Author Topic: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ  (Read 26777 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« on: April 21, 2009, 05:00:00 AM »
I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ



Despite being 301,210 residents smaller than Jacksonville, Tucson is in the midst of expanding its streetcar network.  Tucson's streetcar experience provides Jacksonville with a unique example of how to embrace rail in the urban core.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/1069

copperfiend

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 09:30:03 AM »
Awesome VW bus too.

Doctor_K

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 11:24:29 AM »
This is but the latest in along string of examples set by peer (and inferior) cities that Jax should seriously take a look at and implement.

You know that cane that Grandpa Biff uses in Back to the Future II?  The one with the brass fist on the end of it?  The one where he knocks everyone over the head with it and goes "Hello!!!  Anybody home??"

I feel like all of these (ver well done, by the way) articles are one giant Brass-fist-tipped Biff Tannen cane that should be rapped over the heads of city leaders time and time again.  Oh wait.  They have been.

Do it some more!
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gmpalmer

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 02:02:10 PM »
If it's such a great project, why can't we find a private investor to do it?  City in the way?  Certainly  the land from Roosevelt to the airport can be bought at a relative bargain -- especially now. . .

thelakelander

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 02:13:53 PM »
Probably the same reason we can't find a private investor to build public libraries, public schools or streets.  Btw, if you really want to see Northshore and Panama Park come alive, you definitely should be backing the return of rail to those neighborhoods.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 02:15:47 PM by thelakelander »
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gmpalmer

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 02:22:57 PM »
I'm not not backing rail. 
But if there's no commercial reason for it to exist the city sure as hell isn't ever going to do it.
They're even cheaper than a for-profit.

thelakelander

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 02:28:23 PM »
Oh, there is a commercial reason that will impact the city's pockets.  Infill economic development and the re-establishment of the urban core as a viable community that is an attractive place for the majority of the population to live and invest in.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

gmpalmer

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 07:07:03 AM »
Then we should be able to get the urban core-based businesses to kick start the heart.

Also, private companies build those things all the time.  Charter schools and Google Books are two pretty good examples I can think of. . .

thelakelander

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2009, 07:45:20 AM »
Some may participate in a public/private financed project, if a plan were developed that benefitted them directly.  In Detroit, this is happening right now.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20080224/EMAIL/898898114

Even locally, such ideas have been tossed around that could help transit and private companies who would benefit from such investments:

Quote
Langton said the idea behind the project is to build a “transit-oriented development” — one that will complement JTA’s planned multi-modal transportation center that incorporates the Osborn Center, Amtrak, Greyhound and all of JTA’s transportation options. “We want to take the top off the Jefferson Street Skyway station and build over it. We are working closely with JTA to build a transit access village.”
http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=49619


I would hope that any plan produced locally, would include the possibility of private/public investment.  Anyway, if we want isolated examples, the Old Peublo Trolley, Disney's Monorail, Dallas' M-Line Streetcar, Fort Smith's Trolley and Indianapolis' Clarion Health Peoplemover systems are examples of mass transit funded by private companies or not-for-profit organizations.  However, their intention was not to spur economic development, on other people's property in areas like Northshore, Springfield and Metro North. 

By the same token, you'll be hard pressed to find private companies willing to build new roads or repair existing public utilities for the goodness of their heart or to make life easier on their neighbors.  This is where the public sector comes into play.

Quote
Not only can the Central Florida Rail Project and the continued development of Tri-Rail relieve congestion, but they can also improve air quality, and stimulate economic development throughout the region and the entire state. The SunRail commuter rail project will add 246,000 additional jobs, with $7.3 billion in total transit-oriented future development. The Tri-Rail system will have a substantial impact on moving commuters, tourists and commerce through the region. Since 2007, in Charlotte, a short 9-mile light rail line has generated investments of over $1.8 billion.

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/dcblog/2009/04/congress_to_legislature_fund_t_1.html

If Jacksonville wants quality economic development in forgotten areas, like the Northside communities, investing in rail should be seriously considered as a part of the solution.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 07:47:03 AM by thelakelander »
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heights unknown

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2009, 08:19:25 PM »
We were supposed to start small with the skyway and then branch out and get larger; didn't happen.  I am all for light rail/trolley or whatever the hell y'all call it, but how do we know that that won't become a waste of money also like the skyway?  Again, all for it, but...will it work and will the public bite the bone? If it is ever approved, how can we ensure, even before it is built, that it won't be a failure like the Skyway and how do we get the public to love it and be ready to ride it and support it before it hits the rail tracks?

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heights unknown

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2009, 08:26:05 PM »
Lakelander Quoted a Quote:  Not only can the Central Florida Rail Project and the continued development of Tri-Rail relieve congestion, but they can also improve air quality, and stimulate economic development throughout the region and the entire state. The SunRail commuter rail project will add 246,000 additional jobs, with $7.3 billion in total transit-oriented future development. The Tri-Rail system will have a substantial impact on moving commuters, tourists and commerce through the region. Since 2007, in Charlotte, a short 9-mile light rail line has generated investments of over $1.8 billion.

Heights Unknown Sez:  Just because these commuter rail projects work in other cities, urban areas, and/or regions it doesn't mean it'll work here.  Jacksonville is a very odd city (in all due respect), and it takes a lot to get our citizens, let alone the city government and its leaders to really be sold on anything new or unusual.  I rode the Tri-Rail to work from Broward to Miami-Dade when I lived in Fort Lauderdale, and also from Broward to Palm Beach County, and it is a tremendous success; but those 3 counties, which comprise the MSA in that region, are a completely different animal than the First Coast or the Jax metro area.

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thelakelander

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2009, 08:36:18 PM »
This is where we differ.  Imo, Jacksonville is not unique.  For every Fort Lauderdale someone can bring to the table, a Norfolk or Tucson can be offered as a counter point.  The things Jacksonville needs to overcome are an inferiority complex and excuse making for continuing to do nothing.

Quote
We were supposed to start small with the skyway and then branch out and get larger; didn't happen.  I am all for light rail/trolley or whatever the hell y'all call it, but how do we know that that won't become a waste of money also like the skyway?

Heights, the skyway isn't rail and spending $73.6 million per mile should not be considered starting small.  It should be considered starting insane.  So how do we know infrastructure improvements won't be a waste?   The key to this answer is planning.  Construct affordable lines that serve where people live and want to go.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 08:59:00 PM by thelakelander »
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urbanlibertarian

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2009, 08:56:35 PM »
Weren't the Jax area "Traction" operations and the Jacksonville Coach Company private?
Sed quis custodiet ipsos cutodes (Who watches the watchmen?)

heights unknown

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2009, 10:10:03 PM »
Hi "Lake;" As ususal thanks for your fantastic response; I always learn from you.

I am aware that the Skyway isn't rail.  Check out my second post after the first.  In my opinion, it doesn't matter what type of transportation you provide to the public/commuters...it should be a success and it should work and not be a failure.  I'll bet other modes of transportation in many other cities that have rail are a success as well as rail, trolley, or whatever.  Jax just seems to have a hard time with getting anything off the ground let alone rail (yes, poor planning, leadership, vision, marketing, etc.).

So whether it's Tucson, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Miami, or New York City, Jax should be able to hold it's own or even excel in it's commuter public transportation efforts; you would agree Lake, we are behind the 8 ball; we say we're major league and top tier, but I can't tell.

All I'm saying is...before we venture into any new modes of transportation, let's make sure that the public is ready for it, and it will be a success even before it hits the streets, rails, or wherever.

I guess the question we, or Jax, should ask ourselves is..."are we (Jacksonville) ready for light rail, rail, etc.?" And if the answer is no (and in general I think it is), then we'd better put it on the back burner; and if the answer is an undeniable unmistakable strong yes, then build it!  We can't just build something and hope that it's a success.  I can't even tell (someone help me with this), whether there is a strong, sure public/commuter demand for rail in Jacksonville (is the public ready?).

Heights Unknown ;)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 10:15:15 PM by heights unknown »
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Ocklawaha

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tucson, AZ
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2009, 10:40:11 PM »
Weren't the Jax area "Traction" operations and the Jacksonville Coach Company private?

Yes, however the economics of mass transit were different. A fleet of new streetcars could be had for the price of a new compact car today. The Electric bill in March of 1910 for Jacksonville Electric Ry (just prior to Jacksonville Traction) was $555.00. This for a system that at that time was about 45 miles long. Motormen, Conductors etc are in the book at $5. and some change. Streetcar fare was a nickle, but no one drove, EVERYONE rode the cars. Even as late as the 1940's-50's, people still hadn't got the idea of private autos ruling the world.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/XOXDrAk4tpc&amp;color1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/XOXDrAk4tpc&amp;color1</a>
Even HOLLYWOOD gets it RIGHT! FYI: The Red Cars was the 1,200 mile Pacific Electric Railway, which covered the Los Angeles basin like a blanket.

City Coach was a division of Motor Transit Company, which was owned by National City Lines, which was owned by GM, Firestone, Standard Oil, and Phillips. In other words Dr. Doom from the above Video got away with the same trick here. Sadly in 1932, while LA lasted until the early 1960's. The feelings were the same, the motive was buy the little Traction Companies one by one, dismantle them in such a way that there could be no return. Operate replacement Buses which were built by or used products from the mother firms. After the "new" wears off, run the companies into the ground and unload the whole operation on unsuspecting cities. Thus locking in a guaranteed government income for an eternity.

Then at a time when every other city in the world is going back to the Streetcar or Interurban (LRT), Jacksonville elects a do nothing mayor from a Concrete and Oil Company. Smart move Jaxons.


OCKLAWAHA
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 10:44:41 PM by Ocklawaha »