Lake, see my last post before your above. There is a very public record of what officials have represented to the public. Concepts and discussion plans are fine, but that isn't what was finally adopted, funded, and built.
My point remains the same. Initial ridership numbers came from a more extensive system that was never constructed and based on a vibrant downtown that does not exist. However, I really do wonder why the current configuration ended up being constructed? If we want to talk about bad planning on a public level, that's one thing, but the system that exists is a product of the sick environment its built to serve. We can rip it and install a streetcar, but if a similar route is chosen and not properly integrated into the regional transit network and with complementing land uses, it will fail as well.
Look, it's common sense, more stops and expansion will produce more riders. I can't quibble with that. But... will it produce anywhere near the riders to justify the money needed to make the expansion a reality? I and others say the long track record gives us a pretty clear answer: "no." Meanwhile, the track record for streetcars, buses, and even the lowly PCT Trolley is far better in carrying traffic per dollar spent to build and operate their systems.
This is where you confuse me with Ock and some others. I'm not a fan of expanding the skyway. I believe the best method is to establish streetcar and commuter rail corridors serve a much larger population base. I believe that once these things are in place, like Miami's Metromover, you will see a significant increase in skyway ridership. In the meantime, I'd rather explore ways to better utilize the existing system to reduce annual O&M loss.
When I look at the history of the Skyway, I focus on what was actually built and the specific promises and representations that went with it. The academic and discarded visions and plans that were not incorporated in this process don't seem to have much relevancy as those visions and plans were never pursued and/or required as a prerequisite to justifying the system and its success.
Instead of looking at an individual component of the urban environment, I look at the environment as a whole. Each individual component in that environment was complement another to combine to create a much larger significant product. Like Metropolitan Park, the lack of dedicated parking at the Landing, disrespect of historic building stock, a bad mass transit plan (the skyway in its current state) only leads to failure on a larger level. Btw, what exists today is not what was promised to the public in the 1970s and 80s.
Not to mention that we now have 23 years of operating experience with the Skyway that show it really isn't the best way to do mass transit (far from it). It was a demonstration project for Jax and the country and, if we abandon it, all is not lost. It will have done its job "demonstrating" it is not the best solution for mass transit versus other options. That is not a a bad thing. Imagine, if every city in the country had built one of these systems only to find out what we have. How set back would mass transit nationally be? Let the Skyway be a sacrificial lamb. We can always bronze a car to memorialize it. [/b]
To me, the skyway and the Landing are similar creatures. The Landing has been around since the 1980s without adequate dedicated parking to secure and keep major retailers. If we applied your skyway logic to the Landing's situation, the answer would be that the place doesn't work, we should tear it down and build something new somewhere else. My logic is to research the history and understand why it doesn't work. Then instead of going back to ground zero, just provide the dedicated parking the place needs to be more successful. By the same token, my view towards the skyway is to provide the connections to destinations and neighborhoods needed to feed riders to it as originally proposed. I believe this can be accomplished through streetcars, commuter rail and BRT.