Author Topic: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.  (Read 48353 times)

Ocklawaha

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Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« on: August 23, 2012, 05:13:11 PM »

BOSIE-CALDWELL STREETCAR - OCKLAHISTORY IMAGE

This just in from the 'mass transit wire'.

Quote
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Wednesday endorsed the idea of a streetcar for Boise, Idaho, while touring Boise-based MotivePower's locomotive manufacturing facility with local officials.

MotivePower,  a division of Wilmerding, Pa.-based Wabtec Corp., manufactures freight and passenger locomotives, while parent Wabtec provides parts and services for various passenger rail needs, including light rail transit (LRT).

"This morning, I had a chance to spend more than an hour with the mayor and his team," said LaHood. "I have committed to the mayor a team from [DOT] to work together with the mayor on his mission. The idea of a streetcar system to connect the university community with the downtown community is a very strong vision."

Local media note Boise received a $375,000 DOT grant in 2011 for a $500,000 alternatives analysis assessing a streetcar route. The study is scheduled to be completed before 2014.

LaHood and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter traced the proposed streetcar route by car during LaHood's visit, the mayor said.
CLANG, CLANG, CLANG...

Clang, clang, clang" went the trolley
"Ding, ding, ding" went the bell
"Zing, zing, zing" went my heartstrings
The moment that Jacksonville failed

They tipped their hat, and took a seat
Boise pulled away running on the street
They built a system, and sent a tweet
Jacksonville has obviously been beat

(My Apologies' to the late Judy Garland)


simms3

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 05:19:16 PM »
Apparently Boise is actually a very livable city that attracts young professionals, college grads and those wanting a healthy, urban lifestyle convenient to outdoor activities.  Fast growing city with a thriving downtown and lots of investor activity.

We're talking about Boise here.  It may be the next Denver a few decades from now.
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thelakelander

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 05:28:05 PM »
Yeah, one of my cousins from Tampa just graduated from Boise State this past year.  I asked him about the area's vibe a few weeks back.  He said it actually wasn't as bad as people generally believe Idaho to be.  Said it was basically a city like any place else.  Places like this are pretty much why I turn a deaf ear to local naysayers when talking about Jax's potential.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

simms3

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 12:09:23 AM »
How timely.  This photothread is definitely enough to make many cities gasp with jealousy.  Boise looks like a very progressive city with a very high quality of life.  Jacksonville city councilmen should look at these photos and learn more than they have in their entire lives in the 3 minutes it would take to fly through these photos.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=201107
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I-10east

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 06:23:20 AM »
Apocalyptic doom and gloom for this city.....

thelakelander

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 06:37:21 AM »
No doom.  Just a lot of opportunity for Jax to cash in.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

I-10east

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 06:55:53 AM »
Seriously though, I know that there are alot of smart people here; I don't hardly ever hear anyone talking about adding residential downtown, it's always things like Starbucks, streetcar, etc. We tried to add some Starbucks downtown, and they flopped. I rather not have an IMAX in DT the rest of this decade, then to put one in there right now, and it closes in two years. To tell you the truth, I'm not convinced that streetcar will instantly be the cure all for downtown Jax, but if we must have it, I rather wait ten to fifteen years to build up downtown infrastructure before even considering something like that. We don't hardly have anyone living there, but yet everyone wants to make DT a mini Manhattan overnight. That's counting the chicken before the egg hatch. We have enough 'spur of the moment' urban infrastructure that didn't go according to plan *cough cough ASE* Just my two.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 07:14:34 AM by I-10east »

thelakelander

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012, 07:08:52 AM »
In reality, we have more residents living in downtown now than we did in 1950.  Downtown hasn't been heavily residential in 100 years.  I have no idea of how we settled on the "we need 10,000 residents in the Northbank" thing to achieve vibrancy.  That line of thinking isn't based in reality, given the landscape and history of the district we're dealing with.

Count me in the small camp of people who believe that we already have thousands of "downtown" residents.  They just happen to reside in surrounding neighborhoods like Riverside, Springfield, San Marco, Durkeeville.  I've become a huge fan of fixed rail because I've personally seen how it can immediately extend the residential population base of a Central Business District by tying it with surrounding neighborhoods.  The resulting benefit is they all begin to grow together and a downtown benefits naturally by becoming the epicenter of that transit spine of connectivity.  This story has played out in Tampa, Charlotte, Memphis, Salt Lake City, San Diego, etc.  I really don't understand why we don't think it won't play out similarly here if we work with our assets.

So what I'm saying is a streetcar can give you a stronger urban population to work with immediately and extremely cheaper and less time consuming than subsidizing 10,000 new units of residential construction in the Northbank.  A $30 million streetcar project (roughly $10 million/mile to construct) will help create a situation that makes residential infill in downtown market rate.  The fact that we already have the skyway, gives us something to tie it into, thus extending the footprint of urban connectivity to the Southbank and San Marco. Imo, that's a superior option than dropping an individual $20 million for a Adams Mark Hotel or $59 million for just the Carling and 11 East.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 07:28:30 AM by thelakelander »
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I-10east

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2012, 07:24:55 AM »
^^^Thanks for being cordial as always Lake (some people would rather bite my head off LOL) One question, what's an example of another city with a Jacksonville-esque downtown residential population that has a successful streetcar?

thelakelander

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2012, 07:34:26 AM »
I'd say Tampa is one.  Some claim it's not because the streetcar doesn't collect enough at the fare box to turn a direct profit.  However, no streetcar, light rail or expressway in this country does.  However, Tampa's streetcar did help bring over $1 billion in new development to a distressed inner city community there, over a ten year period.  To me, that equals fiscal success, in terms of increasing property taxes, building permits, generating new businesses, residents, etc. in an area of town where the infrastructure already exists (schools, parks, fire, police, roads, utilities, etc.).

Other good examples of sprawling sunbelt communities with successful starter lines include Memphis, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Norfolk and Houston.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

tufsu1

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2012, 08:04:29 AM »
^ let's also go with Charlotte....when they started their heritage streetcar route, they had very little residential in the downtown area....the streetcar showed there was an interest in riding the rails again and more urban living, so full-blown light rail followed....and then, sure enough, lots of mid-rise (relatively high density) residential.

BackinJax05

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2012, 08:13:03 AM »
Enough already about streetcars & light rail!!  :) Jesus, Mary, & Joseph!!!

We're finally getting an outer beltway (sort of). Cant you be happy with that?!  ;)

Seriously, if all that money being wasted to build the half-beltway was used for a rapid transit system, Jacksonville could have something to rival the MBTA (T) up in Boston. Hell, there's enough money there to build subways here.

thelakelander

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2012, 08:22:00 AM »
^lol, it's crazy.  The first phase of the Outer Beltway costs several times more than the skyway everyone calls a boondoggle and will lose more money annually.  Round up the +$400 million that's being tossed between Blanding and I-10 and you could literally build out a comprehensive rapid transit system for the preconsolidated city.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

fsujax

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2012, 08:23:44 AM »
So true Lake. If only our elected officials could be convinced.

JFman00

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Re: Another City Goes Streetcar, Jacksonville Slips Behind.
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2012, 09:02:36 AM »
^^^Thanks for being cordial as always Lake (some people would rather bite my head off LOL) One question, what's an example of another city with a Jacksonville-esque downtown residential population that has a successful streetcar?

Depending on your definition of downtown, New Orleans. The CBD has 2,060 residents, throw in the French Quarter and it's 5,948. Jacksonville Downtown (32202) has 6,374.