Author Topic: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center  (Read 17743 times)

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31590
    • Modern Cities
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #15 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.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

exnewsman

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 428
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #16 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


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.

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #17 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.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 08:40:14 PM by Ocklawaha »

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31590
    • Modern Cities
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #18 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


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.
"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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3288
  • Time has come
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #19 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.
Bothering locals and trolling boards since 2005

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31590
    • Modern Cities
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #20 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.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #21 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

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.

Charles Hunter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3146
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #22 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.

tufsu1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11126
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #23 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

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #24 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

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31590
    • Modern Cities
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #25 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.
"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

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3288
  • Time has come
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #26 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.
Bothering locals and trolling boards since 2005

spuwho

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5104
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #27 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.

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #28 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.





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.

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #29 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.'