then the half block long monstrosities JTA built in the original rounds of Skyway 101. Fact is if we don't do this, we won't do anything at all, the funds to build that elevated station are some years in the future. Meanwhile this station could establish the importance of the Skyway as an urban circulator by linking it with large scale residential, retail, and even more office development. Do this and San Marco, Shand's and a Fairfield/Stadium lines won't look so hopeless.

We have another Brooklyn story in the works and I've been working with Jeffery as he models the design, hopefully it too will meet with some enthusiasm. 

JeffreyS

December 26, 2012, 11:14:20 PM
Now I will be perfectly happy if it is at grade but I personally like elevated.   Streetcar is my true love however.

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 12:50:00 AM
That's cool Jeffrey I don't believe ANYONE in Jacksonville would question my love of streetcars and light-rail.

The concept for this station is that it is temporary. Hopefully some time in the fairly near future we can seek proper funding to move on with the Skyway and build a station such as JTA conceptualized for Brooklyn.

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 10:10:17 AM
Yes.  The hope of a no-frills ground level station would be that it could be up and running by the time these Brooklyn developments are completed in 2014.

Coolyfett

December 27, 2012, 11:03:13 AM
Very interesting thread...even more interesting commentary...lol
Would this station be called Brooklyn Park Station?

Captain Zissou

December 27, 2012, 11:33:04 AM
So this at grade approach would be temporary, but an elevated station could be added later as described by the JTA ROW?

Would the end goal be an intermodal station of sorts at Park and Forest that ties the streetcar to the Skyway?

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 02:05:56 PM
So this at grade approach would be temporary, but an elevated station could be added later as described by the JTA ROW?

Would the end goal be an intermodal station of sorts at Park and Forest that ties the streetcar to the Skyway?

If the will and the $ is there to extend to Forest the interchange station would probably be at Forest and Riverside. You are correct that this would NOT cause us to forego an elevated or a more complex terminal at ground level, in fact we purposely curved the line around in our rendering to allow space for a future elevated station.

I would think if the streetcar uses the Myrtle Avenue Subway to access Riverside, rather then a new bridge at the Lee Street Viaduct, there would be a slightly greater likelihood of the Skyway going to Forest. If the Streetcar uses a new bridge at Lee Street and head's down Park, then the Skyway is probably going no further into Brooklyn.

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 09:48:39 PM
^Pretty much.  A streetcar installed on Park would likely offer more redevelopment potential in Brooklyn but kill a Skyway extension to Forest because there are only 0.15 miles a part. 


Park Street with viaduct in the background.

The cost of a new bridge would be irrelevant because it would be built regardless for auto traffic.  Not having Park Street connected to the Northbank would isolate Brooklyn from downtown more than it already is.  However, the reality is no replacement or elimination of street connectivity involving Park Street is officially proposed at this point.  Everything being discussion on this forum is pure speculation.


Myrtle Avenue Subway


On the flip end, a streetcar down Myrtle loops you around the heart of Brooklyn and includes a nice historical element by reusing the old streetcar subway. Plus, since it doesn't parallel Riverside Avenue, a Skyway extension to Forest would make sense.

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 10:41:25 PM
To me the premiere reasons to go with the Myrtle Avenue Route are:

It aligns the Streetcar to go north into Durkeeville at a future date.

Places the Streetcar right next to the JTA maintenance yard.

Such a reconstruction (Myrtle) could FIX the flooding problem on Myrtle, and maybe some of the clearance for trucks.

It would place new development in a massive transit friendly district, if BRT used LEE-PARK, then add streetcar and Skyway, Brooklyn could become the new 'CITY' someday. 

Oh and for the record, does ANYONE know why or when they decided that the historic Lee Street Viaduct after being torn down and completely bumfuzzled is now 'Park Street?'

thelakelander

December 27, 2012, 10:49:49 PM
^I'd say because the creation of the Water Street intersection created an easy identifiable terminus point for each street.  Park, south of Water and Lee, North of it.

There are some great reasons for a streetcar for both corridors.  For Park, they would include it being a more direct route between Riverside and downtown, more economic development in Brooklyn (aka. more property tax revenue and job creation), and the killing of two birds with one stone (no need to extend Skyway), which reduces the overall capital costs for implementing fixed transit in this particular area.  The money saved could be used to extend the Skyway to another spot, like San Marco. 

All in all, both options have great benefits, which would be further evaluated in an alternatives analysis study, whenever it gets to that point.

Charles Hunter

December 27, 2012, 10:56:04 PM
Lee Street Viaduct - Don't know the year, but it was after the city put the Convention Center into the old train station.  They wanted an unobstructed view of the front of the old terminal, and, to provide a vehicular entrance to the "front door".  Not sure which was more important.  So it was after the CC moved in, and before the DOT rebuilt the Acosta Bridge, and put ramps over Water Street, blocking the view from downtown.

Ocklawaha

December 27, 2012, 11:09:50 PM
If the Viaduct is ever rebuilt (as it absolutely MUST BE to bring rail back to the old Terminal) I'd love to see them go back to the original name for historical reasons. It appears our friend Joel McEachin and I might have discovered where the old bronze historical marker/bridge dedication from the original viaduct is hidden. Would be great to see that placed on a new viaduct.

Noone

January 05, 2013, 04:37:55 AM
Thanks!

Your welcome.

I'm definitely warming up to rail. It was MJ and last year when we were in Boston we spent an extra day just using the rail and then took Amtrack to Maine.

Have you guys reached out to CSX? Has anyone approached anyone about the laying of the track and making this a jobs program for Jacksonville residents? Again I don't pretend for a second to know how the track is laid but I keep thinking about the Pub Crawl Rail Team and just laying 25' or 50' of track. For those people who are out of work the rail guys who would be overseeing this may say "Hey Joe, Did you see that guy Mike?"  "I did. Before  the last break he had a Food truck lined up and was telling everyone they had 5 minutes to run into Mark's and get their drink orders lined up." I'm glad he's on our team,"

I believe JTA has approached CSX about studying to possibly utilize some of their corridors for commuter rail and that continues to be an ongoing process.  However, CSX doesn't stand in the way of utilizing the Skyway to access Brooklyn or a streetcar line between Riverside and Downtown.  Neither option would utilize or cross CSX ROW.

HO,HO,HO, Away the tables and chairs Go. 2012-732

You continue to miss the point with CSX.  CSX- Where are YOU? Mr. Ward, Mr. Halverson. Does everyone remember when Ronnie Fussell at a Jacksonville city council meeting showed up with a box of studies and reports and put them on the table for all to see? It was a big overflowing box. We don't need a study to lay rail!

Right now we have the Hemming Plaza Seat  Hoggers that will soon be replaced by the Hemming Plaza Bench Warmers 2012-732 and someone correct me but the accelerated legislative calendar can have this done by Jan. 8th.

PUBLIC, PRIVATE, PARTNERSHIP! Just what is It?

Not talking about crossing any CSX row. Just a straight streetcar line of track with oversight by  CSX a corporate GIANT DOWNTOWN and turn it into a job fair for anyone who wants to volunteer and Make It Happen and at the same time give the rail guys an opportunity to evaluate people that may want a career. Take it straight down Bay St.

Hey, Donna and Tim Deegan  what about a 100' of pink railroad ties and pink rail?
The Sulzbacher rail team
CSX rail team
Jaguars rail team
Jail rail team (Why not?)
Hemming Plaza rail team
My favorite.
The Pub Crawl rail team

I'm All In

2012 is 2025


Noone, you would soon discover that the very LAST people on earth that would have anything to do with passengers (liability) on rail, are the railroad companies themselves. This is part of the reason why the entire world industry is watching the FECI/All Aboard Florida concept.

From the late 1930's-early-1950's the railroads poured billions into modern passenger trains, stations and employees, but by 1959 it was clear that it would be a disastrous investment. It literally brought down the entire industry and you might recall by 1970, (when my High School counselor laughed and told me to get out of his office for suggesting I would one day work for a railroad) it appeared to many that there would be no railroads by 2000.

The government stepped in in 1971 and took a very few '15' trains for a 'new national system' and the railroads became freight only carriers. By 1990, with fuel prices climbing, and deregulation allowing the railroads to abandon their branchlines and focus on intercity freight the mold was set for the future.

Railroads as a rule do no want you on their property, don't want to open ANY door to passengers and will absolutely do anything in their power to stop a passenger project. Just look at the Tampa Streetcar's $400,000 dollar insurance premium because they simply cross a seldom used spur of CSX.

Many people have come to us shouting 'Trains for people - call CSX or FEC or NS' but the truth is we have no friends in the industry.
Yeah, Noone, CSX is the last company in town that's going to do what you're suggesting with CSX for a streetcar. You'd save time and money avoiding them.
.

Ock, Lake, I'm in total shock. Seriously. This is HUGE news. And it's not good.

CSX- How tomorrow Moves and Jacksonville idles.

JCCI -2025. Ben Warner forget kayaking Downtown before 2025 we need to kayak Downtown before Jan. 19.

I just can't believe it. I've asked about this on other threads. Have you guys ever talked with Ward or Halverson or met with them at their office? I'm serious.

I remember when the Old Fuller Warren Bridge was an issue and I don't know how many times I tried and reach out to Hugh Greene with Baptist and was blown off.

I did the same with Mike Ward at CSX. Not as often. But the thought for reaching out to CSX at the time was how cool would this free 60' wide 1300' Downtown Destination Pier in partial shade be to see the trains crossing the river. believe it or not I brought them each a coffee mug and to this day don't know if they ever received it. If I ever get a chance to talk with these guys it won't be about the OFWB pier it will be did you ever get the mug.

Are we this LOST?  Btw it just reminded me that there is another Super Duper Secret FIND meeting Mon. 1/7/13 this one is a noticed meeting to follow up on the non noticed meeting that had new stuff thrown in and out of a city of 1 million there was only 1 person at the previous meeting.

Palms Fish Camp. Be patient. get a million dollars of taxpayer money and you never even opened up the door. How do you sign up for this stuff. Show up Monday and learn that the Vision continues.

Hey! Are you an electric company? Hang some lights. $300,000. There may be more to it but you may want to confer with the Palms Fish Camp guy first.

My favorite. Piling removal at a kayak launch and that project jumped $50k in a month. Sounds like a two kegger to me. Heres the funny thing. You can't add pilings to this.

Hey, Governor Scott I'm crossing my fingers with you that the Historic Promised 680' Downtown Public Pier (Shipyards III) is on the FIND list. If not the DIA/CRA in the USA can Make it Happen.

Ock, Lake, back  to your little train that could. We have heard that phrase. "Circle the Wagons." "Circle the Stadium."  I'm warming to rail. I just think that a straight shot down Bay St. With a streetcar to the stadium. What's going on with Adam St. Station? Could a streetcar track be connected or ran through Adam Street station and on a Gameday or special event swap out cars so the luxury car could be used? Just throwing it out there. I know easier said then done.



Spence

January 05, 2013, 08:30:23 AM
Attempting to stay on topic, I hope this is not considered a misplaced post.
I do not mean to "hijack".
In a recent thread someone mentioned linking all the core dining/drinking establishments.

If our office of Economic Development, JTA, and Downtown, Riverside, and San Marco folks put their heads together, who here feels like two busses running Thursday, Friday, Saturday, between the hours of late lunch/early happy hour/dinner - to late in the night (2-3am) on 45 minute headways could help?

like a larger, regular pubcrawl..?

A possible route I mapped:
Square 1,
Layla San Marco,
Matthew's,
Take Away Gourmet,
San Marco Theatre,
European St., San Marco,
Hurricanes,
Aix,
Sherwoods,
bb's,
King's Ave. garage and SkyWay stop,
Endo Exo,
Locals,
Wyndham,
Chart House,
Ruth's Chris,

over the Main St. bridge,

Hyatt,
Berkman,
TSI,
Underbelly,
FLorida Theatre,
LaCena (still open?)
The Landing via Laura St.,
Omni,
Skyline cafe,
Times Union Performing Arts Center,

Newly proposed Brooklyn SkyWay busstop at the Operations/Maintenance carbarn,

Forest St/Unity Plaza
Fidelity garage,
Riverside Arts Market,
Cummer,
Riverdale Inn,
Starbucks/Publix,
Black Sheep/Mossfire/O'Brothers/Sake House,
Sun-Ray Cinema,
loop around to Lomax (Tapa That),
Park St. to Pele's,
King St. to everything between Panda House to Salty Fig,
Intuition,
cork,
Bold City,
Gorrie/ZenCog/13 Gypsies

Back to San Marco via Park to Lee to Water with a stop at the Landing on the way?
perhaps Mr.Sleiman would even be appeased?
Thoughts?

What did I leave out?
How would you amend this route?

thelakelander

January 05, 2013, 10:20:02 AM
Transit doesn't make money. You'll be lucky to cover 30% of your operations and maintenance through fare collection. This means someone would have to subsidize a special limited service circulator that would only appeal to a percentage of a crowd that the majority will still drive to these various destinations.  I truly, feel that our entire bus system should be redesigned and that redesigned system should include routes with high frequencies that tie into various districts and proposed fixed transit lines, which will also penetrate several areas on your list.

urbanlibertarian

January 05, 2013, 10:52:40 AM
IMO the most likely way a shuttle like that would happen is if it was run by a private business and "subsidized" by businesses on the route.  O&M costs would be lower and the whole operation more flexible.

urbanlibertarian

January 05, 2013, 10:57:48 AM
BTW I was at Marks for New Years Eve and saw a private shuttle on Bay St.  My recollection of that night is a bit foggy.  Anyone know the story on that?

JaxJag

April 22, 2013, 07:23:53 PM
I DID NO HOMEWORK AT ALL but instead of going down riverside and making a kind of circle into the inbetween area of brooklyn and lavilla why wouldnt they figure a way to continue down park st. ? How far is riverside from park at any given point? It seems that it would be no more than 1/4 mile. It seems it could cut out a lot of possibly unnecessary line. And still get alll or most of the same area. I understand the majority of the workers/ big business is on riverside but IF its within "walking distance" why not. Is that even possible?
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