Author Topic: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System  (Read 9022 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« on: May 12, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
Killing Connectivity.  The Downtown 'Loop' System



At the end of the 1960's Jacksonville was beginning to grapple with a few problems universal to the times.  White Flight (primarily to Arlington with the opening of the new super  Mall , Regency Square.) emptying the core neighborhoods of affluent residents and any real diversity

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/785

jeh1980

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008, 04:38:15 AM »
Huh? ??? How could we possibly kill connectivity? That's ridiculous! We all due respect, but I don't like the idea of how we think of some of our city leaders and architects as bad influences to downtown. Despite the mishaps and the most of the retail moving to the suburbs, I personally thought the 1971 Master Plan had absolutely NO intention of driving away the retail business. It's original idea of the plan was really about building and revitalization, NOT destruction (even though there were a lot of surface parking lots made during that time). Interesting article though,...I think. ::)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 05:03:56 AM by jeh1980 »

thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2008, 09:04:29 AM »
Here's an image from the 1950s before FCCJ's campus was constructed.  One can clearly see that downtown's urban building fabric stretched from the river all the way to Hogans Creek on several streets including Ocean, Main, Laura and Hogan.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

stephenc

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 01:10:26 PM »
I always wondered why the streets were like that. That's pretty amazing.

thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 01:19:04 PM »


Regarding street patterns, change is being made, or at least, proposed. 

A. Julia will be reversed to head south.

B. Pearl will reopen as a two way when the courthouse is built and completed.

C. Laura will become a two way from Hemming to Independent.

The biggest obstacle will remain FCCJ's campus.  The best way that can be overcome is to make sure the future expansion plans have an urban oriented format to encourage foot traffic, currently hidden inside of the school, to become more visual and interactive with its surroundings.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 01:20:38 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 01:52:45 PM »
The city maintained streets would be easier to do, which is being done (or talked about) to a large extent.  The FDOT maintained streets (Main, Ocean, Forsyth, Adams, etc.) would be more difficult, but its been done before.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Steve

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 02:23:23 PM »
to really help though, they need to make all the streets 2 way

While it would be nice, I don't think that is necessary to make our downtown thrive.  San Diego is a classic example of a mid-sized downtown thriving with a ton of one-ways.  However, they're one ways are laaid out in a logical pattern, unlike ours.

Plus, Jacksonville had a lot of one ways going way back.  However, not nearly the amount they have today.

tufsu1

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 10:09:06 PM »
Stephen...this discussion has already been had on a previous thread...and you even admitted that Main/Ocean, State/Union, and Lee/Broad are justified as one-way

Not all one-way streets are bad...Please stop making blanket statements

thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 10:26:15 PM »
We would have probably ended up with a crosstown expressway really cutting off downtown from Springfield if State & Union were not converted to one-way streets.  Today, they carry so much traffic that they are the real commercial corridors that the city should look at for inner city retail development.  Although most consider them death traps to cross, crossing would not be as much of an issue if there were a reason to cross on foot.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

tufsu1

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 10:57:02 PM »
and while Main/Ocean don't carry as much traffic as State/Union, they do carry much more than could be handled by 2 two-lane roads...if you squeezed 4 lanesd onto one of them, there would either be problem with turning movements (no room for turn lanes) and/or no room for on-street parking.

Other than the 3 pairs I mentioned, I would agree that almost everything else could be converted....the only other potentially viable one-way pair is Bay/Forsyth

thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2008, 11:03:32 PM »
Here's a good look at Main before it became a one way street.  It appears to be five lanes with no parallel parking.  Did the city shrink the width of the road at some point?

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2008, 11:15:18 PM »
I believe, as part of the Loop Streets projects, the sidewalks along Main were widened, making the road narrower.  As said in the article, that was the thinking then - wider sidewalks = better environment for pedestrians = more pedestrians (forgetting that tearing down everything else would have the opposite result)

I think thelakelander hit the nail on the head about State/Union, it has probably been a one-way pair since the Mathews was built in the mid 1950s., and the alternative would be an expressway - a much more "solid" barrier. 

Regarding Ocean Street being cut off - there was a proposal back in the 1970s to extend it across the park, but local opposition to carving up more of the park stopped it.

About the JTA station cutting off Downtown/Springfied access - I believe FCCJ was there long before the JTA "FCCJ Station" was built.  Although, if the college opens up Hogan Street (which would require a change of attitude, given the tall fences all the way 'round campus), then the JTA station would be in the way.

thelakelander

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2008, 11:27:38 PM »
Quote
I believe, as part of the Loop Streets projects, the sidewalks along Main were widened, making the road narrower.  As said in the article, that was the thinking then - wider sidewalks = better environment for pedestrians = more pedestrians (forgetting that tearing down everything else would have the opposite result)

Those sidewalks must have been pretty thin because the ones today don't look that wide.  I assume the lanes in that old photo above must have been around 10' wide, instead of 12'.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

tufsu1

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2010, 09:23:04 PM »
since this has been brought back up, here's an update...

JEDC has advertised a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a consultant to do a traffic study which includes evaluating the effects of changing portions of Julia, Pearl, Adams and Monroe Streets from 1-way to 2-way

If all goes smoothly, the study should be done by fall 2011.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 09:25:46 PM by tufsu1 »

tufsu1

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Re: Killing Connectivity. The Downtown 'Loop' System
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2010, 09:58:55 PM »
While I feel they are misguided, there are still traffic ops people (both at the City and FDOT) who care primarily about vehicle LOS and signal delay...as such, the study will evaluate all the potentially affected intersections.