Author Topic: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....  (Read 136620 times)

Ken_FSU

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #480 on: May 29, 2024, 09:28:59 PM »
Ringing endorsement by the city's former Chief of Engineering and Construction that worked with JTA on this project.

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"The city should not allow these vehicles on any road, much less downtown, ever.”

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The emails also show serious concerns for the safety of the project overall, based on JTA’s own language. JTA said it needs a significant amount of this equipment mounted on the city’s traffic signals on Bay Street to “provide for the safe operations of the AVs.”

That equipment gives the vehicles priority at traffic lights, but JTA’s own agreement, submitted to the city, said if that’s not working “it presents an immediate risk to public safety.”

That’s one of the reasons why the city engineer sent an email to city stakeholders, saying, “that statement alone should be enough to stop the whole project.”

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #481 on: May 29, 2024, 10:57:08 PM »
Its a ticking time bomb. Its not going to end well for Jacksonville and no amount of fanfare is going to save it from reality. Nothing has literally changed from a technical concern since we've began raising them since day one, years ago. Its a bad game of musical chairs and whoever doesn't jump off ship before the music stops is going to suffer politically.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2024, 10:58:47 PM by thelakelander »
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #482 on: May 29, 2024, 11:06:56 PM »
I like this part of the media release:
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In addition, the command center is designed for scale, enabling the orchestration of future mobility networks with over 100 vehicles to connect key areas of the city, such as Brooklyn, Springfield, San Marco, and Riverside.

Yet the location they are breaking ground for can only hold a dozen AVs. Guess the other 90+ AVs will live at the Myrtle Avenue bus barn.

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #483 on: May 29, 2024, 11:18:18 PM »
Is that what they are calling that shed now? A command center  ;D

I'm just happy we were able to get the design changed to make it more suitable for uses that can really benefit LaVilla after the project fails.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #484 on: May 30, 2024, 12:21:26 AM »
Action News also reporting tonight of fears expressed by the city’s former Chief of Engineering and Construction over the safety of running the shuttles on city streets.

https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/investigates-concerns-over-jtas-bay-street-innovation-corridor/7IZZAY23TNGKRI2BKGMC33MY7M/

Credit Action News for staying on this since no one else is.  Disappointed that Nate Monroe is not all over it as this is the biggest fiasco in the City since Zahn's scheme.  Someone could win some journalism awards for exposing this fraud!

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #485 on: May 30, 2024, 12:34:50 AM »
Its a ticking time bomb. Its not going to end well for Jacksonville and no amount of fanfare is going to save it from reality. Nothing has literally changed from a technical concern since we've began raising them since day one, years ago. Its a bad game of musical chairs and whoever doesn't jump off ship before the music stops is going to suffer politically.

I was astonished by Deegan’s response to being asked about the engineer’s quote. It’s a bewildering misstep on a major and costly issue for someone who has generally done a good job. Especially because once the dust settles, I’m unsure where the credibility or local funding would come from to do any more substantive transit development for years.

Those emails are dated from less than a year ago, after JTA was denied their five-year extension request. Alarm bells appear to be continually going off at multiple levels of government and being silenced solely by local authorities. And for what?

Meanwhile, JTA’s State of the Authority is Thursday, followed by their Autonomous Vehicle Day event on Friday. Three days in a row to pat themselves on the back and continue ignoring why exactly they’re at “the front of the pack” on self-driving vans at taxpayer expense.

Credit Action News for staying on this since no one else is.  Disappointed that Nate Monroe is not all over it as this is the biggest fiasco in the City since Zahn's scheme.  Someone could win some journalism awards for exposing this fraud!

Emily Turner certainly seems deserving of some credit for the amount of digging she’s doing into this. The sheer degree of wagon circling in response to this coverage is just astonishing. Guess this city needs more than one journalist.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #486 on: May 30, 2024, 09:01:54 AM »
While she's a mayor, she's not a transportation planner. So she's got to rely on people she trust to provide her with guidance. Unfortunately, you can't trust everyone in this town. Especially the propaganda that's been coming out of JTA in recent years around this project. The technical alarm bells have been rigging for years. Credit to Emily Turner for uncovering this information. I'm hoping for Jacksonville's sake that her work will continue to open the eyes of the masses and remove the rose colored glasses off others to start asking the real tough questions about the project's viability. At the end of the day, I do believe most people want transit that works. We just don't want to flush $500 million in local money on a gimmick that doesn't.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ken_FSU

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #487 on: May 30, 2024, 11:13:13 AM »
It's going to take a large public outcry to get this project shelved but I think the citizenry is too apathetic for anything to happen and those responsible will be long gone to face any consequences.

I fear you're right on the money here, Todd.

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #488 on: May 30, 2024, 11:22:29 AM »
Its going to blow up and that day is likely 12 to 24 months away (around the anticipated time of the Bay Street Innovation Cooridor completion date). My fear is that those closest and most responsible for this boondoggle will be long gone with a new job in another city by then, leaving others who meant well and have honest intent, to deal with the political fallout.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2024, 11:24:04 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ken_FSU

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #489 on: May 30, 2024, 11:34:08 AM »
Its going to blow up and that day is likely 12 to 24 months away (around the anticipated time of the Bay Street Innovation Cooridor completion date). My fear is that those closest and most responsible for this boondoggle will be long gone with a new job in another city by then, leaving others who meant well and have honest intent, to deal with the political fallout.

There were some rumors a few months ago that Nat Ford was quietly interviewing for a job in another city.

Was really hoping he would land it, take the U2C with him, and leave Jax to slum with streetcar or starter light rail instead.

The fact that the U2C continues to lurch forward might be the single most baffling thing I've seen since moving to Jacksonville. There's just zero legitimate need for it, and zero ambiguity about its ultimate failure. Ultimate example of sunk cost fallacy.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #490 on: May 30, 2024, 12:20:47 PM »
JTA is holding their State of the Authority now, streaming on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/live/c4rS5gwIUTg?si=2TdxPlej-ZkBOoAa
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #491 on: May 30, 2024, 01:33:43 PM »
.

The fact that the U2C continues to lurch forward might be the single most baffling thing I've seen since moving to Jacksonville. There's just zero legitimate need for it, and zero ambiguity about its ultimate failure. Ultimate example of sunk cost fallacy.

Unfortunately Jax has a very strong history of getting caught up with stuff like this and blowing tons of public money to only end up in worse shape after ultimate failure is accepted.

We were on the same course with selling JEA before the local media started picking it apart. That is now happening with Action News. We also have the benefit of the technology not working internationally to protect us against our local tendency of diving head first into a pool of dreams filled with six inches of dirty water.

The Bay Street Innovation Corridor (when it fails in 12-24 months to be what's been sold to the public) will be our natural out opportunity. Let's just hope we haven't blown $100 million in tax money by then.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #492 on: May 30, 2024, 07:17:24 PM »
While I'm not a fan of the misguided promotion of the U2C and wasteful spending by JTA, I believe this project has demonstrated that we have the financial resources locally to do real transformative mass transit projects. Years ago, JTA used lack of funding as an excuse to not invest in any form of rail-based transit. This region went as far to set up a regional transportation commission with representatives of multiple counties to see if taxes should be raised for true multimodal solutions. I was one of two appointed members of that commission that represented Duval County. Now we've come full circle by having JTA try to force feed a highly questionable, low capacity project down the community's throat, that will have to funded by local dollars (since the feds and state are clearly not believers enough to put their money where their mouth is). I'm excited to see what we can actually get off the ground once the U2C goes belly up.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #493 on: May 30, 2024, 08:06:14 PM »
While I'm not a fan of the misguided promotion of the U2C and wasteful spending by JTA, I believe this project has demonstrated that we have the financial resources locally to do real transformative mass transit projects. Years ago, JTA used lack of funding as an excuse to not invest in any form of rail-based transit. This region went as far to set up a regional transportation commission with representatives of multiple counties to see if taxes should be raised for true multimodal solutions. I was one of two appointed members of that commission that represented Duval County. Now we've come full circle by having JTA try to force feed a highly questionable, low capacity project down the community's throat, that will have to funded by local dollars (since the feds and state are clearly not believers enough to put their money where their mouth is). I'm excited to see what we can actually get off the ground once the U2C goes belly up.

I certainly hope this is true. I can't help but worry that once the dust has settled from the collapse of this project and the money has been wasted, there might not still be the local wherewithal or broader political support to turn around and invest in effective transit. We don't know what the federal attitude for transit funding will be once this infrastructure bill has ended. We don't know who will be Mayor, whether that's Deegan or someone else, and the resulting relationship with City Council. We don't know what solution will be decided on to replace the gas tax, and what our ability to invest that funding into mass transit will be. We don't know who will end up in charge of JTA (assuming that there is a clearly necessary shakeup) and their attitudes towards rail (seeing as we're 0/2 since the turn of the century and Ford was the most likely to be pro-rail of the candidates). All of those questions will color how we can build a real transit system, assuming we try to at all.

This isn't to say there's no way out, just that it's hard right now to see us being ready and able to finally pick something that works only after blowing millions on something that clearly wouldn't. Looking at the livestream of today's State of the Authority, I'm still bewildered that we're even here in the first place.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

Ken_FSU

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #494 on: May 30, 2024, 08:15:26 PM »
Genuinely does read like parody.