Author Topic: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....  (Read 112021 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #285 on: April 05, 2023, 03:52:06 PM »
Interesting. If someone acquired property and built "real" TOD adjacent to an existing Skyway stop, would it not be considered TOD because it isn't in JTA's TOD designation or follow a process of pre-application charettes?

No, because a true TOD is not hindered by the crazy development costs that are associated with provided structured parking. The Artea is the closest attempt at trying to be a "TOD" and they are marketing it as a "TOD" but for the purposes of our discussion what we are advocating for or highlighting is the lack of the zoning overlay in town. The overlay significantly eases planning restrictions that directly relate to costs. The Artea would have even less parking if it had the TOD overlay. But of course JTA needs to approve the overlay. So it is a weird predicament.

The benefit of the TOD is the up-zoning and ease on the planning code by giving a concentrated area higher use. Spotted TOD developments prevent the true effect a TOD overlay is intended to provide.

Oh, I know what real TOD is. I just think this TOD Overlay thing is pure nonsense. The entire city needs a complete zoning overhaul.
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Jax_Developer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #286 on: April 06, 2023, 08:56:04 AM »
Interesting. If someone acquired property and built "real" TOD adjacent to an existing Skyway stop, would it not be considered TOD because it isn't in JTA's TOD designation or follow a process of pre-application charettes?

No, because a true TOD is not hindered by the crazy development costs that are associated with provided structured parking. The Artea is the closest attempt at trying to be a "TOD" and they are marketing it as a "TOD" but for the purposes of our discussion what we are advocating for or highlighting is the lack of the zoning overlay in town. The overlay significantly eases planning restrictions that directly relate to costs. The Artea would have even less parking if it had the TOD overlay. But of course JTA needs to approve the overlay. So it is a weird predicament.

The benefit of the TOD is the up-zoning and ease on the planning code by giving a concentrated area higher use. Spotted TOD developments prevent the true effect a TOD overlay is intended to provide.

Oh, I know what real TOD is. I just think this TOD Overlay thing is pure nonsense. The entire city needs a complete zoning overhaul.

I totally agree. We have a pretty simple code and I believe that is the core of the issue for such a wide city. Nonetheless, these already ordinance'd overlays would tremendously help the affordable housing issue and transit use. COJ planning & JTA would be able to knock off 10% or so of the unit price for these projects. Translates to several million per project. The city really needs to put the overlay into use.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #287 on: April 06, 2023, 12:19:47 PM »
Interesting. If someone acquired property and built "real" TOD adjacent to an existing Skyway stop, would it not be considered TOD because it isn't in JTA's TOD designation or follow a process of pre-application charettes?

No, because a true TOD is not hindered by the crazy development costs that are associated with provided structured parking. The Artea is the closest attempt at trying to be a "TOD" and they are marketing it as a "TOD" but for the purposes of our discussion what we are advocating for or highlighting is the lack of the zoning overlay in town. The overlay significantly eases planning restrictions that directly relate to costs. The Artea would have even less parking if it had the TOD overlay. But of course JTA needs to approve the overlay. So it is a weird predicament.

The benefit of the TOD is the up-zoning and ease on the planning code by giving a concentrated area higher use. Spotted TOD developments prevent the true effect a TOD overlay is intended to provide.

Oh, I know what real TOD is. I just think this TOD Overlay thing is pure nonsense. The entire city needs a complete zoning overhaul.

I totally agree. We have a pretty simple code and I believe that is the core of the issue for such a wide city. Nonetheless, these already ordinance'd overlays would tremendously help the affordable housing issue and transit use. COJ planning & JTA would be able to knock off 10% or so of the unit price for these projects. Translates to several million per project. The city really needs to put the overlay into use.

Although JTA owns the Artea property it's unclear if it counts as TOD. I'm not aware of it having undergone all of this process, I think it just used the existing CCBD zoning instead of rezoning as a TOD.

What I don't get is that the TOD requirements as written defeat the whole goal of making it easier to build around transit. Something is very wrong if it's easier to build 320 apartments with city incentives on the outside of the beltway near an Amazon fulfillment center than directly adjacent to a Skyway or Flyer station. There's no way it makes financial sense for the city or JTA keep spending a million dollars on a study to say someone can build a TOD here when every parcel requires adding most of a year to any interested party's development process. This isn't NYC where that might be worth your time and the money spent to have lawyers work through that.

It should be easier to build dense, mixed use development at transit stations than anywhere else in the city. Anything else defeats the point of TOD being a thing.

I'd actually argue that our code isn't as simple as it could be. We've somehow come up with a lot of ways to ultimately produce tons of car-only sprawl that gives essentially zero consideration to any other way to travel places, that extracts enormous amounts of our city's wealth while leaving little to nothing to show for it. A review of that should consider where we want people to live, work, and play (in terms of preservation and resiliency), how they can get between those places (with current and near-future transportation options inside and outside the Beltway), and how we can build in a way that ensures our prosperity. From there, you can talk about aesthetic variables for particular neighborhoods like Riverside or San Marco or Springfield or Mandarin or Eastside.
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Jax_Developer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #288 on: April 06, 2023, 02:31:05 PM »
Interesting. If someone acquired property and built "real" TOD adjacent to an existing Skyway stop, would it not be considered TOD because it isn't in JTA's TOD designation or follow a process of pre-application charettes?

No, because a true TOD is not hindered by the crazy development costs that are associated with provided structured parking. The Artea is the closest attempt at trying to be a "TOD" and they are marketing it as a "TOD" but for the purposes of our discussion what we are advocating for or highlighting is the lack of the zoning overlay in town. The overlay significantly eases planning restrictions that directly relate to costs. The Artea would have even less parking if it had the TOD overlay. But of course JTA needs to approve the overlay. So it is a weird predicament.

The benefit of the TOD is the up-zoning and ease on the planning code by giving a concentrated area higher use. Spotted TOD developments prevent the true effect a TOD overlay is intended to provide.

Oh, I know what real TOD is. I just think this TOD Overlay thing is pure nonsense. The entire city needs a complete zoning overhaul.

I totally agree. We have a pretty simple code and I believe that is the core of the issue for such a wide city. Nonetheless, these already ordinance'd overlays would tremendously help the affordable housing issue and transit use. COJ planning & JTA would be able to knock off 10% or so of the unit price for these projects. Translates to several million per project. The city really needs to put the overlay into use.

Although JTA owns the Artea property it's unclear if it counts as TOD. I'm not aware of it having undergone all of this process, I think it just used the existing CCBD zoning instead of rezoning as a TOD.

What I don't get is that the TOD requirements as written defeat the whole goal of making it easier to build around transit. Something is very wrong if it's easier to build 320 apartments with city incentives on the outside of the beltway near an Amazon fulfillment center than directly adjacent to a Skyway or Flyer station. There's no way it makes financial sense for the city or JTA keep spending a million dollars on a study to say someone can build a TOD here when every parcel requires adding most of a year to any interested party's development process. This isn't NYC where that might be worth your time and the money spent to have lawyers work through that.

It should be easier to build dense, mixed use development at transit stations than anywhere else in the city. Anything else defeats the point of TOD being a thing.

I'd actually argue that our code isn't as simple as it could be. We've somehow come up with a lot of ways to ultimately produce tons of car-only sprawl that gives essentially zero consideration to any other way to travel places, that extracts enormous amounts of our city's wealth while leaving little to nothing to show for it. A review of that should consider where we want people to live, work, and play (in terms of preservation and resiliency), how they can get between those places (with current and near-future transportation options inside and outside the Beltway), and how we can build in a way that ensures our prosperity. From there, you can talk about aesthetic variables for particular neighborhoods like Riverside or San Marco or Springfield or Mandarin or Eastside.

The Artea is just utilizing the CCBD zoning standards for the perception of it being a TOD-like project.

The distinction I would like to point out is the planning vs zoning code. Our planning code is super complex. The Urban Priority, Urban, Suburban & Rural Area distinctions do more to alter the site density & setbacks than the actual zoning code in most circumstances. That seems to be the attempt to nuisance the code for different growth patterns, but is extremely difficult to understand.

The planning & zoning code here can rub each other in bad ways at times.. like you need the same parking density at Cecil as San Marco. That doesn't make any sense.. lol. But also we have essentially zero overlays in town to take advantage of transit use in any way. That's uncommon.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #289 on: April 06, 2023, 03:10:17 PM »
^ Interesting discussion about TOD, overlays, land use, zoning, etc.  Assuming Jax had a coherent and thoughtful vision and plan for the City, which it clearly doesn't, I wonder if any of this would make any real difference in Jax as the City waives so much of these "rules" to please the development of the day.  Let's face it, without some greater discipline, all of these things amount to mostly paper tigers.

Add that we don't have a durable "transit" vision/plan (which might require the non-existent City vision/plan as a prerequisite) that one can rely on being followed, not sure who would feel comfortable incorporating much value for a TOD today that might not be one tomorrow. 

Good luck making progress. 

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #290 on: April 06, 2023, 03:27:10 PM »
^ Interesting discussion about TOD, overlays, land use, zoning, etc.  Assuming Jax had a coherent and thoughtful vision and plan for the City, which it clearly doesn't, I wonder if any of this would make any real difference in Jax as the City waives so much of these "rules" to please the development of the day.  Let's face it, without some greater discipline, all of these things amount to mostly paper tigers.

Add that we don't have a durable "transit" vision/plan (which might require the non-existent City vision/plan as a prerequisite) that one can rely on being followed, not sure who would feel comfortable incorporating much value for a TOD today that might not be one tomorrow. 

Good luck making progress.

It's incredibly telling that you almost never see any of JTA's existing or proposed transit service actually featured in any development plan. Rarely a mention of the Skyway (unless for something like Artea), no mention of the U2C (except for the Bay Street Innovation Corridor in the DIA "plan" and I guess the Shipyards), no mention of the FCF, and certainly no mention of local bus services. More than half a billion in taxpayer investment between those three projects, and it's pretty much a non-factor in our development pattern.

I would argue that if we had a land use plan that reflected market demand and demonstrated clarity from the outset we'd probably get a lot closer to avoiding those problems of the city needing to waive those rules, but yeah there is a need for leadership in actually caring about the plan you made, and there's not an easy answer to that.

Miami and Orlando both demonstrate the problem: people have to actually give a damn to make things happen. You can't run a successful city on autopilot.
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

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #291 on: April 06, 2023, 03:35:38 PM »
To get back on topic a little, I happened to do some research the other day and learned that Orlando actually has a similar-ish project to the Bay Street Innovation Corridor.

The year after Jacksonville, Orlando was awarded a BUILD Grant (same as us) for a "Local Alternative Mobility Network" led by, surprise, Beep (the same company operating the shuttles as part of the U2C).

They have a whole proposal (without appendices, sorry) and won $20 million but it's unclear if they've actually started on their project either.

Lot of money went to these shuttles 4 and 5 years ago but it doesn't look much like it's produced a whole lot of what's been promised.
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

Jax_Developer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #292 on: April 06, 2023, 06:39:22 PM »
^ Interesting discussion about TOD, overlays, land use, zoning, etc.  Assuming Jax had a coherent and thoughtful vision and plan for the City, which it clearly doesn't, I wonder if any of this would make any real difference in Jax as the City waives so much of these "rules" to please the development of the day.  Let's face it, without some greater discipline, all of these things amount to mostly paper tigers.

Add that we don't have a durable "transit" vision/plan (which might require the non-existent City vision/plan as a prerequisite) that one can rely on being followed, not sure who would feel comfortable incorporating much value for a TOD today that might not be one tomorrow. 

Good luck making progress.

To get back on topic a little, I happened to do some research the other day and learned that Orlando actually has a similar-ish project to the Bay Street Innovation Corridor.

The year after Jacksonville, Orlando was awarded a BUILD Grant (same as us) for a "Local Alternative Mobility Network" led by, surprise, Beep (the same company operating the shuttles as part of the U2C).

They have a whole proposal (without appendices, sorry) and won $20 million but it's unclear if they've actually started on their project either.

Lot of money went to these shuttles 4 and 5 years ago but it doesn't look much like it's produced a whole lot of what's been promised.

I think these two posts blend together the issue well. There isn't a greater development vision with the U2C, and there are more people with concerns than believers in the sustainability of the U2C for the next 10-20 years.. let alone the delivery dates projected out. It all wraps together in my opinion.

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #293 on: April 06, 2023, 06:57:36 PM »
Other than the U2C being in an urban environment, what will be different for the rider that they haven't been able to do in Lake Nona (suburban Orlando) for years already?
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #294 on: April 07, 2023, 11:57:28 AM »
This is perhaps better suited for a TOD thread if there is one or could be one, but I wanted to point out that the new Block 9 project being proposed in Brooklyn is essentially a TOD despite not having the designation. They'd even be relocating the westbound Flyer station as part of the project. I think it says something that they're not bothering with a TOD designation in spite of that.

I think these two posts blend together the issue well. There isn't a greater development vision with the U2C, and there are more people with concerns than believers in the sustainability of the U2C for the next 10-20 years.. let alone the delivery dates projected out. It all wraps together in my opinion.

And yet they've spent a million dollars on a study and claim that Artea (which broke ground this week, apparently) is the first U2C TOD project. Astounding that they can just say stuff like that and not get asked any questions.

Other than the U2C being in an urban environment, what will be different for the rider that they haven't been able to do in Lake Nona (suburban Orlando) for years already?

It will have cost $60 million instead of whatever they've already spent in Lake Nona? I guess theoretically the larger shuttles but those don't actually exist yet as a usable thing so I don't know.
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 #295 on: April 07, 2023, 12:25:14 PM »
Block 9 is a TAD (Transit Adjacent Development). Jax and JTA should stop butchering these terms and their definitions. If a project is financially viable regardless of if it's on a bus line or not, it's not a true TOD. If the bus or U2C went a way, Block 9 would still be there.

All COJ needs to do is allow for higher densities around transit stations and bus corridors.  No developer needs JTA or COJ charrettes. That's a waste of everyone's time and resources.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2023, 12:32:08 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #296 on: April 07, 2023, 12:44:44 PM »

It will have cost $60 million instead of whatever they've already spent in Lake Nona? I guess theoretically the larger shuttles but those don't actually exist yet as a usable thing so I don't know.

I'd recommend anyone interested in AVs to visit and ride the Lake Nona system. The $60 million we spend won't make our rider experience any difference than that pilot project.

That money is needed to build an operations center in LaVilla and cameras/equipment, etc. to keep people from getting killed on these things within an urban environment with stoplights, jaywalking, human drivers, etc. At best, this is an expensive first mile/last mile experiment being billed as mass transit. For the rider, it will be the same as the Lake Nona experience. A cramped expensive van with a human driver, moving at a super slow speed, while cars, bicycles and motorized scooters speed by.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #297 on: April 18, 2023, 07:14:00 PM »
Well, the "Silicon Valley of the East" has finally gotten some attention from the Silicon Valley (of the West). And it's not good.

The City of San Jose is working on a connector between the city's downtown train station and their airport. They intentionally sought a public-private partnership in order to deliver this project. After four years of discussion and planning, the city is looking to approve a proposal from a consortium led by Plenary Americas that would entail a fleet of autonomous vehicles from a company named Glydways. Today (link to YouTube stream), the city council was formally presented with the project agreement.

But the public has noticed, and they don't seem too happy. Amidst a few supportive comments from people affiliated with the project or business interests were dozens of public comments from citizens, advocates, and even transportation planners opposed to the plan, instead proposing to expand the bus or light rail systems to accomplish the project's objective. And within one of those comments came the following mention:

Quote
… Really, aside from the Tesla Vegas Loop and the Heathrow Loop at the Heathrow Airport, at least I haven't seen any tangible results from this personal transit thing. I do recall something similar occurring with Jacksonville, but they themselves have also yet to come up with any tangible proof of concept that these pods can not only be efficient, but also reduce traffic. …

Even aside from this mention, it should be pretty deeply concerning that there's this much open speculation as to the feasibility of this technology, even in the one place where you'd expect the opposite, at a time when we're meanwhile looking to spend hundreds of millions of public dollars on it.
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 #298 on: April 18, 2023, 07:37:03 PM »
Is JTA even claiming the U2C will have any tangible impact on traffic? It seems their focus has been moreso on accomplishing something no one else has done. Things like stimulating TOD, reducing traffic, etc. all seem secondary.
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Captain Zissou

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #299 on: May 08, 2023, 09:26:52 AM »
JTA is now pushing to have the parallel parking removed from both sides of Bay street so that the U2C can run in dedicated lanes.  The lunacy is limitless with this project.