The Jaxson

Community => Transportation, Mass Transit & Infrastructure => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on May 28, 2013, 03:04:55 AM

Title: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on May 28, 2013, 03:04:55 AM
Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/744226236_j47W9cJ-M.jpg)

Eight city blocks, five massive new buildings, four stand alone stations, and hundreds of millions of dollars will buy us a dysfunctional transportation center. The alternative is, remodel the Prime Osborn to reflect its original purpose by removing most of a single building, adding pavement and train tracks.  For a fraction of the Jacksonvillle Regional Transportation Center (JRTC) planned costs we get eight city blocks of new infill projects, a new convention center and a true multimodal terminal downtown, this is how its done.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-may-rethinking-the-jacksonville-transportation-center
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: ricker on May 28, 2013, 07:59:26 AM
concur.beautiful delivery Mr.Mann.

All modes must meet within the most compact setting possible.

Can the August arrangement be postponed?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Noone on May 28, 2013, 08:06:57 AM
Eight city blocks. The Courthouse on steroids!
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: mbwright on May 28, 2013, 08:15:43 AM
A quick way to spend the most amount of money, for the worst possible outcome. 

This proposal is simple, makes sense, and easy to use.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JFman00 on May 28, 2013, 08:24:08 AM
As anyone who's transferred between transit modes can attest, they can be harrowing, confusing experiences for first time visitors in even the most transit-friendly cities. The JRTC as currently designed is like an intermodal center from hell designed to scare away new users and visitors from using it, and torture those that have no other options.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on May 28, 2013, 09:23:59 AM
I was excited to see this discussion this morning, because I am of the mindset that this will change downtown, by attracting corporate business back into the core and thus causing other retail and residences to follow.  I have no industry knowledge, just that of a commuter.

Though I like the idea of condensing the current plan, my reasons are purely for the more TOD in the area.  As a person who uses transit all of the time, I don't see a major issue with the layout.  It is pretty straightforward, get off one mode, go to a packed main corridor to my next mode.  The only real drawback is walking, but how many people are going to go from Amtrak to Greyhound?  When I go to our office in Stamford, my route is Amtrak from Jax to NYC - Penn Station, then a 20 minute walk or two subway trains to Grand Central where I board Metro-North to Stamford.  So, that is certainly a harder transfer than this station would provide.  And remember, our destination is not the center, this is just a pass-thru on our way to somewhere else. Also, I would imagine that it enables areas to be shut down, for instance Greyhound has people in it 24 hours a day but JTA areas would become homeless sleep centers once the last buses pulled out if they had access to an all-in-one area. 

As for this design, I think the final will need to have the bus portion redesigned.  Out of curiosity this morning I went to the Rosa Parks/FSCJ Station and sat for a few minutes watching how things worked.  I noticed two things, a lot more people are utilizing the Skyway than I remember a year ago, which is a good thing. Also, in between 7:45 and 8 am I counted 27 buses that entered the east side of the station and each stayed for about 2 minutes, (two were there for almost 10 minutes and the driver of one said he was running early and had to wait to continue on, I felt bad for the people trying to get downtown that did not know their bus was 10 minutes early).  Now if you combine that traffic with Greyhound, and with cars coming in and out of that parking lot, it would be a gridlocked nightmare during peak periods.  What happened with this design from a few years ago?  Is there a reason this won't work?

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-jun-ten-affordable-fixes-for-transportation-in-jacksonville

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/455453154_Mp93Z-M.jpg)

Also, if you left the layout as JTA has planned it, and remove the convention center, wouldn't that space be needed for commuter rail to the north, west and southwest?

(http://fpc.dos.state.fl.us/general/n032953.jpg)

(http://www.flarr.com/jtctrack311xa.jpg)

But overall, great presentation and hopefully will urge the right people to at least think about other options.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JeffreyS on May 28, 2013, 10:04:47 AM
Obviously this idea is much better for transit needs and supporting an urban environment.
How much less expensive would the alternative project be?
How would we satisfy our convention center needs? Perhaps building one next to the Hyatt or the beach? Could we just split the duties between the Morocco shrine on St. Johns bluff and the downtown auditorium?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 28, 2013, 10:28:45 AM
Quote
Could we just split the duties between the Morocco shrine on St. Johns bluff and the downtown auditorium?

No.  If we're not going to have a convention center that can remotely compete within that competitive industry, it's not worth having one at all.

Quote
Obviously this idea is much better for transit needs and supporting an urban environment.
How much less expensive would the alternative project be?

Significantly less, if you're investing in one transportation center as opposed to four and working with existing infrastructure. Several intermodal centers serving similar modes have ran various peer cities somewhere between $20 - $50 million.  Without a real estimate, it's hard to say what Ock's idea would cost.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't get to hung up on exact designs and layouts at this point.  For example, I can look at Ock's plan and easily come up with three or four variations, including one that doesn't necessarily require the demolition of the exhibition hall either.  However, it's hard to even address the transportation center without resolving the convention center issue.  The way I see it is, 1) address convention center issue. A decision needs to be made on if it stays or goes.  2) Based on that decision and timeline, then lock down the best way to design a compact transportation center. 

In any event, the currently proposed configuration should die a quick and horrible death.  Even if it means delaying things by a year, two or three. Unfortunately, the idea of a functional intermodal center will take a huge hit if Greyhound does end up at Adams & Johnson.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: acme54321 on May 28, 2013, 10:54:38 AM
Is there a map of all the railroad leads that existed downtown in it's heyday?  A switching type model railroad layout of downtown jacksonville in that area would be awesome.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on May 28, 2013, 10:56:53 AM
Quote
No.  If we're not going to have a convention center that can remotely compete within that competitive industry, it's not worth having one at all.

+1000

Quote
1) address convention center issue. A decision needs to be made on if it stays or goes.

It seems to me everyone, with the exception of those at JTA who draw these plans, that it will be relocated.  It seems the general consensus, IMO, is that some day it will occupy the space the old courthouse is on.  I think it is just a matter of someone coming up with the investment to make it happen.

Therefore, idk why JTA incessantly continues to keep that in their plans.

On a side note, does anyone else agree that as soon as we get a transit center at Jacksonville Terminal then Bay Street Station will be back on the table?

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-mar-bay-street-station-and-streetcars-coming-downtown (http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-mar-bay-street-station-and-streetcars-coming-downtown)
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on May 28, 2013, 10:58:13 AM
Is there a map of all the railroad leads that existed downtown in it's heyday?  A switching type model railroad layout of downtown jacksonville in that area would be awesome.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-jan-lost-jacksonville-union-terminal (http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-jan-lost-jacksonville-union-terminal)
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Tacachale on May 28, 2013, 11:01:14 AM
This seems like a much more sensible site plan. But how could it work if, as seems likely, the convention center will remain in Union Terminal for the foreseeable future? Also, as the Greyhound station seems like it will go two blocks north as currently planned, would removing that from the condensed section free up some other space?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 28, 2013, 11:12:34 AM
It's been assumed by many that the convention center will relocate to the Hyatt.  However, there's no solid commitment or money dedicated, so the convention center could realistically be at the terminal for another decade.  The major problem I see is JTA and the city want Greyhound relocated ASAP.

This is where I believe a firm commitment to relocate the convention center is needed.  If it were to be removed but that move being a decade or so a way, why not add Greyhound to the existing complex and reconfigure a portion of the convention center's parking lot to serve as a bus apron and loading area?

As for local buses, could the existing lot adjacent the the Skyway be utilized for this in the short term? To me, it seems the key to reducing costs is to take advantage of existing infrastructure as much as possible. However, that is totally reliant on what happens with the convention center and when.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: InnerCityPressure on May 28, 2013, 11:17:09 AM
In any event, the currently proposed configuration should die a quick and horrible death. 

What can we do to assist with the murder?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Tacachale on May 28, 2013, 11:32:23 AM
It's been assumed by many that the convention center will relocate to the Hyatt.  However, there's no solid commitment or money dedicated, so the convention center could realistically be at the terminal for another decade.  The major problem I see is JTA and the city want Greyhound relocated ASAP.

This is where I believe a firm commitment to relocate the convention center is needed.  If it were to be removed but that move being a decade or so a way, why not add Greyhound to the existing complex and reconfigure a portion of the convention center's parking lot to serve as a bus apron and loading area?

As for local buses, could the existing lot adjacent the the Skyway be utilized for this in the short term? To me, it seems the key to reducing costs is to take advantage of existing infrastructure as much as possible. However, that is totally reliant on what happens with the convention center and when.

The convention center is the big issue. And I don't think we're going to see a commitment to move it elsewhere unless things change really soon. Unfortunately, we may end up both moving the convention center, and having a sprawled out mess of a transit center with a huge empty space in the middle of it down the road.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 28, 2013, 11:50:10 AM
Yes, that would be Jacksonville's story.  We'd end up paying millions for a dysfunctional intermodal center that would then be used as an example of why we should not invest in mass transit and downtown. The bad part about that is the naysayers would be right.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: exnewsman on May 28, 2013, 02:36:00 PM
Quote
No.  If we're not going to have a convention center that can remotely compete within that competitive industry, it's not worth having one at all.

+1000

Quote
1) address convention center issue. A decision needs to be made on if it stays or goes.

It seems to me everyone, with the exception of those at JTA who draw these plans, that it will be relocated.  It seems the general consensus, IMO, is that some day it will occupy the space the old courthouse is on.  I think it is just a matter of someone coming up with the investment to make it happen.

Therefore, idk why JTA incessantly continues to keep that in their plans.

On a side note, does anyone else agree that as soon as we get a transit center at Jacksonville Terminal then Bay Street Station will be back on the table?

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-mar-bay-street-station-and-streetcars-coming-downtown (http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-mar-bay-street-station-and-streetcars-coming-downtown)


I agree that a compact design is the way to go. But I also think that unless and until COJ starts an earnest discussion and planning for a new convention center we might be here 10, 15 or 20 years from now with neither a new CC nor a transportation center.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 28, 2013, 02:49:27 PM
Though I like the idea of condensing the current plan, my reasons are purely for the more TOD in the area.  As a person who uses transit all of the time, I don't see a major issue with the layout.  It is pretty straightforward, get off one mode, go to a packed main corridor to my next mode.  The only real drawback is walking, but how many people are going to go from Amtrak to Greyhound?

The current plan is not straightforward, lugging a couple of suit cases from McCoy's Creek to Adams Street via a 7 block elevated concourse with two acceding and two descending escalators each way. Amtrak currently operates a connecting bus service along the Sunset Limited/Gulf Wind route from Jacksonville to New Orleans. They also have a dedicated bus that heads down the center of the State through Waldo and Ocala to Tampa. Stations along the east coast also have dedicated connections. This is easily 'unseen' because the current station is virtually under a highway overpass and between two junk yards.

As for walking how many would try and follow the 'JTA TRAIL' through LaVilla as opposed to playing 'frogger' with cars coming on or off I-95 whilst lugging a bag and pushing the baby?


Quote
And remember, our destination is not the center, this is just a pass-thru on our way to somewhere else. Also, I would imagine that it enables areas to be shut down, for instance Greyhound has people in it 24 hours a day but JTA areas would become homeless sleep centers once the last buses pulled out if they had access to an all-in-one area. 

There should be no more of a homeless problem at the redesigned station as there would be in 5 separate buildings, actually less as a Transportation Center would be a 24 hour operation along with lease space for various stores and restaurants within the complex.

Quote
Now if you combine that traffic with Greyhound, and with cars coming in and out of that parking lot, it would be a gridlocked nightmare during peak periods.  What happened with this design from a few years ago?  Is there a reason this won't work?

Hardly, there is a large surface parking facility to the west of the station and all of the daily cars to the JTA Park and Ride services, Greyhound or Amtrak, wouldn't fill the lot.

As for the other plan, it simply proved that all of the unneeded elements of the JRTC could easily fit in that single space without having a hot concession selling hiking boots. Those buildings either west or north of the station would never see enough traffic to support the simplest retail, so we'd have more city blocks of nice modern empty buildings with dirt floors in them.

Quote
Also, if you left the layout as JTA has planned it, and remove the convention center, wouldn't that space be needed for commuter rail to the north, west and southwest?

No, the plan as we've drawn it would easily accommodate 6-8 through tracks, plenty of room for AAF, Amtrak, Commuter Rail and some future HSR. If you look closely at the side by side images of the two station plans you should note the JTA plan includes 2 platforms and 3 tracks, while ours includes 3 platforms and 6 tracks, expandable to 8.

Lastly, who is going to develop high dollar infill when they are sandwiched between a broken convention center with an Amtrak appendage and a Greyhound Station? You would be putting private developers in the same position that JTA thought they were in, i.e.: build around it. Private developers are not going to 'build around it' when better properties offer consolidated construction.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 28, 2013, 03:56:20 PM
Quote
No.  If we're not going to have a convention center that can remotely compete within that competitive industry, it's not worth having one at all.

+1000

Quote
1) address convention center issue. A decision needs to be made on if it stays or goes.

It seems to me everyone, with the exception of those at JTA who draw these plans, that it will be relocated.  It seems the general consensus, IMO, is that some day it will occupy the space the old courthouse is on.  I think it is just a matter of someone coming up with the investment to make it happen.

Therefore, idk why JTA incessantly continues to keep that in their plans.

On a side note, does anyone else agree that as soon as we get a transit center at Jacksonville Terminal then Bay Street Station will be back on the table?

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-mar-bay-street-station-and-streetcars-coming-downtown (http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-mar-bay-street-station-and-streetcars-coming-downtown)


I agree that a compact design is the way to go. But I also think that unless and until COJ starts an earnest discussion and planning for a new convention center we might be here 10, 15 or 20 years from now with neither a new CC nor a transportation center.

I'm not sure paying millions for a clearly dysfunctional sprawling layout is the way to go, even if the convention center stays.  It would be interesting to see a third conceptual alternative created. That alternative should be a compact intermodal center with the convention center still in place.  Such a concept would allow for a decent and cheaper transportation center to rise, despite the convention center's status.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: simms3 on May 28, 2013, 06:21:06 PM
Lake, absolutely agree and Robert, nice article.

Regarding CC vs Transportation Hub, in the short term for a city like Jax I can see a CC providing more far-reaching and immediate impetus for infill and economic activity than a transit hub, mainly for the reason that Jax has a lot more current unmet potential with a new CC and it would be an immediate boost, and it's relatively straightforward and even the idiots running things in Jax can get events booked and the logistics tied together.

I see a transit hub being a long term economic generator, because it relies on the transportation systems that feed it, and currently there are very few systems and they are all run very poorly and serve a small population.  The population they don't yet serve has really no reason yet to use transit...so it's a long time in the making before a Denver-sized hub (see their Union Station redevelopment) becomes something meaningful to a city like Jax.

Either way, the powers that be need to make decisions NOW that affect both CC and transit hub and get to work on one or both.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 28, 2013, 06:32:27 PM
Part of me still questions if Jax even needs a intermodal center the size of the proposed JRTC. Several cities with more transit users seem to get by with less. Anyway, in the short term, you could probably get Brooklyn-style multifamily housing off the ground on some of those vacant blocks surrounding the convention center, with or without a transportation center. In the long run, it becomes Transit Adjacent Development (TAD), which will be of benefit to both downtown and JTA's transit hub.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 28, 2013, 08:34:18 PM
Quote
On a side note, does anyone else agree that as soon as we get a transit center at Jacksonville Terminal then Bay Street Station will be back on the table?

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-mar-bay-street-station-and-streetcars-coming-downtown (http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2008-mar-bay-street-station-and-streetcars-coming-downtown)

I'd give it a qualified agreement, I'm not certain they ever went any farther then a few pretty renderings. I've heard the investors went broke in the crash. So maybe Bay Street Station, but more likely the same concept on clean new drafting paper.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Charles Hunter on May 28, 2013, 08:58:10 PM
Is the $180 million quoted for the JRTC the current cost estimate?  Any idea what the Ock or Lake plans would cost, just for the Better JRTC?  Although the funding match could be as much as 80% Federal, 50% is more typical, leaving the remaining 50% to be shared by the City and FDOT.  Not sure if FDOT would split the remaining half or not.  Let's say they do.  The local cost of the Spread Out JRTC would be $180M x 0.25 or $45 million. 

The savings from the Better JRTC would be something less than that.  If the Better JRTC costs half as much, that would free up about $22 million in local money.  Is that enough to build a new Convention Center (those Federal and State transportation funds wouldn't be available for the CC)?

This is not to throw cold water on the idea - I fully support moving the CC to the Court House/Annex site and condensing the JRTC - just don't want anyone to think that every dollar saved from the spread-out version can go to the CC.  If the City wants to go to The Next Level (R), we will have to actually spend some money.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: tufsu1 on May 28, 2013, 09:05:24 PM
^ FDOT had much more skin in the game when the Traffioc Management Center was included in the project....with the TMC now being constructed north of downtown next to Springfield, that incentive is gone
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 28, 2013, 09:15:19 PM
Charles, certainly we are not quoting exact figures here, the $180 million is the last price tag that I'm aware of. I'd agree with Lake and Simms that spending that amount on a station in downtown Jacksonville is not only not needed it could well be suicidal. The cost would have to include the rail yard and platforms which at around $4 million a mile minus switch work or cross overs, might keep it close to the $50-$100 million bracket.

The next problem would have to fall to those evil minds at FDOT  ;) The Lee Street Viaduct must be replaced, but do we really charge that to station? Or perhaps Jake Godbold's painted streets with pretty views? The viaduct could also be rolled into the streetcar project.

I do know there are some very interesting and highly respected national developers looking all around the property, get them onboard and who knows, we might even trump Denver.

Last minute note... THANKS TUFSU1
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 28, 2013, 09:17:54 PM
Also, a new convention center will cost a lot more than $22 million. The true number is probably over $100 million.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: simms3 on May 28, 2013, 09:28:52 PM
Part of me still questions if Jax even needs a intermodal center the size of the proposed JRTC. Several cities with more transit users seem to get by with less. Anyway, in the short term, you could probably get Brooklyn-style multifamily housing off the ground on some of those vacant blocks surrounding the convention center, with or without a transportation center. In the long run, it becomes Transit Adjacent Development (TAD), which will be of benefit to both downtown and JTA's transit hub.

Agreed.  JTA can't even figure out how to operate a successful bus system, so I think the basics need to come first with a back of the mind vision for a intermodal hub later.  I mean really only the largest cities are doing these intermodal hubs currently, Denver literally being the smallest city building one...and it's at least twice the size of metro Jax and has a substantial multi-modal transportation system with high daily ridership and a genuine need for transportation options to serve all people.

I don't see LaVilla or really any DT surrounds becoming more attractive to developers without a burgeoning job market.  If Jax moves forward with a new CC, I think it could even be time before we see a new "flagged" convention type hotel (though I think it could speed up the impetus to do a boutique at the Trio site).  The hotel market in Jax is traditionally over built and horrible performing, even DT.  Look at all the foreclosures, changes of management, changes of ownership for bargain prices, among downtown hotels and area hotels.

225 Riverside is all equity, delivering a couple hundred units that will be expensive for Jax, so I'm sure people are sidelining and taking a wait and see approach on how the project does (which will undoubtedly be contingent on the job market as most multifamily, especially urban infill, is).  Even in Atlanta, Novare shared pretty openly its lease-up information for a rental tower it delivered in January (320 units) because rental construction, especially infill, had been absent in the market for years.  It's now over 90% leased at close to $2.10psf, and this was valuable information for other developers/lenders "sidelining" and waiting to see how strong the intown rental market would be.  77 12th delivered this month and is trying to lease up at $2.25-$2.50psf range (330 units).  If a larger market like Atlanta is a "dip toes in first" market, then Jax is an "emergency allocation" market and a "let's take xanax before allocating to urban infill" market.

I think the city should focus on high paying jobs jobs jobs first to spur development, especially downtown/infill development.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: spuwho on May 28, 2013, 10:17:04 PM
I like the compact plan, but where do I park?

If I want/need to take AAF from Jax to Miami or Ft Lauderdale, am I parking in the Kings Street Garage and taking the Skyway to catch my train? Or am I parking near the landing and hoofing it over to the Terminal to catch my ride south?

Same with Amtrak going north.

If AAF has a south station instead at the Avenues Walk to keep the trains south of the Bowden Yard, I can avoid the city center issue completely, especially if AAF doesn't charge me to park there.

Just a few thoughts.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 28, 2013, 10:22:39 PM
Not quite true Simms, Meridian, Mississippi has an amazing Multimodal Transportation Center, one that for very little investment has returned some pretty robust development in a city many would consider a backwater. SEE: Union Station Revitalizes Meridian Depot District. Meanwhile in West Palm Beach, AAF is securing several other properties next to the planned railroad terminal. Ocala Florida also has a Multimodal Center built into it's historic Union Station. Your statement; "I mean really only the largest cities are doing these intermodal hubs currently, Denver literally being the smallest city building one.." is misleading to those with no experience in Transportation or Planning. Indeed hundreds of villages, towns and cities have built, are planning, or actively building a Multimodal Center.

As an example, these are the renderings of the new center in Rochester, NY.

(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/ScreenShot2013-05-28at100733PM_zpsb6992edd.png)


(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/ScreenShot2013-05-28at100708PM_zps470b2fa8.png)

In small villages with an Amtrak Station, or Community Transit, or a single Greyhound Bus daily, talk is about consolidation, connections and condensing. It only makes sense from the viewpoint of the transportation operators, shared expenses and a possible bump in boardings is a winning concept.

NO CITY in Florida even comes close to Jacksonville's rail and intercity bus connections, not a single rail car arrives in Orlando, Tampa, or Miami, without passing through Jacksonville. We have the location to make this work.

Jacksonville can and should do this, and do so quickly before we literally miss the bus.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 28, 2013, 10:26:26 PM
I like the compact plan, but where do I park?

If I want/need to take AAF from Jax to Miami or Ft Lauderdale, am I parking in the Kings Street Garage and taking the Skyway to catch my train? Or am I parking near the landing and hoofing it over to the Terminal to catch my ride south?

Same with Amtrak going north.

If AAF has a south station instead at the Avenues Walk to keep the trains south of the Bowden Yard, I can avoid the city center issue completely, especially if AAF doesn't charge me to park there.

Just a few thoughts.

Take another look at the plan, we did not change the large parking lot where the 1504 locomotive is displayed, and the concourse from that entrance into the heart of the complex is already in place.

AAF isn't going to thumb their noses at what will doubtlessly be seamless Amtrak connections and trains running in East Coast/West Coast sections south of Jacksonville. They are highly interested in the station and the surrounding properties.

FECI/FEC has also stated that Commuter Rail to St Augustine is 'their baby.'
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: simms3 on May 28, 2013, 10:39:46 PM
Ock, I've driven through Meridian.  Depressing small town that is dying, not to mention it is in MS.  Jax has an opportunity to plug itself into the Amtrack network (which would be contingent on AAF and the state/feds beefing up its rail connections), and I agree it should - makes no sense to have that Amshak way up on the NS, but a huge multimodal transit hub seems pointless at this time.  I also highly doubt that it would spur development in and of itself (the act of investing in DT infrastructure with a permanent base like that could give companies and landlords more confidence to invest in office downtown, which means jobs, which could spur multifamily...but it's a wide bet without strong economic drivers separate from a transit hub).

A "multimodal" station in Ocala or Meridian or some small town is not apples to apples to what a multimodal station should be even for a transit-underutilized million person market such as Jax would need.  Plus, we are talking about re-adapting Jacksonville's union station, which is probably exponentially larger than any of the small town stations and compares in size to the stations found in KCMO, STL, Omaha, Denver (probably actually larger than Denver's, right?), etc.

I don't see why it can't just be Amtrak now, with bus transfer and obviously next door to Skyway.  To make the investment to totally transform it into some huge multimodal system designed to handle all sorts of transit modes for systems that don't yet even exist seems a waste.  Not to mention, the bus system is totally underutilized as it is and the city/JTA can't even figure out the simple concept of roadside bus stations!
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: coredumped on May 28, 2013, 11:11:42 PM
So what can be done? Is there going to be a hearing or anything? It looks like this is pretty far forward - are we just screwed here?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ralph W on May 28, 2013, 11:25:25 PM
JTA doesn't appear to have any heartache with a $180 million price tag to develop a sprawling intermodal center, starting with an ill-conceived idea that Greyhound needs to be first to occupy the north forty away from the rest of the pack. If, in reply # 8, the cost of a compact center could be south of $50 million and a full-blown convention center could come in at a little more than $100 million, then there's the $180 million better spent.

Also, how much would COJ and our fair city suffer without a large convention center for a while? If the number crunchers and the event planners could come together and utilize what we already have, not including the convention center, would there really be the dire financial impact so many fear?

I'm all for closing out (honoring) the current bookings at the Prime Osborn while concurrently lining up the resources to make the switch. Do without a super convention center for a while but stop beating around the bush and make it happen at a better location.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: simms3 on May 29, 2013, 12:25:21 AM
^^^Yes, good logical points.  On the point of the CC, does anyone know how expensive it would be to stabilize the parking deck by the Hyatt to build on?  The Warriors are relocating to a new $900MM <20,000 seat arena in SF, and the bulk of that cost is the stabilization of the pier that the arena will be built on.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: ricker on May 29, 2013, 01:34:33 AM
OCK,

Can the August lease by Greyhound be put off until such a site revision as you suggest can be approved?

Is Greyhound stuck moving 3 blocks north of Bay, so far away from the Terminal?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on May 29, 2013, 09:36:49 AM
OCK,

Can the August lease by Greyhound be put off until such a site revision as you suggest can be approved?

Is Greyhound stuck moving 3 blocks north of Bay, so far away from the Terminal?

True, this is actually the real question.  Right now, today, what are the obligations that JTA has or has made concerning JRTC?

And, being that this seems to have become a CC thread too, what is City Hall's current stance on that today? I remember someone (Sleiman??) who actually had some fancy drawings for a Hyatt location but has DIA/City Hall/Mayor made any official stand on the subject?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: fsquid on May 29, 2013, 10:49:50 AM
Quote
Ock, I've driven through Meridian.  Depressing small town that is dying, not to mention it is in MS.

It's a small town in MS, but its actually doing well and will continue to as long the NAS, Air National Guard, and Peavy Electronics are still HQ there.  Not to mention the tourism from the Civil War and Civil Rights era that took place around there.

No clue if it is apples to oranges, but certainly would not hurt the city of JAX to look at a place where it has worked and see if it can work in a larger metro.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JeffreyS on May 29, 2013, 11:02:06 AM
(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/Transit/Rethinking-the-JRTC/i-jqpTwWK/0/L/JRTC%20presentation_Page_09-L.jpg)

In the short term if we have to move the Greyhound station couldn't we put it where the JTA bus terminal is planned. The rest of the transit center could still be condensed without having Greyhound as an outlier blocks away.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 29, 2013, 10:53:07 PM
(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/RAILROAD-STATION-Dearborn_Intermodal_Sta_zps535feac7.jpg)
Dearborn, MI, Intermodal Passenger Terminal

(http://www.rtands.com/media/k2/items/cache/fd7b6ac2bb8245841596981c7cdc4a91_XL.jpg)
Niagara Falls, Intermodal Transportation Center

Agreed.  JTA can't even figure out how to operate a successful bus system, so I think the basics need to come first with a back of the mind vision for a intermodal hub later. I mean really only the largest cities are doing these intermodal hubs currently, Denver literally being the smallest city building one...and it's at least twice the size of metro Jax and has a substantial multi-modal transportation system with high daily ridership and a genuine need for transportation options to serve all people.

You are the one that stated Denver is the smallest city building one, Ocala, Meridian, Rochester , Normal, Cedar Falls, Durango, Fairfield, Albany, all have them...   And the list just goes on and on. You know as well as I do that cities from Jesup Georgia, to Tacoma Washington, and Anaheim to Brattleboro, small, medium, large are going multimodal. Considering many people reading this thread might actually buy-in to your contention that we are so hopelessly small and inept that we shouldn't try. Certainly the JTA of the last couple of decades has been a bumbling failure, but it appears the agency and the City is turning the corner.  A scaled down JRTC that requires virtually ZERO new buildings in conjunction with a major developer-player (and YES they are here looking) would be that winning combination.

Besides the photos, here is a short list of just the intermodal passenger facilities in New York State:

New York Penn Station (Manhattan) - Amtrak, LIRR, New Jersey Transit, New York City Subway, Buses
Grand Central Terminal (Manhattan) - Metro-North, New York City Subway, Buses
Existing and Proposed World Trade Center Complex (Manhattan) - PATH, New York City Subway, Ferries, Buses
Midtown Port Authority Bus Terminal (Manhattan) - New York City Subway, Intercity/Commuter/Local Buses
Uptown Port Authority Bus Terminal (Manhattan) - New York City Subway, Commuter/Local Buses
Whitehall Terminal (Manhattan) - New York City Subway, Staten Island and Other Ferries, Buses
Harlem/125th Street (Manhattan) - Metro-North, New York City Subway, Buses
Atlantic Terminal (Brooklyn) - LIRR, New York City Subway, Buses
Jamaica Station (Queens) - LIRR, New York City Subway, Airtrain, Buses
Woodside Station (Queens) - LIRR, New York City Subway, Buses
Long Island City Station (Queens) - LIRR, New York City Subway, Ferries, Buses
St. George Ferry/Intermodal Terminal (Staten Island) - Staten Island Railway, Staten Island Ferry, Buses
Hempstead Transit Center (Nassau) - LIRR, Buses
Mineola Intermodal Center (Nassau) - LIRR, Buses
New Rochelle Intermodal Center (Westchester) - Amtrak, Metro-North, Buses
White Plains Metro-North Station (Westchester) - Metro-North, Buses
Yonkers Metro-North Station (Westchester) - Amtrak, Metro-North, Buses
Poughkeepsie Station (Dutchess) - Amtrak, Metro-North, Buses
Rensselaer Station (Rensselaer) - Amtrak, Buses
Utica Union Station (Oneida) - Amtrak, Adirondack Scenic Railway, Buses
Syracuse Intermodal Center (Onondaga) - Amtrak, Buses

(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/ScreenShot2013-05-29at92240PM_zps61a8f43d.png)
Moscow, IA. Intermodal Center

So what can be done? Is there going to be a hearing or anything? It looks like this is pretty far forward - are we just screwed here?

There are meetings this week, there will be many more, citizens could and should contact the mayors office and JTA and make a plea for this sensible transition. While it is in engineering, that process could stop Friday if the JTA learns that Greyhound is willing to stall (they are/and I know that first hand).

(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/RAILROAD-STATIONS-FT-WORTH_zps15967765.jpg)
Pulling into Fort Worth, running 'Push-Pull' style... some of us get better seats then others HEE HEE  ;D


OCK,

Can the August lease by Greyhound be put off until such a site revision as you suggest can be approved?

Is Greyhound stuck moving 3 blocks north of Bay, so far away from the Terminal?

True, this is actually the real question.  Right now, today, what are the obligations that JTA has or has made concerning JRTC?

And, being that this seems to have become a CC thread too, what is City Hall's current stance on that today? I remember someone (Sleiman??) who actually had some fancy drawings for a Hyatt location but has DIA/City Hall/Mayor made any official stand on the subject?

Yes there are obligations and a signed lease with Greyhound, however Greyhound likes the revised plan and will be here Friday to discuss the whole project with JTA. This is doable, the mayor will have to step up and make a quick decision on the Conventions (mostly home, garden and gun shows) and they could be turning dirt sometime early next year. The key will be can Nathan Ford promise Greyhound that JTA will go to the mayor for a solid decision, YES or NO on the Convention Center, then move quickly if we get a green light?

(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/8f2fe63e-6c5e-4c56-869c-5405a4ab3148_zpsbd808334.jpg)
Brunswick, Maine, 'Maine Street Intermodal Center, and connected multi-use development.'

Quote
Ock, I've driven through Meridian.  Depressing small town that is dying, not to mention it is in MS.

It's a small town in MS, but its actually doing well and will continue to as long the NAS, Air National Guard, and Peavy Electronics are still HQ there.  Not to mention the tourism from the Civil War and Civil Rights era that took place around there.

No clue if it is apples to oranges, but certainly would not hurt the city of JAX to look at a place where it has worked and see if it can work in a larger metro.

It is apples to apples, the reason being is it is defined as INTERMODAL, be that a single community transit bus meets train, or a small municipal transit authority meets Amtrak and Greyhound, or a major metro with a dozen carriers, commuter rail, buses and transit service.  It works because it eliminates costs for the carriers and it increases options for the passengers, all of which equates to higher revenues for the transportation companies and municipalities.


(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/ScreenShot2013-05-29at94212PM_zps15446d9a.png)
Meridian, Mississippi parlayed a $1 million dollar investment into $8 million of TOD and TAD investment.


In the short term if we have to move the Greyhound station couldn't we put it where the JTA bus terminal is planned. The rest of the transit center could still be condensed without having Greyhound as an outlier blocks away.

There are a lot of options, the old rail yard just south of the station could easily house a temporary station and parking, close the eastbound lane in Bay Street and set up a curbside boarding zone by the older part of the terminal, leasing out the old 'Colored Waiting Room' as station space, or set up shop under the Skyway station. The main movements of the first act must be accommodating Greyhound and moving the conventions.

(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/RAILROAD-STATIONS-Las-Cruces_zpsad8db3da.png)
Las Cruces Intermodal Station Nearing Completion

(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Depots%20and%20Stations/RAILROAD-STATIONS-ANAHEIM_zps6711a461.jpg)
Anaheim, CA. Intermodal Transportation Center
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JFman00 on May 29, 2013, 11:03:32 PM
Are we calling any rail station where buses stop at + a parking lot an intermodal center?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: YellowBluffRoad on May 30, 2013, 12:27:28 AM
I've recently learned to look at passenger intermodal transit from my father's point of view. He's elderly, can't drive, and needs a walker or cane to walk more than 1/2 block, but remains fiercely independent. I know this is simplistic, but if the design supports a senior citizen with limited mobility, then its design should (hopefully) be usable for most of its target ridership.

Placing at least the local bus terminal near the train terminal is important to folks with mobility challenges. That's not just senior citizens using canes, but families with children, vacationers not familiar with their surroundings, etc.

The new official design is disappointing to me, since it's so close to, yet so far from a great approach. With the new design, it appears terminal passengers have several blocks to walk from train terminal to JTA bus terminal, unless the "transport concourse" includes a moving walkway. Even if it does, there's still a long hike (a long city block?) from the train terminal to the start of the transport concourse. Certainly not a "pedestrian-friendly" transit solution for people with disabilities, and probably more expensive to maintain annually than a more compact design would be. The design should make transfer from rail to bus (then to airport) easy, and a long walk between transfer points negates that as well.

From what I see of the official design, transit transfers look like they will be difficult for folks with mobility challenges. If the design doesn't support that need, and mobility-challenged individuals still need to plan for private transportation to fill the void, then what has really been accomplished by putting these transit hubs close, yet not close enough to facilitate easy transfer? Is ADA-friendly design really a bad concept, given the aging US population? Why even invest in it if it's not going to meet the needs of those who need it the most? Shorten the transfer distances and there's the chance for a true long-term winner here, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 30, 2013, 09:34:06 AM
Are we calling any rail station where buses stop at + a parking lot an intermodal center?

Not really, all of the intermodal centers I have mentioned are purpose built for ease of access and connections.

YellowBluffRoad, the city blocks in that section of town are 300' long, based on this to move from the center of the rail platforms to the Greyhound Station via 'the concourse' is 7 city blocks + 2 flights of stairs/elevators/etc up and 2 down.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: simms3 on May 30, 2013, 11:24:55 AM
Are we calling any rail station where buses stop at + a parking lot an intermodal center?

LoL.

Ock good point that I have of course agreed with that we should spruce up POCC to include Amtrak and of course the Skyway connection already there.  Anything low cost and more effective than what we have today.

I totally disagree with you that private developers would look at Jax and are looking at Jax for significant projects to complete, i.e. a multimillion dollar or billion dollar mulitmodal hub with mixed-use component or surrounding TOD.  I have witnessed firsthand developers pass on deals in Jax simply because they were in Jax (good, solid "core" deals).  Atlanta's got a major public-private partnership going between the city and a JV consisting of major national developers Forest City Enterprises, Cousins, and the Integral Group.  Other teams that responded to the RFP included the John Buck Co, Hines, Jacoby and others.  Still years out from happening and issues to work out between GDOT and rail companies.  Would never happen in Jax.

I'd make the case that developers won't come in with "TOD" infill either simply because the city spends money on an intermodal terminal there.  I'm sure everyone's in a wait and see with 225 Riverside to determine if there even is demand for expensive infill and how the project does, and anything else added in the area will be contingent on the local DT job market and the success of 225 Riverside.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 30, 2013, 01:34:33 PM
Seems like Pollack Shores (Riverside Park) and Arbour Valley (Ambassador Hotel) aren't waiting for 220 Riverside to determine if they will move forward on their projects or not.  Units also seem to be rapidly mushrooming all around the Southside.  There, I truly question if we're overbuilding.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 30, 2013, 02:02:04 PM
Perhaps, but remember that aircraft carrier will single handedly deliver around 10,000 new residents. This plus other recent announcments are grounds to be optimistic. I agree that downtown is starting to move, recall that article a week or two ago that put us near the top for business and economy.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: simms3 on May 30, 2013, 04:06:10 PM
Seems like Pollack Shores (Riverside Park) and Arbour Valley (Ambassador Hotel) aren't waiting for 220 Riverside to determine if they will move forward on their projects or not.  Units also seem to be rapidly mushrooming all around the Southside.  There, I truly question if we're overbuilding.

SS is a different market altogether - it's basically proven at this point and even SS isn't doing anything odd, same overall rents, same overall garden style formula.  I know of a company that recently looked at a large deal on the SS - the discussion revolved around it being the "center of town" and where all the jobs and young people congregate.  Given the Jacksonville market, I don't consider a development a done deal until the foundation is poured.  Even in much larger Atlanta many deals are on "standby" ready to sprout quickly upon word that other projects are doing well - it's not atypical and would be the smart thing, imo for risk takers willing to build infill around Jax, a risky and unproven market and a new product type for the market.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: tufsu1 on May 30, 2013, 04:56:17 PM
Perhaps, but remember that aircraft carrier will single handedly deliver around 10,000 new residents. This plus other recent announcments are grounds to be optimistic. I agree that downtown is starting to move, recall that article a week or two ago that put us near the top for business and economy.

is that the aircraft carrier we won't be getting until 2020 at the easrliest?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 30, 2013, 05:20:08 PM
IF, and that's a big IF, that aircraft carrier ever comes, it will be huge economically but I doubt it will have a significant impact on the downtown housing market.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 30, 2013, 07:51:41 PM
Yes TUFSU1, the anti-military Junta currently in power will likely not last beyond the next elections now that the S**T is hitting the fans all across the board. The Navy would very much like to base a carrier here, and there will probably be a 5 year build up for support, and to prepare for O&M on one of the new Nuke ships.

Having all of your ships in a single port is a recipe for disaster should some modern incarnation of the sons of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, decide to "Climb Mt. Niitaka."
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Charles Hunter on May 30, 2013, 08:31:17 PM
[THREAD DERAILED]
Ock, why you dumping on TUFSU1?  He said a carrier could be here in 2020.  Adding your 5 years of prep to today, you get 2018 - not that different.  And it isn't the current administration in DC that's standing in the way - after all the D0D wants to move one here (as you said).  It is the Congressional delegation (8 GOP, 3 Dems in Congress, and both Senators are Dem) from Virginia that is standing in the way.  It was thelakelander who doubts a carrier will ever come here.

While I think logic will win out, and we will get a flat-top, I agree with Lake that it will have very little effect on downtown housing.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on May 30, 2013, 09:23:28 PM
I don't believe a street stop in Jacksonville will work for Greyhound, even temporarily. In my experience with them, when they come into Jax a majority of the buses have all of the passengers disembark so that they may flush the septic system and I guess get fuel and other stuff. So they would need to go from 10 Pearl to their new permanent site. But in the absence of common sense by JTA, how about one of these alternatives:

1) Move the Greyhound terminal so it is next Rosa Parks/FSCJ station. It would require buying out the planned office space that will eventually be built there, but it is easily accessed by Skyway. I mean it seems that JTA wants everything in one spot, which is good, but sometimes isn't feasible.  As Ock's list pointed out, look how many intermodal stations there are on Manhattan alone, and they all link different services. 

2.) Lets say this is built exactly as drawn up by JTA, would it be possible to do so in such a way that TOD could be built on top of it?

3.) All that aside, if JTA continues as planned and Greyhound breaks ground in August out in the boonies, is there another design that could be advocated for to try to make it easier for transition?  (i.e. what if there were a streetcar that ran up Lee or Johnson streets, giving those that didn't want to walk or maybe couldn't walk that far another option).


As I was leaving the city this morning I noticed another major issue that FDOT, FHP and JSO will have to address with the current layout if it goes through ... cars coming off I-95 North onto Forsyth are MOVING!  They do not slow down till they have to either at Lee or Jefferson.  Those crossing at street level to reach the outlying Greyhound would be in serious trouble.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on May 30, 2013, 09:31:45 PM
And as for the floating city returning to Mayport, the White House and Dems as a whole would love nothing more ... they need every vote in NEFlorida they can get and know that will do it.  It is a matter of the getting the politicians of the great commonwealth of virginia to let it go.  However, being they are doing construction on a pier specifically for a nuclear carrier, I think our 2020ish chances are pretty high.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 30, 2013, 10:27:00 PM
Yes TUFSU1, the anti-military Junta currently in power will likely not last beyond the next elections now that the S**T is hitting the fans all across the board. The Navy would very much like to base a carrier here, and there will probably be a 5 year build up for support, and to prepare for O&M on one of the new Nuke ships.

Having all of your ships in a single port is a recipe for disaster should some modern incarnation of the sons of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, decide to "Climb Mt. Niitaka."

Uh? I wasn't dumping on him, I agreed with him and closed with the logical reason why.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 30, 2013, 10:39:27 PM
I don't believe a street stop in Jacksonville will work for Greyhound, even temporarily. In my experience with them, when they come into Jax a majority of the buses have all of the passengers disembark so that they may flush the septic system and I guess get fuel and other stuff. So they would need to go from 10 Pearl to their new permanent site. But in the absence of common sense by JTA, how about one of these alternatives:

Good comments, yes the buses empty out in Jacksonville which makes us ideal for connections, interchange and servicing coaches of other bus, coach and tour operators.  Your observations are correct, it is a Federal DOT requirement that the buses may not be occupied when fueling.


Quote
(1) Move the Greyhound terminal so it is next Rosa Parks/FSCJ station. It would require buying out the planned office space that will eventually be built there, but it is easily accessed by Skyway. I mean it seems that JTA wants everything in one spot, which is good, but sometimes isn't feasible.  As Ock's list pointed out, look how many intermodal stations there are on Manhattan alone, and they all link different services. 

Greyhound is Inter-city and in fact is our largest Inter-city surface carrier, they are a natural compliment to Amtrak, 450 passengers v 50. When part of that 450 is moving from NYC to Tallahassee or Gainesville for school, they need to interchange as close as possible.

Quote
2.) Lets say this is built exactly as drawn up by JTA, would it be possible to do so in such a way that TOD could be built on top of it?

Probably not as the city will be bankrupt and the entire stretch of 5 new buildings will be M/L vacant.

Quote
3.) All that aside, if JTA continues as planned and Greyhound breaks ground in August out in the boonies, is there another design that could be advocated for to try to make it easier for transition?  (i.e. what if there were a streetcar that ran up Lee or Johnson streets, giving those that didn't want to walk or maybe couldn't walk that far another option).

Still doesn't work for the 20 something mom, baby, stroller, 2 suitcases, and a giant Hefty bags of toys, bottles, etc.  We need to make this so easy a 'caveman could do it.'


Quote
As I was leaving the city this morning I noticed another major issue that FDOT, FHP and JSO will have to address with the current layout if it goes through ... cars coming off I-95 North onto Forsyth are MOVING!  They do not slow down till they have to either at Lee or Jefferson.  Those crossing at street level to reach the outlying Greyhound would be in serious trouble.

Yep! And the gang speeding up to hit the Bay Street onramp is no better. These are dangerous streets and the plan itself needlessly puts people at risk.

Great reply!
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 30, 2013, 11:53:52 PM
^The JRTC's solution to the Bay and Forsyth ramps appears to be an elevated pedestrian concourse.  So your transfer will involve going up and down to sets of stairs/escalators/elevators in addition to your multiple block walk.  Have you ever had a connecting flight in Atlanta with a short period of time to get from one gate to another? Either you break out in a sweat or end up missing your connection. We're basically creating that situation here.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on May 31, 2013, 11:06:21 AM
Quote
^The JRTC's solution to the Bay and Forsyth ramps appears to be an elevated pedestrian concourse.  So you're transfer will involve going up and down to sets of stairs/escalators/elevators in addition to your multiple block walk.  Have you ever had a connecting flight in Atlanta with a short period of time to get from one gate to another? Either you break out in a sweat or end up missing your connection. We're basically creating that situation here.

Very vivid, accurate example because anyone who has flown Delta has dealt with that!

Quote
Greyhound is Inter-city and in fact is our largest Inter-city surface carrier, they are a natural compliment to Amtrak, 450 passengers v 50. When part of that 450 is moving from NYC to Tallahassee or Gainesville for school, they need to interchange as close as possible.

Quote
Still doesn't work for the 20 something mom, baby, stroller, 2 suitcases, and a giant Hefty bags of toys, bottles, etc.  We need to make this so easy a 'caveman could do it.'

Being that COJ owns lots of property there, wouldn't it be better to site Greyhound on the block between Forsyth, Johnson, Bay and Lee streets?  Then you could put JTA on same block as Skyway.  Possibly build parking garage between Skyway and I-95 or one in the current convention center lot.  This would still leave people having to cross Bay Street, but seems like a good compromise that would keep convention center at Prime Osborne for now.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on May 31, 2013, 12:54:48 PM
It is never a good idea to force travelers to cross streets. Honestly who is going to hike a block AWAY from a station whos front door is plainly visible across the road? The fact is all of our moter carrier bus and coach traffic easily fits within a single area, we dont need to divide them into remote stations. If the PO is not going to move we would be better building a totally new terminal for all modes in the current west parking lot, using the remaining blocks for parking and development.

Sent from phone
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on May 31, 2013, 01:28:03 PM
It is never a good idea to force travelers to cross streets. Honestly who is going to hike a block AWAY from a station whos front door is plainly visible across the road? The fact is all of our moter carrier bus and coach traffic easily fits within a single area, we dont need to divide them into remote stations. If the PO is not going to move we would be better building a totally new terminal for all modes in the current west parking lot, using the remaining blocks for parking and development.

Sent from phone

I see your point ... however if commuter rail comes to Jax then a high majority of that traffic will be transferring to Skyway so that still leaves you crossing roads.  My ONLY reservation to having everything on one site is access.  Buses break down, people do not pay attention and accidents happen, too many people in one area will create gridlock.  In this, look 10-15 years in the future when businesses are beginning to thrive in Jax, new residential and office towers are being built and all undeveloped land in the urban core is a picture in the history section of MJ.  The biggest complaint will be how the transit station downtown is operating over capacity.  Buses backed out onto Bay Street waiting for Grandpa Joe to back his Buick into a parking spot.  JTA buses delayed by a MetroBus which has stalled in the exit drive. These can happen anytime, anywhere however in this situation they'll be magnified.  The majority of the people will not remember the 363 days they came through the station hassle free, they'll tell everyone about the 2  days they were delayed 30 minutes because of a yahoo.  I see the need for compactness, I believe in it, however lets not immediately sacrifice future expansion and comfort and easy access for a plan that will work best today. 
Also, with weather patterns changing and everyone agreeing that we will begin seeing storms we aren't used to, maybe putting all of eggs in the basket next to McCoys Creek isn't the best idea.  Sandy taught all of us in NYC a huge lesson, and even though most has been rebuilt, parts of Whitehall Terminal and the South Street Station are still badly damaged with replacements not likely til 2016-2020. 
And finally, if you'll look at your list of intermodal terminals, EVERY single one in Manhattan plus Jamaica Station in Queens and Atlantic Station in Brooklyn are at or over capacity.  Jacksonville has the one shot to get it right, which is not their current plan, but to me neither is putting everything into one spot. I use these transit systems everyday and as a commuter, and Greyhound/Amtrak traveler, I Feel it would get congested very quickly.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on May 31, 2013, 03:43:11 PM
Being that COJ owns lots of property there, wouldn't it be better to site Greyhound on the block between Forsyth, Johnson, Bay and Lee streets?  Then you could put JTA on same block as Skyway.  Possibly build parking garage between Skyway and I-95 or one in the current convention center lot.  This would still leave people having to cross Bay Street, but seems like a good compromise that would keep convention center at Prime Osborne for now.

That block would be better than the current Greyhound site.  However, it would still be a second terminal.  As for crossing Bay, just put up a pedestrian signal. Issue solved!
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Jason on June 03, 2013, 08:51:31 AM
I've never though of the idea of adding Greyhound to Rosa Parks.  Makes some sence given the site is already primed for busses.

How may arrivals/departures does the current Greyhound station handle in a day?  Anyone know?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 03, 2013, 09:24:28 AM
Rosa Parks is in no way designed to handle intercity buses, add that to the fact that you would be moving the intercity connection even further from Amtrak.

As for Bay Street, I agree with Lake, I'd use the LED pavement markings and lay out a VERY visible pedestrian crossing. If future traffic warrants it a simple precast pedestrian subway with the Skyway side having an escalator that by-passes the sidewalk level and goes straight into the Skyway deck. Otherwise the existing escalators and elevators would work fine
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on June 03, 2013, 10:07:44 AM
OCK,

Can the August lease by Greyhound be put off until such a site revision as you suggest can be approved?

Is Greyhound stuck moving 3 blocks north of Bay, so far away from the Terminal?

True, this is actually the real question.  Right now, today, what are the obligations that JTA has or has made concerning JRTC?

And, being that this seems to have become a CC thread too, what is City Hall's current stance on that today? I remember someone (Sleiman??) who actually had some fancy drawings for a Hyatt location but has DIA/City Hall/Mayor made any official stand on the subject?

Yes there are obligations and a signed lease with Greyhound, however Greyhound likes the revised plan and will be here Friday to discuss the whole project with JTA. This is doable, the mayor will have to step up and make a quick decision on the Conventions (mostly home, garden and gun shows) and they could be turning dirt sometime early next year. The key will be can Nathan Ford promise Greyhound that JTA will go to the mayor for a solid decision, YES or NO on the Convention Center, then move quickly if we get a green light?
So does anyone know if any talks happened last Friday?  Also, reading through a VERY old thread ... Greyhound was the one who originally wanted to move out in the middle no-mans-land?

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php?topic=14031.0

Ever wonder how ideas that seem illogical today, have evolved overtime? I do, which is why I like to research history, which helps me better understand the present to better prepare for the future.

Anyway, here is an interesting article I came across while researching another topic.  It appears that Greyhound was originally supposed to located at the Jacksonville Terminal along with Amtrak.  Needless to say, it appears that we decided it would be bad for the convention center business, which led to the relocation of this transportation mode to the north.  Hopefully, this will put the illogical argument of Greyhound demanding to be that far north from the rest of the complex to rest:

Quote
Greyhound not a good fit in joint hub plan Too much in one spot could serve to deter conventioneers

The Florida Times-Union - Monday, August 27, 2001
Author: David Bauerlein, Times-Union staff writer

The ticket windows in historic Jacksonville Terminal, now a part of the Prime Osborn Convention Center, might regain their original use if Amtrak moves its station downtown.

But Greyhound passengers won't be catching the bus at the convention center. The latest, revised plan for building the Jacksonville Transportation Center would put Greyhound a couple of blocks away from the convention center, not inside it.

The shift is part of a study that is charting a way to bring multiple means of travel -- train, bus, car, the Skyway monorail and perhaps someday light rail -- together in a compact area where people can easily switch from one kind of transportation to another.

"I think the timing for it has never been better," said City Councilwoman Elaine Brown, who has championed the proposal since 1993, when former Mayor Ed Austin asked her to serve on a citizen committee about moving the Amtrak station to downtown.

But incorporating transit into the convention center runs the risk of turning off conventioneers when they compare Jacksonville to other cities in the hyper-competitive convention business.

"I do think there is a way to do it, but the way is very narrow," said Kitty Ratcliffe, president of Jacksonville and the Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The state Department of Transportation previously has estimated it would cost $56 million to move both Amtrak and Greyhound to the convention center, a steep sum that would require a combination of state, federal and local funding. State officials don't have an updated estimate for what it would cost in the revised site plan where Greyhound isn't in the convention center. Amtrak is the most costly portion because it would require extensive work on the Florida East Coast Railroad tracks that run along the convention center.

The Jacksonville Terminal station opened in 1919, and its vaulted ceiling, high as a cathedral's, is a reminder of the era when the city was a major destination for tourists traveling to Florida by rail. At its peak, up to 20,000 people and 142 trains passed through the station daily, according to a historical marker at the convention center. In Brown's office at City Hall, a framed picture on the wall shows a black-and-white shot of the station with the parking lot full of Model-T cars and a streetcar running past it.

Amtrak doesn't generate nearly as much ridership in an era of airplane travel, but Brown notes that Amtrak is seeking to open a Jacksonville to Miami route down the Florida coast, including stops at St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. Ultimately, Brown said Jacksonville must plan for other kinds of travel besides the automobile as the city grows and roads fill up with cars.

The latest site plan for the transportation center comes a year after the state transportation department showed plans at a public hearing in June 2000 that showed both Amtrak and Greyhound with stations in the convention center.

Since then, Greyhound has decided it needs more room than the previous plan would have allowed in the convention center, and state historic preservation officials raised concerns about all the buses with their exhaust operating so close to the old station, said Craig Teal, project manager for the transportation department.

Tourism officials also have raised red flags about having too much transit activity in the Prime Osborn. In a convention center analysis for the visitors bureau, Strategic Advisory Group met with convention planners for state and national groups and asked, among other things, whether a transportation center in the building would make them less likely to book conventions in Jacksonville.

"The bottom line is that multimodal [transit operations] and a convention center don't mix," said Jeff Sachs, managing partner for Strategic Advisory Group. "People who are coming in from out of town want to feel safe and kind of want to feel like an 'island.' All of a sudden you have a multimodal and you have all the people who are locally based and it's kind of like oil and water."


But, if only the Amtrak station were in the convention center, that might change how convention planners react and it would be worthwhile to show them the latest proposal, he said.

"If that's still an issue for too high a percentage, don't do it," he said. "I don't want to throw out any idea. This could really be a unique feature for Jacksonville in the end."

Now there are too many egos involved in seriously going back and reconsidering past actions, but simply removing the convention center from the mix eliminates the argument that led to the illogical Greyhound site JTA is rushing to construct along Adams Street.  Plus, we all know (whether we want to admit it or not) that the convention center will end up next to the Hyatt.

So, is Everbank the reason for the rush to move Greyhound?  And as a sidenote, I don't know what Jeffrey Sachs has planned in the past, but to say convention centers and transit do not mix is just looney.

Rosa Parks is in no way designed to handle intercity buses, add that to the fact that you would be moving the intercity connection even further from Amtrak.

As for Bay Street, I agree with Lake, I'd use the LED pavement markings and lay out a VERY visible pedestrian crossing. If future traffic warrants it a simple precast pedestrian subway with the Skyway side having an escalator that by-passes the sidewalk level and goes straight into the Skyway deck. Otherwise the existing escalators and elevators would work fine

Well it is my understanding that some JTA buses will still use the current station.  I was referring to the sand lot next to it on Laura where the plan for an office is.  It could easily be accessed to and from 95 for buses, as well as those going to drop off and pick up passengers will be able to "get in and get out".  However, my first choice would be at the Jacksonville Terminal site.  This was just suggested as an alternative to out on Adams.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JeffreyS on June 03, 2013, 10:39:04 AM
Perhaps if the alternative plan is re-branded "The Alvin Brown center for Transportation" we can get some quick action.

P.S. it still doesn't bother me that the Mayor self promotes but if we can use it, Let's.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 03, 2013, 01:49:19 PM
Mayor Brown is welcome to give this a push in any way possible. Personally I like mayor Brown, a clear head and a steady hand on the tiller is refreshing after little Johnny's $300 million dollar courthouse.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 03, 2013, 02:28:07 PM
(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/Transporte%20Bus%20Truck%20HIGHWAY/ScreenShot2013-06-03at22525PM_zpscaf968ec.png)
Sacramento, CA.  Richards Boulevard  new Greyhound Station (example)

Yes, Greyhound being a 'FOR PROFIT' corporation involved in transportation, manufacturing and resort development, knows those old downtown blocks scattered around the country hold value. Thanks to parasite bus carriers, who build no stations and provide little presence, Greyhound has had to pull out of 4,000 communities across the country. Needless to say this has greatly reduced the number of daily runs between most city pairs. In many places where they still have  a large presence they have abandoned the downtown station for something more modern, smaller, and along, near, or next to the interstate highway system. Orlando is a perfect example of this as is Sacramento CA.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on June 08, 2013, 10:23:31 AM
Just out of curiosity, does anyone the cost difference to build subterranean?  For example, if you were leave the Prime Osborne alone for now and between it and I-95 built one structure with JTA on street level, Greyhound below, and a few parking levels above would that be exponentially more than building across several blocks?  Maybe even a tunnel under Bay Street connecting to the Skyway. All that land JTA owns can be leased for TOD like Port Authority NY/NJ does or sold outright and whatever is made from it can be used to pay for construction or operating costs of JRTC. If convention center does move, it can be used as an indoor market/event space or transit museum, maybe even a nice steak restaurant.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2013, 11:03:00 AM
Going subterranean would be extremely expensive and unnecessary, IMO. There's a reason you don't see many subterranean structures in Jacksonville and Florida.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 08, 2013, 12:53:02 PM
The subterranean construction of the original 'pedestrian tunnels' (much of which survives to this day) are not true 'subterranean' structures. The 'tunnels' were constructed one foot above mean high water level AT GRADE, then the property was back filled with hundreds of piles and a quarter of a million yards of dirt. The same construction style was used for the Myrtle Avenue 'subway,' which was constructed with two auto lanes and a center tunnel for the streetcars of the Jacksonville Traction Company.

As for subterranean stations, elevated parking garages, museums and other additional construction, there is absolutely zero reason to spend money on these redundant structures. The original station headhouse (that big station with the 14 sandstone columns) was designed to handle in excess of 15 million passengers per year. 15 million being far more then the combined traffic of: JTA, Greyhound (Jacksonville), Skyway or Amtrak and for that matter we could toss in, Auto-Bus, Red Bus, Southeastern Stages, Megabus and La Cubana. 

The fact is, we can (AND SHOULD) come to our senses and tear down the exhibit space leaving only a sliver for intercity bus purposes and other then that, the ONLY construction should be pavement, platforms and railroad tracks. In the future when All Aboard Florida, commuter rail and/or Amtrak (supposing it survives the next Republican administration) start getting ready for service on the Florida East Coast, we should replace the Lee/Park Street Viaduct with a taller structure. There is no reason, and in fact MANY reasons NOT to move the commuter rail tracks to any location other then the convenient, traditional platform space.

Like the viaduct, the pedestrian under or overpass on Bay to access the Skyway may have some value once/if traffic proves that a crosswalk is either dangerous or inadequate.

I realize that many zealots would have us build to the point where we could rival Grand Central Station, but the fact is, in our lifetimes, (and probably many more) it is as unneeded as teats on a bull. This station already has everything we need and the JTA plan, done before Mr. Ford took over, can only be described as an 'irresponsible dream,' or 'epic fail' in the making.

The article points out that the excess 8 city blocks should be sold to a multi-use developer, and that placing Greyhound, Amtrak or any other transportation company in the middle of those blocks, would kill the value and marketability of our real-estate.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: Ocklawaha on June 08, 2013, 01:03:00 PM
As a light-hearted, comic aside, during construction of the convention center an on site engineer told me they were going to backfill about 1/2 of the old pedestrian tunnels. When I asked him 'why?' The man told me; "We don't want someone in a Volkswagen falling through the roof into the pit." Sorry but I busted out laughing and when the man inquired as to why I was laughing, I told him the tunnels were engineered to hold the weight of the Seaboard Air Line Railroads 2-8-8-2 compound locomotives weighing in at: 497,000 pounds!

(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Images/ScreenShot2013-06-08at125821PM_zps02ccf068.png)
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on June 08, 2013, 02:44:28 PM
As a light-hearted, comic aside, during construction of the convention center an on site engineer told me they were going to backfill about 1/2 of the old pedestrian tunnels. When I asked him 'why?' The man told me; "We don't want someone in a Volkswagen falling through the roof into the pit." Sorry but I busted out laughing and when the man inquired as to why I was laughing, I told him the tunnels were engineered to hold the weight of the Seaboard Air Line Railroads 2-8-8-2 compound locomotives weighing in at: 497,000 pounds!

(http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa111/Ocklawaha/RAILROAD%20Images/ScreenShot2013-06-08at125821PM_zps02ccf068.png)
LoL that is funny!

So here is where I was coming from, to build anything across Bay Street would mean failure due to bad planning. That is Ock's point and I agree now that he has made his point several times. However the "proper" terminal cannot built until Convention Center is decided. And Greyhounds wants and/or needs to do something (some gray area as to whether EverBank is forcing them to move soon as per agreement to them moving to old BellSouth/AT&T Tower). So looking into my crystal ball, the same thing that seems to always happen, will happen. Time will run out, they will build something that they claim they had to because of no other choices and it will be less than acceptable. It seems Jacksonville spends so much time discussing options and planning that when building actually comes, the plan is outdated by ten years. I don't think anyone expects anything near the likes of Grand Central to built ANYWHERE, if you do, you've never seen GCT. But obviously the only plan that would get immediate action and support from both sides would be a compact terminal that allowed CC to stay for now. But it is alright, judging by stuff I've read on MJ and a few other sites we have time. As nothing will probably be built (with exception of Greyhound) for another 5 years. 
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: thelakelander on June 08, 2013, 02:59:31 PM
I'd say you could get away with something south of Forsyth.  After all, the Skyway station is already there.  Bay isn't a significant obstacle to overcome. Forsyth is because you're adding another block in distance and you have that I-95/10 ramp with speeding traffic, coming downhill.  So, if you had to work around the convention center, the stretch of land between Bay and Forsyth isn't a bad fallback option.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on June 08, 2013, 03:26:18 PM
I'd say you could get away with something south of Forsyth.  After all, the Skyway station is already there.  Bay isn't a significant obstacle to overcome. Forsyth is because you're adding another block in distance and you have that I-95/10 ramp with speeding traffic, coming downhill.  So, if you had to work around the convention center, the stretch of land between Bay and Forsyth isn't a bad fallback option.

I liked the idea of the Greyhound immediately east of Skyway block. To whom does someone direct their displeasure in the current plan? Mr. Ford? Mayor Brown? City Councilperson? I honestly don't even know, does the city have any say over JTA?
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: iMarvin on August 18, 2014, 01:15:42 PM
A deeper look at the upcoming JTA transportation center

(http://media.bizj.us/view/img/3464041/screen-shot-2014-08-15-at-50037-pm*600xx986-657-0-8.png)

Quote
Although it's several years off from even starting construction, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority said it has big plans for its Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center.

The transportation hub, which will be built adjacent to the Prime Osborn Convention Center and begin design early next year, is supposed to connect most forms of the area's public transportation. The Greyhound, bus rapid transit, inner-city bus, Skyway, Amtrak, Park-and-Ride and more will all be in one centralized location, said Brad Thoburn, vice president of long-range planning and system development.

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2014/08/18/a-deeper-look-at-the-upcoming-jta-transportation.html

Coming 2016. No mention of commuter rail.
Title: Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
Post by: JayBird on August 18, 2014, 01:22:40 PM
^ so ... they tossed all the old plans and are redesigning this again? I thought the Greyhound station was already planned and approved and just waiting for the final go ahead.