Author Topic: Salvaging The Skyway  (Read 15391 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Salvaging The Skyway
« on: March 16, 2011, 03:12:35 AM »
Salvaging The Skyway



The future of the skyway has become one of the most contentious talking points during this year's mayoral race.  Here are five affordable solutions that have the ability to increase ridership while reducing the amount of subsidies needed for onging operations.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-mar-salvaging-the-skyway

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 03:58:10 AM »
Great stuff again, Lake. I'm afraid you're mostly regurgitating your old explanations, which means the point must still be driven home. But I believe that eventually we'll get it.

mtraininjax

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2011, 04:18:13 AM »
Call Brad Thoburn at the JTA, he can help. Fresh off his gig for FDOT and used to be with the City, he has insights into how the JTA plans to use the Skyway with their light rail plans. Apparently the intermodal system at the Prime is back on with Mica and his new 6 year transportation project plan.
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Noone

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2011, 04:31:19 AM »
Good points.

I'll always remember attending the invite only meeting with yet to be sworn in council members 4 years ago and the presentation that was given by JTA. Another election cycle and the skyway, new headquarters, TOD, Waterbourne transportation were part of the presentations.

Question.
Does the new JTA headquarters get built now? The proposed location is near the Prime Osborn?
What is the current projected cost of the new building?
If you don't build the building then that money could be used for a street car line from the Prime Osborn to the stadium?
If the new building gets built is there some Federal money that is the carrot as to why we will have to build a new transportation hub now?

Just asking but the cost of the elevated track which has been very well documented. if streetcars and the conversion from what ever elevated rail is already in place is then replaced with track. Imagine the streetcar coming back from the stadium and then takes the elevated ramp up to what were the skyway cars. Any thoughts on that?

At that invite only meeting 4 years ago there was a small portion for Waterborne Transportation. Hovercraft was being considered. But right now with the potential of a SHIPYARDS III 2010-604 now more than ever the Promised 680' Downtown Public Pier aka Jacksonville's Downtown Tradeport Pier needs to be separate. Wanted to get that in there. Its transportation. Just on the water. Maybe not a hovercraft. But more access to our St. Johns River our American Heritage River within our Downtown Jacksonville Overlay Zoning District. 2003-627


Shwaz

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 09:24:44 AM »
Excellent points & ideas. I still believe building the skyway out like originally intended (and beyond), creating more stops and integrating neighborhoods in the core would bring the biggest boost in ridership.

In the meantime, I hope these ideas for the current skyway make their way to JTA.
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JeffreyS

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 10:16:19 AM »
Great Ideas Lake, I would have love Audrey's campaign comment on this thread.
Lenny Smash

wsansewjs

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 10:30:06 AM »


Hehehe

-Josh
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 10:38:04 AM by wsansewjs »
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duvaldude08

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2011, 10:38:05 AM »
Great idea. I dont see why JTA think its so bothersome to expand it as well. An expansion to the sports complex, riverside avenue and may the hilton/double tree would be a smart investment. Also, the idea of eliminated the bus routes in the core as you mentioned would work wonders as well. I dont think the skyway is a waste, it is underutilized. We have to find a way to make it worth the tax payers dollars. And JTA has failed to do so. But at this point, as the saying goes, I think we should leave well enough alone. Shutting it down is NOT the answer, that is a cop out.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 10:45:23 AM by duvaldude08 »
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urbanlibertarian

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 11:15:34 AM »
Mend it, don't end it.  Expand it?  No.  Now if JTA found a private partner to fund the expansion, maybe.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes (Who watches the watchmen?)

avonjax

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 12:20:28 PM »
The Conservative solution to everything that is considered a problem is to tear it down instead of fix the problem. Your ideas are BRILLIANT as always. You understand how to move toward correcting the problem instead of obliterating what is considered a problem. Most people here forget the Miami Metromover was reviled and there was discussion of closing and or tearing it down. After smart people corrected the problem, it now flourishes. Can Jacksonville please look south?
Also can someone please tell Andy Johnson that his total disdain for money spent for any improvements in downtown Jacksonville is not a true reflection of progressive thinking that will help our city. I know that being fiscally conservative is his first and foremost belief, but he sounds more like the tea party than a progressive. He is the main outlet for local progressive thinking people to listen to on the radio and he is against EVERYTHING.
He is telling his listeners NOT to vote for Audrey Moran, but instead to vote for Mike Hogan. Mike Hogan and Rick Mullaney are what we don't need in Jax if we are to ever leave the 20th century thinking that has permeated this city for years now. I know Alvin Brown may be a good candidate, but I don't believe that a Democrat has a chance of being the mayor of Jacksonville, at least not right now.
If the runoff is between Hogan and Mullaney we all lose.

stjr

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2011, 12:28:57 PM »
Lake, as noted, this is a "nice summary" of all the points made previously by fans of the Skyway.  If keeping the Skyway operational is the goal, your points for better utilization make some sense.  I do remain very skeptical that Jax bus riders and commuters will relish or find very practical an extra 15 to 30 minutes and the "hassle" of transferring from one mode of transit to the Skyway for that last mile downtown but knock yourself out and see what happens.  Test the "academic" theory against real world dynamics.

Where we differ is I don't think that doing all 5 steps you recommend is going to make the Skyway shine bright enough to justify keeping it. (Maybe, secretly, JTA also thinks it is all a waste of time so that is why they don't bother with your suggestions.)

The 30,000 rider figure for that "successful" Miami mover that is so "extensive" compared to ours is the ridership number the Skyway was supposed to produce for what already exists.  So, advocating spending multiple times what we have already spent to match Miami's spend to get the originally projected Skyway ridership is not something to crow about.  It's actually bait and switch with the deal originally promised taxpayers when the Skyway was built. (P.S. I doubt 30,000 riders a day was the original projection for the Miami system as currently built.  Do you know these projections for benchmarking its "success"?  It only appears "successful" compared to the lowly and failing Skyway.)


Quote
2. Shutting the system down would require the city to repay the U.S. Department of Transportation $90 million.  Talk about a budget buster?

3. Shutting the system down would put Jacksonville in a horrible position to get federal assistance for future federal projects.  Imagine Jacksonville's future economic potential when gas hits $5.00 a gallon and we still don't have viable alternative mobility options in our 800-square mile city?

To your point number (2), the CITY wouldn't owe the money, JTA would.  If it busted JTA's road building and office palace plans, I think that would be a glorious outcome all by itself.  And, again (and again), you ignore the point (and the thread I started on it at http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,11448.0.html) asking for proof of the calculations of this ever changing payout number, the terms and conditions for its expiration/phase out, and whether anyone can produce a canceled check to the Feds for such a reimbursement ever being paid.  You also ignore again and again the politics that would likely make this payment, if it is even real, go away.

As to your point (3), it mostly goes along with the argument made in (2) that we will be "punished" by the Feds for abandoning the Skyway.  I, for one, again, don't believe the politics would allow that.  And, compare that "punishment" to the one given to local mass transit by the local citizenry due the continued operation of the Skyway serving as a monument to pork barrel boondoggle mass transit projects.  Some of the mayoral candidates' political sensibilities seem to be noting this and are hinting at the same point I make:  If we want to advance mass transit in Jax, we need to take one step back by eliminating the Skyway before taking three steps forward with far better solutions like commuter rail, streetcars, and an improved bus system.

Keep whistling Dixie.  An "A" for persistence.

  
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 12:46:51 PM by stjr »
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

stjr

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2011, 12:42:40 PM »
The Conservative solution to everything that is considered a problem is to tear it down instead of fix the problem.

Not really, Avon.  I would hardly call myself a "conservative" by today's standards!  The Skyway needs to be viewed versus alternative uses of the money within the line item category of "Mass Transit."  Looked at this way, some of us think it ranks at the very bottom of efficient deployment of taxpayer's capital directed toward mass transit.  The Skyway's problem is its 90% failure rate after more than two decades which I equate to failure of the concept it represents.  That's why doing more of the same doesn't sway me that it will work any better than it does now.  Even government is not immune from cutting losses at some point on a sinkhole of a project.  Let's reinvest that money in mass transit that truly delivers.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 01:18:56 PM »
 I do remain very skeptical that Jax bus riders and commuters will relish or find very practical an extra 15 to 30 minutes and the "hassle" of transferring from one mode of transit to the Skyway for that last mile downtown but knock yourself out and see what happens.  Test the "academic" theory against real world dynamics.

I didn't have to read any further than this statement to blow your academic theory to pieces.  Here's a question for you STJR, "How long does it take the WS2 to get from Rosa Park to the ATT Building?"  I'll give you a hint, it's more than 20 minutes, typically.  Now, how long does it take the Skyway?  Less than 5.  So even figuring in the 6-7 minute wait for a train, you still make the trip faster than the bus.  How do I know this?  I ACTUALLY RIDE THE BUS.  If my 1st transfer at Rosa Park is a little late, I know that I can hoof it to the ATT building to catch my ride, or I can hop in the skyway and pick it up - either way - I still catch-up with the bus.

How's that for 'real world dynamics?'

I totally agree with Lake that the skyway is under-utilized by the same people that operate it.  I've stated 'real world dynamics' in numerous threads about the subject, and totally agree that MOST of the DT circulating busses could be re-routedin a way that would not only increase the head-times of the routes, but increase the ridership of the skyway exponentially - then maybe they could actaully show a reason for expansion.
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Jason

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2011, 01:23:32 PM »
Furthermore, these options are of no real cost addition.  They should actually lower the costs ofthe system by consolidating the bus lines and allowing advertising (to offset the losses at the farebox).

Why not make the system a little better for free until we decide what the next step should be?

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Salvaging The Skyway
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011, 01:27:38 PM »
Furthermore, these options are of no real cost addition.  They should actually lower the costs ofthe system by consolidating the bus lines and allowing advertising (to offset the losses at the farebox).

Why not make the system a little better for free until we decide what the next step should be?

The other thing that I would do is rip out the turnstiles at the 'transfer' stations - Rosa Park, Convention Center & King Ave.  If you get on at one of these stations, it's free, but if you want to hop on at Jefferson, it's still the $.50
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