Author Topic: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects  (Read 1252 times)

thelakelander

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Wow, it doesn't sound like the mayor's office is buying what JTA is selling....
     
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Jacksonville faces stiff competition this fall for highly sought-after federal infrastructure money — most notably, itself.

City Hall and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority have submitted separate applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for annual competitive grant money, meaning both agencies will compete as they seek crucial federal dollars for two high-profile projects that aim to improve the same part of downtown: the East Bay Street corridor that leads into the Sports Entertainment Complex. In the past, city officials have been leery when multiple agencies wanted to submit applications in the same round of grant funding.

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It’s possible both, one or neither project ends up with money in the end. But it undoubtedly puts the two projects in competition with one another. Curry’s administration seems comfortable with that posture.

“The JTA has filed an autonomous car project that is more conceptual, and (City Hall) has filed an economic development project that will be ready to go,” Hughes said.

“Both would ultimately benefit Jacksonville, but the (City Hall) application contends that it makes more sense to see the corridor economically developed before spending for additional, futuristic public transportation.”

Full article: http://www.jacksonville.com/news/20180727/city-hall-jta-compete-for-federal-money-for-high-profile-projects
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jaxnyc79

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2018, 10:27:35 AM »
Wow, it doesn't sound like the mayor's office is buying what JTA is selling....
     
Quote
Jacksonville faces stiff competition this fall for highly sought-after federal infrastructure money — most notably, itself.

City Hall and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority have submitted separate applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for annual competitive grant money, meaning both agencies will compete as they seek crucial federal dollars for two high-profile projects that aim to improve the same part of downtown: the East Bay Street corridor that leads into the Sports Entertainment Complex. In the past, city officials have been leery when multiple agencies wanted to submit applications in the same round of grant funding.

Quote
It’s possible both, one or neither project ends up with money in the end. But it undoubtedly puts the two projects in competition with one another. Curry’s administration seems comfortable with that posture.

“The JTA has filed an autonomous car project that is more conceptual, and (City Hall) has filed an economic development project that will be ready to go,” Hughes said.

“Both would ultimately benefit Jacksonville, but the (City Hall) application contends that it makes more sense to see the corridor economically developed before spending for additional, futuristic public transportation.”

Full article: http://www.jacksonville.com/news/20180727/city-hall-jta-compete-for-federal-money-for-high-profile-projects

Can the JTA get into real estate?  Is there precedent for that at other Transit Authorities around the country?  For example, using grant funds to help a developer build transit-oriented housing around any of its transit centers which could actually encourage purposeful ridership and enhance economic vitality.  Also, if JTA could partner with the city to cluster employment centers, it could create shuttle-links between residential density with easy access to transit, and these employment clusters. 

thelakelander

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 11:27:34 AM »
JTA is already involved in real estate and TOD:

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Developer wants to build residential tower next to Kings Avenue parking garage, but has pending litigation with JTA.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/balanky-plans-southbank-tower-with-gondolas-across-st-johns
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jaxnyc79

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 11:55:40 AM »
JTA is already involved in real estate and TOD:

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Developer wants to build residential tower next to Kings Avenue parking garage, but has pending litigation with JTA.

https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/balanky-plans-southbank-tower-with-gondolas-across-st-johns

Well, I was referencing TOD as a step further than just building something next to a transit station - more along the lines of real integration.  Also, why would JTA restrict this property from residential use?  Furthermore, should TOD communities target the workers that are the likeliest riders, i.e. not residents living in luxury high-rises or business travelers likely to get around with ubers or car rentals.

thelakelander

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 12:30:27 PM »
I was just saying they're already in the real estate and TOD/TAD business. With that said, obviously they may not be doing it right.
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thelakelander

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 12:31:28 PM »
Oh and yes, there's plenty of precedence.
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itsfantastic1

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 12:55:51 PM »
I'm kind of torn. I think any federal money for public transit is desperately needed in this town and should take priority. However, the autonomous system JTA is so gung-ho about makes me think those funds would serve the city better by removing the Hart ramps for development (similar to the Embarcadero in San Fransisco or the Viaduct in Seattle) rather than on an unproven transit technology.

exnewsman

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2018, 11:41:42 AM »
I'm kind of torn. I think any federal money for public transit is desperately needed in this town and should take priority. However, the autonomous system JTA is so gung-ho about makes me think those funds would serve the city better by removing the Hart ramps for development (similar to the Embarcadero in San Fransisco or the Viaduct in Seattle) rather than on an unproven transit technology.

Just because its not currently available in the U.S. doesn't make the technology unproven. Look at bullet trains for example. The U.S. has limited HSR service in the NE corridor (and one being built in CA). However, many countries have developed high-speed rail to connect major cities, including Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan. I certainly wouldn't call this technology unproven.

Charles Hunter

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2018, 12:26:00 PM »
The question was not about High Speed Rail (and what we have in the NE is not High Speed, compared to those other countries), but about Autonomous Vehicles in regular transit service.  Do you have any examples of these?

Tacachale

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2018, 01:07:44 PM »
^There are examples of autonomous vehicles that are farther along than JTA's tests are. There are some also in places like Dubai that aren't remotely comparable to our market. When we were writing our editorials on JTA's Skyway plans, we saw one report from an autonomous vehicle company that said we're 15 years away from autonomous vehicles being used in the way JTA is proposing. So yeah, we're way better off if the money goes elsewhere.
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KenFSU

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2018, 02:15:11 PM »
The passive-aggressive use of terms like "futuristic" and "conceptual" by Curry's people cracks me up.

I agree with all of the above.

The more time that passes, the more I genuinely hate what JTA is proposing. I feel like they're over-complicating the solution to a much simpler problem, simply for the sake of being futuristic.

I can't remember, did JTA ever give a reason why they couldn't continue the Skyway as fixed transit, upgrade the existing cars, and expand into Riverside/Springfield/Stadium District at grade?

Autonomous vehicles make perfect sense as a feeder system to take passengers from nearby neighborhoods into a fixed Skyway system, but to ignore the obvious transportation choices that have worked for over 200 years just for the sake of doing something different is insane.

Throw in the fact that JTA could own the market for fixed transit, but they're instead choosing to share a market for automated cabs with a half dozen other companies, any of which are likely to have economies of scale beyond anything beyond that JTA could imagine.

It just doesn't make sense.

itsfantastic1

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Re: City Hall, JTA compete for federal money for high-profile projects
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2018, 05:43:54 PM »
I'm kind of torn. I think any federal money for public transit is desperately needed in this town and should take priority. However, the autonomous system JTA is so gung-ho about makes me think those funds would serve the city better by removing the Hart ramps for development (similar to the Embarcadero in San Fransisco or the Viaduct in Seattle) rather than on an unproven transit technology.

Just because its not currently available in the U.S. doesn't make the technology unproven. Look at bullet trains for example. The U.S. has limited HSR service in the NE corridor (and one being built in CA). However, many countries have developed high-speed rail to connect major cities, including Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan. I certainly wouldn't call this technology unproven.

I think you are conflating hasn't been used; with hasn't been proven. Using high speed rail as a means to transport people quickly between cities has been proven, just not used in the US. Using autonomous vehicles as a multi-point transit network hasn't been proven yet. Sure they've been used as say an airport circulator or a small campus/tourist line, but not in the application JTA is trying to use them.