Author Topic: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City  (Read 12908 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
    • MetroJacksonville.com
I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« on: August 10, 2007, 04:00:00 AM »
I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City



TRAX is a two-line, 19 mile/24 station light rail system that began operating in Salt Lake City in 1999.  As of July 2006, metropolitan Jacksonville had 210,275 more residents than metropolitan Salt Lake City.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/530

downtownparks

  • Guest
Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2007, 08:01:34 AM »
I would say the one strike against us is, yes, technically we are larger in population, but the density simply isn't the same. Even according to your own info, we have 200K more people with 615K more sq miles of city...

I am a big fan of rail, but for it to be effective it has to hit population centers. In our case thats the Beaches, Southside, Intracoastal West, Mandarin, the Northside, and the Westside, all of which are very spread out. Any rail that focuses on downtown alone, I fear, will be no more utilized than the skyway.


Captain Zissou

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4273
Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2007, 09:03:30 AM »
If you want to hit all of the population centers, commuter rail combined with the Skyway does all of that.  Send commuter rail down Phillips and Roosevelt, and then construct a line parallel to JTB.  Once inside DT, an improved Skyway could do the rest of the work. 

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34899
    • Modern Cities
Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2007, 09:19:42 AM »
I would say the one strike against us is, yes, technically we are larger in population, but the density simply isn't the same. Even according to your own info, we have 200K more people with 615K more sq miles of city...

The biggest flaw with that assessment is to assume that our population is equally spread out across Duval County and that Salt Lake City's is all clumped together.  This is common mistake locally due to our city being consolidated with the county.  However, lets not forget that before consolidation the fairly compact old city limits had over 200,000 residents living on 30 square miles of land.  Even today, our developed area is more compact than given credit for.  As these series go on, this will become increasingly clear that Jax has the density to support efficient rail mass transit.

Quote
I am a big fan of rail, but for it to be effective it has to hit population centers. In our case thats the Beaches, Southside, Intracoastal West, Mandarin, the Northside, and the Westside, all of which are very spread out. Any rail that focuses on downtown alone, I fear, will be no more utilized than the skyway.

Yes, for any transportation system to be effective (rail, bus, plane, water taxi, ferry, etc.), it has to connect population centers with highly traveled destinations.  As Captain Zissou said above, our network of rail lines, the skyway and BRT used in locations where rail doesn't travel would do just that.  Salt Lake City's mass transit system does just that.  If you notice, they have light rail from downtown to the south and east, commuter rail from downtown to the north and BRT from downtown to the west.  Salt Lake City serves as a good example of a city that has used a variety of transit systems based on what was the most cost effective method for each given corridor.  Ridership numbers also show that riders have no problem transferring to different modes of transit as long as they take you where you want to go and are coordinated.

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

DevilsAdvocate

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2007, 11:14:04 AM »
Anyone ever notice the high voltage transmission lines that run along the southside area?  The line starts at the northside generating plant, goes south across the river evantually paralleling Kernan Road.  Then the lines split, one branch heads due east crossing Hodges, San Pablo, and the Intracoastal.  The other branch crosses 9A/St. Johns Bluff near UNF and continues north before crossing Philips Hwy just South of the 9A intersection.  The city (via JTA) owns the significant right of way underneath these lines.  Would it not be feasible to build commuter rail lines on that right of way?  If so, this would solve the biggest criticism of a commuter rail system in Jacksonville -- the SS/Beaches line.

big ben

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 150
Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2007, 01:15:56 PM »
i would think the biggest problem with extending a rail line to the beaches would be building a bridge.  it might be easier/faster/cheaper to have a brt/hov lane down butler to a rail stop somewhere like southside, or maybe along philips.  in the long term, rail would be better, but convincing the powers that be to build a new bridge (shortly after building a new bridge for beach blvd) seems like it might be a tough task. 

as for a rail line under the power lines, it would probably depend on regulations (local, state, federal).  i know you can cross under them, but i don't know about running something under them.  then again, if they have a big enough right of way, it might not matter that much, but getting across the creek would probably still be an issue.

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34899
    • Modern Cities
Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2007, 01:32:55 PM »
The most efficient way to get to the beaches would be some form of Bus Rapid Transit.  Not in the form of busways, but bus mixed in traffic with modern stations, fequent service and signal prioritization.  As big ben states, you could then tie it in with with rail along Philips.

Btw, we can't expect one form of mass transit to cover all parts of our sprawling metro.  While it would be great if it could, it would be quite expensive to start with nothing and immediately construct something rivaling the largest systems in the country in size.  For example, Marta doesn't serve Marietta, DC's Metro doesn't reach Dulles and Miami's Metrorail doesn't serve Miami Beach.  Yet that doesn't mean they are failures or that the first phases should have never been built.  Even now, after being in service for over 20 years, Miami's Metrorail is finally being expanded to connect downtown with the airport. 

Imo, the best we could do right now is to take advantage of what we already have and spend money on technology that will get us the most return off of their expense, based on the traffic and areas they'll serve.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10442
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
It's all about understanding MIX and Connectivity
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2007, 02:37:41 PM »
KEEP EM' CONFUSED OR MIX IT UP JTA!

JACKSONVILLE

Too Thin On Friday?Too Dense On Saturday?

COME ALONG WITH ME AND DREAM A LITTLE...



A contract with Amtrak to support a State funded train down the East Coast, to Tallahassee and Gainesville.



A system of JTA-Mulit-County/State Supported DMU's to St. Augustine and Green Cove Springs and a study of taking them to Baldwin.



A JTA - or CITY TRANSIT funded LRT/DMU that can run on diesel or electric lines to run the "S" line from TC North to Gateway, the Airport or even Fernandina Beach...What's more? Under the wire, it could follow the Heritage Trolley through downtown, TC to the old Maxwell House branchline or even the Stadiums.



A Heritage Trolley system, as the basis for any future Light Rail, but mostly as a tourism attraction and downtown distributer where the Skyway won't go or doesn't go, how would this fit in Springfield or Riverside?

ALL OF THE ABOVE HAVE BEEN DONE FOR MILLIONS $$$ LESS THEN OUR BRT!

DENSITY is a suicidal argument to prevent our City from reaching for quality of life through good Transit. The same argument could be made for BRT (which is a fuzzy concept at best, and NOT rapid transit at worse). Why spend as much as twice as much money, for a system that would serve a fraction of the patrons? Why spend those dollars on a concept that has failed to live up to it's projections over and over again? Why spend it on a BRT system where rail is already built, already in place? Why do we want to blow BRT through the middle of downtown, spending more then "Modern Streetcar," or "Heritage Trolley," when even a "NJ River Rail" type service would be cheaper? LRT and RAIL in any form has the numbers to back the claims of TOD'S. Thinking major developers are going to sink millions or billions of dollars into a new location just to be next to a quality "City Bus" is a deluding ourselves into Civic Suicide! Just 8% of all TOD's are currently linked to buses.  



How could redeploy our bus fleet once the Rail was up and running? More and better service to every part of the community!



Once the Rail CORE is done, then we go into quality bus and limited BRT to reach those hard to get at itchy spots.

We have as much population density as about HALF of the Cities with LRT. Why do we insist on more? The density of the Jacksonville MSA is already located either in the central city or along the rail lines into the suburbs... Those beaches? Well there was once a rail line along Beach Blvd AND another through Arlington both all the way to Jacksonville Beach and Mayport. We allowed that the get away from us, but it's not too late to redeem a mistake or two, if we act now. As for the other corridors, there were once local trains (within my memory) that left downtown and made station stops at South Jacksonville, Bowden, Sunbeam, Durbin, Bayard etc... Ditto for Yukon, Orange Park, Doctors Lake, Russell, Magnolia, Green Cove Springs... There is your density, it's already along the rail lines, WHY MUST JACKSONVILLE RE-INVENT THE WHEEL? As for power transmission right of way? Funny you mentioned it, because if you go to ANY city that once had Interurban streetcars, you can usually find the routes by following the high-power transmission lines... OKC to Guthrie? YEP! Dallas to Waco? YEP! Charlotte to Gastonia? YEP!



Right now, it's just too small. Playing the tourist, I asked no less then 50 locals, "Where does it go?" I got 50 SAME ANSWERS... "NO WHERE!"



Now, reaching out to the stadium and the "Worlds Largest Parking Garage" imagine buses and cars pouring over the Hart and Matthews, swing into the garage and shuttle or Heritage Trolley your way downtown. Game days and concerts would be a breeze and TOD's would make for a wealthy Fair and Gator Bowl Association. (GRAPHIC BY JASON)

The Skyway? Once it's loudest critic for the exact reasons it has failed (see Jacksonville Journal - TU archives - 1981-84) we have the investment but JTA and the City have failed us in completing it. Where is the line to Shands? Where is the reach to San Marco? Where is the line to the Stadium? One would think we would have extended to the stadium in time for the Super-Bowl, but no; "it isn't working as a 1/2 built system, so lets just quit..." How short sighted! Let's finish the darn thing; but first let's decide what it is for. Is it a distribution system from REAL RAPID TRANSIT to offices in and around the City? If so, we need more satellite garages and transfer stations, North, East, Southeast, Southwest and West. Is it a connector for educational institutions, then it should reach not just FCCJ but Edwards Waters, Jones, Kent and maybe JU. If it's to reach the major hospitals, then Shands, Memorial and Saint Vincents come to mind. My own thoughts is use it and a Heritage Trolley System Downtown, to distribute the passengers to and from Commuter Rail and BRT at Transportation Center,  Stadium, Riverside and San Marco. Someone needs to extract the heads of JTA and City Hall from their collective nether region's.  



Water Taxi's can also play a part in this, certainly if proper commuter and parking facilities were placed along the river at places where people, live, work or play.



Growing a boat system into a true commuter boat network is a well tested idea in Europe.


Part of our problem here is BRT is fuzzy at best, LRT is everything "streetcar" be that Historic (Tourism), commuter "LRT" or "Modern Streetcar" (surface distributor lines). Commuter Rail includes LRT but usually refers only to DMU or Diesel or Electric style trains. NEVER in my plans or anyone Else's, is Rail intended to bring in the masses from Ft. Caroline, Mandarin, or Ponte Vedra. But if a combination of any of the above train systems, were placed on our FEC line to St. Augustine, CSX to Green Cove Springs, it would change our lives. Another vehicle on the CSX-City to Northside and Gateway using a hybrid DMU-Trolley. (I have a study that says we would bring in 500,000 visitors a year with a Tampa style historic Trolley downtown - in 1983!)  Now add to that 6.5 Super-Bowl's worth of visitors (came to see the Heritage Trolley), the daily commuters, and the hybrid-DMU-Trolley using the Northside line. One could also count on running the Northside hybrid LRT/DMU on the downtown Trolley Routes. Finish the Skyway. Thus with the core taken care of, we can jump into a massive redeployment of the bus system to reach those Ft. Caroline, Mandarin, and Ponte Vedra residents. THAT is when we should consider limited BRT and other "quality bus" improvements. We cannot "HIGHWAY" our way out of this mess, we simply must awaken to rail. 

These costs contrast starkly with the expense of trying to accommodate mobility purely through roadway expansion. For example, expanding the Interstate (I-10) would cost $20 million a mile; widening a major arterial, $30 million a mile; and installing a new crosstown freeway, $100 million a mile, (according to AZDOT estimates for 2003). And those costs don't account for the fact that – because of "induced traffic" generated by adjacent development and other factors – you must build about four lanes of roadway to obtain just one lane of actual increased capacity! Plus, they don't include the tremendous costs borne by private motor vehicle users – the costs of all those cars, SUVs, and other vehicles, for example. And ... they don't include the cost of the parking needed to store all those vehicles! Further, the cost of LRT and/or Commuter Rail DOES INCLUDE the cost of stations, trains, storage yards etc.




How much time do you already spend on that freeway Jacksonville? What if gas hits $5.00 a gallon? $8? $10?



Just how attractive is a bus to Jacksonville today? What in the World makes us think building a bus freeway and putting the same vehicle on it is going to work a mystic spell on us all... I know... "Think Rail and Ride the Bus..." I still want to meet the BRT IDIOT that thought that slogan up.

We can do far better then this, and for far less then we intend to spend on more highway intensive buses. Chasing the magic bus is a fast becoming a fools errand if the oil tap shuts off tomorrow!



Don't count out long-distance, restroom and lounge type coaches that could run dedicated routes to extend our trains... Kings Bay Naval Station? Callahan?



Also, never count out Greyhound, I've crossed their path before and can tell you it's one tough dog. They too will make contract routes and tailor them to a City's needs for rail extension. Next Stop Ponte Vedra, Vilano and North Beach anyone?  


Putting all of our transportation eggs in the BRT-BUS basket is sort of like a "highway vehicle-rail vehicle, Ultimate Challenge face off..." we are going to lose big time!

Ocklawaha
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 08:10:40 PM by Ocklawaha »

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34899
    • Modern Cities
Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2007, 11:18:46 AM »
Has rail spurred TOD's in Salt Lake City?

This sounds like an area similar to the Springfield Warehouse District or the obsolete industrial area lining Myrtle Avenue, both of which were served by the S-Line.

--------

Back in 2005

Salt Lake City Envisions Pedestrian-Friendly District for Former Industrial Area

Quote
Having envisioned its south downtown transit hub as the anchor of a busy 24-hour neighborhood after 2008, Salt Lake City commissioned a transit-oriented development (TOD) study for the 19 adjacent blocks, and now will be gathering public input on the initial plan to transform the old industrial area into one of its most dense and pedestrian-friendly districts, with TRAX light rail, commuter train and extensive bus links.

''It's reorienting our thinking away from such reliance on the automobile to public transportation,'' says Mayor Rocky Anderson's hub project manager Mary Guy-Sell, glad that nearby property owners want to know all the development details in advance.

City residents are already familiar with some TOD features, the writer observes, mentioning street-level store fronts, parking lots behind buildings, and 10-acre blocks broken up with new streets. But the hub plan also includes new ideas, such as making the station a gathering place, with food, meeting rooms for business and perhaps a bowling alley.

What's more, the neighborhood could be better connected to residential areas west of Interstate 15, its old underpass enhanced with outdoor furniture, artwork and retail catering to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Downtown city planner Doug Dansie notes that developers are already advancing some TOD goals nearby. He points to the big mixed-use Gateway center, the remake of a paint warehouse into a development company headquarters, ongoing conversion of warehouses into lofts, and a hotel-office-retail project under way.

''I've heard comments, 'If you were looking to get in on the ground floor to make money (here), you're too late','' he tells the writer. ''Twenty years from now people will look at it and say, 'I'm surprised it was ever an industrial neighborhood.''

www.smartgrowth.org/news/article.asp?art=4671&State=45

---------------------

When done right, the concept of Transit Oriented Development is much larger than a mixed-used bus stop next to Gateway Mall and I-95.  It can actually transform an entire section of the city.

January 2007

Quote
A new rail line set to break ground in Salt Lake City is getting city officials excited about the prospect of increased connectivity and transit oriented development.

"On Monday, crews will start building a Utah Transit Authority TRAX line that will connect the current north-south terminus at the Arena Station with the transit hub at 300 South 600 West. The project is expected to take up to 18 months - and by then, UTA's Front Runner commuter rail service is expected to begin between Ogden and Salt Lake City."

"The thousands of people who will pass through the station will amp up development of the Depot District, projected to be the state's most urban neighborhood. Turner and other city officials said the 19-block transit-oriented neighborhood between North Temple and 400 South, from 400 West to Interstate 15 could house up to 20,000 people who would live in rowhouses, townhomes and apartments next to - or atop - neighborhood shops and offices."

"Turner said the development also could at last remove the barriers between downtown and the 30,000 people who live just west of I-15.

http://www.planetizen.com/node/22457

Check it out for yourself

This link is loaded with graphics of this 19 block TOD that is being designed around a "compact" Intermodal hub that will serve commuter rail, light rail, Amtrak, Greyhound and UTA buses on a [/b]TWO BLOCK SITE![/b]

http://www.railvolution.com/rv2005_pdfs/rv2005_227a.pdf
"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

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34899
    • Modern Cities
Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2007, 11:42:42 AM »
How about the Front Runner commuter rail line that will begin to run in 2008?

This 120 acre St. Johns Town Center type development is being constructed at the Farmington commuter rail station.  The site is located in a suburban area miles away from downtown, yet the development turns this park & ride lot into a retail destination.  The same could be said for suburban Jacksonville if existing rail were used with stations at River City Marketplace, Avenues Mall/Avenues Walk and Roosevelt Square.  You'd instantly have a system that connects where people live to places where they can shop and work.

Station Park



Announced retailers include: Whole Foods, Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, ULTA, DSW, Cost Plus World Market, Nordstrom Rack and Claim Jumper.


For those who claim Jax isn't dense, check out this aerial and the area around this development.

http://centeroak.com/PDFs/stationpark_ingress.pdf
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 11:45:11 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

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10442
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Could we up-stage Salt Lake City, Tampa, Portland, Dallas or Charlotte?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2007, 05:00:21 PM »
You have done some great work their Lake, nice posts everyone. Imagine JTA thinks we will get this with another few dozen buses...on their own freeway! Fuzzy thinking when only 5% of the whole City even rides the buses, worse yet, only a little under 8% of all TODS are bus related, BRT or "other." So if we are so late in the game, could we still upstage Citys with a great headstart? Yes, and with less money then our BRT is promised to cost us... A picuture is worth a 1,000 words, so what about a MAP and a PICTURE?  

THE HERITAGE TROLLEY - INTERURBAN  




THE SKYWAY FINISHED




THE NORTHSIDE LRT-DMU



...and yes, future extensions would take it to Bush Blvd, then Airport, then Fernandina Beach.

We'll let the big DMU's handle St. Augustine, and Orange Park - Green Cove Springs, and maybe Baldwin - Gainesville or Tallahassee...  Amtrak and BRT do the rest.  

Ocklawaha

« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 05:12:51 PM by Ocklawaha »