The Jaxson

Community => Transportation, Mass Transit & Infrastructure => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on November 05, 2009, 06:07:34 AM

Title: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on November 05, 2009, 06:07:34 AM
Washington DC goes Streetcar

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/702805391_yLmKS-M.jpg)

For all those who believe an integrated transit system with multiple modes doesn't make sense, don't tell that to Washington, DC.  Already blessed with the Amtrak Acela, a subway and commuter rail, the capitol city has an agressive plan underway to add 37 miles of streetcar routes to the region's transit mix.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2009-nov-washington-dc-goes-streetcar
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: CS Foltz on November 05, 2009, 06:15:51 AM
At least DC has a vision as well as a plan..............I did not see anything regarding funding for operation MJ, got any information that our City might be able to use? Somehow a $2 Dollar rental tax does not seem quite enough to fund full 24/7 operations and a drop in rental useage would drop tax collection...........I hate to say it but an increase in property tax may be the way to go if it is earmarked for "Mass Transit Useage Only"?
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: thelakelander on November 05, 2009, 06:32:51 AM
I think before you can figure out funding for annual O&M costs or even a funding source, you need to identify what that annual number is going to be.  To get to that point, you need to pick what type of streetcar and service the community wants.  For all we know at this point, the annual O&M may be a drop in the bucket compared to some things we already pay for and a reallocation of the money currently spent could handle it.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Dan B on November 05, 2009, 07:17:28 AM
We can piss and moan about costs, and everything else, but none of it matters unless there is a will to get it done.

Jacksonville has proven it will spend any kind of money necessary to implement a plan, even a bad one, if it REALLY believes in it.

The problem with Streetcar isnt the cost. Its the lack of belief in it.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: CS Foltz on November 05, 2009, 07:23:32 AM
lake.....you make a valid point! However what ever figures that JTA provides would be suspect from the start. I am not really sure how to get that kind of information since we are dealing in what ifs! Potential is there for sure and if you confine search to inner core then concensus information may be applicable rather than what JTA would provide. Last figures that I remember was at about 900k but something that was useable 24/7,unlike the $kyway,has a lot of potential!
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: CS Foltz on November 05, 2009, 07:34:32 AM
Therein lies the problem Gentlemen...............no vision and no plan! City is being run by amateurs and AIMO's and it shows with the monetary issue's we face. Too many Agency's protecting their turf and no cohesive game plan for overall advancement! It would help if Johnny had some kind of idea of what to do but that is a lost cause........latest idea, changing make Laura St two way and moving Jackson Statue at the cost of just 2 Million Dollars!
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: zoo on November 05, 2009, 07:52:44 AM
Quote
• Link neighborhoods with a modern, convenient and attractive transportation alternative.

• Attract new transit riders.

• Offer a broader range of transit options for District residents.

• Reduce short inner-city car trips, parking demand, traffic congestion and air pollution.

• Encourage economic development and affordable housing options along streetcar corridors

I think Jacksonville is waiting for its populace to think items 1-4 are just as important as the 5th item. At JTA  the 5th item is often the main focus, and while 3 and 4 may show up on occasion, linking neighborhoods and attracting new transit riders seem virtually non-existent in JTA's list of project objectives.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: JeffreyS on November 05, 2009, 08:21:23 AM
We can piss and moan about costs, and everything else, but none of it matters unless there is a will to get it done.

Jacksonville has proven it will spend any kind of money necessary to implement a plan, even a bad one, if it REALLY believes in it.

The problem with Streetcar isnt the cost. Its the lack of belief in it.

You are right on with this post and I wish our leaders could figure this out instead of being afraid that transit as an issue would be some political hot potato.

As much as some people who post here thinks Jax won't vote progressively on building the city they are wrong.  I think people here see republicans winning elections and make up their mind how the voters will decide on every issue.  Better Jax very progressive if not the best plan.  The locals voted to improve their city even though it upped taxes. Now give them a better plan and watch them vote to improve their city again.

I think the Streetcar idea could be sold here especially with it already being a successful part of our history.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: fsujax on November 05, 2009, 08:24:21 AM
I have an idea. Why don't you guys show up at JTA Board meetings and tell the Board this is what the community wants. There is an opportunity for public comment at every Board meeting. Staff can only do so much. They need to hear from the community!
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: JeffreyS on November 05, 2009, 08:28:02 AM
You need a Mayor to push this stuff or at least support it.  I and many others here have been to council and JTA meetings and will continue to do so.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: JeffreyS on November 05, 2009, 09:08:39 AM
Kansas city has applied for funds for their streetcar intended to jump start their light rail plans.

p://southflorida.bizjournals.com/southflorida/othercities/kansascity/stories/2009/11/02/focus1.html?b=1257138000^2359231&s=industry&i=logistics_transportation (http://p://southflorida.bizjournals.com/southflorida/othercities/kansascity/stories/2009/11/02/focus1.html?b=1257138000^2359231&s=industry&i=logistics_transportation)
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: thelakelander on November 05, 2009, 09:47:43 AM
I was just in DC about a month ago and saw first hand the impact of the streetcar plans on Anacostia.  For years, Anacostia has been one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in DC and now (just like Columbia Heights when the green line was extended through it) new infill development is starting to penetrate the area.  One of my college classmates just purchased a loft in the middle of the neighborhood, strictly because of the streetcar line coming into the area.  Her loft sits in the middle of the hood, on a high hill and comes with a roof terrace where you can see the entire city.  Its quite impressive and was affordable because of the area of town its in.  A project like this would not have happened without the promise of fixed mass transit coming into the immediate area.  If we can bring such a transit project to Jacksonville, I see no reason why a neighborhood like Brooklyn, LaVilla, Durkeeville, Brentwood, Panama Park, New Springfield or Springfield can't enjoy the same economic benefits.  If massive market rate redevelopment can engulf these communities, downtown will fill in and redevelop by default.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: CS Foltz on November 05, 2009, 12:25:08 PM
lake I concur!.......to me it is a no brainer but the powers that be (IE Mayor,JTA and the Council) just don't get it as is evident by their glaring lack of interest! Most of the Council has their own agenda, a pittance here and there but there is no cohesive plan for much of anything! This should be the prevue of the Mayoral Office, to lead to have a vision and a plan and ours is severely lackin basic leadership skills..........."Run the City like a Business" has not proven to this point anything other than Fee's, extra taxes and no vision!
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Ocklawaha on November 05, 2009, 05:33:31 PM
At least DC has a vision as well as a plan..............I did not see anything regarding funding for operation MJ, got any information that our City might be able to use? Somehow a $2 Dollar rental tax does not seem quite enough to fund full 24/7 operations and a drop in rental useage would drop tax collection...........I hate to say it but an increase in property tax may be the way to go if it is earmarked for "Mass Transit Useage Only"?

Wow, that's a loaded question. So I'll give you a VERY loaded answer, "OMG do we ever have information, plans, drawings, costs, etc... Even long term operations finance. But now is not the time to share it, trust us, talks ARE happening behind the pages.

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Ocklawaha on November 05, 2009, 06:00:23 PM
Never liked the "wireless" PCC cars DC had. That cable car slot down the middle of the street was more unsightly then a single small gauge wire. Besides that, someone probing deep into that hole would get a shocking response. Hang em high.

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: jeh1980 on November 05, 2009, 07:06:03 PM
Another story ending on a bum note?
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: thelakelander on November 05, 2009, 07:52:33 PM
Nope.  Its a story that ends with a question.  Its up to Jax to decide on how the end will ultimately be written.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Lunican on November 05, 2009, 08:28:00 PM
I'll never understand why people get so upset about the wires. I guess I just like the way they look.

Through Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco, they are attached to the street lights. Pretty simple.
(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/625052379_cdvB7-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: thelakelander on November 05, 2009, 08:35:16 PM
^It could be worse.  The DC delegation should visit Bay Street....

(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/642522879_HXWsV-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: A-Finnius on November 05, 2009, 10:21:40 PM
I was in DC in September and their subway system is impressive.  I'm sure their streetcar system will follow suit.  Maybe Jacksonville can offer up a trade to DC for their mayor. 
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Keith-N-Jax on November 05, 2009, 10:25:34 PM
Imagine a street car down Bay Street or one that goes past the Landing or both.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: stjr on November 05, 2009, 10:55:40 PM
Unfortunately, Jax was sucker punched a few decades ago with "easy money" from the Feds and bet on the wrong horse, the $ky-high-way.  Had we turned down that money, today we would probably already have a far more useful and economic development friendly streetcar system.

You can thank the $ky-high-way for sucking the wind from the sails of Jax rail transit (not to mention scarring Downtown advancement) by diverting both money and political capital from these far better transit alternatives.  That is why I insist killing the $ky-high-way is the first big step toward getting ideas like streetcars to become reality here.  For now, Jax is a one horse town and its time we rode the winner and got off the loser.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Ocklawaha on November 05, 2009, 11:27:23 PM
Uh Oh, here we go again... at least we can't say the city wasn't warned! After which they ran me out of town! hee hee!

All the Skyway horse needs is a decent pasture, and a vet to do a thuough checkup. We're going to do an article shortly with information that is going to blow a hole in EVERYTHING said before. JTA and City Hall, better hang on to your hats!

Step two is to completely interegrate the Streetcar with a minimal Skyway, both provide frequent clean electric transit. The Skyway really would be the "express" and the Streetcar the frequent median or curbside feeder.



OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: stjr on November 05, 2009, 11:41:47 PM
All the Skyway horse needs is a decent pasture, and a vet to do a thuough checkup.

A "green" pasture of $14 million a year or $20,000 a year per "horse rider".  And, when the horse has a broken leg (or, in this case all of its legs), the vet needs to put it out of its misery by shooting it.  We are way past checkups!  This horse can't be cured! :D
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Ocklawaha on November 06, 2009, 12:13:23 AM
Another story ending on a bum note?

Not at all, that photo is an unused section of railroad in Springfield, no longer even connected to the mainlines. This stuff is all over Jacksonville, making us the city with a golden opportunity to build a heritage streetcar system, below normal budget. This ends in VISION!

You really to take a deep breath, perhaps stjr and Jandar, should spend some minutes in a simpiler time, so THINK STREETCAR and... well... Just watch what can happen!


http://www.youtube.com/v/vouFPPmjdy8&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x402061&color2=0x9461ca&border=1

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: If_I_Loved_you on November 16, 2009, 09:49:09 AM
Will we see anything here in Jacksonville Fl within the next 10 years? And Great Story.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Johnny on November 16, 2009, 11:02:29 AM
I just got back from New Orleans and spent an entire day using only the street car for transportation. I'm not typically a public transit guy, but we had a blast and for $5 per person, it was all you can ride all day. Very cool setup and the lines are arranged to get anywhere you need to go with connections along the way. I don't expect our small minded government to be swayed, but I have had it up to here of all government entities taking our tax dollars and spending it on ridiculous pet projects.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Ocklawaha on November 16, 2009, 04:41:50 PM
I just got back from New Orleans and spent an entire day using only the street car for transportation. I'm not typically a public transit guy, but we had a blast and for $5 per person, it was all you can ride all day. Very cool setup and the lines are arranged to get anywhere you need to go with connections along the way. I don't expect our small minded government to be swayed, but I have had it up to here of all government entities taking our tax dollars and spending it on ridiculous pet projects.

Wow Johnny, just wait until JTA rolls out it's unique "Trolley Boat" project... THAT'LL TEACH YOU!

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: CS Foltz on November 17, 2009, 06:06:13 AM
Trolley Boat? I hope to god your pulling my leg Ock...........but having seen JTA in action......anything is possible! I would have thought they had a "Submarine Line" in the works. But you can't advertise on that system so maybe not.....I got one.....how about a moving tethered Ballon system, that way the advertising can be seen for miles and miles?
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Johnny on November 17, 2009, 10:52:52 PM
Hey, a trolley boat would be better than BRT... sorry, I just don't ride buses. I'd just bring a fishing poll and troll to the connection points ;)
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: JeffreyS on November 18, 2009, 09:22:33 AM
The funny thing is as soon as we have fixed rail solutions you can rely on and go where you want buses will become a popular mode of transit for everyone as well. 
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Johnny on November 18, 2009, 12:19:21 PM
or hovercrafts
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Ocklawaha on November 18, 2009, 01:26:21 PM
Quote
Posted on: Today at 12:19:21 PMPosted by: Johnny 
or hovercrafts


Believe it or not, hovercrafts, hydroplaning boats as well as standard water craft have all been subject to JTA study. In theory it sounds good, but there are too many questions on ridership, environmental issues and operating costs (which are quite high). Imagine the damage to the city one dead manatee would cause... hell Faye would have a cut-and-paste article, 20 times a day, for months. hee hee...

Quote
Posted on: Today at 09:22:33 AMPosted by: JeffreyS 
The funny thing is as soon as we have fixed rail solutions you can rely on and go where you want buses will become a popular mode of transit for everyone as well.


This is true, as a rule Jeffery, but I could see us becoming a pioneer in failure in this area as well. The formula for bus ridership failure is streetcars and Skyways on 8 minute headways, commuter rail on 30 minute headways and the bus - FOREVER STUCK in once every hour. Just check the schedule of the new Arlington neighborhood circulator. CREDIT? Sure! JTA gets high marks for creative thinking on community bus service, but another Atypical hourly schedule, without clustering with connections, will result in another false start. An old Navy guy summed up my opinion, long, long ago.

Quote
" In the first six to twelve months (of the new community bus operations, JTA) will run wild and win (credit) upon (credit). But then, if the (service) continues after that, I have no expectation of success. "     
 
Isoroku Yamamoto  


Quote
Posted on: Yesterday at 10:52:52 PMPosted by: Johnny 
Hey, a trolley boat would be better than BRT... sorry, I just don't ride buses. I'd just bring a fishing poll and troll to the connection points

 
Quote
Posted on: Yesterday at 06:06:13 AMPosted by: CS Foltz 
Trolley Boat? I hope to god your pulling my leg Ock...........but having seen JTA in action......anything is possible! I would have thought they had a "Submarine Line" in the works. But you can't advertise on that system so maybe not.....I got one.....how about a moving tethered Ballon system, that way the advertising can be seen for miles and miles?


Yeah, this one was a joke, but there is probably some merit in the balloon system, providing we wouldn't use hydrogen as the lift gas. I can just imagine someone from the COJ trying to cut on those propane tanks! Ya know, after posing the "trolley boat," question to the planners at TPO, I heard some are still trying to work out how to keep the trolley wire on top of those rocking buoys!

OCKLAWAHA
 
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: Johnny on November 18, 2009, 02:54:57 PM
I remember the story on the hovercrafts. I believe it was something to do with getting from Green Cove to Mandarin and downtown to OP. The cost was insane and the hovercrafts were the size of a small cruise ship, if I remember correctly. I thought it was ridiculous then... I still do. Of course, it would have at least been unique, which is a plus.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: AaroniusLives on December 03, 2009, 12:11:44 PM
Regarding the DC streetcars:

This was not a well-planned operation. Those DC streetcars have been running in Europe for a couple of years now, due to delays and infighting amongst local politicians. That we're finally getting a meager 2.5 mile line, late...indicates that not everything is coming up roses in The District.

I will say one thing regarding the placement, it involves DC doing one thing right with the streetcar project. In general, the city is pretty egalitarian regarding benefits for all classes. That cracktown is getting the line first warms my liberal heart, even though I'll probably never ride it in that location!

Looking at the plan, it's almost absurd for them to even consider the wire debate through the monumental core. It's going to be very expensive to have the streetcars switch to another system of power (batteries, below-ground stuff, etc) in that area of town. Moreover, three Metro stops already serve the monumental core area, with one (Smithsonian,) right in the middle of the Mall itself. I'd eliminate the streetcars there entirely for the time being, and instead, focus on the areas of town that need streetcar transit desperately. Anacostia needs it, as part of the neighborhoods continued gentrification. Georgetown needs it, as three different buses shuttle people around the area.

Moreover, comparing what DC is doing with the streetcar to what Jacksonville could do is very apples and oranges. DC is an ideal city to be a pedestrian in. Conversely, it's a horrid place to be in a car. Most of the city/county is Walkscored to infinity. Jacksonville/county/city/combo http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville  (http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville) is not. As a result, any initiative in transit will "work," because the canvas has already been painted to "walk." (This is true in the areas surrounding DC as well: Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, etc.)
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: finehoe on December 03, 2009, 12:21:28 PM
D.C. streetcars coming home
Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 5:52pm EST  |  Modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 6:07pm
 
The three 66-foot streetcars that D.C. purchased in 2005 are finally coming to the city.

The D.C. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday afternoon that it is shipping the cars in from the Czech Republic, where it has been storing them since their construction. The agency provided photos showing the cars being loaded aboard trucks in the Czech Republic and then transferred to a cargo vessel in Hamburg.

D.C. purchased the cars -- modeled after cars in Portland, Ore. and painted to resemble the D.C. Circulator -- during the mayorship of Anthony Williams but left them in Europe as track construction stalled. The transit agency has restarted streetcar plans under Mayor Adrian Fenty and says the cars will arrive in the U.S. in about a month, by mid-December.

According to agency spokesman John Lisle, the city will store the vehicles at a yard at the Greenbelt Metro station, to be maintained by Metro on D.C.'s dime. "Having them local will also allow us to familiarize ourselves with the cars," Lisle said.

http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/breaking_ground/2009/11/dc_trolleys_coming_home.html
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: thelakelander on December 03, 2009, 12:40:21 PM
Quote
Moreover, comparing what DC is doing with the streetcar to what Jacksonville could do is very apples and oranges. DC is an ideal city to be a pedestrian in. Conversely, it's a horrid place to be in a car. Most of the city/county is Walkscored to infinity. Jacksonville/county/city/combo http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville is not. As a result, any initiative in transit will "work," because the canvas has already been painted to "walk." (This is true in the areas surrounding DC as well: Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, etc.)

Not really. They bring the same benefits regardless of community density.  So talking streetcars coming to DC or Jax is no different from talking about them coming and bringing sustainable development to Tampa, Dallas, Little Rock, Kenosa, Tucson, New Orleans, Memphis or Portland.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: AaroniusLives on December 03, 2009, 01:40:56 PM
Quote
Not really. They bring the same benefits regardless of community density.  So talking streetcars coming to DC or Jax is no different from talking about them coming and bringing sustainable development to Tampa, Dallas, Little Rock, Kenosa, Tucson, New Orleans, Memphis or Portland.

I politely disagree. I think that in SunBelt cities, you need to create walkable places first, from revitalized downtowns to mixed-use developments to lifestyle centers and the rest. You then link those places together via the transit system. A great deal of this has to do with the capital cost of building the streetcars/transit lines in and of themselves: density matters. Regarding the politics of transportation, demonstrating that a lot of people are using the transit built is essential (or the highways win!) The key here is density.

I often reflect on South Florida with regards to transit, as I was born, raised and educated there. In Miami, the MetroFail was built outside of downtown, away from density, removed from downtown Coral Gables, Coconut Grove...and never even went to Miami Beach (still doesn't. Idiots.) This meant that, unless you were going downtown, you had no reason to use the MetroFail. You wouldn't use the train to go to a nightclub in Coconut Grove...because it's too far to walk there.

It was only 20 years later that the Metrofail stations got the density they need to be effective, with the development of "Downtown Kendall," and a few lifestyle centers/mixed-use places along the line (and indeed: the system is still not effective because it hasn't been maintained. It's a fourth-class transit option, behind the car, the bike, hitching a ride with a serial killer, and walking.)

Contrast this with Broward and Palm Beach Counties, vastly more pragmatic and steady in their governance. Both of these counties are quite auto-dependent, and realize that, for the time being, they aren't going to get people out of their cars anytime soon...

...but they've taken a measured, long-term approach to the future via what I call the "fake downtown" syndrome. Mizner Park in Boca, The Walk in Coral Springs, RiverWalk in Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, Abacoa in Jupiter, CityPlace in West Palm Beach and the rest (and there are now slews of them, ranging from malls in town drag to full-on mixed-use development,) not only remind the car-buying public what a great and wonderful pastime an urban walk is, they are a step in the plan. Create "something" from "nothing." Take those "somethings" and string them together with transit. This way of development contrasts with Tampa's as well, whose success with the heritage streetcar is mixed, at best (although, to be fair, they really have given it their all, and it's a well-defined, intelligent plan.)

Does this mean that South Florida is still basically car-dependent? Absolutely. But they've already put down brushstrokes on their canvas to go from that place to the next. Removing the toxic stew that is transportation politics in the South, I'd place both density and transit on the same level: you should encourage and develop both simultaneously. Placing back in that stew most foul, I'd seriously follow the Broward/Palm Beach approach. Broward is expanding their bus system, creating a downtown streetcar (I think,) and actually is mulling over the idea of light rail. That's an astonishing accomplishment from a region known for its huge highways, its 8-lane "local" roads. Part of the reason for this conversation about transit is the success of their attempts to densify. They can now make the valid point that we have the cart. Now, we need the horse. 

 
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: JeffreyS on December 03, 2009, 01:49:38 PM
Quote
we have the cart. Now, we need the horse. 

I think you just put the cart before the horse and not just in the joking manner. Transit can be the catalyst for infill you don't have to have infill to take advantage of transit. Jacksonville's core neighborhoods and downtown were built around streetcar transit the infrastructure is already there anyway. Transit could just be a good way to get people to take advantage of it.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: tufsu1 on December 03, 2009, 01:55:04 PM
Moreover, comparing what DC is doing with the streetcar to what Jacksonville could do is very apples and oranges. DC is an ideal city to be a pedestrian in. Conversely, it's a horrid place to be in a car. Most of the city/county is Walkscored to infinity. Jacksonville/county/city/combo http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville  (http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/Jacksonville) is not. As a result, any initiative in transit will "work," because the canvas has already been painted to "walk." (This is true in the areas surrounding DC as well: Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, etc.)

It is important to note that streetcar envisioned for Jacksonville would run through the very walkable communities of Downtown, Riverside, Springfield, and San Marco.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: thelakelander on December 03, 2009, 02:08:32 PM
The South Florida experience has more to do with bad route planning and perhaps mode selection than density.  Bad route planning will sink you every time.  The flip side of that is Houston.  A poster child sunbelt sprawler with a starter 7.5-mile light rail line that averages around 40,000 passengers a day.  Its successful, because it directly links dense employment centers with residential areas, a college and professional sports facilities.  Charlotte is another one to consider.  Its actually less dense than Jacksonville, yet the ridership on their new 9.6-starter line continues to break original ridership estimates.  Despite being a sprawler, the line directly connects the CBD with entertainment/sports venues, a convention center and denser residential areas outside the core, while paralleling I-77, making it a viable alternative commuting option between DT and the southern suburbs.  Again, its all in the planning.

Quote
I politely disagree. I think that in SunBelt cities, you need to create walkable places first, from revitalized downtowns to mixed-use developments to lifestyle centers and the rest. You then link those places together via the transit system. A great deal of this has to do with the capital cost of building the streetcars/transit lines in and of themselves: density matters. Regarding the politics of transportation, demonstrating that a lot of people are using the transit built is essential (or the highways win!) The key here is density.

To apply this to Jax, the first step is to take Jax for what it really is.  That is a small 31-square mile city that is also consolidated with its +800 mile core county.  We are a city that contains pockets of density (the old preconsolidated city) and suburban sprawl.  With that said, you focus on connecting those pockets of density with existing destinations, while also revising land development codes to encourage transit oriented development to grow around that public investment.

Examples of this in play, come in the form of starter sunbelt rail lines in Memphis, Charlotte, Norfolk, Austin, Houston, and Phoenix.  In Jax, it can be as simple as getting started with a small streetcar line running from Riverside, through DT to Springfield, which adds up to five miles or so.  As the concept increases in popularity, expand as needed instead of worrying about getting mass transit to immediately cover the entire county.  San Deigo, Dallas and Salt Lake City are great sunbelt examples to follow.




Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: thelakelander on September 28, 2010, 03:52:48 AM
The thing to keep in mind is that rail builds density just like a highway in virgin land helps spread sprawl.  Here is a link to another article where you can find before and after shots along rail lines throughout the country to prove my point:

Before & After Example: Downtown Dadeland - Kendall, Florida
(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/902830399_X4VyR-M.jpg)

Before & After Example: Kenosha, Wi
(http://photos.metrojacksonville.com/photos/902830225_Y6GCE-M.jpg)

more here: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-jun-before-after-rail-spurs-economic-development

It really boils down to what you want your community to be.  If you want it to be more walkable, using a fixed transit spine to connect a chain of existing destinations is a pretty good way to get started, regardless of if you're the size of San Francisco or Memphis.
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: CS Foltz on September 28, 2010, 07:01:23 AM
lake .....I assume you passed this on to JTA right? If not, will be more than happy to help you out?
Title: Re: Washington DC goes Streetcar
Post by: JeffreyS on November 11, 2010, 02:16:25 PM
Ock I couldn't find the construction but I can confirm this is a sketchy area . I Am heading back to chinatown.