Author Topic: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center  (Read 17727 times)

Ocklawaha

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #60 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

JayBird

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #61 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.
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JeffreyS

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #62 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.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #63 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.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #64 on: June 03, 2013, 02:28:07 PM »

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.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 02:29:52 PM by Ocklawaha »

JayBird

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #65 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.
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thelakelander

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #66 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.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #67 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.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #68 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!

« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 01:06:49 PM by Ocklawaha »

JayBird

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #69 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!

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. 
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thelakelander

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #70 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.
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JayBird

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #71 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?
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iMarvin

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #72 on: August 18, 2014, 01:15:42 PM »
A deeper look at the upcoming JTA transportation center



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.

JayBird

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Re: Rethinking the Jacksonville Transportation Center
« Reply #73 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.
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