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bobliocatt

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Everything posted by bobliocatt

  1. ^Unfortunately these Advisory Committees were held back in 2002, a full year before I moved to town. But I agree, the best thing to do is contact JTA officials and the city council, with sound reasons why commuter rail should become a priority over BRT.
  2. JTA is already studing running a commuter rail line from St. Augustine to Fernandina Beach. Most of the discussion between forumers now is making that become the main goal and scaling back the proposed BRT lines that run parallel to the existing rail line.
  3. bobliocatt

    SunRail

    The easiest way to get this thing built, is to pay for it (at least a scaled back phase 1) yourselves, such as what Houston did with its light rail line a couple of years ago, after being denied funding. The current Phase I is estimated to cost $196 million and it looks like lots of money could be saved by building smaller stations with at-grade pedestrian crossings, instead of building pedestrian bridges. So just put a good affordable and workable plan together, try to sell it to the public and put it up for a vote.
  4. bobliocatt

    SunRail

    Hasn't enough local money been offered to build the initial phase? If so, why not proceed and use the Federal portion (whenever it comes, if it comes) for phase 2?
  5. So how is the city's preparation for the super bowl coming along?
  6. ^Keep in mind, the owner of the Marlins is the same one who ruined the Expo's popularity in Montreal.
  7. The Marlins have nobody to blame but themselves. Attendence was great until the first fire sale back in 1997. It started picking back up slowly after the recent World Series win (over 20k a game last season), but I'd expect it to go right down the tubes with this new AA team they'll put on the field next season. On top of this they want millions of hard earned public money to build them a private stadium. Although they need one (because they're getting kicked out of Dolphin Stadium), they ought to pony up some funds as well. Public money in FLorida would be better put to use building parks, fixing roads and adding mass transit.
  8. Sounds good. Maybe this will encourage the need to relocate the homeless shelters and rezone the land to eliminate the possibility of incompatible land uses.
  9. Glad to see this. I've always felt that private investment could fund this entire thing, if only given a chance.
  10. Jacksonville, FL JTA is currently studying operating a commuter rail line connecting Jax, with St. Augustine, to the south, and Fernandina Beach, to the north. Funding would come from private companies and investors, interested in developing TODs. However, these plans are currently taking a backseat to JTA's plans for BRT. Hopefully, the current projects in Charlotte, Orlando and Nashville, will help push JTA to speed up the process. http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jackso...ry8.html?page=2
  11. bobliocatt

    SunRail

    Actually several. The majority of Polk County's rapidly growing population works in either metro Orlando or Tampa and a good portion of Eastern Hillsborough residents work in the Lakeland area. The line would also attract tourist traveling between Orlando and Tampa, as well as offer a viable and affordable alternative method of transportation between the three growing metros, other than I-4 or US 92. As for getting dropped off at a station will no where to go, there would be express bus routes, taxis, other forms of local rail, etc. to get around. In reality, a rail station is no different from an airport. What do commuters do when a plan currently lands in Tampa or Orlando? The same line Orlando uses, runs through Lakeland/Plant City and terminates in downtown Tampa. There's also a N-S line that runs parallel to I-275 near USF and Busch Gardens, as well as another line that runs near the airport, through Pinellas County, terminating in downtown St. Pete.
  12. bobliocatt

    SunRail

    Since Tri-Rail went operational in South Florida. Seriously though, Tri-Rail (from West Palm Beach to Miami) is about the same distance as downtown Tampa is from downtown Orlando.
  13. I don't know what's up with JTA. JTA is planning for commuter rail, but its taking a backseat to the proposed BRT lines. Maybe the bad press on the Skyway has cooled their opinion on using trains as a form of mass transit any time soon. I'm sure the counties of Nassau, St. Johns, and Clay wouldn't mind sharing in the costs, considering a rail connection of any sort, would be a great help to them, their traffic problems and tourist oriented areas.
  14. With our traffic problems and the fact that our existing rail lines run pretty close to most major local destinations (excluding the Beaches), its only a matter of time before the proposed commuter rail line comes to the forefront. My only concern is that JTA will build the proposed BRT lines running parallel to the tracks before commuter rail is seriously considered. Imo, the idea situation would be to build a starter commuter rail line (from the airport to the Avenues Mall) and use BRT to reach the beaches. While rail companies usually haggle over sharing their lines, I think Jax has an advantage because the rail companies (CSX & FEC) are headquartered here.
  15. Wow, I never considered the old Holiday Inn, on the corner of Colonial and I-4, a part of Parramore. Let's not beat around the bush. The actually community we're discussing sits west of Division Ave. As far as saving parts of Parramore, instead of completely leveling it as you suggest, is indeed keep the fake Mickey Mouse label away from the inner city.
  16. bobliocatt

    SunRail

    Yes, the same line that Orlando's proposed commuter rail system will run on, also goes directly through Lakeland, all the way to Tampa. In fact, I believe that instead of building high speed rail between Tampa and Orlando, a commuter rail line along this tracks would be a much better and cheaper alternative.
  17. You don't even know history of your own community. The "new" Jones High School is in Washington Shores. The original, which is only a "facade" now, is located on Parramore Avenue, in the heart of the community. As far as, churches go, they're typically the heart of the urban black community and direct links back to what the neighborhood was before all the smut moved in. Regardless of wheter you agree with their moral standards, they deserve to be a part of urban Orlando, as much as anyone else. I agree, but several of those two story commercial buildings are in fact, "historic" (50 years or over) and should be incorporated into the future of the community, helping to preserve portions of its heritage. As far as infill goes, there's room all over the neighborhood in the form of bland warehouse, car lots, homeless shelters and vacant lots. The focus should begin with those, instead of destroying structurally sound buildings with cheap rent, which allows mom & pop establishments to exist. I wouldn't hold my breath. The community won't achieve its full potential until various social issues are addressed. Until then, there might be a spot development, here or there, but that's about it.
  18. I posted a few a couple of weeks ago. Ebenezer Methodist Church - 1927 Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church - 1920 Old Jones High School facade - 1921 There's several historic buildings remaining in Parramore. They may not be up to your level of architectural merit, but together they form a community. Most of the buildings along the commercial stretch of Parramore Av. (between the E-W Expressway and Church St.) are historic. There's also several churches that have been around for years, that are still being used. Although the city did things, such as allowing homeless shelters, warehouses, auto repair shops, and housing projects to help destroy the neighborhood and chase out good citizens, its still a neighborhood with decent hard working people within its boundaries. Plus downtown is still full of parking lots waiting for infill development, so emphasis on that should be a priority imo. As far as Parramore goes, as I've said many times before, getting those homeless shelters out and rezoning to restrict future industrial uses should be a priority, as well as increased police protection. If these steps aren't taken, no redevelopment plan will work.
  19. Parramore is a historic neighborhood with people living in it. Midtown Miami was an abandoned railyard and Atlantic Station was abandoned industrial land. These are two totally different issues. Leveling Parramore would be similar to the failed urban renewal strategy for Ybor City in the 60s/70s or Jax's LaVilla neighborhood in the early 90s.
  20. I'd suggest everyone who already hasn't check out this 19 page PDF on the proposed commuter rail in Orlando. http://www.metroplanorlando.com/site/uploa...date_july05.pdf The total estimated cost for the 60+ mile two phased line is $473.5 million. Out of this, its projected that the Feds would be responsible for 50%, the State 25% and the local counties 25%. A couple of months ago, the counties agreed to fund their 25% share or $118.4 million. Now the State has pledged $220 million for construction and $53 million for initial maintenance and operational costs. However, the state was only initially supposed to cover $118.4 million. Is the State now contributing nearly $100 million more, or does the $220 million cover both the State and local government share? Anyway, the initial 31 mile line, from Orlando to Debary (Orange/Seminole/Volusia) costs $220 million, so there's already enough to cover this portion, regardless of the Feds. However, I find it weird that phase two, from Orlando to Kissimmee costs a lot more then phase 1. I assume the tracks along that section aren't already double tracked?
  21. Yep, its looking good. The State will fund $220.6 million to improve the existing tracks to allow CSX to divert most of its frieght trains around Orlando, as well as another $53 million to cover any operational and maintanance losses during the first several years of operation. If negotiations with CSX are successful, the first segment could open in 2009 with the last opening in 2011. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/custom...-home-headlines
  22. It doesn't, its just a reply to that particular statement.
  23. Just to let you know, Federal funding was recently approved so the Music City Star will continue as planned.
  24. As traffic has continued to get more congested, the State is slowly taking a more receptive approach with mass transit. Examples of this outside of South Florida include Jax setting aside $100 million in funds for BRT and the Central Florida counties agreeing to fund commuter rail, when they killed the former light rail proposal in the late 90s.
  25. Basically, the Fed and State governments agreed to pay 80% of the costs and Orange County ended up backing out of pay their share of 20% at the last minute in a close vote. You put to much into my mention of "land-locked". Let me explain. Typically coastal or waterfront cities in the US tend to be denser than landlocked ones. The south is no exception to the rule. While Orlando isn't one of the densest cities in the south, if you subtract the South's coastal and port cities it is. Both Orlando and Raliegh are landlocked southern cities and attempting to build commuter rail lines. However, metro Orlando is twice as dense, has already been approved for light rail at one point and the planned system will use an existing line that travels through the core (denser areas of a denser metro) areas of town. On the other hand, TTA's route seems to be more questionable and is in a more sprawled region. Earlier you made a statement in an attempt to relate the two as if it were an apples to apples comparison. I just called out some issues that may help Orlando avoid the problems that TTA is going through.
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