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You know I had this great idea...

Never Widen I-4, make it illegal to do so.

408 for that matter. Sounds crazy but the second it passed every person could stop futilely thinking/assuming that in time it will meet our needs. They will have to move on to more urban, environmental, modern methods of transportation. Mainly Rail yes but everything could be built upon; we could have three times the rail system in the works with an extensive bus system branching from each node. Not to mention we could also look to the east for some of these plans. Plus, and most importantly in my mind it could be design to curb urban sprawl, such consequences of doing nothing to stop it seem unimaginable.

That

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You know I had this great idea...

Never Widen I-4, make it illegal to do so.

408 for that matter. Sounds crazy but the second it passed every person could stop futilely thinking/assuming that in time it will meet our needs. They will have to move on to more urban, environmental, modern methods of transportation. Mainly Rail yes but everything could be built upon; we could have three times the rail system in the works with an extensive bus system branching from each node. Not to mention we could also look to the east for some of these plans. Plus, and most importantly in my mind it could be design to curb urban sprawl, such consequences of doing nothing to stop it seem unimaginable.

That

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You know I had this great idea...

Never Widen I-4, make it illegal to do so.

408 for that matter. Sounds crazy but the second it passed every person could stop futilely thinking/assuming that in time it will meet our needs. They will have to move on to more urban, environmental, modern methods of transportation. Mainly Rail yes but everything could be built upon; we could have three times the rail system in the works with an extensive bus system branching from each node. Not to mention we could also look to the east for some of these plans. Plus, and most importantly in my mind it could be design to curb urban sprawl, such consequences of doing nothing to stop it seem unimaginable.

That

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Instead of doing that, I would suggest creating an urban development boundary and make it illegal to develop land outside the area, something similar to Portland. This will encourage redevelopment of under-utilize land within boundary. Charging premium fees for developer that want to develop in outlaying area.

Just one thing I would like to ask, can they not speed up the train line building process by selling the right to build rail to a private company. So the entire rail line will be managed by private company and the state and county has no reponsibility on it. The county can also make it more lucartive to the developer by selling land adjacent to the station to the developer at lower price to cover their cost.

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Instead of doing that, I would suggest creating an urban development boundary and make it illegal to develop land outside the area, something similar to Portland. This will encourage redevelopment of under-utilize land within boundary. Charging premium fees for developer that want to develop in outlaying area.

Just one thing I would like to ask, can they not speed up the train line building process by selling the right to build rail to a private company. So the entire rail line will be managed by private company and the state and county has no reponsibility on it. The county can also make it more lucartive to the developer by selling land adjacent to the station to the developer at lower price to cover their cost.

Good points sunshine, but the development environment of Central Florida is nothing like that of Oregon or the Pacific NW in general. UGB's are great in theory, but don't really work so well in practice. Portland for example recently had to add industrial land to the UGB because the existing amount was exhausted. In essence one can create guidelines for the future, but UGB's don't tend to provide much flexibility. There are also landownership issues creating government generated inequity in land pricing.

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Instead of doing that, I would suggest creating an urban development boundary and make it illegal to develop land outside the area, something similar to Portland. This will encourage redevelopment of under-utilize land within boundary. Charging premium fees for developer that want to develop in outlaying area.

Just one thing I would like to ask, can they not speed up the train line building process by selling the right to build rail to a private company. So the entire rail line will be managed by private company and the state and county has no reponsibility on it. The county can also make it more lucartive to the developer by selling land adjacent to the station to the developer at lower price to cover their cost.

I like the idea, and it seems like it works relatively well in Portland, although of course they still do have sprawl there. But they also have the MAX light rail and are expanding it all the time. The main problem I see is maybe it's too late for that here. First, where would it be drawn? Deltona to Haines City? And of course the people (ok land speculators and developers) outside the boundary would kick and scream about it.

Oh, and of course Miami has their UDB and it works ok, far as I've seen...

Are there any other semi-private transit companies that build and run lines in the US? Would any accept the risk? I dunno...

Mainly Rail yes but everything could be built upon; we could have three times the rail system in the works with an extensive bus system branching from each node.

Yep, one of the main complaints I have with the buses here are the routes...very few actually go in a straight line! Maybe that's a function of the streets themselves, but it would be nice if they could make a grid system that generally went north-south and east-west along primary roads, with a few exceptions such as going out to Disney. People don't want to backtrack to the DT station to get to where they want to go.

Edited by neon9

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Yep, one of the main complaints I have with the buses here are the routes...very few actually go in a straight line! Maybe that's a function of the streets themselves, but it would be nice if they could make a grid system that generally went north-south and east-west along primary roads, with a few exceptions such as going out to Disney. People don't want to backtrack to the DT station to get to where they want to go.

Much of this would be changed if/when we get some rail in place.

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Are there any other semi-private transit companies that build and run lines in the US? Would any accept the risk? I dunno...

Macquerie is an Australian Investment Bank that specializes in these types of projects. Alicia Moy DP'95 UM'99 works for them. I think that they would have to be approached to create a privatized system, however.

Yep, one of the main complaints I have with the buses here are the routes...very few actually go in a straight line! Maybe that's a function of the streets themselves, but it would be nice if they could make a grid system that generally went north-south and east-west along primary roads, with a few exceptions such as going out to Disney. People don't want to backtrack to the DT station to get to where they want to go.

You're correct about the logistical nightmare that is LYNX. It could be corrected, but I don't think that the management of LYNX is sophisticated enough to run this system personally. I would suggest offering transportation planners from NYC, Boston, and Chicago HUGE bonuses to come down and revamp the system-or just hire a really good transporation plan. Ideally, bus systems feed into rail systems. DART (which I love) in Dallas does that exactly. Dallas has also constructed these rail lines in the middle of huge parking lots that can one day be converted into mixed-use land use activities. If Dallas can do it Orlando certainly can.

An additional note...Salt Lake City is so much more homogenous in its composition that its easier to get concesus. It's heterogeneous communities like Orlando that have such difficulty getting things off the ground. Everyone is thinking for themselves not the collective impact of the region/populace.

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Are there any other semi-private transit companies that build and run lines in the US? Would any accept the risk? I dunno...

I dont think there is a private rail line for passenger, but there is CSX. If they can build a line to run freights to make money, I am sure someone can run a rail line to move people around and make money. Anyhow, is the monorail in Las Vegas considered a private rail line?

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I dont think there is a private rail line for passenger, but there is CSX. If they can build a line to run freights to make money, I am sure someone can run a rail line to move people around and make money. Anyhow, is the monorail in Las Vegas considered a private rail line?

I believe that the monorail in vegas is considered private. The evergoing debate that private entities should build mass transit has, unfortunatly, far too many holes for a private organization to build one. Some have tried, such as in a shopping center in suburban Dallas, and they ultimatly were doomed. The problem lies in the fact that even if it can be profitable the margins are so razor thin that the return on investment would be a very long time. In Vegas the monorail does have troubles, however, the intangible benefits of moving the people from one casino to another is a BIG factor in their system - and rightly so.

What it generally comes down to is a massive investment by the local, state, and federal government to get the system off of the ground, and then usually (but not always) an on-going tax of some sort to help subsidize the system so that it is affordable. Private companies have to charge a fair amount to make it proffitable, usually anyway. Look again at Vegas, the monorail costs $5 for one ride or $40 for a three day pass. No transit system that is aiming at becoming a alternative could charge those prices. Hardly anyone would pay $10 just to get to and from work by rail/monorail. In comparison I can ride the Metrorail in Miami for the entire 22 mile length for $1.50 (or $3 to and from work) AND transfer to the Metromover (peoplemover system) in Down Town to ride it's 4 mile length (the same lenght as the LV monorail) for free -actually, all Metromover rides are free wheather you transfer or not. Further, a monthly pass for metrobus, metrorial, and metromover is only $76 ($36 for students).

I am a HUGE advocate of rail transit in Florida, I canonly hope - and look forward to - a time when all of our metro areas have real transportation alternatives!

Off of my soap box.....

Steve

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continued from the PAC thread...

Lynx-- if bus stops made more sense, I think more people would use them. How's this for an idea-- park and ride busses. Do we have them yet? WHy not do a park n ride bus for Waterford Lakes or Deltona or Oviedo or Ocoee? Can't Lynx do that and make them non-stop to DT? Or is that too expensive?

I know this, if I lived in Waterford and a good chunk of my neighbors used a park n ride bus from a decent station, so would I. London is crazy busy with those busses; everyone uses them. And as a backup, you have those cool black cabs. the subway of course is the spine for the system.

As things are now, buses are too ghetto-- patrons aside, the stations are nonexistant and look humiliating-- some have only a sign and you see folks standing there desheveled until the bus arrives. It's gotta suck.

As an alternative, they should make bus stops smarter; put stops within plazas- right in front of stores so people aren't stuck on the sides of the road like a bunch of hobos.

Lynx needs more money and better planning.

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The problem with buses is that they're subject to the same traffic delays as cars unless they are given an exclusive right-of-way, a la Lymmo. It's already hard enough to get people out of their cars and onto mass transit, much less try to get them to ditch their car for a bus that is probably considered to be the most 'inferior' form of public transportation. I know plenty of people who love using subways and trains to get around who are adverse to riding buses.

Buses are also far cheaper to imlement than rail (obviously), so if you're going to obtain land and construct dedicated lanes, ornate stations, and park-and-ride lots for such stations, you're bringing the cost up to rail territory.

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The problem with buses is that they're subject to the same traffic delays as cars unless they are given an exclusive right-of-way, a la Lymmo. It's already hard enough to get people out of their cars and onto mass transit, much less try to get them to ditch their car for a bus that is probably considered to be the most 'inferior' form of public transportation. I know plenty of people who love using subways and trains to get around who are adverse to riding buses.

Buses are also far cheaper to imlement than rail (obviously), so if you're going to obtain land and construct dedicated lanes, ornate stations, and park-and-ride lots for such stations, you're bringing the cost up to rail territory.

THat's my point about buses... they have a negative stigma attached to them b/c of their history of ridership in the US regarding who predominantly rides them. That's why I think if they made some improvements at stations, they could change that a bit. Yeah, I took MARTA to a Braves game before where I had to connect with the bus--- I hated it, b/c the bus stop was so ghetto, and, it was IN the ghetto.

I just think there are a few places around ORL where they can make or incorporate park n ride lots at little cost (maybe part of existing mall parking lots), with decent transit stations, and start changing people's opinion of buses... it will have a positive spillover for the rest of the system.

It's like the Fla Mall example... why should the bus stop be 1,000 feet from the mall entrance? They just need to do things a little smarter at Lynx.

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THat's my point about buses... they have a negative stigma attached to them b/c of their history of ridership in the US regarding who predominantly rides them. That's why I think if they made some improvements at stations, they could change that a bit. Yeah, I took MARTA to a Braves game before where I had to connect with the bus--- I hated it, b/c the bus stop was so ghetto, and, it was IN the ghetto.

I just think there are a few places around ORL where they can make or incorporate park n ride lots at little cost (maybe part of existing mall parking lots), with decent transit stations, and start changing people's opinion of buses... it will have a positive spillover for the rest of the system.

It's like the Fla Mall example... why should the bus stop be 1,000 feet from the mall entrance? They just need to do things a little smarter at Lynx.

Los Angeles is actually developing a system for buses that will enable them to change the lights when they arrive at an intersection, thereby diminishing the travel times. It's still in a development phase, but would completely alter the system. Also, buses have varying comforts as well. I was in Houston and their buses were like motorcoaches with plush seats and that AC blasting. Very comfortable ride except for the rude bus drivers.

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Los Angeles is actually developing a system for buses that will enable them to change the lights when they arrive at an intersection, thereby diminishing the travel times. It's still in a development phase, but would completely alter the system. Also, buses have varying comforts as well. I was in Houston and their buses were like motorcoaches with plush seats and that AC blasting. Very comfortable ride except for the rude bus drivers.

see. between Mears and the WDW motorcoaches and the Disney Cruise Line motorcoaches going all over town, couldn't Lynx buy a handful of these things and do simple commuter routes? Do a Waterford route and do a deal with the Town Center to use some of their spaces. Start with a couple of buses out there and see where it goes. dump the people at Lynx Central. 408 will be 8 lanes soon. use the epass lanes. if it doesn't work, no harm no foul.

when riders see how convenient it can be, it will go a long way in marketing the rest of the bus system and even rail proposals that come to the table.

As for the existing system, if I were in charge of Lynx, I would change a majority of the stops and make sure they were withing neighboring plazas and get the riders off of streets like 436 and what not. I hate that. It makes me sick to see people stuck on the sides of roads in the hot sun or even in the rain.

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It's like the Fla Mall example... why should the bus stop be 1,000 feet from the mall entrance? They just need to do things a little smarter at Lynx.

The buses pick up at the mall. They come into the parking lot and stop right on the mall sidewalk. I've used it at the Florida Mall. The downfall is that they don't provide a covered area. There are a lot of riders at the mall - usually around 20 people waiting per hour at the stop and it needs a large stop. Even if they took a small area close to the mall and made a bus island with plenty of seats and ceiling fans, that would make people happy and spread the word about how good an experience it is. From my experience of riding the bus at the mall, it was just too hot to stand out there for the 10 minutes in the direct sunlight.

The best buses for Lynx are used on the I-drive routes. I took one once to go to Universal and even these weren't as nice as the motor coaches from Mears.

Edited by bulldogger

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I have a very negative opinion about Lynx, although maybe it's not their fault. I live in MetroWest and for some insane reason the city or MetroWest or whoever, allowed that Super WalMart to be built right at the entrance to MetroWest. I'm sure the increase in crime in MetroWest is directly related to Wal-Mart. But the bus stop on MetroWest Blvd. next to Wal-Mart is always littered with trash (I don't even know if there is a trash can there or not but the riders have no respect for the beautiful landscaping and the cleanliness of the area, they just trash it! I remember when Rosemont was built in the 70's as Orlando's premier upscale community and their was concern that too many rental units were built in the area, the same as MetroWest, and it didn't take long for that neighborhood to decline. I hope the same doesn't happen here, I hope the condo conversions help things out as well as Veranda Park, but the crime stats and that damned Wal-Mart.... :sick:

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I have a very negative opinion about Lynx, although maybe it's not their fault. I live in MetroWest and for some insane reason the city or MetroWest or whoever, allowed that Super WalMart to be built right at the entrance to MetroWest. I'm sure the increase in crime in MetroWest is directly related to Wal-Mart. But the bus stop on MetroWest Blvd. next to Wal-Mart is always littered with trash (I don't even know if there is a trash can there or not but the riders have no respect for the beautiful landscaping and the cleanliness of the area, they just trash it! I remember when Rosemont was built in the 70's as Orlando's premier upscale community and their was concern that too many rental units were built in the area, the same as MetroWest, and it didn't take long for that neighborhood to decline. I hope the same doesn't happen here, I hope the condo conversions help things out as well as Veranda Park, but the crime stats and that damned Wal-Mart.... :sick:

I live in the same neighborhood and see the same thing. I don't know why they can't move the bus stop to directly in front of the Wal-Mart entrance. I was shopping there early Saturday morning (4am) and saw a vagrant sleeping in front of the store. When the security truck drove by her it didn't even stop. I think I read somewhere that crime has increased 30% in Metrowest since that Wal-Mart was built. Wal-Mart should pay for extra officers to patrol the area.

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It's like the Fla Mall example... why should the bus stop be 1,000 feet from the mall entrance? They just need to do things a little smarter at Lynx.

I remember once when I was in middle school, I had to take the bus to the Florida Mall with a friend since there was nobody around to drive us. From Dr. Phillips, it's a about a 7-mile straight shot down Sand Lake Road and should take 15 minutes. The bus took 45 minutes, and we had to wait about an hour for it on the way home on the curb outside of a department store because that was the "bus stop." That was the first and last time I rode Lynx (not including Lymmo).

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Kinda back on topic, there was a great series on our oil 'addiction' in the Chicago Tribune last weekend...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/special...63057.htmlstory

This is, in effect, a journey into the heart of America's vast and troubled oil dependency. And what it exposes is a globe-spanning energy network that today is so fragile, so beholden to hostile powers and so clearly unsustainable, that our car-centered lifestyle seems more at risk than ever.

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Finally...

Jeb Bush to announce light rail

Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to announce a nearly $500 million deal today to bring commuter rail to Central Florida, capping a 20-year dream to relieve gridlock in one of the nation's most congested regions.

With funding mostly lined up and details over routes and stops just about worked out, only minor negotiations remain before construction can begin, and trains could start running between DeBary and Orlando by late 2009. An extended route into Osceola County is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

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It will nice to see some mid to highrise development around the Florida Hospital station, in particular toward antique row and Lake Ivanhoe. That area seems primetime for such develoment. The single story strip mall shops along Orange ave are so tacky. The antique shop could continue to occupy the street level commercial space of midrise buildings. This area will become very trendy and tie in nicely with downtown Orlando and Winter Park.

Extending the free Lymmo along Orange from Downtown Orlando to Florida Hospital Station and then the Park Avenue/Winter Park station would be really cool.

Wouldn't mind living around one of these stations someday...

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