Author Topic: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station  (Read 6542 times)

thelakelander

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2020, 08:21:22 AM »
This was the original BRT plan. It was basically using transit money to pay for managed lanes in the middle of the interstate. It also went to place that were already clearly in decline (Gateway Mall, Regency Square, etc.), so the project did not align with Jax's land development trends back then:







Here are a few sites they wanted to spend that $100 million in BJP rapid transit money on. It made no sense whatsoever and would have removed several commercial properties off the tax rolls. It actually seemed like a few properties along I-95 towards Gateway had been acquired by those in the know, who were going to make money by flipping them to JTA.

At the time, we pushed to have them abandon this silly plan by investing the rapid transit money in....a starter rapid transit line and simply revamping the existing bus lines to create BRT lite corridors. We knew that if they did not spend that $100 million, COJ would use it for something else, knowing the city's past track record.

Eventually, the original plan was proven to be too expensive and highly unpopular. It was scaled down to what the First Coast Flyer is today but they took so long to use that BJP money, I suspect it likely went to help cover the higher costs for the Duval County Courthouse. The money saved is something we'll never get public credit for but it was a honor to kill that thing and keep Jax from blowing a billion on what would have become a public laughing stock.

























« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 08:23:04 AM by thelakelander »
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Tacachale

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2020, 12:00:52 PM »

Regarding light rail, Ock, why doesn't someone point out that the Better Jacksonville Plan (BJP) budgeted $100 million (in 20+year old dollars) to buy right of way for light or other rail and never spent a dime on it.  Instead, the money went to the stadium (more dollars for the Jags, the real motivation for the BJP) and courthouse overruns.  That tells you everything about our plans for improving mass transit.

That was not the motivation for the BJP. However, it was a major loss that JTA and the city didn’t make good use of that $100 million rather than moving it to other things. We’d have a functioning fixed transit system by now.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2020, 07:06:24 PM »

Regarding light rail, Ock, why doesn't someone point out that the Better Jacksonville Plan (BJP) budgeted $100 million (in 20+year old dollars) to buy right of way for light or other rail and never spent a dime on it.  Instead, the money went to the stadium (more dollars for the Jags, the real motivation for the BJP) and courthouse overruns.  That tells you everything about our plans for improving mass transit.

That was not the motivation for the BJP. However, it was a major loss that JTA and the city didn’t make good use of that $100 million rather than moving it to other things. We’d have a functioning fixed transit system by now.

I stand corrected regarding the stadium.  It was the circa 1993 River City Renaissance plan that paid for the stadium (which I will reassert was the real motivation for RCR).  Like BJP, though, many other projects it promoted did not pan out due to poor planning, under funding, redirected funds, etc.  Probably the worst legacy of RCR was the total leveling of LaVilla with no master or realistic plan for its redevelopment.

Below, from the City's Ordinance Code is what BJP was supposed to pay for.  The courthouse, alone, came in at, as I recall, $360 to $380 million vs. the $190 million budgeted.  Another example of City mismanagement of mega projects. (a)(6) was the allocation of $100 million for rapid transit ROW.

While there were some real gems in some of these plans, big chunks benefited the usual suspects such as contractors and developers.  To seduce voters, the formula is to throw in a few long hoped-for projects (e.g drainage, new library, arena, parks) to build up voter support.  Significant projects didn't play out as voters where led to believe as the plans left too much discretion to elected officials, after passage, to change priorities.

 
Quote
The goals of The Better Jacksonville Plan, i.e., growth management, improving and constructing roads, environmental protection and preservation and targeted economic development, and providing public facilities shall be accomplished by the acquisition, construction and development of the following projects, listed with their approximate costs:

(a)  Roads/infrastructure/transportation. A $1,500,000,000 Work Program with $750,000,000 funded from the restructuring of existing JTA and City sources, and the remaining $750,000,000 funded from The Better Jacksonville ½ Cent Sales Surtax. The Work Program includes new, expanded and widened roads; interchanges, overpasses and intersection improvements; and also includes:

(1) Road resurfacing .....$105,000,000

(2) Drainage .....70,000,000

(3) Sidewalks/bike paths .....20,000,000

(4)  Landscaping/tree planting along road improvement projects .....18,000,000

(5)  Safety grade crossings .....25,000,000

(6)  Rapid transit right-of-way acquisition .....100,000,000

(b)  Environment/quality of life.

(1)  Land acquisition through the preservation project .....50,000,000

(2)  Neighborhood parks .....15,000,000

(3)  Environmental clean-up .....25,000,000

(4)  Septic tank remediation .....75,000,000

(c)  Targeted economic development.

(1)  Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Trust Fund .....25,000,000

(2)  Cecil Field, including recreational and equestrian facilities .....25,000,000

(3)  Jacksonville Zoo .....10,000,000

(d)  Public facilities/downtown.

(1)  Main library .....95,000,000

(2)  Library branch improvements .....55,000,000

(3)  Arena .....125,000,000

(4)  Baseball park .....25,000,000

(5)  Courthouse .....190,000,000

(e)  The Better Jacksonville Plan Projects Contingency .....35,000,000

Tacachale

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2020, 09:48:28 PM »

Regarding light rail, Ock, why doesn't someone point out that the Better Jacksonville Plan (BJP) budgeted $100 million (in 20+year old dollars) to buy right of way for light or other rail and never spent a dime on it.  Instead, the money went to the stadium (more dollars for the Jags, the real motivation for the BJP) and courthouse overruns.  That tells you everything about our plans for improving mass transit.

That was not the motivation for the BJP. However, it was a major loss that JTA and the city didn’t make good use of that $100 million rather than moving it to other things. We’d have a functioning fixed transit system by now.

I stand corrected regarding the stadium.  It was the circa 1993 River City Renaissance plan that paid for the stadium (which I will reassert was the real motivation for RCR).  Like BJP, though, many other projects it promoted did not pan out due to poor planning, under funding, redirected funds, etc.  Probably the worst legacy of RCR was the total leveling of LaVilla with no master or realistic plan for its redevelopment.

Below, from the City's Ordinance Code is what BJP was supposed to pay for.  The courthouse, alone, came in at, as I recall, $360 to $380 million vs. the $190 million budgeted.  Another example of City mismanagement of mega projects. (a)(6) was the allocation of $100 million for rapid transit ROW.

While there were some real gems in some of these plans, big chunks benefited the usual suspects such as contractors and developers.  To seduce voters, the formula is to throw in a few long hoped-for projects (e.g drainage, new library, arena, parks) to build up voter support.  Significant projects didn't play out as voters where led to believe as the plans left too much discretion to elected officials, after passage, to change priorities.

 
Quote
The goals of The Better Jacksonville Plan, i.e., growth management, improving and constructing roads, environmental protection and preservation and targeted economic development, and providing public facilities shall be accomplished by the acquisition, construction and development of the following projects, listed with their approximate costs:

(a)  Roads/infrastructure/transportation. A $1,500,000,000 Work Program with $750,000,000 funded from the restructuring of existing JTA and City sources, and the remaining $750,000,000 funded from The Better Jacksonville ½ Cent Sales Surtax. The Work Program includes new, expanded and widened roads; interchanges, overpasses and intersection improvements; and also includes:

(1) Road resurfacing .....$105,000,000

(2) Drainage .....70,000,000

(3) Sidewalks/bike paths .....20,000,000

(4)  Landscaping/tree planting along road improvement projects .....18,000,000

(5)  Safety grade crossings .....25,000,000

(6)  Rapid transit right-of-way acquisition .....100,000,000

(b)  Environment/quality of life.

(1)  Land acquisition through the preservation project .....50,000,000

(2)  Neighborhood parks .....15,000,000

(3)  Environmental clean-up .....25,000,000

(4)  Septic tank remediation .....75,000,000

(c)  Targeted economic development.

(1)  Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Trust Fund .....25,000,000

(2)  Cecil Field, including recreational and equestrian facilities .....25,000,000

(3)  Jacksonville Zoo .....10,000,000

(d)  Public facilities/downtown.

(1)  Main library .....95,000,000

(2)  Library branch improvements .....55,000,000

(3)  Arena .....125,000,000

(4)  Baseball park .....25,000,000

(5)  Courthouse .....190,000,000

(e)  The Better Jacksonville Plan Projects Contingency .....35,000,000

Again, not true. Most of the projects included in the BJP have been completed or are in development. The courthouse did run amok but there’s little that didn’t get done outright. That includes the hundreds of millions in infrastructure projects that people don’t remember as long as the big ticket items, but are just as important to the people they benefit. The fixed transit item may be the only big thing that was cut. And the didn’t inordinately benefit the “usual suspects” although there was a preference for local and/or Black owned companies if the bids were close.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

jaxlongtimer

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2020, 07:15:12 PM »
^ Who got the lions share of the contracts for the $105 million in road repavings and other improvements?  How many overpasses where promised and not built?  How much improved the Northwest Quadrant?  How many septic tanks got replaced?

Please refresh on what land preservation took place?  Was that the Timucuan Preserve?

It's been 20 years and you say some projects are still being completed.  What are they?  Why so long to finish?

Tacachale

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #50 on: November 22, 2020, 11:37:08 PM »
^ Who got the lions share of the contracts for the $105 million in road repavings and other improvements?  How many overpasses where promised and not built?  How much improved the Northwest Quadrant?  How many septic tanks got replaced?

Please refresh on what land preservation took place?  Was that the Timucuan Preserve?

It's been 20 years and you say some projects are still being completed.  What are they?  Why so long to finish?

I don't have all this info off the top of my head, but I can get it. Here's what I can answer off the top of my head:

*I know there were multiple contractors for the road and sidewalk projects. Most of the work is completed but my understanding is there are some long term projects that aren't done or only got done recently.
*BJP invested $25 million into a Northwest Jax economic development fund. That is on top of the infrastructure work that took place there. Besides Downtown, the Northwest received more investment than any other part of the city. Both the economic development fund and the infrastructure investments were successful; our perpetual problem in the Northwest and other areas is we don't consistently build on past investment.
*They spent like $75 million on septic tanks. All the ones identified in that program were remediated.
*All told the Preservation Project was 50,000 acres. There's a map of what was preserved in page 2 of this article.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Charles Hunter

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2020, 02:13:00 PM »
Many of the JTA's MobilityWorks projects come from the BJP project list.  I think all of the "overpasses" in BJP are no longer overpasses, but surface-level improvements.  For example, both Atlantic/University and Beach/University were in BJP as overpasses, but were recently completed with added turn lanes and other changes.
https://mobilityworks.jtafla.com/

jaxlongtimer

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #52 on: November 24, 2020, 11:47:37 PM »
^ Who got the lions share of the contracts for the $105 million in road repavings and other improvements?  How many overpasses where promised and not built?  How much improved the Northwest Quadrant?  How many septic tanks got replaced?

Please refresh on what land preservation took place?  Was that the Timucuan Preserve?

It's been 20 years and you say some projects are still being completed.  What are they?  Why so long to finish?

I don't have all this info off the top of my head, but I can get it. Here's what I can answer off the top of my head:

*I know there were multiple contractors for the road and sidewalk projects. Most of the work is completed but my understanding is there are some long term projects that aren't done or only got done recently.
*BJP invested $25 million into a Northwest Jax economic development fund. That is on top of the infrastructure work that took place there. Besides Downtown, the Northwest received more investment than any other part of the city. Both the economic development fund and the infrastructure investments were successful; our perpetual problem in the Northwest and other areas is we don't consistently build on past investment.
*They spent like $75 million on septic tanks. All the ones identified in that program were remediated.
*All told the Preservation Project was 50,000 acres. There's a map of what was preserved in page 2 of this article.

Many of the JTA's MobilityWorks projects come from the BJP project list.  I think all of the "overpasses" in BJP are no longer overpasses, but surface-level improvements.  For example, both Atlantic/University and Beach/University were in BJP as overpasses, but were recently completed with added turn lanes and other changes.
https://mobilityworks.jtafla.com/

Thanks for the responses and updates.

I think the Preservation Project land purchases will turn out to be the most enduring legacy of the BJP and Delaney's term.  A hundred or more years from now these purchases will still be paying dividends while all the other projects will likely be long forgotten.

Although we have short changed park maintenance due to our refusal to raise taxes (multiple mayors are responsible for this), I am still an advocate for continuing to make the purchases (including along the riverfront Downtown) as the fleeting opportunities to save these lands for public use will, typically, never come around again and are, thus, lost forever once developed otherwise. 

I am under the impression that Coxwell got the lion's share of the paving projects.  Mousa, after overseeing these contracts for the City, subsequently went to work for Coxwell.  That didn't make for good optics in my mind.  Let me know (I know you will!) if I have this wrong.

thelakelander

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #53 on: November 24, 2020, 11:54:23 PM »
^Throw $233 million into the Northbank and you could have some awesome and amazing public spaces along with preserved and restored historic buildings and a vibrant and authentic pedestrian friendly environment. Just saying....
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

marcuscnelson

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2020, 02:05:56 AM »
This was the original BRT plan. It was basically using transit money to pay for managed lanes in the middle of the interstate. It also went to place that were already clearly in decline (Gateway Mall, Regency Square, etc.), so the project did not align with Jax's land development trends back then:







Here are a few sites they wanted to spend that $100 million in BJP rapid transit money on. It made no sense whatsoever and would have removed several commercial properties off the tax rolls. It actually seemed like a few properties along I-95 towards Gateway had been acquired by those in the know, who were going to make money by flipping them to JTA.

At the time, we pushed to have them abandon this silly plan by investing the rapid transit money in....a starter rapid transit line and simply revamping the existing bus lines to create BRT lite corridors. We knew that if they did not spend that $100 million, COJ would use it for something else, knowing the city's past track record.

Eventually, the original plan was proven to be too expensive and highly unpopular. It was scaled down to what the First Coast Flyer is today but they took so long to use that BJP money, I suspect it likely went to help cover the higher costs for the Duval County Courthouse. The money saved is something we'll never get public credit for but it was a honor to kill that thing and keep Jax from blowing a billion on what would have become a public laughing stock.



























Well… huh. I'd read a few old articles on here about BRT proposals, but I had no idea it was that bad. To think we could have had our very own MetroRail system a decade ago. Although who's to say they would have done the land use right?

I know we talk a lot on here about what a mess City Hall has been for going on decades now, but it does seem that JTA really needs to share more of the blame than it usually does. From improperly utilizing the Skyway to dragging their feet on Amtrak to U2C and their weird addiction to BRT, I can't help but wonder where they keep getting these crappy ideas. Every once in a while they do something nice like JRTC, but that's certainly not enough. So what the hell is happening over there?

^Throw $233 million into the Northbank and you could have some awesome and amazing public spaces along with preserved and restored historic buildings and a vibrant and authentic pedestrian friendly environment. Just saying....

So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2020, 06:46:09 AM »
Although the U2C thing is Skyway 2.0, the JTA of today is much better than the JTA of yesterday.  The bus system has been reorganized to reduce route duplication and reduce headways, the crazy BRT plan is being implemented as BRT lite and a more size appropriate JRTC has finally been completed. These are all things that were done under Ford. I also can't completely blame them for the lack of DT land uses integrated with existing Skyway stations. We've had 30 years to have TOD around existing stations. However, with no coordinated master plan, development hasn't been set up to support it.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: JTA to open No Frills Brooklyn Skyway Station
« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2020, 02:00:51 AM »


JTA put out an Invitation to Bid yesterday for a fixed-price contract to construct the station. Bid is due a month from tomorrow, to be voted on by the board in February.

Between this and the mini-overhaul, it seems that perhaps there's been some kind of change in perspective at JTA. I imagine it has something to do with a realization that U2C is much further out than initially anticipated, and their decision to focus on it 3-5 years ago instead of a proper replacement means they now have to make the existing system work for much longer.

Extending to Brooklyn (does that make this a 3 mile system now instead of 2.5?) could be a real winner if they market it right. Clean up the stations, find a way to get… I dunno, a coffee and bagel cart on the ground floor, and get as flashy as possible about it to convince people to walk from the restaurants and apartments around there to the station in order to connect to the rest of Downtown. Looking at the track layout, you might have to consider this extension a third line, which could be a real coup in terms of marketing. Central Station would have three branches depending on where you want to go: Brooklyn, Southbank, or LaVilla.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey