Author Topic: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase  (Read 5930 times)

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32390
    • Modern Cities
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2021, 08:49:41 AM »
There's multiple storylines blending together in this Skyway discussion and unfortunately, it's shaping up like Lot J......a take the proposal as currently planned or leave it. However, I see several different issues that need to be phased and discussed independently.

1. Gas Tax Funding - Regardless of the technology, should locals be asked to spend 100% of the project's capital cost or should the gas tax cover a percentage of locally generated funding that would be matched with state and federal dollars. The gas tax funding 25% of the Skyway figure locally ($90 million), would free up $289 million in local gas tax funds to pay for a variety of other needs and legacy projects throughout the city.

2. U2C - To a degree, the U2C expansion plan should be viewed independently as well. Before paying to convert the Skyway system over, it would make sense to run AVs in dedicated lanes on Bay Street between the JRTC and Stadium and/or the JRTC and Five Points via Park Street. This will give you a good idea of the appeal to the public in a more affordable manner. So more of a phased approach or pilot that actually serves as the extension lines of two corridors that are planned for expansion anyway.

3. Skyway - As much as some people hate it, the Skyway is a visible symptom of a sick, dead downtown and one with no real plan to deliberately cluster high density development around its stations. No matter the technology, it will struggle for ridership with no immediate attempt to funnel ridership into it or develop around it's existing stations. In the meantime, while they attempt to figure out what to do with it long term, upgrade it to keep it running in the short term, start running it on the weekends again and aggressively build more stuff around it's existing stations. Also consider no frills approaches for limited expansions and connectivity opportunities that can grow ridership more affordably. Three of these potential opportunities are listed below:

A. Brooklyn - This one is a no-brainer and one we've discussed prior to Nat Ford even showing up in town. Finally, years after being told it wasn't feasible to do an at-grade station at the maintenance yard, they are doing it on the cheap for $1.2 million. Great example of cutting the fat for a no-frills expansion solution.

B. San Marco - Dating back to the late 2000s Mobility Plan, extending from Kings Avenue to Atlantic Boulevard, made sense from a traffic analysis perspective. It's one of the cheapest options for a grade separated connection between San Marco and Downtown over the FEC. Once you get over the FEC, you can drop it to grade and run it parallel to the tracks, ending with a cheap, no-frills stop next to Southern Grounds Coffee. That would put the Skyway within a short walk of San Marco Square, the new San Marco Publix, and just about everything on Hendricks Avenue through the neighborhood.

C. Rosa Parks / FSCJ - No extension needed immediately. Just open of the jail house like gate that surrounds FSCJ's campus and create an inviting pedestrian scale entrance to the campus, immediately north of Rosa Parks Station. As FSCJ expands that campus, they should coordinate and infill on the big surface parking lot immediately adjacent to Rosa Parks Station.

In the event that an AV conversion is ultimately feasible in the future, all three of these things would be needed anyway.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 08:53:44 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Steve

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3757
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2021, 10:09:51 AM »
Long Term, is a conversion to Light Rail anywhere remotely feasible cost-wise? I recognize that if we tear it down it's a $90M bill.

I agree with the sentiment that short term we may not want to touch the thing aside from perhaps the San Marco connection to Atlantic Blvd.

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32390
    • Modern Cities
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2021, 10:33:58 AM »
LRT isn't feasible.....if trying to use the existing Skyway infrastructure. LRT would need to be looked at as a system serving a different purpose, stretching further out into the city (ex. SJTC, Beaches) than the Skyway (DT circulator). Like Miami's heavy rail line, LRT would be the thing to feed riders into the Skyway. If trying the salvage the Skyway infrastructure, you'll likely be limited to peoplemover technology, AVs, small heritage trolleys/streetcars or a lightweight tram. If you want to use the infrastructure and expand outward at-grade, eliminate the peoplemover option from that list.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxlongtimer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2021, 02:53:08 PM »
There's multiple storylines blending together in this Skyway discussion and unfortunately, it's shaping up like Lot J......a take the proposal as currently planned or leave it. However, I see several different issues that need to be phased and discussed independently.

Ennis, I don't see on your list an explicit question about JTA's ability to successfully implement AV's in the first place, at least anytime in the next few years or with a reasonable ROI.  As I have posted, others that are far more invested in AV's than JTA have yet to arrive at their destination so why does JTA think they are better?  This is my very first concern before all the issues about routes and user acceptance.  If the AV technology is not ready nothing else matters after that.

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32390
    • Modern Cities
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2021, 03:27:00 PM »
I'll keep your questions in mind. I'm meeting with JTA on Monday afternoon.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxlongtimer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2021, 04:27:04 PM »
I'll keep your questions in mind. I'm meeting with JTA on Monday afternoon.

Great.  Looking forward to how they justify the AV's based on where that technology (for everyone else) is now and for the foreseeable future.  Why do they think they have the "magic sauce" to pass far more experienced and vested others by?

itsfantastic1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2021, 08:09:09 PM »
I think a big issue with JTA is they also are in charge of the road network and local expressways. While in some instances this may seem like a good idea, especially for coordination with roadways like the First Coast Flyer and bus system, it also hampers any serious discussions of the mass transit side.

I don't believe other cities with large mass transit networks do this. MTA, CTA, BART, MARTA, DC Metro all have dedicated structures and organizations to plan, lobby, construct and operate mass transit. JTA has to keep all parties happy. It's a difficult juggling act.

marcuscnelson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
  • Gen Z - Tired of the status quo
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2021, 11:58:07 PM »
It does seem to me like it'd arguably be beneficial to split the "Expressway Authority" element away from the "Transportation Authority" element, or vice-versa. Even if you want to leave them in the same building for "synergy" or whatever, having an agency or commission or something that's able to solely focus on planning out a broader regional mass transit network without worrying about basic things like sidewalks (although it does help the bus network if there are sidewalks to the stations) seems like a good idea. I know Lake was on the Regional Transportation Commission, maybe he can give some insight into how that went.

But yeah, I think the biggest concern is that JTA is asking for all this money (a lot of money) now without really clear evidence that they're capable of doing what they say they're going to do with it. And the weirdness of wanting local taxpayers to bear the full cost for just this, while other projects go largely ignored, is icing on the cake.
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

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32390
    • Modern Cities
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2021, 08:02:56 AM »
The RTC didn't have the capacity or financial support to serve as a regional transit agency.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Peter Griffin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2021, 08:30:26 AM »
I think a big issue with JTA is they also are in charge of the road network and local expressways.

No, they're not. City Streets are controlled by the City of Jacksonville Department of Public Works, the freeways, expressways, highways, and FL State Roads are under FDOT jurisdiction.

Charles Hunter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3345
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2021, 08:53:51 AM »
It does seem to me like it'd arguably be beneficial to split the "Expressway Authority" element away from the "Transportation Authority" element, or vice-versa. Even if you want to leave them in the same building for "synergy" or whatever, having an agency or commission or something that's able to solely focus on planning out a broader regional mass transit network without worrying about basic things like sidewalks (although it does help the bus network if there are sidewalks to the stations) seems like a good idea. I know Lake was on the Regional Transportation Commission, maybe he can give some insight into how that went.

But yeah, I think the biggest concern is that JTA is asking for all this money (a lot of money) now without really clear evidence that they're capable of doing what they say they're going to do with it. And the weirdness of wanting local taxpayers to bear the full cost for just this, while other projects go largely ignored, is icing on the cake.

Historical note: The Jacksonville Transportation Authority started in the 1950s as the Jacksonville Expressway Authority. In 1971, when the assets of the Jacksonville Coach Company were bought and the Authority began operating the bus system, the name was changed to reflect the broader mission - Jacksonville Transportation Authority.  The thought was that having the expressway/highway and transit planning (this was before Metropolitan Planning Organizations) and implementation under one roof would provide better coordination.

itsfantastic1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2021, 10:57:39 AM »
I think a big issue with JTA is they also are in charge of the road network and local expressways.

No, they're not. City Streets are controlled by the City of Jacksonville Department of Public Works, the freeways, expressways, highways, and FL State Roads are under FDOT jurisdiction.

It's in their charter...https://www.jtafla.com/about-jta/legal/florida-statute-349/

Quote
The authority created and established by the provisions of this chapter is hereby granted and shall have the right to acquire, hold, construct, improve, maintain, operate, own, and lease in the capacity of lessor the Jacksonville Expressway System (hereinafter referred to as “system”)...and as hereafter completed or improved or extended as authorized by this chapter, and all appurtenant facilities, including all approaches, streets, roads, bicycle paths, bridges, and avenues of access for the Jacksonville Expressway System, and to construct or acquire extensions, additions, and improvements to the system and to complete the construction and acquisition of the system."

Sounds to me like they are in charge of certain roadways. I wasn't intending to say JTA is in charge of ALL roads in Duval, just that it is an additional responsibility on their plate that can conflict and redirect resources from proper mass transit planning.


« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 10:59:31 AM by itsfantastic1 »

Peter Griffin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2021, 11:42:24 AM »
I think a big issue with JTA is they also are in charge of the road network and local expressways.

No, they're not. City Streets are controlled by the City of Jacksonville Department of Public Works, the freeways, expressways, highways, and FL State Roads are under FDOT jurisdiction.

It's in their charter...https://www.jtafla.com/about-jta/legal/florida-statute-349/

Quote
The authority created and established by the provisions of this chapter is hereby granted and shall have the right to acquire, hold, construct, improve, maintain, operate, own, and lease in the capacity of lessor the Jacksonville Expressway System (hereinafter referred to as “system”)...and as hereafter completed or improved or extended as authorized by this chapter, and all appurtenant facilities, including all approaches, streets, roads, bicycle paths, bridges, and avenues of access for the Jacksonville Expressway System, and to construct or acquire extensions, additions, and improvements to the system and to complete the construction and acquisition of the system."

Sounds to me like they are in charge of certain roadways. I wasn't intending to say JTA is in charge of ALL roads in Duval, just that it is an additional responsibility on their plate that can conflict and redirect resources from proper mass transit planning.

The Jacksonville Expressway System was previously the Fuller Warren Bridge, Hart and Mathews Bridge Expressways, the MLK expressway, among others. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville_Expressway_Authority

All expressways which the Jax Expy Auth previously built have since been transferred to FDOT ownership and control, other than the Skyway. JTA no longer owns nor operates any of the facilities which were originally under the ownership and care of the defunct Jacksonville Expressway Authority. JTA "controls" the mass transit facilities along those roadways, but they're not responsible for maintenance of those roadways which State Routes, owned, run, and operated by FDOT.

Your original point still stands, they're stretched a bit thinner than some on this forum might like on the front of downtown transit, but they also do have to provide transportation for a huge sprawling city.

itsfantastic1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2021, 11:53:30 AM »
I think a big issue with JTA is they also are in charge of the road network and local expressways.

No, they're not. City Streets are controlled by the City of Jacksonville Department of Public Works, the freeways, expressways, highways, and FL State Roads are under FDOT jurisdiction.

It's in their charter...https://www.jtafla.com/about-jta/legal/florida-statute-349/

Quote
The authority created and established by the provisions of this chapter is hereby granted and shall have the right to acquire, hold, construct, improve, maintain, operate, own, and lease in the capacity of lessor the Jacksonville Expressway System (hereinafter referred to as “system”)...and as hereafter completed or improved or extended as authorized by this chapter, and all appurtenant facilities, including all approaches, streets, roads, bicycle paths, bridges, and avenues of access for the Jacksonville Expressway System, and to construct or acquire extensions, additions, and improvements to the system and to complete the construction and acquisition of the system."

Sounds to me like they are in charge of certain roadways. I wasn't intending to say JTA is in charge of ALL roads in Duval, just that it is an additional responsibility on their plate that can conflict and redirect resources from proper mass transit planning.

The Jacksonville Expressway System was previously the Fuller Warren Bridge, Hart and Mathews Bridge Expressways, the MLK expressway, among others. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville_Expressway_Authority

All expressways which the Jax Expy Auth previously built have since been transferred to FDOT ownership and control, other than the Skyway. JTA no longer owns nor operates any of the facilities which were originally under the ownership and care of the defunct Jacksonville Expressway Authority. JTA "controls" the mass transit facilities along those roadways, but they're not responsible for maintenance of those roadways which State Routes, owned, run, and operated by FDOT.

Your original point still stands, they're stretched a bit thinner than some on this forum might like on the front of downtown transit, but they also do have to provide transportation for a huge sprawling city.

Ok, thanks for the correction.

fieldafm

  • Editor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4478
Re: Skyway expansion in Jacksonville at stake in proposed gas tax increase
« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2021, 10:01:19 AM »
I think a big issue with JTA is they also are in charge of the road network and local expressways.

No, they're not. City Streets are controlled by the City of Jacksonville Department of Public Works, the freeways, expressways, highways, and FL State Roads are under FDOT jurisdiction.

It's in their charter...https://www.jtafla.com/about-jta/legal/florida-statute-349/

Quote
The authority created and established by the provisions of this chapter is hereby granted and shall have the right to acquire, hold, construct, improve, maintain, operate, own, and lease in the capacity of lessor the Jacksonville Expressway System (hereinafter referred to as “system”)...and as hereafter completed or improved or extended as authorized by this chapter, and all appurtenant facilities, including all approaches, streets, roads, bicycle paths, bridges, and avenues of access for the Jacksonville Expressway System, and to construct or acquire extensions, additions, and improvements to the system and to complete the construction and acquisition of the system."

Sounds to me like they are in charge of certain roadways. I wasn't intending to say JTA is in charge of ALL roads in Duval, just that it is an additional responsibility on their plate that can conflict and redirect resources from proper mass transit planning.

The Jacksonville Expressway System was previously the Fuller Warren Bridge, Hart and Mathews Bridge Expressways, the MLK expressway, among others. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville_Expressway_Authority

All expressways which the Jax Expy Auth previously built have since been transferred to FDOT ownership and control, other than the Skyway. JTA no longer owns nor operates any of the facilities which were originally under the ownership and care of the defunct Jacksonville Expressway Authority. JTA "controls" the mass transit facilities along those roadways, but they're not responsible for maintenance of those roadways which State Routes, owned, run, and operated by FDOT.

Your original point still stands, they're stretched a bit thinner than some on this forum might like on the front of downtown transit, but they also do have to provide transportation for a huge sprawling city.

JTA is an agent of authority for construction of many roadway projects throughout Jacksonville. JTA can and does collect taxes and bond money for new roadway construction, roadway expansion, roadway facility improvements (IE sidewalk construction and ADA compliance improvements), bridge construction, etc.

You are correct in that either FDOT or COJ owns the roadways. But by whatever term you call it- JTA is by charter, definition and practice... in the roadway construction business.