Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown

October 10, 2007 23 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

When city officials get together to talk downtown revitalization, they usually come up with big dollar projects such as convention centers, pocket parks, and shopping malls. The topics de jour for downtown are generally projects that look good at a press conference and give the appearance that real work is being done. Too often we miss the small things, the things that really bring together urban neighborhoods. Today, Metro Jacksonville discusses five inexpensive ways we can improve our downtown.

3. Revise The Trolley System

The trolley can be an asset to downtown, but it is poorly utilized. For example, does anyone know where the magnolia line goes? If JTA wants to name the trolley routes after flowers, colors, drinking games, or positions of the Kama Sutra, so be it. Can we please put up a map at each of the stops so at least people know where it goes.

How about naming the trolley routes Springfield, San Marco, and Five Points and running them to their respective neighborhoods?

Also, did you know that the trolley is free to ride? JTA does not promote the fact that the trolley is free because they feel it will increase the number of homeless riders. The homeless already know, the downtown visitors don't.

Any idea where this thing is going... or when it will get there?

4. Leave Streets Open

It seems that every time that there is a gathering of more than 500 people downtown, we seem to need to close a street. Everything from a Jaguars Game to Youth Night at First Baptist Church necessitates a street closure. This causes the casual visitor to get lost, and not want to come downtown (Southside Blvd is always open).

Even worse is when there is an event at the stadium - god forbid somebody wants to stay downtown after the game. Instead, we bag all of the meters, and block off all of the north-south streets (which affects not only cars, but pedestrians who would like to cross the street.

Leave all the streets open and let people go where they want to.

Post game, entering Downtown is strictly forbidden.

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