Author Topic: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown  (Read 6823 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« on: October 30, 2007, 04:00:00 AM »
Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown



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.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/628

Steve

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2007, 10:41:07 AM »
It's amazing how we seem to want to do the big things, yet we can't figure out the little things...

Charleston native

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 11:29:29 AM »
As far as downtown lighting, using my hometown as a model is extremely inaccurate and wrong. My hometown is notorious for dimly lit streets throughout the entire city, let alone downtown. IMO, Jax's downtown seems much brighter. I've always thought that Jacksonville knows how to keep its city streets safe and secure with adequate levels of lighting.

Chas does have simplified light poles, to be certain, but it does a much poorer job than Jax of maintaining these light fixtures. In addition, the wattage of the bulbs is low, giving less lighting but still taxing the power grid. Jax does not need to follow this. Even the most recently renovated streets such as Meeting Street around the new Cooper River bridge have new light posts with VERY dim lights, and the crime in this area still continues.

thelakelander

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2007, 11:47:07 AM »
Lakeland would be a good lighting example to follow.  Compared locally, they are brighter and the distance between fixtures is much closer.



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Steve

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 12:18:29 PM »
As far as downtown lighting, using my hometown as a model is extremely inaccurate and wrong. My hometown is notorious for dimly lit streets throughout the entire city, let alone downtown. IMO, Jax's downtown seems much brighter. I've always thought that Jacksonville knows how to keep its city streets safe and secure with adequate levels of lighting.

Chas does have simplified light poles, to be certain, but it does a much poorer job than Jax of maintaining these light fixtures. In addition, the wattage of the bulbs is low, giving less lighting but still taxing the power grid. Jax does not need to follow this. Even the most recently renovated streets such as Meeting Street around the new Cooper River bridge have new light posts with VERY dim lights, and the crime in this area still continues.

I think the comparison was more intended to be more for the simplicity of the fixtures, not the wattage of the bulb.  Our light fixtures cost 10,000 a piece.  Surely we can find a bright light fixture for less.

77danj7

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007, 03:13:47 PM »
$10K for one light fixture?
Wow...between light fixtures at this price and a new homeless park we've wasted a lot of money!
There has to be a cheaper/more efficient light that these!

Charleston native

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 03:47:04 PM »
Lakelander, much better example and comparison. Florida cities in general tend to have better lighting, and those light posts in Lakeland would be a great fit for Jax.

Steve, why do the light fixtures cost that much? Is it the material used for the poles, which normally is steel? Or is it the design?

fsujax

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 04:13:26 PM »
It is my understanding the historic lamps cost around $5,000 not $10,000. Whatever the costs, it is amazing to drive around at night and see how many are not working or only half lit.

Steve

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 04:59:55 PM »
Steve, why do the light fixtures cost that much? Is it the material used for the poles, which normally is steel? Or is it the design?

This number came from a budget done by the City's Public Works department for Laura Street.  they budgeted 10 light fixtures at 100,000, or 10,000 each.  This is atually 10,000 lower than Mike Saylor said that they were at a downtown public hearing (I can't remember which one)

Lakeland's look good (and the spacing is great), but I'd rather 10 basic light fixtures than 5 ornate ones (assuming they both put out the same amount of light.

Ocklawaha

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Beyond Downtown Too!
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2007, 05:02:07 PM »
Ever look at our roads? JTA? Whoever, doesn't mow the grass, doesn't maintain the bushes or flowers (in the rare event their are any). The exit from downtown on I-95 into the airport, looks rather like you are driving into some abandoned air base from 1943! Palm Trees? Geeze. Every up and coming City I know has a division with employees that seem to go around and find ways to make things beautiful to look at. In this respect alone, South America, Colombia, California, even Phoenix are FIRST WORLD PLACES and OMG, are we even on the planet?

Stupid Road Names, J. Turner Butler Blvd, or JTB, or J Turner, or Butler...okay which is it? To the out of towner this is mass confusion. Then to top it off, it's not ANY of the above, the damn road is a FREEWAY!! Why not call it what it is, settle on a simple, one name says it all such as the BUTLER-BEACHES FREEWAY! How about the dozens of road intersections that on the left it is XXX street and on the right it is YYY street? Dumb, NON PLAN? Why not make things simple and give ourselves credit for having more lane miles of real freeway then most other cities...Let's see, HART FREEWAY?, HARBOR FREEWAY? MLK FREEWAY? But nope, here we go again with the new Branan-Field-Chaffee-Road-Expressway...SAY WHAT? Why not Outer Belt Freeway (the future I-210)? Can you imagine what these nuts will do if the freeway from Kansas City to Jacksonville (which IS being built by the various states, not the Interstate system) is ever open to Jax? We can call it "The Kansas City-Arkansas-Tennessee-Mississippi-Alabama-Georgia-Jacksonville-Midwest-Cut-Off Road Highway..."

Trolley-Looks-like-a-bus-to-me, as well as the Skyway, and the downtown ambassador program should train and recruit a uniformed "Trolley-Skyway Conductor" program for youth and adult volunteers. They look like they stepped out of 1925, teens work with adults, they get REAL training, they give directions, help with tickets, passes, boarding, and serve as tour guides too. Alllllllllll Aboard? JTA, where is your imagination department?

Litter, graffiti and upkeep patrols, that can hit the bus stops, the park benches, just drive around and find little ways to make things pretty. Award employees or volunteers that show some creative solutions.

Get us some life size sculptures of famous residents along the waterfront walks. These need not be expensive, the new casting and even fiberglass copy systems make them more life like and affordable then ever before...
Besides, I'd love a photo op with Ray Charles, Oliver Hardy, Alonzo Mitchell, and Billie Burke, wouldn't you?

Trash the parking meters downtown, give out visitors tickets that are not tickets for folks from out of town. Replace the downtown potato-chip-trucks-think-their-trolleys with real ones and use the current ones and the parking meters for a giant sculpture called "URBAN STUPID!" Put one of those cute lawn statues on top with a little boy pissing on the whole pile! A celebrated public photo op.


Ocklawaha
« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 05:06:50 PM by Ocklawaha »

DetroitInJAX

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2007, 05:13:01 PM »
I agree with the comments regarding the closure of streets downtown.. Ive never seen anything like it in any city Ive ever been to.  Its NOT REQUIRED.  After the FL/GA game I got stuck in a huge traffic jam on Main Street because it was CLOSED south of Adams, requiring EVERYONE to head west on Adams.  I live downtown and it seems that when First Baptist has another one of their conferences on whatever, I have a hell of a time just GETTING to my residence.


Crazy. Just crazy.

jeh1980

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2007, 10:24:13 PM »
 Just give'em time. THEY'LL know what to do. ;)

midnightblackrx

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2007, 12:32:01 PM »
It's unbelieveable how the city almost suggests to visitors, "Get in, Get out" or (as my granpa used to lovingly say) "Come back when you can't stay so long".  It does not make a bit of sense how visitors are shuffled out of downtown after large events. I'm sure there are many people that would rather wait out the traffic jams in a restaurant or a bar rather than their cars.  Unfortuantely, they'd rather lead us in and out by the collar.

jeh1980

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2007, 05:45:49 AM »
We DO have some pedestrian signage...it just need to add maps. If fact, I ask one of the "downtown ambassadors" about it. He said that the only maps we can find in downtown are in the skyway terminals. ::)

jeh1980

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Re: Five Cheap Things to Help Fix Downtown
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2007, 03:20:18 AM »
$10K for one light fixture?
Wow...between light fixtures at this price and a new homeless park we've wasted a lot of money!
There has to be a cheaper/more efficient light that these!
As far as downtown lighting, using my hometown as a model is extremely inaccurate and wrong. My hometown is notorious for dimly lit streets throughout the entire city, let alone downtown. IMO, Jax's downtown seems much brighter. I've always thought that Jacksonville knows how to keep its city streets safe and secure with adequate levels of lighting.

Chas does have simplified light poles, to be certain, but it does a much poorer job than Jax of maintaining these light fixtures. In addition, the wattage of the bulbs is low, giving less lighting but still taxing the power grid. Jax does not need to follow this. Even the most recently renovated streets such as Meeting Street around the new Cooper River bridge have new light posts with VERY dim lights, and the crime in this area still continues.
Lakeland would be a good lighting example to follow.  Compared locally, they are brighter and the distance between fixtures is much closer.




It's amazing how we seem to want to do the big things, yet we can't figure out the little things...

Why can't we just change the bulbs of these current lamps with more brighter ones. Surely it can do a lot of justice. ::)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 03:21:58 AM by jeh1980 »