Author Topic: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?  (Read 62261 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« on: March 13, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?



Move over Charlotte, Will Jackson Square At San Marco become the first of several transit oriented developments to line Jacksonville's potential commuter rail lines and revitalize Philips Highway in the process?

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/737

Lunican

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 08:42:16 AM »
It's pretty interesting that these renderings show a proposed commuter rail station at this development instead of a BRT station.

second_pancake

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2008, 08:43:56 AM »
I love seeing these concepts and the free-flow of ideas pertaining to the improvement of Jax.  Phillips highway really needs some love or it's going to continue to degrade.  However, that being said, the drawings are pretty but the ground needs to start breaking.  I'm tired of everything being a pipe-dream.
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thelakelander

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 08:49:05 AM »
It's pretty interesting that these renderings show a proposed commuter rail station at this development instead of a BRT station.

Is there any secret that the majority of "TOD" style development being announced in this city is taking place either along rail lines or the skyway, as opposed to bus only routes?

If developers are looking for additional investors, its much easier to attract more money to the table for a project supported by a more reliable sexy fixed mode of transit, than one that could pick up and move a year after the development opens.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

JeffreyS

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 09:27:47 AM »
I love it. The more pedestrian friendly you can make it the more people can take the train to shop at your shoppes.
Lenny Smash

Steve

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 10:53:17 AM »
YES!  This is what we need!  I do wonder what made them indicate commuter rail stops as opposed to JTA's wildly popular BRT plan.

Jason

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 11:24:55 AM »
What a fantastic proposal.  The transit corridor side facing FEC Park seems very pedestrian friendly and places everything within a short walk of the proposed transit station.  I also like the idea of the skyway extension to that point.  I don't think extending the skyway to tat point would be a duplication because those living in this development would have a more direct and transfer free connection to the DT area and the rest of San Marco.  The commuter rail line would allow travellers from outside of the area to access the area or simply bypass it on their way to the multimodal center.  Another skyway station could also be plopped down at Atlantic Blvd providing a connection point for San Marco Square.  That will allow JTA's "trolly" busses to close the loop by connecting the Atlantic Blvd Station with the Baptist complex and Prudential station via San Marco Blvd.  The skyway could even be lowered down to grade through that corridor to save money on construction and make transfers easier as Ock has suggested in the past.

thelakelander

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 03:52:34 PM »
Good point, Jason.  Its exactly one mile from this site to the Kings Avenue Skyway station.
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avonjax

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 05:57:44 PM »
When is this project breaking ground?

southwood

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2008, 10:05:35 PM »
Anyone discussing neighborhood impact? River Oaks Road between Hendricks & Phillips isn't anywhere near ready/able to handle this dramatic traffic increase.

If you look closely at the map, the main access to this whole development is through River Oaks...again, this is barely a two-lane avenue (esp. when cars are parked on River Oaks). It is by no means a major throughway that can handle the serious traffic increase both from "new" residents of the proposed 4-story family dwellings or from the traffic coming from Hendricks TO the whole development.

Also, the RR crossing at River Oaks is notorious for backing up badly when trains are stopped. This could become a nightmare if the traffic quadruples.

And, for the homeowners on River Oaks, there is no setback...I can't believe this plan could proceed safely without addressing this safety issue.

Will town hall meetings be held?  Anyone know more about timing?

thelakelander

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2008, 10:27:56 PM »
Anyone discussing neighborhood impact? River Oaks Road between Hendricks & Phillips isn't anywhere near ready/able to handle this dramatic traffic increase.

If this project progresses, it would have to successfully pass a traffic concurrency study.  For those concerned about River Oaks Road, I'd suggest you contact the Jacksonville Planning Department.

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If you look closely at the map, the main access to this whole development is through River Oaks...again, this is barely a two-lane avenue (esp. when cars are parked on River Oaks). It is by no means a major throughway that can handle the serious traffic increase both from "new" residents of the proposed 4-story family dwellings or from the traffic coming from Hendricks TO the whole development.

As an apartment complex, it could connect directly with Philips Highway, not have any access to River Oaks Road and work out just fine.  It appears the connection to River Oaks makes it easier to get buses using the proposed Bus Rapid Transit corridor from the rail right-of-way back to Philips Highway.

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Also, the RR crossing at River Oaks is notorious for backing up badly when trains are stopped. This could become a nightmare if the traffic quadruples.

Access to River Oaks could be totally avoided if the busway isn't built.  River Oaks residents should be very concerned about the negative impact a bus expressway paralleling the FEC tracks, could have on their crossing and the neighborhood.  Integrating a four story apartment building on that site in a way that enhances the surrounding area is the easy part.  The difficult issue will be dealing with constant bus noise, speed, pollution (both visual and environmental) and decreasing property values coming from the construction of a dedicated busway near this residential area.

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And, for the homeowners on River Oaks, there is no setback...I can't believe this plan could proceed safely without addressing this safety issue.

Including the 100' wide FEC rail corridor, there's at least 150' of space between these buildings and the closest residence on River Oaks.  That's a ton of space.  More could be created if the buildings are moved to directly front Philips Highway with parking behind them.  In any event, at some point, this plan would have to come before nearby residents before approval could be given.

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Will town hall meetings be held?  Anyone know more about timing?

It appears to be early in the process.  If this plan moves forward its sure to change.  The land would also have to be rezoned at some point and the rezoning process would require notices mailed out to neighbors and a public hearing.  To find out where they currently stand, I'd contact the Jacksonville Planning Department.
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jeh1980

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2008, 01:51:09 AM »
Wow! I like this plan. It's what the area would really need 8). I hope that it will start real soon.

southwood

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2008, 10:27:57 AM »
lakelander -- thanks for the insights.  The issue with River Oaks is that today it serves as one of the main links between Hendricks and Phillips. Many commuters from Mandarin, San Jose, Lakewood and San Marco use River Oaks as a cut-through to get to Phillips/I-95. If more development is added that will draw countless others onto River Oaks - retail, apartments, etc. -- the volume is going to be entirely too much for that little street to handle. 

This is a residential neighborhood -- kids, cars, etc. The setbacks I was thinking about weren't up near the development, they're the ones that might include the city's easement and the yards of the houses on River Oaks. These are small lots with no room for widening whatsoever...I can't even imagine how they could put more cars on this small street.

Thanks for the tip about contacting Planning to see about status, etc.

thelakelander

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2008, 10:52:24 AM »
lakelander -- thanks for the insights.  The issue with River Oaks is that today it serves as one of the main links between Hendricks and Phillips. Many commuters from Mandarin, San Jose, Lakewood and San Marco use River Oaks as a cut-through to get to Phillips/I-95. If more development is added that will draw countless others onto River Oaks - retail, apartments, etc. -- the volume is going to be entirely too much for that little street to handle. 

This is a residential neighborhood -- kids, cars, etc. The setbacks I was thinking about weren't up near the development, they're the ones that might include the city's easement and the yards of the houses on River Oaks. These are small lots with no room for widening whatsoever...I can't even imagine how they could put more cars on this small street.

Thanks for the tip about contacting Planning to see about status, etc.

No problem, your concerns for River Oaks Road are definately valid.  Because it is used as a short cut between San Jose and Philips (another negative of not having gridded streets to diffuse traffic), as Philips redevelops, its going to be an issue regardless of whether its the Jackson Square site or any other east of the tracks.

I can't think of anyone, with a heart, advocating the elimination of an attractive residential neighborhood to increase vehicular capacity.  Looking from the outside in, this is why its important for areas like this to have a master plan or long range vision set in stone of how the city and JTA will deal with these types of planning and transportation issues.

One way to deal with this issue would be the construction of a railroad overpass over St. Augustine Road (cheaper than building a road overpass) and the closure of the River Oaks track crossing.  This eliminates fast moving thru traffic in the River Oaks residential community and makes Old St. Augustine Road a more viable option for crossover traffic because it would not be affected by heavy rail traffic heading into and from the FEC Bowden Yard. 

Its something that could be done as a part of implementing commuter rail because it also enhances FEC's rail capacity, which could lead to easier negoitations between JTA and the rail company for use of the ROW.  For a change, JTA would bring something to the table in rail discussions, as opposed to asking for what the railroad will view as a negative by itself.....passenger rail liability.

It also helps that between River Oaks and Emerson, there are 12 streets that connect Hendricks to St. Augustine Road, which means crossover traffic would be diffused, instead of being forced down one attractive residential street.
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Metro Jacksonville Rail Plan Already Spurring Development?
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2008, 10:26:29 PM »
Putting a freight (and commuter) rail track up in the air is cheaper than putting a road over? Rail overpasses need much much longer approaches, to keep the grades shallow.  Also, if people complain about the 'eyesore' of a road overpass - an elevated rail (what, 2, 3, 4 tracks wide, with Commuter Rail) would be prettier?

I need convincing.