Author Topic: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan  (Read 5087 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« on: December 10, 2007, 07:00:00 AM »
Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan



For too long the question has been  How do we want our transit network to work best?  The question should be: How do we want our city and neighborhoods to work best.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/663

jbm32206

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2007, 07:47:10 AM »
These are shots of the New Jersey Riverline....which is a wonderful service with connections to bus and other rail services.


Jacksonville needs to wake up and smell the need for light rail service!

thelakelander

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2007, 08:29:19 AM »
Great shots, Jbm32206!

One thing this article didn't get into was pricing and why do we think urban commuter rail is a form of rail that will cost millions of dollars less than building dedicated busways.

1. As shown above, DMUs railcars can run on existing tracks. meaning you don't have to build new road or rail network.

2. Many cities across the country are already going this route, giving us examples to learn from.  Austin, currently has a 32 mile/9 station line under construction right now that costs $112 million.  That adds up $3.5 million/mile.




A string of TODs are already going up around Austin's urban commuter rail line, which won't open until next year.

3. Austin, San Diego (The Sprinter), Ottawa (O-Train), Nashville (Music City Start), New Mexico (Rail Runner), etc. are recently completed rail systems built at insanely low prices.  The common tread is that to get rail up and running, they are being built without the historical bells and whistles.  Stations are simple at-grade platforms (see Jbm's images above), lines don't have to be immediately electrified and they aren't completely double tracked routes.  Instead, they only have occassional passing slidings.


Ottawa O-Train

4. JTA's own RTS Technology Assessment Report clearly states that the cost of such a rail system is hundreds of millions cheaper than dedicated busways, despite them refusing to admit it at public meetings.



JTA's consultants definately were not familiar with DMUs (Regio Sprinters in their document) in 2001, which lead to them eliminating this technology early on in the process.  Well its nearly seven years later an now there are several examples of this system in America.  If it's cheaper and more attractive to riders and TOD developers, JTA owes it to this community to re-evaluate this option for certain BRT corridors, instead of burning nearly a billion for a system of bus superhighways with a "one size fits all" mentality.  As a forumer stated a few days ago, to not do so is basically criminal negligence.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

NJ to JAX WHAT DID I DO?

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2007, 08:38:13 AM »
Lets do rail!  I hope this plan bears fruit!!

urbancouple

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2007, 09:02:58 AM »
really impressive job putting together this argument/presentation.

so from a practical standpoint, what can those of us who wholeheartedly support the rail plan do to help push this forward and eliminate the bus option (petitions, ads drumming up support, donations to lobbyists, calls to public officials, etc). 

this may have been covered in previous postings, but I think that if the general public were fully aware (certainly those who reside or have invested in downtown), a push would be made in this direction.

would love to help, just need to know how


jbm32206

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2007, 10:06:22 AM »
I've said this before, it amazes me that JTA just doesn't get it....the light rail system in the way to go...and of course, the bus connections from there. It's well worth the investment, and if they'd use some common sense (and I know I'm stretching here) they'd find that a great many people would use it...when you make it relatively convenient. We're so far behind, it's shameful!

9a is my backyard

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2007, 11:52:01 AM »
I've been reading the articles on this site for a little over a year now, and I've always found them to be insightful and packed with good ideas.  However, this article takes the ideas and plans laid out in pieces across a number of smaller articles and put it all together into one incredibly persuasive piece.  I know a lot of these feelings have been expressed before, but I really hope this article will finally generate some discussion on the issue of mass transit in Jacksonville.  If JTA feels that their BRT plan is truly the better alternative, that's fine, but they damn well better show the public the logic and rationale behind that decision.

Urbancouple, I feel the same way.  This site has done a great job of bringing people together and getting people talking about the issue, but it seems like we're all pretty like minded here.  I'd love to start winning over the 'hearts and minds' of those who don't know of the ongoing BRT vs. rail struggle, and even more importantly, those who feel the BRT is the better option.  I've posed the question before and was told the best thing to do would be to write to the people in charge (city council, JTA, etc.).  I'd like to do more, but it is encouraging to see articles about MetroJax in TU and such.

Ocklawaha

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Salvation for JTA?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2007, 12:32:51 PM »
Yes! Funny thing is, many if not MOST of the JTA consultants have told me privately that they agree with my argument on Light Rail or Commuter Rail. There is a way out.


Inside the Hatachi Brand, "Skyway" monorail car and you thought they were all tiny?

Skyway: Not a spade of dirt should be turned on BRT until the Skyway is completed in the downtown core. The Stadium, Riverside and San Marco (OVER THE FEC RAILROAD) are begging for transit. We have it, you told us it was the solution, now it's time to put your plan into it's final phase. Expand the Skyway, isn't just for tiny two car horizontal elevators either, Hatachi builds a complete transportation system with WALK-THROUGH cars that will work on our current Skyway track. Passenger loads of 10,000 to 20,000 per hour are possible. Had we done our homework, our Stadium and Super Bowl would be remembered for more then just another cool game. It would be known around the World as "Hey, remember that stadium with that space-age monorail system?" You bet it would.

Arlington Expressway BRT Line: Expand it (yes JTA you heard me) Expand it to the beaches. Use a combination of HOV, added traffic lanes on Arlington Expressway, and service roads with dedicated busways. This will avoid the extra cost of elevated busway OVER the expressway, and negate the major many acre "socialized TOD" bus stops. Scale down the build and scale up the length and services offered.

Northside: Get onboard LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, be it the Austin Model, Salt Lake City or Orlando's Colorado Railcar. Get the former "S" line relaid. DON'T pull up the new sidewalk-trail, simply add a  few inches of concrete or asphalt, track and ballast and you have created first class "SLAB TRACK", which is largely weed free. Build your Gateway Mall center at the Railroad Crossing, and another transfer facility at the Airport/River City Marketplace connection, and Shands at 8Th Street. 

For BRT, don't scrap it here either, simply shift it to the major corridors that reach into the heart of the largest group of transit riders in the City. Move BRT into MLK, New Kings, Lem Turner and Moncrief. Explore remote BRT trunks such as Edgewood from Northwest to Murray Hill. ALL of these could use the same combination of turn-outs, signal priority, real time information, updated buses, as well as HOV or some special lanes.


Southwest Jacksonville: Give up the BRT over the CSX, this is duplication at it's worst. We don't need a new freeway over the top of the railroad, then have you tell us, when the volume reaches a certain point we'll build rail! Get real. No one believes you are going to lay railroad over the top of a railroad. No one believes you will tear down a 5 or 10 year old Bus Freeway. No one believes the BRT will carry the volume of the railroad. No one wants the damn busway! Get it? The railroad is already there, soon to be empty, and gift wrapped for our use.

For BRT, simply add BRT at the major connecting points, using the same economic building style as I've already outlined. JTA, you would become the model for the World, Peyton, Blaylock and god knows even old Jake himself, would walk away with international acclaim.



We have been told the FEC won't run passenger trains... NOT!


Southside: Same as above, no one beleves in a busway next to or over the FEC, it's duplication, it's silly, we already have not only a railroad, but one which my own talks have show WILL PLAY BALL. We just have to get this act together. Do rail and use the savings to expand the BRT onto many arterial streets, some in rush hours, some with HOV, some with exclusive lanes or segments.

DOWNTOWN: Here is where I'd like to see some creative thought, I'll post a few photos of "OFF THE SHELF" new vehicles. Let's drive the "Potato chip trucks-playing-trolley" to some place like Silver Springs, or St. Augustine and unload them for a dime. Then let's invest in some transit that will REALLY make us want to ride. Why? Because this isn't fake, this is the real McCoy and passengers do know the difference. Need the name and address of the builders? Just ask me. BRAND NEW!

Either could be ordered as Electric too!

My Challenge?Mayor Peyton, I'm a retired railroad historian-planner, I'll work for principal alone. Give this a shot and you will leave a legacy transit system, people will talk about for years. All of the above, for 1/2 of what JTA plans to spend on another bus. I can't speak for the others on the forum, but if they'll come onboard, we can turn this city on it's concrete head.
Ocklawaha
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 01:00:41 PM by Ocklawaha »

jeh1980

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2007, 09:03:28 PM »
I'm not against JTA by any means. But if the BRT is really that bad as we all say, then I would rather see JTA expand the skyway system.  8)

archiphreak

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 08:47:11 AM »
OK.  So, we all agree that Rail is much more efficient, cost effective and aesthetically pleasing than BRT.  We've all seen the data over and over ad nauseum.  Why has there not been a more aggressive and public campaign to thrust this issue into the faces of every citizen in Jacksonville?  Is it lack of resources?  Time?  Commitment?  Every single one of us on the MetJax boards is in full and unanimous agreement that BRT is a S$%t idea.  Yippee for us.  Now let's take it to the next step before our fearful leaders can sneak this one past the voters like they do with everything else.  Obviously all of the studies in the world don't mean squat to City Coucil.  So, hit them where it hurts.  If they know that there is no way in hell they'll get re-elected if this thing goes through and that no one in the entire city actually approves of this, then perceptions can change.  One article every six months in the TU isn't going to cut it.  All of us on this message board stroking our own egos about how much better Rail is than BRT is going to do it either.  Much more aggressive tactics are required and they're required NOW.

My own two cents.

urbancouple

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2007, 12:24:16 PM »
i posted earlier but no one responded.  my original post was echoed above by archiphreak. 

we're convinced by your argument and think others will be as well.  there are many downtown residents and business owners who will benefit financially from such a plan succeeding and many would likely be willing to contribute (financially or with their time) to see this thing come to fruition.

so my question now is:  what can we do to help you out? (money, attend meetings, write our city officials, petitions, raise or donate money for ads/articles in the mainstream press). i for one have significant financial interests in urban core and am willing to what i can (i just need to know in what way i can contribute to a larger, well coordinated effort)

thanks

u.c.


archiphreak

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2007, 12:49:50 PM »
For me, I think the first step is to get as many people as we can to write in to the mayor and our council members and let them know how bad of an idea we think this is.  And if one letter doesn't do the job, then we send one letter each week until a response is made.  If that doesn't get the desired result, then we take it one step further and cram this issue into the faces of every news outlet in the city.  Whether it be advertising or publishing of articles, it doesn't matter.  This is an issue that is going to have far reaching consequences for the future of our city and it needs to be dealt with now, not later.  While all of this is going on, I think there should be a collaborative effort of Architects, Designers, Engineers and the such to put together not just graphs and figures showing how this Rail system will work, but a real concrete set of documents outlining what this system is and how it will work from an architectural and engineering stand point. 
I'm sorry if I sound like I'm on my soap box over here.  But transportation is not an issue that affects one or two societal groups.  It affects everyone in this city indiscriminately.

thelakelander

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 01:37:16 PM »
i posted earlier but no one responded.  my original post was echoed above by archiphreak. 

we're convinced by your argument and think others will be as well.  there are many downtown residents and business owners who will benefit financially from such a plan succeeding and many would likely be willing to contribute (financially or with their time) to see this thing come to fruition.

so my question now is:  what can we do to help you out? (money, attend meetings, write our city officials, petitions, raise or donate money for ads/articles in the mainstream press). i for one have significant financial interests in urban core and am willing to what i can (i just need to know in what way i can contribute to a larger, well coordinated effort)

thanks

u.c.



This is going to be a long fight.  The best thing at this point is to email the city council, Mayor's Office and JTA on a regular basis about this issue.  Also, spread the word to as many of your neighbors and co-workers as possible and attempt to have them contact the "mentioned above" as well, even if its just a one liner.

In the meantime, the guys at Metro Jacksonville are continuing to meet with council members, the mayor's office and neighborhood groups to help spread insight on why BRT is that bad thing that can be avoided and converted into something that benefits the entire community.

As time goes on a strong coalition will be formed between us and several entities and residents who are ready to tell JTA where they can take this plan and solve it.
"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: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2007, 01:39:20 PM »
While all of this is going on, I think there should be a collaborative effort of Architects, Designers, Engineers and the such to put together not just graphs and figures showing how this Rail system will work, but a real concrete set of documents outlining what this system is and how it will work from an architectural and engineering stand point. 
I'm sorry if I sound like I'm on my soap box over here.  But transportation is not an issue that affects one or two societal groups.  It affects everyone in this city indiscriminately.

I like this idea.  The couple of us that have been working on this so far behind the scenes, can't do it all alone.  Maybe there should be a meeting with Metro Jacksonville, Emerging Architects and anyone who wants to be involved to discuss how we can pull off such an effort?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

archiphreak

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Re: Metro Jacksonville's Rail Plan
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2007, 08:21:37 AM »
Lakelander, that sounds like a great idea.  I've broached the subject before and I know of at least 2 or 3 members who would jump at an opportunity like this.  I'll bring it up at the January meeting and see if I can't get some more support from other members.  Like I said, transportation is an important issue that effects everyone in our city.  We definitely need to push this into their face as often as possible.  I'll me writing the Mayor and my council rep today to try and get their attention.  Keep me posted on your goings on with city council and the like.