Twenty Affordable Fixes For Downtown

May 18, 2011 34 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

As Jacksonville awaits the final election results, here are 20 cost-effective concepts that either mayor could get behind that save the city money while spurring economic revitalization.

One would never know that First Baptist Church's restaurant occupies an entire block of Laura Street. Something as simple as adding transparent windows and awnings would eliminate the feel of emptiness and abandonment that currently dominates this stretch in the heart of Downtown.

11. Modify public policy to allow creative uses and concepts like "Tactical Urbanism", and mobile truck-food-courts, etc. to add life to vacant lots.

12. Remove the large network of duplicate JTA buses from the downtown core. Instead, eliminate the skyway's fare and run it like a real, fixed transit spine, by consolidating duplicate bus routes at the Skyway's terminal points. This will at the least, accomplish these cost, operational, and time-saving goals:  

A. Cut down on mass transit O&M costs.
B. Increase bus frequencies for other neighborhoods throughout the city.
C. Max out ridership numbers on the skyway, ending the talk of it being useless.
D. Create more opportunities for infill business in DT because of the increased accessibility.

13. Sell off or lease out excess city-owned property and buildings.

Gosh, we are currently spending $400 million on a new courthouse. Do you think we could have fixed the entire Downtown for $400 million???
Quote by Metro Jacksonville discussion board member MusicMan

14. Maintain the public ROW (pick up the trash, light the streets, maintain the landscaping, etc.).

15. Coordinate between public agencies. For example, if Public Works, JTA, or FDOT is going to repave a street, make sure things like bike lanes, multi-use shared paths, mass transit, and placement of on-street parking are considered, in order to create a multimodal, friendly urban environment.

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