Author Topic: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods  (Read 3529 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« on: May 01, 2018, 12:00:01 AM »
Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods



The Jacksonville Transportation Authority's (JTA's) plan to replace the Skyway with a system featuring autonomous vehicles called the "Ultimate Urban Circulator" (U2C) would expand the system into some coveted areas near Downtown. More controversially, it also calls for a new, multi-million dollar bridge over the St. Johns. But by focusing primarily on trendy neighborhoods, JTA misses a golden opportunity to serve (and spark revitalization in) the dense black neighborhoods surrounding Downtown where residents already rely on transit.

Read More: https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2018-may-skyway-expansion-forgotten-urban-core-neighborhoods

Adam White

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 05:29:59 AM »
The truth is, they don't care about the dense black neighborhoods - until white people move in and gentrify them (thereby forcing out the residents). Jax has a history of this - whether through consolidation or the offering of incentives to businesses to move from downtown. And look at La Villa and Brooklyn - those are basically now little more than place names.

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Charles Hunter

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 08:35:55 AM »
Excellent article.  I do not understand the new bridge; it makes no sense at all, given the incredible cost.  The minimum clearance I could see the Coast Guard approving is the 81 feet of the Acosta Bridge.  As the article stated, to have a pedestrian-friendly slope, would require long approaches.  And that would restrict tall ships (not sure about Shad's) from the downtown riverfront.

acme54321

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 10:01:23 AM »
That bridge is beyond a pipe dream.

Adam White

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 11:09:48 AM »
And that would restrict tall ships (not sure about Shad's) from the downtown riverfront.

And we couldn't have that, could we?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 11:19:45 AM by Adam White »
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Steve

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 11:15:05 AM »
Excellent article.  I do not understand the new bridge; it makes no sense at all, given the incredible cost.  The minimum clearance I could see the Coast Guard approving is the 81 feet of the Acosta Bridge.  As the article stated, to have a pedestrian-friendly slope, would require long approaches.  And that would restrict tall ships (not sure about Shad's) from the downtown riverfront.

I get why they'd like the bridge there - it is quite a distance in terns of walkability between the Main Street and the Hart bridge. But, the practicality outweighs everything. The reason they didn't show cars there is because how many cars would possible traverse the thing?

I suppose they could do a true Draw Bridge (that opened to the sky and had an opening as wide or close to as the Main Street). With that said, I'd rather this thing be implemented as it, without it, let the housing be built and get downtown vibrant, and if down the road there is a true need for another river crossing, then let's talk.

Tacachale

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 12:07:02 PM »
The truth is, they don't care about the dense black neighborhoods - until white people move in and gentrify them (thereby forcing out the residents). Jax has a history of this - whether through consolidation or the offering of incentives to businesses to move from downtown. And look at La Villa and Brooklyn - those are basically now little more than place names.

A couple of things here. For one thing, if Jax ends up like most other cities, transit connectivity would probably contribute to gentrification. It tends to spark investment and make neighborhoods more desirable (we said in the previous article that one of the major complaints about streetcars is that they're so good at sparking development that some cities build them just for development, rather than as a transit solution).

However, I don't think Jax is at a place now, or will be anytime soon, where we have to worry about the real problems associated with gentrification. There are few if any neighborhoods where gentrification is causing displacement. What happened in Brooklyn and LaVilla wasn't really gentrification - the neighborhoods were depopulated first, and now new development is happening after decades of the land sitting empty. Springfield is perhaps the only historically black neighborhood Jacksonville that is now seeing gentrifiers move in, and even there, the prices aren't at a level that it's pushing older residents out, nor are there new developments wiping out older homes.

Generally speaking, Jax's urban neighborhoods (especially north and west of Downtown) are decades away from anyone current getting pushed out. They're in a place where they'd benefit from some gentrification, in the sense of new money and investment coming in. They're A transit system done well could accomplish that. It would be a much better investment than a bridge from one area with no residents, to another with no residents. That's the kind of thing that JTA ought to be thinking about, and coordinating with the city, but isn't.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Tacachale

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 12:08:08 PM »
Excellent article.  I do not understand the new bridge; it makes no sense at all, given the incredible cost.  The minimum clearance I could see the Coast Guard approving is the 81 feet of the Acosta Bridge.  As the article stated, to have a pedestrian-friendly slope, would require long approaches.  And that would restrict tall ships (not sure about Shad's) from the downtown riverfront.

I'm hopeful that axing the bridge will be one thing we'll see in future plans from JTA. There are still a lot of other problems with this proposal, but that one's an easy fix.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Adam White

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 12:38:16 PM »
The truth is, they don't care about the dense black neighborhoods - until white people move in and gentrify them (thereby forcing out the residents). Jax has a history of this - whether through consolidation or the offering of incentives to businesses to move from downtown. And look at La Villa and Brooklyn - those are basically now little more than place names.

A couple of things here. For one thing, if Jax ends up like most other cities, transit connectivity would probably contribute to gentrification. It tends to spark investment and make neighborhoods more desirable (we said in the previous article that one of the major complaints about streetcars is that they're so good at sparking development that some cities build them just for development, rather than as a transit solution).

However, I don't think Jax is at a place now, or will be anytime soon, where we have to worry about the real problems associated with gentrification. There are few if any neighborhoods where gentrification is causing displacement. What happened in Brooklyn and LaVilla wasn't really gentrification - the neighborhoods were depopulated first, and now new development is happening after decades of the land sitting empty. Springfield is perhaps the only historically black neighborhood Jacksonville that is now seeing gentrifiers move in, and even there, the prices aren't at a level that it's pushing older residents out, nor are there new developments wiping out older homes.

Generally speaking, Jax's urban neighborhoods (especially north and west of Downtown) are decades away from anyone current getting pushed out. They're in a place where they'd benefit from some gentrification, in the sense of new money and investment coming in. They're A transit system done well could accomplish that. It would be a much better investment than a bridge from one area with no residents, to another with no residents. That's the kind of thing that JTA ought to be thinking about, and coordinating with the city, but isn't.

Yes, transit connectivity leads to gentrification - but my comment was a reference to Riverside. You're young, so your experience of Riverside likely is different than mine. But Riverside is seen as 'successful' now, but was quite sketchy back in the early 80s. And the complexion of parts of it has changed over the years. You do see displacement, to some extent (for example, I can think of all my white friends who've lived on Dellwood and Ernest and streets like that - not something you'd have seen very much of 40 years ago).

I agree (somewhat) that what happened in LaVilla and Brooklyn was not gentrification, as such - it was basically the planning equivalent of carpet-bombing. Brooklyn bothers me more, as I know it better. I'd argue that Brooklyn was not depopulated first (yes, the population was declining). The land was bought out from under the people who still lived there and properties were condemned and demolished - no chance at repopulation then. There was never a future proposal for the area that took the local residents into consideration - the city obliterated the neighborhood but kept the name. Luckily, a few are still holding on. LaVilla might be a different story - I am not really very sure. I hate to admit it, but I really only ever drove through there. But LaVilla as a meaningful place ceased to exist a long time ago.

In any event the City has form for turning a blind eye to historically black areas of town.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 12:43:31 PM by Adam White »
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2018, 01:07:25 PM »
For what it's worth, I saw a comment on Facebook about gentrification concerns near Edward Waters College.

Tacachale

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2018, 01:34:06 PM »
The truth is, they don't care about the dense black neighborhoods - until white people move in and gentrify them (thereby forcing out the residents). Jax has a history of this - whether through consolidation or the offering of incentives to businesses to move from downtown. And look at La Villa and Brooklyn - those are basically now little more than place names.

A couple of things here. For one thing, if Jax ends up like most other cities, transit connectivity would probably contribute to gentrification. It tends to spark investment and make neighborhoods more desirable (we said in the previous article that one of the major complaints about streetcars is that they're so good at sparking development that some cities build them just for development, rather than as a transit solution).

However, I don't think Jax is at a place now, or will be anytime soon, where we have to worry about the real problems associated with gentrification. There are few if any neighborhoods where gentrification is causing displacement. What happened in Brooklyn and LaVilla wasn't really gentrification - the neighborhoods were depopulated first, and now new development is happening after decades of the land sitting empty. Springfield is perhaps the only historically black neighborhood Jacksonville that is now seeing gentrifiers move in, and even there, the prices aren't at a level that it's pushing older residents out, nor are there new developments wiping out older homes.

Generally speaking, Jax's urban neighborhoods (especially north and west of Downtown) are decades away from anyone current getting pushed out. They're in a place where they'd benefit from some gentrification, in the sense of new money and investment coming in. They're A transit system done well could accomplish that. It would be a much better investment than a bridge from one area with no residents, to another with no residents. That's the kind of thing that JTA ought to be thinking about, and coordinating with the city, but isn't.

Yes, transit connectivity leads to gentrification - but my comment was a reference to Riverside. You're young, so your experience of Riverside likely is different than mine. But Riverside is seen as 'successful' now, but was quite sketchy back in the early 80s. And the complexion of parts of it has changed over the years. You do see displacement, to some extent (for example, I can think of all my white friends who've lived on Dellwood and Ernest and streets like that - not something you'd have seen very much of 40 years ago).

I agree (somewhat) that what happened in LaVilla and Brooklyn was not gentrification, as such - it was basically the planning equivalent of carpet-bombing. Brooklyn bothers me more, as I know it better. I'd argue that Brooklyn was not depopulated first (yes, the population was declining). The land was bought out from under the people who still lived there and properties were condemned and demolished - no chance at repopulation then. There was never a future proposal for the area that took the local residents into consideration - the city obliterated the neighborhood but kept the name. Luckily, a few are still holding on. LaVilla might be a different story - I am not really very sure. I hate to admit it, but I really only ever drove through there. But LaVilla as a meaningful place ceased to exist a long time ago.

In any event the City has form for turning a blind eye to historically black areas of town.

Yes, you're right. I should have clarified - there are neighborhoods that have seen some gentrification, like Riverside and northern San Marco in the past, or Murray Hill now. But apart from Springfield, it has rarely been in majority black neighborhoods. We just haven't seen the level of interest in urban living that other cities have seen. Brooklyn would be another example, depending on how much of the changes are tied to gentrification. But much of the depopulation happened back in the 70s and 80s and if I recall correctly, HUD was partly responsible.

At any rate, I don't think Northwest Jax or the Eastside are anywhere close to having to worry about the negative aspects of gentrification. If it ever happens, it's decades away. That's probably one reason they weren't included in JTA's Skyway plans, which almost exclusively focus on trendy neighborhoods and high-status proposed developments.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

JeffreyS

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2018, 02:02:49 PM »
Seems like eliminating the bridge could expand more than what has been proposed by MJ.



I would love to see the Riverside leg expand down post to Barrs and end at St. Vincent's. That would connect SV, Baptist hospital, Wolfson's, Nemors and Shands.  It would certainly make DT, Sprinfield, Southbank and Riverside great living choices for those going into medicine. I know further would obviously make it more useful and funding makes you stop somewhere but eliminating the river crossing for busses without dedicated lanes ought to buy more than the Durkeeville and eastside expansions.
Lenny Smash

thelakelander

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2018, 06:44:43 AM »
JTA believes the opinions here are misguided. They say the U²C program is so much more than a modernization and expansion of the Skyway. It is an autonomous transit network! So everyone is invited to their upcoming Mobility Momentum Summit to hear from subject experts about AVs. My guess is connected vehicles and the concept of smart cities will probably end up happening as well.

Quote
Join us at the Mobility Momentum Summit -- a facilitated conversation which brings together subject matter experts and thought leaders to participate in dialogue on future technologies, emerging trends, industry challenges and best practices related to mobility. Don't miss the mobility momentum discussion and how it is reshaping the transportation system of tomorrow.

The luncheon will share the vision of how the Jacksonville Transportation Authority will play an integral role in shaping the future of the mobility momentum.

RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mobility-momentum-summit-and-state-of-the-authority-luncheon-tickets-45256000917


Hopefully some considerable time will be spent on what's specifically applicable to Jax context they intend to serve, what is exactly proposed for Jax, when will the first phase be operational, how much will it cost and where will funding come from? Then if we're going to throw in reconstructing infrastructure for vehicle-to-infrastructure and infrastructure-to-vehicle communications, what corridors are being identified, what upgrades are being proposed, the estimated construction cost and general long term infrastructure maintenance cost? I'd love to hear about the predicted impact on social equity but that may be a bit too much for a Jax panel discussion at this point.

In the meantime, here's a few pretty good reads concerning autonomous transit, connected vehicles, associated challenges and what's going on in Florida right now:

1. Autonomous Transit A Reality?
Quote
Large-scale introduction of driverless vehicles in modern urban traffic is an unlikely scenario for the next 10 to 15 years. This is the conclusion of a whitepaper, ‘When will autonomous transit be a reality’, published today by 2getthere, the Utrecht-based company that specializes in autonomous transit solutions. Instead of focusing solely on technology that makes cars autonomous, it would be better to work towards an urban traffic infrastructure in which a gradual development can take place from semi-autonomous vehicles to fully autonomous ones.
Full article: https://www.2getthere.eu/autonomous-transit-a-reality/



2. Automation and Smart Cities: Opportunity or threat?
Quote
In short:

• Globally, policy makers think about new urban concepts called Smart Cities.

• In almost all cases, self-driving (electric) cars are part of those concepts.

• Autonomous transport is seen as a key to (1) fewer cars and car movements in the city, (2) less parking pressure and (3) improvement in air quality. In addition, autonomous vehicles are considered (4) to increase road safety greatly.

• However, it is highly questionable whether these benefits derive from self-driving vehicles.

• Less cars and car movements are mainly the effect of car sharing. If autonomous transport leads to people leaving public transport, it could even lead to an increase in the number of cars and car movements.

• Autonomous cars also need to be parked somewhere when they are not being used, and need to stop and park to pick people up. Parking autonomous cars outside the city does not mean two, but four rush hours every day.

• Driving autonomous does not, in itself, help improve air quality. A reduction in carbon is gained with all electronically powered vehicles. The level of this reduction is dependent on the sustainability of the source of the power.

• Autonomous driving only has a positive effect on road safety if all traffic becomes autonomous and the entire infrastructure is organized around it. Until then, driving autonomously will most likely lead to more incidents.

• Conclusion: Automation is an opportunity for Smart Cities when done right, and a threat if not. Done right means: with sustainably sourced electric power and the capacity to transport multiple passengers with partly shared itineraries.

Full article: https://www.2getthere.eu/wp-content/uploads/2getthere-WP-Template-f-hr-nobleedspreads.pdf



3. The Florida Connected Vehicle Initiative


Quote
Connected vehicles (CV) use vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, and infrastructure-to-vehicle communication to exchange information between vehicles, drivers, the roadside, bicyclists and pedestrians. The Florida connected vehicle project map is below.

As technology continues to rapidly evolve, travelers have grown accustomed to and now expect real-time information that will allow them to make informed decisions.

Autonomous vehicles (AV) are vehicles equipped with advanced sensors (radar, LIDAR, cameras, etc.) and computing abilities to perceive surroundings and activate steering, braking, and acceleration actions without operator input. Through the use of AV and CV applications, safety and mobility for all modes of travel will improve.

The connected vehicle initiative uses leading edge technologies to quickly identify roadway hazards and alert drivers. Among others, these technologies include:

- Wireless Communications
- Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT)
- Roadside Units
- On-Board Units
- Freight Signal Priority
- Transit Signal Priority
- Emergency Vehicle Preemption
- Vehicle Sensors
- Global Positioning System Navigation

FDOT website: http://www.fdot.gov/traffic/its/projects_deploy/cv/Connected_Vehicles.shtm


There's also a pretty good article in APA's Planning Magazine this month about the type of infrastructure needed for CVs and the funding challenges associated with implementation and long term maintenance. Most here aren't APA members, so if I get some time, I'll try to summarize it here in the next day or two:

https://www.planning.org/planning/
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thelakelander

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2018, 07:04:29 AM »
Going back to the gentrification comments. IMO...

1. Good transit connectivity does not cause gentrification. Gentrification is more dependent of local public policy, revitalization strategy and land use/zoning regulations. However, bad, second class and substandard connectivity does exacerbate poverty and limit economic opportunity for residents in underrepresented neighborhoods. Jax is no exception to this rule.

2. Springfield and Brooklyn are probably the main areas where gentrification is taking place in Jacksonville. I've heard some stories from residents who were there long before the bobos. Gentrification is happening.

3. Ideally Jax is so sprawly that the urban core should be able to accommodate bobos and its existing residential population base. After all, it's less than 50% as dense as it was in 1950. However, gentrification is and should be a real concern. Despite there being room for all, just reading the negative comments on this forum regarding the Vestcor infill projects suggests there is a larger underlying current of belief among many locally that certain segments of the population should not included in a revitalized urban core.

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thelakelander

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Re: Skyway Expansion: Forgotten Urban Core Neighborhoods
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 07:25:38 AM »
Seems like eliminating the bridge could expand more than what has been proposed by MJ.



I would love to see the Riverside leg expand down post to Barrs and end at St. Vincent's. That would connect SV, Baptist hospital, Wolfson's, Nemors and Shands.  It would certainly make DT, Sprinfield, Southbank and Riverside great living choices for those going into medicine. I know further would obviously make it more useful and funding makes you stop somewhere but eliminating the river crossing for busses without dedicated lanes ought to buy more than the Durkeeville and eastside expansions.

This map wasn't intended to be an official alternative proposal of any sort. It was meant to be a simple illustration of how easy it would be to take what is currently being show and extend it in a manner that would significantly boost ridership ridership potential, help stimulate economic opportunity in walkable areas outside of downtown, for a fraction of the cost. My guess is if there was no expense associated with a bridge (at any point in the system's future), we could expand the thing significantly in every direction.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 07:28:04 AM by thelakelander »
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