The stellar moment of the Council meeting was made in response to a Bike Jax(?) gentleman who pointed out our terrible bike and pedestrian infrastructure and the fact that we missed out on $3,000,000 worth of improvements that could have been collected in Mobility Fees.
Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford, with Bill Bishop apparently nodding in approval questioned if we could really do anything with just $3 Million. "$3 Million isn't enough to do any of the infrastructure improvements your talking about, so it really isn't going to make much difference. You'll have to add many times that amount and you are going to have to find it someplace else, in property taxes, license fees, sales tax... Somewhere."
So using that as a baseline here is what could be done with $3 Million:
12.5 miles of new 12' wide, grade separated, bike trail, more then enough to build a new trail system from:
San Marco to St. Johns Town Center
Riverside to Orange Park Mall
Downtown (Rosa Parks) to the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail head at Imeson Road, via - Hogan/Water/Park/Post/Normandy/Lane/Commonwealth/Imeson
Maxwell House through Springfield to Gateway Mall via "The Electric 7 Streetcar Route" and on to JIA via Lem Turner Road (For details about 'The Electric 7 Streetcar' see: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-aug-the-electric-7-a-streetcar-proposal-on-a-shoestring
That $3 Million could also buy us enough 5' wide x 4" deep sidewalk to stretch from Downtown Jacksonville to St. Augustine.
The Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail head on Imeson Road to Ponte Vedra Beach via downtown, with enough left over to add the sidewalk on one side of Philips all the way to the St. Johns County Line.
Build a streetcar line using the Kenosha model from Jacksonville Terminal (Prime Osborn) to Bay and Newnan.
Build 'The Electric 7 Streetcar' from Beaver Street through Springfield and East Jacksonville to 8Th Street.
Buy 5 new hybrid-electric buses for downtown transit shuttles
Buy 12 standard rear engine, small diesel buses for lighter suburban routes
Mr. Councilman, you were right, you couldn't do hardly anything - in fact you could do a fantastic amount of things. Infrastructure improvements would make a huge contribution toward our growth into the big leagues of world cities. And everyone should remember that based on national averages, if we spent that $3 Million on streetcar we would see a corresponding $15 Million dollar private investment (new residential, offices, retail, etc) from the private sector.
$3 MILLION INDEED! Just do the right thing and kill this horrible proposal.