Author Topic: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars  (Read 882 times)

thelakelander

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Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« on: December 26, 2018, 02:56:52 PM »


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Streetcars were a common sight in U.S. cities at the beginning of the 20th century, but by the 1960s, they had been wiped out, usually replaced by buses deemed cheaper to operate and more comfortable. More than a half-century after streetcars were abandoned and burned, several U.S. cities are working to revive them. Why? Because of their uncanny ability to rapidly transform once-decrepit neighborhoods into economic powerhouses by attracting billions of dollars of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) within walking distance of their routes.

Full article: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/lost-jacksonville-streetcars/
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bl8jaxnative

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2018, 03:44:35 PM »
Buses weren't deemed better and cheaper, they __WERE__ considerably less expensive to operate and much more comfortable. 

Can you imagine living in Hartford or Boston and taking an open air trolley in the winter?  Even in the spring and the fall just being inside versus being exposed to the elements would be considerably more comfortable to ride than a trolley.   Most of those operators had fleets largely composed of open-air cars that they ran up until their end.

As for the desire to build them, never underestimate the power of a fad.  It explains a lot in life, the Backstreet Boys, Nickelback and cities building trolleys.   They get built in fashionable areas that have already turned the corner and get a lot of TIFF and other subsidies thrown at development along them.  The marginal difference they make in causing more development is at best small, possibly negative and a shaky claim far too quickly embraced by politicians looking to take credit for things they didn't build.

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 05:00:00 PM »
Can you imagine living in Hartford or Boston and taking an open air trolley in the winter?  Even in the spring and the fall just being inside versus being exposed to the elements would be considerably more comfortable to ride than a trolley.   Most of those operators had fleets largely composed of open-air cars that they ran up until their end.

The MBTA still operates one of the country's oldest streetcar lines in Boston. It's high speed too!



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashmont%E2%80%93Mattapan_High-Speed_Line

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As for the desire to build them, never underestimate the power of a fad.  It explains a lot in life, the Backstreet Boys, Nickelback and cities building trolleys.   They get built in fashionable areas that have already turned the corner and get a lot of TIFF and other subsidies thrown at development along them.  The marginal difference they make in causing more development is at best small, possibly negative and a shaky claim far too quickly embraced by politicians looking to take credit for things they didn't build.

Sort of like we do with highways like JTB, First Coast Expressway, Wekiva Parkway and SR 9B! Transportation infrastructure coupled with supportive land use policies equals development opportunity. It just depends on what type of development and built form a municipality prefers.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Snaketoz

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 05:40:16 PM »
My dad talked a lot about riding the street cars in Jacksonville.  He rode a lot on the Main St. route from Panama Park where he attended elementary school, to Fairfield via Main St.  I noticed the old Jacobs Jewelry cast iron clock in the photo.  I've seen that clock all my life.  I have fond memories of shopping downtown in my younger days before the malls.  The downtown area was great back then.  Thanks so much for your flashbacks Ennis.

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2018, 03:08:17 PM »
  r things they didn't build.

Sort of like we do with highways like JTB, First Coast Expressway, Wekiva Parkway and SR 9B! Transportation infrastructure coupled with supportive land use policies equals development opportunity. 
[/quote]

Do we have a map showing the TIFFs along SR9B?  Is eTown a TIFF?  Towne Center?

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2018, 04:40:56 PM »
Why do we need a map showing TIFs?
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2018, 04:53:15 PM »
My guess, he is trying to prove that these suburban developments are paying for themselves.
I know FDOT did not get any TIFF or other local money for any of the hundreds of millions being spent on expanding I-295 (and upcoming on I-95).  The tolls on those Express Lanes will not even cover operating costs for several years, much less, construction costs.

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2018, 05:56:11 PM »
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My guess, he is trying to prove that these suburban developments are paying for themselves.

Yeah, I just don't know how that can be proven either way with TIFs. That's not how they work.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Kerry

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2019, 10:23:40 AM »
Strong Towns recently completed the first comprehensive cost analysis to see if taxes on property and from revenue generated on those properties cover the cost of provided services to them.  Their test city was Lafayette, LA.  Suburban development failed miserably.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/1/9/the-real-reason-your-city-has-no-money
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acme54321

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2019, 01:30:55 PM »
the maps shows the Ortega line stopping on Baltic.  I thought at some point in time it extended all the way out to Black Point on what is now NAS Jax?

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 02:50:33 PM »
Yes it was for a short while.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 11:15:19 AM »
Strong Towns recently completed the first comprehensive cost analysis to see if taxes on property and from revenue generated on those properties cover the cost of provided services to them.  Their test city was Lafayette, LA.  Suburban development failed miserably.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/1/9/the-real-reason-your-city-has-no-money

Has strongtowns ever been scientific about their claims?  Have they ever shared their data and calculations in a way that others could reproduce?  I have never been able to find such a thing.     I would welcome the opportunity to examine it.   But that they haven't made it readily available is a smell.

Another smell is that Charles Mahron, their lead zealot, literally claimed that the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson could've been prevented if the sidewalks were wider.  I'm not shitting you.   Someone making that sort of  claim is a half a gradation away from become a card carrying birther.   All the more reason to be able to see the guts of their number crunching, piece by piece.

thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2019, 11:22:38 AM »
^While I'm not debating some of the points you make, the same should be required from someone who will make a claim that suburban development pays for itself.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2019, 03:00:47 PM »

Apples and kiwis.  I'm using heuristics.  This sort of thing if it wasn't sustainable wouldn't exist since the turn of the last century, 1900.  It's been a continuous cycle since thing. 

But you're right, I'm not a professional making a scientific claim. Charles Mahron, a failed civil engineer, repeatedly doesn't just say that it doesn't pay for itself.  He specifically calls it a ponzi scheme.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. 

I would love to better understand what he sees that leads him to believe that.  What little he's shown hasn't demonstrated a ponzi scheme but a basic inability to think things through. 

There's no doubt that there are things that I'm not understanding.  But what about Mahron?  The man's creation myth, his idea of how strongtowns came about is a clear demonstration of a zealot.

Mahron's schpeel is that when he was working to address a leaking storm water pipe, he discovered the whole scheme was set up to spend mad amounts of money on new stuff instead of just right. 

What he to this day does not recognize is that the small town in Aitkin county was in the process of doubling in size.  Not by new housing but annexing already developed residential areas in the county.  They were going to be improving the area and loweing risk by consilidating into the same system.   The old system was not only in the later years of it's life but could never handle such a volume. 

When you look at the expansion, you'll see it appropriate for the new town.   To this day Charles refuses to acknowledge it.  If he can't acknowledge something so obvious, it's hard to imagine he's got it right about Shreveport.

Either way, science is a method of inquiry.  In the spirit of science, Strongtowns should make public all of the work, all the measurements and calculations, they use to arrive at their claims.   After all, they're ones charging for their work.


thelakelander

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Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2019, 04:58:44 PM »

Apples and kiwis.  I'm using heuristics.  This sort of thing if it wasn't sustainable wouldn't exist since the turn of the last century, 1900.  It's been a continuous cycle since thing. 

But you're right, I'm not a professional making a scientific claim.

So you think the Southside or your housing costs (just using them as an example) would be the same without the highways they congest or if the local municipality/developers had to fund these infrastructure improvements with their own dollars?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali