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vicupstate

What would you do about cost overruns on BJP roads

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Mass Friggin Transit Baby!!!

Littlepage makes some good points. Restablishing some tolls could help to force people into using public transit or move out of the burbs and into urban areas.

Personally, I don't see the big negative with Jacksonville roads. Have any of you guys driven the roads up north?? There is a huge difference. I know we are not the north but we are a bit spoiled when it comes to the luxury of driving nice roadways.

The single most important element of transportation missing in this city is mass transit. Put tolls on the main feeders to fund the support of a comprehensive system and force the suburbanites to ride to work every day. The dedicated lane system that the JTA is looking into seems to be the best solution overall.

It is cheap, easily expandible, able to be converted to a light rail system and can be supported by busses and the skyway very easily. If people don't like the idea of using public transportation, then they can sit in traffic and pay tolls. Click Here for more info on the JTA mass transit study.

With the insane growth of this state (more specifically this region), transportation should be damn close to #1 on the list of things to take care of. There is no way it would be possible to keep up with road building and maintenence.

Mass Transit is the only way to support the growth (in my humble opinion).

Another option may be to give Peyton the boot and call back Delaney ;)

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I actually agree with Littlepage, as far as, charging tolls on some streets to get out of county commuters to pay their fair share. However, like Asonj23 said, the most importand element missing is mass transit. My plan would be a little more aggressive and controversial.

First.....

A. I wouldn't build over half of the road projects in the BJP, especially the overpasses. If you choose to live in these areas, traffic congestion should be something you accept. Sort of like living next to an airport or a paper mill.

B. All new expressways should be toll. Point Blank.

C. Impact Fees need to be raised for developers and residents building far out from the city center. Current residents shouldn't have to pay for road improvements out in the boonies spreading sprawl and adding traffic congestion.

D. 4 lanes would be my max for expanding and building new roads. The last thing this city needs is 6-8 lane speedways. (like Riverside Ave.)

E. Eliminate new cul-de-sac developments. One of the main problems with our road system is the fact that its not gridded outside of the inner city. It would be a much better option to build a series of two lane parallel roads, instead of widening on major highway to 8 lanes with overpasses at main intersections.

The biggest part of my plan would echo what I've been saying for months and I'll say it again.

Commuter Rail - We'll save millions of dollars by establishing commuter rail lines on our existing tracks, which all meet in downtown. You could easily have lines running from downtown to St. Augustine and Orange Park. Here's a couple benefits of commuter rail.

1. It provides an alternative option, totally avoiding the use of vehicular use and everything associated with it, like routine accidents and stop lights.

2. It can be implemented quicker and for a significantly cheaper costs. For example, Austin, Tx's planned 32 mile commuter rail line will only cost $60 million. Some of our BJP bridges cost nearly that much.

3. Park and Ride lots could be built in areas like Batram Park, St. Augustine, Mandarin and Orange Park.

4. Rail system would tie in to Prime Osborn Transportation Center, which would have direct connections with BRT, JTA buses, Amtrak and the Skyway.

5. Commuter rail into the burbs, makes inner city living more viable and attractive. Because regardless of how much you like downtown, this is still a suburban city.

6. Add BRT lines from downtown to the Airport and Beaches. The existing bus system should also be ramped up to move commuters in the direction of their nearest commuter rail stop.

7. If it doesn't work, you could always just sell the train cars.

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i like your rail idea, if only city council could be *persuaded* to change the BJP to supplant those overpasses that nobody wants with a rail system that more people will ride than the skyway :ph34r:

.....

The biggest part of my plan would echo what I've been saying for months and I'll say it again.

Commuter Rail

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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I agree with everything Lakelander said. Specifically, I'm a huge proponent of a commuter rail system, as I've mentioned before.

Lakelander - Do you envision a system with regular commuter rail trains (like boston's for example) or something like those new "colorado rail car" self-propelled engines?

In addition, I would strongly prefer that NONE of the BJP overpasses get built. Studies have shown that they will barely speed up traffic flow at all (by as little as 4mph in one case!!) yet they are obscenely expensive and the neighborhoods don't even want them!! It takes 13 of 19 council votes to eliminate these projects. Why haven't they?

Also, why the bloody hell are Duval residents paying for the 9B extension? It's a multi-million dollar freeway extension connecting St. John's county to 9A. I know that St. John's residents often pay sales tax here too, but the fact remains that Duval residents are paying for the majority of a project that mostly benefits St. John's commuters.

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I agree with the 9B extension being scrubbed. Take the money and put it towards a commuter rail fund.

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Overpasses in neighborhoods are a typical 1960s approach to things. I cant think of a bigger waste of money (or a better way to lower surrounding property values). If some clown who lives at the beach doesnt like the commute to his job downtown, then move closer. Dont demand that the intown neighborhoods be ruined for your convenience.

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I agree with everything Lakelander said. Specifically, I'm a huge proponent of a commuter rail system, as I've mentioned before.

Lakelander - Do you envision a system with regular commuter rail trains (like boston's for example) or something like those new "colorado rail car" self-propelled engines?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Imo, at this point any will do, although I think we'll be just fine with a regular train like Boston's or Miami's. Either way, you could build a nice city wide system with less money then it would take to construct the overpasses in BJP.

Flrr1.jpg

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I love commuter rail, but I just wonder if Jacksonville is dense enough to support it. I think the city would have to be prepared for low ridership for several years until development could occur nearby the new stations.

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^Why not, Charlotte is building light rail and Nashville is planning commuter rail. Jacksonville is denser than both of these cities. Imo, JTA is taking a bigger risk with BRT, then commuter rail would ever be.

A 29 mile BRT system will cost over $400 million. You could establish a city wide commuter rail system almost twice as long, for less than $100 million. It could also be up and running in a year or so, because the rail tracks are already in place.

Why not run a 3 year trial system? If commuter rail fails to pull in the desired ridership levels after three years, just sell the trains. On the other hand what happens if BRT doesn't work?

Imo, commuter rail would be pretty popular considering most of our rail lines run pretty close major destination points like NAS Jax, St. Augustine, Orange Park, FCCJ, Downtown, and the Avenues Mall. If you think traffic on Blanding Blvd is bad now, just imagine it in another 10 years. If I lived in Orange Park, taking commuter rail and totally avoiding traffic congestion would sound pretty good to me.

Based on what been planned so far (wider roads, overpasses and BRT), I'd say commuter rail is the best and cheapest option, at this point.

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Lake: You are right. BRT is bound to fail. People in Jacksonville will just not ride buses. This is the bottom line. Train service would be more appealing and would be something different for most people than the traditional dirty old exhaust spewing buses. Unfortunately, the JTA is completely clueless and will conclude from the failure of BRT that mass transit will not work in Jville.

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