Author Topic: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way  (Read 4989 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« on: July 14, 2009, 06:00:33 AM »
Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way



The following article, published in the Winter of 1967 describes the planning and opinions of Alan W. Voorhees report on Transportation.  Voorhees plans were adopted by the city consequently, and this article gives insight into the DNA of transit planning for the past 50 years.

Sometimes keen, sometimes alarmingly thickheaded, the report was nonetheless the cornerstone of all our policy since then.

Join us as we parse this plan, its successes and failures, what parts we would have changed and kept, and how to go forward now.

These essays were commissioned by Eve Heaney, the brilliant and surprising female Editor of Jacksonville Magazine, which was, (and still is) the publication of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2009-jul-until-at-least-a-million-people-buses-are-the-only-way

lindab

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 07:55:26 AM »
I really appreciate this article since I have wondered for years about the origins of that particular mantra about no transit until the magic density number is reached.

mtraininjax

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 08:26:20 AM »
Wow, people inhabited downtown at one time....
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Dog Walker

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 08:31:36 AM »
Well this area is now over the magic million mark so lets get started with the streetcars and commuter rail!  Hurray!  We've made it!
When all else fails hug the dog.

cline

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 08:32:42 AM »
Jacksonville Mag is not published by the CoC.

Lunican

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 10:01:12 AM »
The exact same things are being said today, which is discouraging because it has amounted to absolutely nothing being done to improve mass transit. We've been "thinking about" reserving right of way for 50 years now.

stjr

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2009, 12:36:48 PM »
This article appears to me to be a coded message for planting the seed for the Dames Point Bridge (servicing the "north and east" areas of town, which then were mostly swamp) and justifying the connecting I-295/9A Beltway which services the "needs" of the Beaches, Airport, port facilities, cross-town connections. etc. while totally missing the dreaded and "shrinking" downtown area.  " 'We're going to do something about this.'  says Voorhees."
And, so it was done.

Call me cynicial but I would suggest this article had some serious special interests and political motivations behind its publication.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

Ocklawaha

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2009, 12:50:46 PM »
Stjr, it was really a coded and secret message about massive SKYWAY expansion... How else to get to the Beaches from downtown since in the end we didn't save the rail or mass transit right-of-way's.

Smile


OCKLAWAHA

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2009, 02:13:33 PM »
"Until we are at least 1,000,000 population (about 1990), " Voorhees says, "the bus system is the only way to move people at a reasonable cost.  Right now we must concentrate on improving this system of bus transportation service, extending routes, stepping up frequency and greatly expanding direct cross town routes."

The bus transportation service is still very inefficient. See, my boyfriend had to move back in with his parents after getting laid off and having a hard time finding a new job. Plus his car just totally died on him and he has no $$ to even think about fixing it. Then he finds out the buses don't go *anywhere near* his parents house. (they live right next to I-95 on Old St Augustine Road) This has made it that much harder to find a new job in this screwed up economy. And this is not the only part of town that has no buses running through it. This city needs to actually fix the bus problems before we even think about building a bunch of fancy ways to get around

Ocklawaha

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2009, 03:07:35 PM »
"Until we are at least 1,000,000 population (about 1990), " Voorhees says, "the bus system is the only way to move people at a reasonable cost.  Right now we must concentrate on improving this system of bus transportation service, extending routes, stepping up frequency and greatly expanding direct cross town routes."

The bus transportation service is still very inefficient. See, my boyfriend had to move back in with his parents after getting laid off and having a hard time finding a new job. Plus his car just totally died on him and he has no $$ to even think about fixing it. Then he finds out the buses don't go *anywhere near* his parents house. (they live right next to I-95 on Old St Augustine Road) This has made it that much harder to find a new job in this screwed up economy. And this is not the only part of town that has no buses running through it. This city needs to actually fix the bus problems before we even think about building a bunch of fancy ways to get around

Voorhees, couldn't have been more wrong! Cities with balanced and mixed mode transit have been far ahead of the learning curve for years. This Mixed Transit theory has worked even in cities much smaller then Jacksonville. 

In real world experience, the mix of transit types always over produces the single mode choice. Currently we are stretching schedules to put buses on Beach to Cecil, and Orange Park to Airport, like routes. If we had a completed Skyway, Streetcars and Regional Rail, those same buses could cut their trip lengths in half or more. We could then redeploy our large bus fleet (3rd in FL behind MIA and FLL) as neighborhood transit. This new form of Community Transit sends the buses on a frequent schedule circuit around each community within the metro area. For example the bus that would then pass your home would also pass your bank, your department stores, your grocery and your Rapid Transit Station. The remaining routes that would still go into town could be made more efficient via a BRT/HOV lane concept. The way to get buses and get them more frequently is to get RAIL.

 
OCKLAWAHA

Ocklawaha

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2012, 01:11:50 PM »


He seems amiable enough.

Yeah, but then most dead guys are.

Anti redneck

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Re: The Future They Forsaw. Buses Until a Million Citizens
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2012, 02:45:12 PM »
So Mr. Voorhees is the idiot that screwed up Jacksonville, huh? Wow!

ben says

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2012, 05:02:01 PM »
This is an insightful and expansive thread. Thanks for the info, to all.
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Jaxson

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2012, 05:46:56 PM »
I agree with Stephen Dare and would say that our highways do fall short of their ideals and their contribution, rather than detriment, to our communities.  The problem, in my opinion, is that function tends to override form when politicians have to compromise great plans for short-run savings.  Yes, they shaved a little off the budget by taking away a few 'amenities,' but they damage the community fabric for years to come.
John Louis Meeks, Jr.

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Re: Until at least a million people, Buses are the only way
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2012, 03:51:20 AM »
The highway systems I think are terrible in Jacksonville. Seriously, getting from Arlington to Orange Park takes an hour. Getting from the beaches to downtown takes 30-40 minutes. Same with getting from Riverside to Mandarin. Commuting in Jacksonville just flat out sucks. That's why I wish they would do just something to improve expressways and roadways. And the "buses only until 1 million people"? I nearly choked when I read that other downtowns were fading away, or however it was worded! From the article, it sounded like Mr. Voorhees had the idea to break up downtown, businesses and all, and split everything up into what it is today so that people would be isolated into one part of town instead of being a city. How is it that all morons and idiots like Alan Voorhees came to one city I will never understand. Great finding by Stephen Dare. We're just slowly getting further to the bottom of what really happened with the city. Mayor Brown, this is a must read! You could possibly undo all of this!