Author Topic: BRT: Killing Downtown, The Final Chapter  (Read 3275 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
    • MetroJacksonville.com
BRT: Killing Downtown, The Final Chapter
« on: May 25, 2007, 12:00:00 AM »
BRT: Killing Downtown, The Final Chapter



Thursday morning, Downtown Vision hosted a meeting between Downtown Stakeholders and JTA officials, concerning Bus Rapid Transit.  As predicted, those in attendance got the chance to see some Fourth of July fireworks.  Here is a review, in question and answer format, of yesterday's heated discussion.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/445

Mark5

  • Guest
oh well...
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 09:11:11 AM »
i won't be pleased if they get their way, but to be honest i am very interested to see how it will go....barring it isn't at the expense of downtowners

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32415
    • Modern Cities
The fat lady hasn't sung.....at least not yet.
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 09:40:26 AM »
The only way we can keep this thing from being built at the expense of the downtown community is to apply public pressure to get them to consider alternative routes, instead of force feeding the thing down Bay, Forsyth or Adams.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

RG

  • Guest
(No subject)
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2007, 11:36:42 AM »
Monroe Street is certainly a reasonable alternative and is better than the others in that it ties in with the Skyway station already at Hemming Park.  State or Union would obviously be best and would tie into the Skyway too, but I can live with Monroe.  

avonjax

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 844
(No subject)
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2007, 11:46:49 AM »
"JTA claims that without mass transit improvements, new growth will not be allowed downtown."
I am confused as to what they mean by that statement.....
Is it a scare tatic for those who don't approve of this idiotic plan?

 


Johnny

  • Guest
A rally?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2007, 11:49:44 AM »
This seems insane that the planners are rolling with this with so much facts against them. I know someone's getting paid, but eventually they have to see it's a bad idea.

Is there a way to coordinate a rally that can help educate the non-downtowners, which can also be used to protest this thing?

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32415
    • Modern Cities
Traffic Concurrency scare tactic explained...
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2007, 12:19:42 PM »
Quote
"JTA claims that without mass transit improvements, new growth will not be allowed downtown."
I am confused as to what they mean by that statement.....
Is it a scare tatic for those who don't approve of this idiotic plan?


The way it was presented at the meeting was in the form of a scare tatic.  However, it is true that mass transit must be upgraded in downtown to substain future growth, similar to the concurrency system we have in the suburbs for new development.  

Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that the only option for improving downtown's mass transit is the BRT plan currently being pushed, as it was made to seem.  Those future improvements could also be in the form of expanding the skyway, trolley routes, additional regular bus service or even building a streetcar line.  There's a million ways to skin this cat.  Unfortunately, JTA is set on running buses down streets, they have no business even considering.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Split up JTA!
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2007, 03:03:35 PM »
I am not going to spend any time whatsoever in attacking the JTA planners. If we complain about the tune, there is no reason to attack the monkey when the organ grinder is present.

With few exceptions BRT cannot be defended. It is simply a Big Oil, Big Highway Lobby attempt to try and stem the floodwaters of LRT, because frankly, LRT numbers are ripping them a new one. Transit malls CAN work, but not with diesel buses, CNG, Electric, Trolley Bus or Fuel Cell would solve the pollution factor. But the stigma of Bus Transit will continue. BTW, if BRT is SO ATTRACTIVE, why is it they are now covering the wheels and giving the BRT buses LRT looks? JTA just doesn't get it, they have NEVER had an original idea in their history.

We are one of only TWO cities in the Country with a highway builder planning and running our transit. What does the rest of America KNOW that we haven't figured out?
I'll be posting numbers on BRT vs LRT over the next few weeks, so hold on to your wallets!



mtraininjax

  • Guest
Monroe? Won't exist until new courthouse planned
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2007, 09:10:33 PM »
the old courthouse would have closed the street and there is NO word that it won't happen. We need the new courthouse plans before this issue is laid to rest. JTA could not figure their way out of a paper bag. They live in fantasyland, people want to ride a bus to get to a destination, not ride it because of the gas prices or the smell of the bus or the people inside. People ride to get to somewhere, the airport, the beaches, a mall.....somewhere, buses ride around Jacksonville going nowhere with no one on them. Sort of like most of the JTA officials think, empty!

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32415
    • Modern Cities
Better coordination is needed
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2007, 07:36:08 AM »
Mtrain, I agree that JTA needs to better coordinate whatever it wants to do with other city agencies, businesses and residents that will be affected by this thing.  The routes they are pushing represent what's going on today, as opposed to tomorrow.

For example, the proposed routes serve the current courthouse site, but there's a good chance the new courthouse, along Monroe Street, will be open or at least well under construction by the time they potentially screw up Adams, Bay or Forsyth.

Also, the planning of the massive seven block Jacksonville Transportation Center layout doesn't acknowledge the convention center expansion/relocation debate going on right next door.

As for the courthouse design, Peyton mentioned a few months ago, that this go around, Monroe Street would remain open.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Jacksonville "Anything but a World Class City," according to JTA plans.
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2007, 11:31:12 AM »
JTA may look like idiots and talk like idiots but don't let that fool you. They really are idiots. I find few government agencys annoying, and JTA is one of them.

Ross Capon, executive director of the National Association of Rail Passengers, said buses were slower, carried fewer passengers and were sometimes dangerous.

Also, he said, "evidence has proven conclusively" that claims of superior cost-effectiveness of BRTs "have been overstated." Similar preferences were noted in a Government Accountability Office report three years ago to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Although GAO official JayEtta Z. Hecker concluded that BRTs offered many advantages in terms of cost and flexibility, she concluded that "bus service has a negative image, particularly when compared with rail service."

She said rail-based plans were often viewed as the mark of "a world-class city" and an image-enhancer that could attract developers.

JTA is an agency without any nice qualities, as far as I can tell.  As a group they have a toxic personality bordering on the radioactive.

Ocklawaha



stjr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2982
Re: BRT: Killing Downtown, The Final Chapter
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 02:08:11 PM »
After the recent series on Downtown, you would think it would give pause to BRT proponents.  But, once again, a lack of coordination of City leaders, will lead to more waste and steps backwards.

Noisy, diesel spewing buses barreling through Downtown in bus-only lanes will effectively intimidate pedestrians, discourage auto visitors with increased bottlenecks and confusing traffic rules, block cars from the little remaining parallel parking, and make it difficult for auto drivers to "connect" with retail options they are trying to locate as they pass down Downtown streets.

By the way, could someone interpret this quote:


Quote
“This will lead to fewer buses downtown,” Executive Director Michael Blaylock said, explaining that other bus routes would be diverted out of the downtown area when the bus-only lanes open up.

Does this mean I take a neighborhood bus to a BRT line, a BRT line to DT, and a DT bus loop to my destination?  It seems to make this quote accurate, we have to run fewer buses from the burbs to DT.  Most people would say we already run too few I believe.  What's the game plan here?

And this silly quote is my favorite:

Quote
Except for Jefferson and Broad, the bus-only lanes follow the same route as the Skyway, which hasn’t come close to meeting the ridership estimates anticipated when it was being built.

Teeple said the two systems serve different people. The Skyway was designed for people who drive downtown and then get on the people mover to get closer to where they work,she said, and people using the new lanes will take a bus into the downtown and then transfer over to one of the downtown buses.

So, the $ky-high-way is for commuters, now, not people trying to get around Downtown.  It's official so let's not have any more MJ posters suggest we need to expand the $ky-high-way to take us to Riverside, San Marco, or the Stadium.  It's only for AUTO (not BUS) commuters headed to work, and then, only if the job is directly at a $ky-high-way stop.  That may offer us just one more reason why the thing has no riders.

I guess JTA figures that AUTO commuters wouldn't be interested in literally lowering themselves into taking a street level Downtown bus from their parking lot along with the BUS commuters from the burbs.  No, we need a separate system that literally elevates them to segregate everyone and duplicate services.

In the end, the only good the BRT may do is to finally kill the $ky-high-way for good.  But, it is going to (1) be very expensive as we duplicate operating losses and (2) just replace the $ky-high-way with another system that won't stand the test of time and have to also be killed off when we bring in commuter rail and streetcars.

As Ock says above, idiots are in charge! ???



Quote
JTA considering bus-only lanes downtown
The project would speed ride times, and ease traffic congestion.


    * By Larry Hannan
    * Story updated at 4:00 AM on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009

Bus-only lanes similar to those now on Blanding Boulevard on Jacksonville’s Westside will be coming to downtown within the next two years.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is moving forward with plans for bus-only lanes on downtown roads, a $12 million project that is the first phase of a long-term plan designed to create the lanes throughout Jacksonville.

JTA expects to advertise for a design contractor in January, hire a contractor a few months later and begin construction in 2011. Neil Nance,  JTA design project manager, said the lanes would open sometime in 2012 on portions of Jefferson, Broad, Forsyth and Bay streets north of the Acosta Bridge and on parts of Prudential Drive, Riverplace Boulevard and Kings Avenue on the Southside.

The idea is to make it easier for buses to travel in the congested downtown and at the same time help ease that congestion and provide better service for the bulk of JTA’s customers.

“This will lead to fewer buses downtown,” Executive Director Michael Blaylock said, explaining that other bus routes would be diverted out of the downtown area when the bus-only lanes open up.

“About 80 percent of our bus passengers travel into the downtown area,” said Suraya Teeple,  JTA transportation planning manager. “It’s important that we get better infrastructure into the downtown.”

The routes will allow passengers to get out at the new courthouse, a planned Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center at the Prime Osborn Convention Center and a proposed San Marco Riverwalk. Hemming Plaza and the San Marco Square will also be within easy walking distance.

About 80 percent of the downtown project is being paid for by the federal government as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s “small starts” process that pays for start-up transit services, said Scott Clem,  JTA planning and research director. JTA is paying the rest.

Bus-only lanes are on Blanding, between Morse Avenue and 103rd Street. Future phases would include them on other sections of Blanding and on portions of Lem Turner Road, Arlington Expressway, Beach Boulevard and Philips Highway, all from downtown to the city’s outer reaches.

JTA wants to accomplish all of this within the next 10 years but doesn’t know yet how much it will cost or how it will be paid for.

Unlike Blanding’s 24-hour bus-only lanes, the downtown lanes will be bus-only during rush hour and other busy traffic times. Cars will be allowed during slower traffic times.

Clem said the Blanding lanes, installed early this year, were a test case designed to see how the community would respond.

“It’s been a great success,” Clem said. “Cars are not getting into the lanes and our bus drivers love it because it makes it so much easier to travel that area.”

 Except for Jefferson and Broad, the bus-only lanes follow the same route as the Skyway, which hasn’t come close to meeting the ridership estimates anticipated when it was being built.

Teeple said the two systems serve different people. The Skyway was designed for people who drive downtown and then get on the people mover to get closer to where they work, she said, and people using the new lanes will take a bus into the downtown and then transfer over to one of the downtown buses.

JTA’s focus on bus-only lanes has frustrated supporters of commuter rail who believe the city would be better off focusing on that as the main way to move people around more efficiently. The agency is also looking at rail and a streetcar system.

Robert Mann, a retired transportation consultant and long-time supporter of commuter rail, wants to see a light rail system or actual trolley system, instead of buses made up to look like trolleys.

“It won’t be popular because it’s still a bus,” Mann said. The lanes “would be a good complement to commuter rail, but it shouldn’t be the major system of transportation in Jacksonville.”

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-12-18/story/jta_considering_bus_only_lanes_downtown
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

Charles Hunter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3348
Re: BRT: Killing Downtown, The Final Chapter
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2009, 02:35:35 PM »
Not sure, but I think the "fewer buses downtown" means that many of the routes that now loop thru DT will be over on Broad/Jefferson.  Same number of buses, just not in the core of DT.  As much of the Broad/Jefferson corridor is vacant land (and the Court House), it can develop around the bus stops - maybe with businesses catering to bus riders.

CS Foltz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2861
Re: BRT: Killing Downtown, The Final Chapter
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2009, 03:09:25 PM »
BRT is something that I am not comfortable with.......just with a single lane bus dedicated! Downtown may work but outside of that area...........using valuable lane space for something that I have never seen with more than a dozen riders at any one time! Not a real efficient use by my standards, not to mention contributing to CO2 and emissions! Rail would be much more efficient and cost effective!

tufsu1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11190
Re: BRT: Killing Downtown, The Final Chapter
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2009, 08:13:44 PM »
CS...as of now, the lanes proposed for downtown are bus only just during the peak hours....obviously this is when congestion is worst and when the loss of a lane will affect people the most....seems like a pretty good test to me of whether people in Jax. who have a choice will ride the bus!