Author Topic: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....  (Read 35778 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #135 on: May 21, 2022, 08:26:04 PM »
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Our roads aren’t built to accommodate autonomous vehicles

“The biggest challenge to self-driving cars is the biggest challenge to most major social changes: infrastructure. We want to integrate cool new things, but new things rely on old things. Fixing streets and signs and sidewalks paves the way to a particular vision of a cleaner, more accessible future.” — Meg Leta Jones, emerging technologies researcher, to Politico

To me, this is the biggest obstacle and its not changing anytime soon. From a transit perspective, projects like the U2C are more realistic when operating on dedicated right of way, which will remove many of the conflicts and challenges mentioned elsewhere in the article.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #136 on: May 22, 2022, 09:08:04 AM »
Dedicated ROW also means AVs have to compete against and demonstrate superior value relative to streetcars, BRT, light rail, etc.. -- all of which are expensive to execute but don't have tens to hundreds of billions in future R&D costs to consider.

It's ironic that the fix for many of the AV shortcomings also renders their most impressive benefits moot. It's been well documented here how passenger capacity is expected to suffer comparing U2C to the skyway or even a bus route alternative, while at the same time U2C will cost no less per mile than proven alternatives.

Have there been any cost revisions post-pandemic to the U2C estimate? I would imagine that price tag to have eclipsed $400M by a significant margin, in line with other construction increases, meaning the LOGT earmark for the Skyway conversion probably won't come close to being enough.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #137 on: July 06, 2022, 01:03:31 AM »
To answer the prompt, it sure seems to be getting serious. JTA has put out procurement documents for Phase 2 of the U2C, the city-funded conversion of the Skyway into an elevated guideway for "connected autonomous vehicles." This is for PD&E and 30% design, essentially what is happening now with the Bay Street Innovation Corridor.

The most interesting things I found in the documents were reports from Pond & Michael Baker indicating what they found to be the preferred alternatives for the conversion. These plans include raising the entire guideway by 50 inches, using a combination of relocated beams onto the top of the piers and inserts into the piers themselves, in order to bring the roadway height to the level required for ADA-compliant boarding. This is because JTA reportedly wants to avoid building ramps at just the stations. I suppose this is what they asked for $240 million for. They also proposed adding a cantilevered deck to the Acosta Bridge to widen the guideway to the width they want for the vehicles.

Here are some fun pictures indicating the ideas, Alternative 3 is the preferred:



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 #138 on: July 06, 2022, 02:00:00 AM »
Much more complex than mentioned years ago when the sales job of this being the cheapest solution was heavily pushed. With that said, it seems that we're still far away from anything actually materializing. Definitely see the costs continuing to rise on this one. On the other hand, ridership potential.....not so much.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Steve

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #139 on: July 06, 2022, 08:40:32 AM »
Wow. This seems......costly.

At this point wouldn't light rail be cheaper? I've never been a huge advocate for Light Rail for Jacksonville (as opposed to utilizing the existing heavy rail lines), but if you're going to blow money on this U2C thing, then wouldn't light rail make more sense?

This is one thing that Cumber and I are aligned with - this thing is bananas.

Todd_Parker

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #140 on: July 06, 2022, 11:20:53 AM »
Is there any possibility this project doesn't turn out to be a boondoggle?

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #141 on: July 06, 2022, 11:23:37 AM »
Is there any possibility this project doesn't turn out to be a boondoggle?

There's a strong possibility they'll spend millions to end up not doing anything because the technology still isn't there.

Wow. This seems......costly.

At this point wouldn't light rail be cheaper? I've never been a huge advocate for Light Rail for Jacksonville (as opposed to utilizing the existing heavy rail lines), but if you're going to blow money on this U2C thing, then wouldn't light rail make more sense?

This is one thing that Cumber and I are aligned with - this thing is bananas.

Yes, no frills LRT would be cheaper, generate higher ridership and spur more economic development. This whole project was always a risky gamble. Now it's flat out silly that people take any of this stuff seriously. We're lighting tax money on fire.
"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 #142 on: July 06, 2022, 01:17:23 PM »
Phase 1 (Bay Street) has to happen due to the federal funding they’ve already accepted. At least it’s (comparatively) easy, because ultimately all the industry seems to be capable of right now is a low-speed shuttle (because as far as I can tell the speed increases NHTSA was supposedly going to approve this year don’t look like they’ll happen) trundling down Bay Street at 15-20mph with an attendant onboard who has to constantly keep a hand on the manual override because cars are speeding around and turning in front of it.

Even JTA employees and interns I’ve talked to don’t seem particularly impressed by this project that is taking up enormous amounts of the authority’s resources. The “Golden 20” rules they came up with don’t seem to be possible to apply to this project because of how unfeasible it all is right now. It’s maddening knowing that Council is welcome to solve most of this at any moment by redistributing the funds but simply won’t, especially now knowing that they’re essentially going to spend that quarter-billion dollars mostly rebuilding the entire superstructure.

The funding available here could easily pay for a substantive overhaul of the existing system (see Miami MetroMover) followed by a substantial chunk of the funding needed for any other transit project one could imagine. A $50 million Skyway overhaul plus the $50m BSIC and a $200 million local share for hundreds of millions in state & federal funding could be transformational for the region, but we are simply not doing that. They’ll come out every few months and randomly say commuter rail could happen in three years, but when it’s time to put money where their mouths are, this is somehow the priority.
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

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #143 on: July 06, 2022, 01:22:14 PM »
I am reposting the below from a prior post on another JTA thread.  Watch the PBS Nova show below on AV's and you will much better appreciate how out-of-bounds JTA's plan for AV's is.  This technology has a long way to go to be Level 5.  Some say we may never quite get there.  Anything less than Level 5 requires some level of human supervision so it won't be a real gain for JTA.

All this just so JTA doesn't have admit the original Skyway was a total boondoggle.  Double or nothing bet here with the odds 10,000,000+ to 1 against it working.  Pure idiocy and a slap in the face to taxpayers.  City council needs to pull the plug on this.

I watched NOVA on PBS tonight about self driving vehicle technology - how it works and is developed, where it is currently at and what the prospects are for it (view it online at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/look-whos-driving/ ).

Let me just say we have a good ways to go to "level 5" full autonomy and anything less than isn't all that useful for a variety of mostly safety reasons.

Some people believe we will never quite match a human driver.  At best, society will have to decide if it is worth some people dying by autonomous vehicle failures in return for such deaths being less than we currently see with human drivers as perfection on public roads in all situations is unlikely.

Left me again scratching my head about JTA's plans for open road AV's.  The show should be required viewing for JTA board members and other City officials.

jcjohnpaint

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #144 on: July 06, 2022, 03:19:59 PM »
I guess we all can hope Phase 1 fails miserably and we can all move on.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #145 on: July 06, 2022, 04:17:51 PM »
I guess we all can hope Phase 1 fails miserably and we can all move on.

I’m worried they’ll try to be tearing up monorail beams already by whenever Phase 1 is supposed to open, and we’ll be put in the awful position of having to either commit to the conversion or just demolish it and pay the feds back.
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 #146 on: July 06, 2022, 05:26:03 PM »
We'll end up with an expensive jogging path that cost us more than LRT when this is all said and done.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #147 on: July 06, 2022, 06:10:18 PM »
We'll end up with an expensive jogging path that cost us more than LRT when this is all said and done.

At least 9% of the population will be thrilled! ::)

Quote
The JTA received 1,619 responses to the online survey on the Skyway future. Of those responding to the survey, 80 percent favored keeping the Skyway and expansion of the Skyway system. Nine percent preferred converting to an elevated multi-use path.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/2015/12/11/jta-board-approves-modernizing-skyway/

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #148 on: July 06, 2022, 06:11:54 PM »
I guess we all can hope Phase 1 fails miserably and we can all move on.

I’m worried they’ll try to be tearing up monorail beams already by whenever Phase 1 is supposed to open, and we’ll be put in the awful position of having to either commit to the conversion or just demolish it and pay the feds back.

I still think, politically, that we could get out of paying the Feds a penalty.  I believe JTA uses that as a red herring to avoid having to admit the Skyway is done for.  It was an experiment predicted boondoggle (just like U2C will be) and failed despite unrelenting support by JTA so why would the Feds be vengeful.  It's foolish to keep spending money on it just to avoid the "penalty."  Further, what JTA is proposing spending wasting big money on now is far greater than any penalty.  If the "penalty" is truly enforced, it would be cheaper to pay it than go forward with the almost sure-to-fail U2C.  The lack of a business-like approach to this project is mind blowing.

Either convert it to our version of NYC's Highline or tear it down and move on.  Enough already.

We'll end up with an expensive jogging path that cost us more than LRT when this is all said and done.

At least 9% of the population will be thrilled! ::)

Quote
The JTA received 1,619 responses to the online survey on the Skyway future. Of those responding to the survey, 80 percent favored keeping the Skyway and expansion of the Skyway system. Nine percent preferred converting to an elevated multi-use path.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/2015/12/11/jta-board-approves-modernizing-skyway/

Not a scientific survey so not very meaningful.  I also wonder if the "voters" were fully informed of the facts as discussed on the Jaxson: costs, technical challenges, alternative transit options, lack of ridership, questionable service levels, etc.  No way 80% would buy into JTA's plans.  JTA effectively stuffed the ballot box :).  Results would likely be flipped if the populace knew the real facts.  To add, the 80+% living in the burbs would be a big "NO" based on my life in Jax.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2022, 06:18:10 PM by jaxlongtimer »

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #149 on: July 06, 2022, 06:27:02 PM »
I guess we all can hope Phase 1 fails miserably and we can all move on.

I’m worried they’ll try to be tearing up monorail beams already by whenever Phase 1 is supposed to open, and we’ll be put in the awful position of having to either commit to the conversion or just demolish it and pay the feds back.

I still think, politically, that we could get out of paying the Feds a penalty.  I believe JTA uses that as a red herring to avoid having to admit the Skyway is done for.  It was an experiment predicted boondoggle (just like U2C will be) and failed despite unrelenting support by JTA so why would the Feds be vengeful.  It's foolish to keep spending money on it just to avoid the "penalty."  Further, what JTA is proposing spending wasting big money on now is far greater than any penalty.  If the "penalty" is truly enforced, it would be cheaper to pay it than go forward with the almost sure-to-fail U2C.  The lack of a business-like approach to this project is mind blowing.

Either convert it to our version of NYC's Highline or tear it down and move on.  Enough already.

We'll end up with an expensive jogging path that cost us more than LRT when this is all said and done.

At least 9% of the population will be thrilled! ::)

Quote
The JTA received 1,619 responses to the online survey on the Skyway future. Of those responding to the survey, 80 percent favored keeping the Skyway and expansion of the Skyway system. Nine percent preferred converting to an elevated multi-use path.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/2015/12/11/jta-board-approves-modernizing-skyway/

Not a scientific survey so not very meaningful.  I also wonder if the "voters" were fully informed of the facts as discussed on the Jaxson: costs, technical challenges, alternative transit options, lack of ridership, questionable service levels, etc.  No way 80% would buy into JTA's plans.  JTA effectively stuffed the ballot box :).  Results would likely be flipped if the populace knew the real facts.  To add, the 80+% living in the burbs would be a big "NO" based on my life in Jax.

Definitely not scientific, but this was the 2015 survey that predated clown car magic. I imagine most people -- myself included -- expected more traditional transit solutions. U2C isn't "modernize and expand". It's about as close to tear-down and rebuild as you can get without technically demolishing the Skyway.