Author Topic: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown  (Read 4716 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« on: August 12, 2013, 03:02:51 AM »
Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown



Following the City Council Finance Committee's recent decision to remove $9 million intended for downtown revitalization, many are ready to label Mayor Alvin Brown's efforts to revitalize the city's heart a bust. In May 2011, we asked Metro Jacksonville readers for cost-effective ideas that city leaders could get behind that could spur downtown revitalization.  With Mayor Alvin Brown's two years of efforts unable to bare fruit so far, perhaps it's time to dust off  a few of these ideas and actually implement them?

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-aug-brushing-off-the-dust-20-affordable-fixes-for-downtown

vicupstate

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 06:00:37 AM »
1. Remove all parking meters immediately and replace with an enforced but free two-hour limit on parking from 9am to 5pm weekdays only. 

2. Make all streets two-way where feasible.
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These two are the top priorities in my mind, with number 1 (remove parking meters) more important than anything else, by far.  Perhaps more important than the rest of the list combined.

I recently took a day trip to Jax for the first time in about 3 or 4 years.  I wanted to check out the Landing and grab a bite to eat, since it was lunch time.  I had totally forgotten that I would need quarters to park.  I only had one on me [giving me 30 minutes].  So, rather than risk a ticket, I got something to go from 'Apple A Day', took a very speedy walk-thru to judge the activity level, and headed back to my car.  The meter had expired but fortunately I didn't have a ticket. 

Had this been my home of Greenville, I wouldn't have needed a quarter, I could have taken my time and had a sit down lunch (and spent more), taken a more leisurely walk and browsed the shops either before or after I ate.  I wouldn't have had to 'briskly' walk to and from my car in the hot sun, in hopes of avoiding a ticket.  Unlike Jax, the Greenville sidewalks would be shaded too. 

If I had run into someone I knew and chatted, or stopped to enjoy one of the roving street musicians, I could have done so, without having to worry about a ticking meter either.

As you drive into DT Greenville, there are signs that say "Enjoy Greenville's Downtown".  That is exactly what I do too, every time, because it is not a hassle and it is a clean, vibrant urban oasis.  Whenever I go to DT Jax, I rarely enjoy it, I simply 'endure' it. 

If TIME-LIMITED (max 2 hours) but FREE parking works in Greenville and many other cities, in Avondale, the King & Park district, Five Points and San Marco Square, why can't it work in DT Jax?  9-5 office workers will not take the spaces, because they are not going to move their car every two hours.   

I swear if this was done permanantly, you would see twice as much retail business on the Northbank within 18 months.  The Landing lunch crowd was the leanest I had ever seen it on a weekday, BTW. 

Later that day. I had a break in my schedule and went to Chamblin's for the first time.  I had gotten more quarters at Apple A Day, so I had one to feed the meter.  Places like Chamblin's are a time warp where you can lose a  hours or two just by walking in. 

I only had 30 minutes open in my schedule, but if I had more time in my schedule I would have spent it there, PROVIDED that I had the quarters to do so.   With  2 hour free parking, it wouldn't be something I would have to think or worry about.               
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Keith-N-Jax

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 08:00:35 AM »
8. Do not spend another dime on any expert consultant or do any more studies if you are just going to ignore what they say.

Amen to THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jaxlore

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 09:12:48 AM »
7. Run a free trolley on Friday and Saturday nights from Riverside to the Downtown Entertainment District from 8pm-3am. Works at the Beach, why not Downtown?

I've been waiting on this!!! It would totally help with parking, prevent drunk driving, etc etc etc.

urbaknight

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 04:21:04 PM »
I like the extending last call to 3 or 4. In New Jersey last call is 3am statewide. However, I don't see that happening in Jax. Were lucky to even have nightlife DT, when I first moved here there was none to speak of.

urbaknight

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 04:22:49 PM »
Has this article been presented to anyone on cc?

Would they even bother to read it?

ConservRep

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 09:49:01 AM »
Here is an idea... help remove the crime in those areas.  Who wants to go downtown at night and run the risk of being mugged or shot?  without this everything else is worthless

JayBird

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 09:55:41 AM »
Here is an idea... help remove the crime in those areas.  Who wants to go downtown at night and run the risk of being mugged or shot?  without this everything else is worthless

Does anyone know the last time a shooting or mugging happened downtown? The last violent crime I can think of was the fatal fight that happened after the Fl/GA game a few years back.

According to JSO, areas A-1,A-2,A-3 (downtown, sports complex) are actually the safest in the city. You have a greater chance of getting mugged in Queens Harbor than you do of witnessing a violent crime downtown much less being the victim of one. But this shows that the general perception of downtown is much different from reality.
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Bridges

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 10:14:38 AM »
Here is an idea... help remove the crime in those areas.  Who wants to go downtown at night and run the risk of being mugged or shot?  without this everything else is worthless

Does anyone know the last time a shooting or mugging happened downtown? The last violent crime I can think of was the fatal fight that happened after the Fl/GA game a few years back.

According to JSO, areas A-1,A-2,A-3 (downtown, sports complex) are actually the safest in the city. You have a greater chance of getting mugged in Queens Harbor than you do of witnessing a violent crime downtown much less being the victim of one. But this shows that the general perception of downtown is much different from reality.

While the danger is greatly over exaggerated by Conservrep, there was the Chicago Bear fan killed.  And possibly a car jacking near the landing 2 years ago.  Hardly "crime-ridden".

However, what Conservrep states is unfortunately the opinion of a lot of the suburb folks.  There are several reasons for this incorrect perception.
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tufsu1

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 12:07:56 PM »
Here is an idea... help remove the crime in those areas.  Who wants to go downtown at night and run the risk of being mugged or shot?  without this everything else is worthless

do people go to the Town Center at night?  I aske because they have had muggings inthe parking lot

JeffreyS

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 12:16:45 PM »
Here is an idea... help remove the crime in those areas.  Who wants to go downtown at night and run the risk of being mugged or shot?  without this everything else is worthless
What crime are you talking about downtown? Surely it doesn't hold a candle to the beach.

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mtraininjax

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2013, 08:00:26 PM »
Downtown would be improved with 100 new families living downtown. 500 would be better, but everything will get better with more residences downtown.
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thelakelander

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 08:07:13 PM »
It will get that with the two Brooklyn projects in late 2014/early 2015.  However, it will take decades to pack in a few extra thousand people residing specifically in downtown. A short term option for residential would be to utilize high frequency transit connectivity to tie in Riverside, San Marco, Springfield, etc. together.  DT would benefit from increased visibility in being a part of the connected network.
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mtraininjax

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2013, 08:14:48 PM »
Quote
However, it will take decades to pack in a few extra thousand people residing specifically in downtown.

I don't think it will take that long. We have the Barnett Tower, the building next to Farah, and there will be others as the market improves. I think there will be more people who will opt to live downtown rather than in Brooklyn, as the cost per square foot will be less downtown, you have the skyway to Brooklyn and Riverside is walkable from there.

The Real Estate market is coming back, and with the announcement of the new condos in Riverside, other developers will see opportunity and downtown will come back, but it will need more residences downtown, which I think will be there sooner than decades.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

thelakelander

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Re: Brushing Off The Dust: 20 Affordable Fixes For Downtown
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 09:19:32 PM »
You'd be lucky to get 200 units out of those couple of buildings and it will probably take 36 months minimum before anyone moves into them. Also, with that $9 million being jerked around, potential projects like that are in danger of being delayed again. 

It's already almost 2014 now.  We're three years into this decade and all we have to account for it is 300 units under construction at 220 Riverside now.  We also have no idea of what's going on with the council, Mayor's Office, OED and DIA. We've done little to nothing to make it easier for the private sector to do business in DT. In a normal world, urban infill and adaptive reuse projects take some time to go from start to finish.  In Jax, you can tack on a few years of running around in circles to that process. At the rate we're going, I seriously doubt we reach a downtown residential population of 6,000 (which is low by peer city comparisons) by 2020.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 09:21:13 PM by thelakelander »
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