Author Topic: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center  (Read 28895 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« on: July 15, 2011, 03:01:07 AM »
Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center



Mayor Alvin Brown was wise to slow down the momentum on the proposed Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center. Currently estimated to cost a whopping $180 million, the Mayor's Office, City Council, and JTA would be smart to consider reducing and compacting the scale of the enormous complex. Here are examples of recently completed or expanded transportation centers in cities of similar size along with their overall capital costs. In addition, aerials illustrate the scale of Jacksonville's proposed complex in relation with those in actual operation.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-jul-mayor-questions-validity-of-jtas-transportation-center

Ocklawaha

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 07:49:07 AM »
Touche! JTA is beside themselves trying to rush in and stick Greyhound up on Adams Street. "Everything is a go," we were told, "Greyhound MUST move within two years so we have to start now!" So we are about to launch this monstrosity anyway so Greyhound can have a station 7 walking blocks from the trains. Have we even attempted to sell them on the idea that we ALREADY HAVE A HUGE 1919 STATION 'HEAD HOUSE' SO WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT US TO SHATTER OUR CHANCES TO CONSOLIDATE EVERYONE INTO ONE STATION? This is insanity in action and another typical case of Jacksonville Past, reacting to a perceived situation rather then planning for the same.


JTA claims that Greyhound insisted on Adams Street to be near the freeway exits, yet a repositioned Stuart Street could open up the Jacksonville Terminal site to compact development and keep Greyhound even closer to the freeway. Traffic lights at the base of the off ramp would be no different then similar lights all over the country and it might slow people down to a pedestrian safe speed. 

Greyhound 'might' have to be out within two years due to a property sale, but what would it hurt to allow them to access the west lot of the Convention Center and use the original station for... um... let me think... um... A STATION!

In the examples listed as well as New Orleans, Santa Ana, Bakersfield etc... the bus to train transfer takes all of 30 steps, not four blocks and NOT 7! (Calculate from the tracks it is 3 blocks to Bay Street {part of which is up stairs over the tracks then back down to the station}, then JTA wants to route all passengers one block west of Lee to another upstairs concourse which makes 4 blocks, hence 2 blocks north, down the stairs and 1 block east = 7) 7 blocks to transfer from bus to train and we're still calling this a 'center?'

Good people don't keep their favorite dog 7 blocks from home and neither should Jacksonville. Someone PLEASE call in the dog.


OCKLAWAHA

tufsu1

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 08:09:15 AM »
keep in mind...JTA and Greyhound are asking for up to $5 million from the Feds to built the new station at the JRTC....I doubt that money will come easily.

On another note Ock...I like your idea of extending Stuart St, but not as shown...teh intersection with Forsyth will be way too close to the I-95 off ramp...it would be as bad, if not worse, than then one a few blocks north at Union St.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 08:12:14 AM by tufsu1 »

JeffreyS

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011, 08:11:34 AM »
Well if you reduce the footprint and reduce the project to a fraction of 180 mil losing the outside chance at 5 mil won't sting too much.
Lenny Smash

tufsu1

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 08:14:39 AM »
true Jeffrey...but its not like they have any of the other $175 million either

Bativac

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 09:03:12 AM »
I am surprised at how expensive the planned transportation center is, and really surprised at how much less expensive other cities' transportation centers have been.

How is this type of thing allowed to happen here? This and the insanely expensive courthouse. It looks like the Mayor is trying to put the brakes on this. Can the Mayor successfully stop this project and order a redesign? How much power does he have in this situation?

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 09:14:13 AM »
Who pays to add the additional rails for the amtrack station?  And when that project commences, do you go ahead and add the infrastructure for light-rail or would it already be in place as well?
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thelakelander

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 09:22:16 AM »
Here are a few features that cause our center to be much more expensive than the others:

1. Structured Parking - The JRTC design includes two parking garages that when combined, total over 2,000 parking spaces.  On average, you'll pay somewhere around the +$20k/space range to construct a garage.  With simple math, that's at least $40 million spent on parking alone.  On the other hand, most of the other centers don't include structured parking.

2. Office Building - The JRTC includes a new office building for JTA.  Most of the other centers don't have a major office facility attached to them.

3. Separate Terminals - The JRTC includes individual terminals for rail, skyway/BRT, local bus and Greyhound.  In short, the JRTC is really several separate transit stations placed next to each other as opposed to being a true intermodal center.  That means we're spending four times as much on spaces such as restrooms, waiting areas, construction labor, etc.  On the other hand, most of the other transit centers have shared terminal spaces.  Considering it works for airports (ex. at JIA, a single terminal serves Airtran, Delta, Jetblue, etc.), it should be able to work for ground transportation too.

^These three things alone will significantly push your capital costs up and we still haven't dived into the arena of annual maintenance costs for multiple facilities as opposed to shared facilities.

This would mean a complete redesign but looking at Ock's map, why not attempt to place ALL bus operations on the three blocks bounded by the I-95 off ramps, Forsyth, Lee and Bay Streets and use the space around the skyway terminal as a centralized terminal for all of those operations?  Also, instead of immediately building structured parking, use the existing paved lots in the area as parking until the market is ready for private sector infill development in the area.  The more and more I look at this thing, significant improvement that will make it more efficient and drop costs can be done regardless of what eventually takes place with the convention center.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 09:27:01 AM »
Who pays to add the additional rails for the amtrack station?  And when that project commences, do you go ahead and add the infrastructure for light-rail or would it already be in place as well?

Taxpayers would.  However, the expensive of laying track is peanuts compared to building parking garages, an office building and four stations side-by-side (taxpayers will have to fund these as well).  Also, LRT/streetcar would not run on the same track as Amtrak and freight rail, so that would be a separate expense.  However, the expensive of streetcar would be covered in the costs of constructing the streetcar system.  It would not need a separate terminal, unless we just desire to spend millions on that too.  Instead, the streetcar could just stop and let people on and off.  If those people need facilities that come with terminals, we already have four of them to choose from at the site.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxlore

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 09:33:13 AM »
And of course there is the fact that it looks like and area high school building and not a city trying to grow into the future.

Captain Zissou

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 09:35:59 AM »
I find this article hilarious.  How are we able to spend 10 times what other cities are spending??

buckethead

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2011, 09:39:21 AM »
If we nix the current plan, what's going to happen to all the concrete that was going to be sold to the city?

The build contracts?

Lets' not be hasty, folks... Concrete magnates gotta eat too!

thelakelander

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2011, 09:42:52 AM »
^Lol, we can spread the wealth.  You still need concrete and asphalt for bikeways, jogging trails, convention centers, streetcar lines, commuter rail track ties, etc.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

TheProfessor

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 09:59:02 AM »
They need a better design.  It is horrible looking.

Ralph W

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Re: Mayor Questions Validity of JTA's Transportation Center
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2011, 10:32:41 AM »
If we nix the current plan, what's going to happen to all the concrete that was going to be sold to the city?

The build contracts?

Lets' not be hasty, folks... Concrete magnates gotta eat too!

Do you really think that the folks over at Gate will miss very many meals if they don't get more city (our) money?