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Is downtown Orlando a tourist destination and is there "nothing to do there?"

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20 minutes ago, JFW657 said:

All that ^^ plus the idea of ripping up even more neighborhoods and commercial districts to install expressways is just beyond absurd.

Yeah, I was being sarcastic. BTW, I lived 11 years in Orlando and rarely had a problem zipping in my car. Now, had I wanted to bus downtown from my suburban home 6.6 miles from the CBD, it would have taken upwards of 90 minutes. I could have walked/jogged the distance in that amount of time. And you want me to believe that light rail is a viable solution ?

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I get sick and tired of hearing that building more roads is the answer.  There is a subset of people in the country who believe that roads are magic because THEY use them.

I know a guy that I've mentioned many times.  He hated SunRail with a passion.  He insulted it at every chance.  He once said that whoever was in charge of it should be jailed for wasting his tax dollars.

He & I have had countless discussions on this topic.  I don't love SunRail.  I know that I love trains and love what trains can do for transportation AND MORE IMPORTANTLY without SunRail phases I & II we certainly weren't getting anything more.  Now there is talk of a spur to the airport and an extension to Lakeland.  The original Phase IIB to DeLand could happen and an extension to Daytona is being tossed around.  There is the OBX and people are at least having conversations about extending a train to The Villages.  All of that happens because of Phase I of SunRail.

The Fire Department doesn't make money.  The roads (overwhelming majority) don't make money.  Nice sidewalks don't make money.  Libraries don't make money.  The National Defense doesn't make money.  There are a million public things that don't make money.  That alone should NEVER be a reason to not do something that benefits the public.  And it is so insanely selfish to say that you like Item A because you use Item A, but since you don't use Item B, no one should.  Screw you and your selfishness.  The good of many outweighs your personal likes.  Education benefits the greater good.  Transportation benefits the greater good.  Protecting ourselves locally (fire/police/rescue/etc) and nationally benefits the greater good.

Said guy now is retired and rides SunRail about 10x a month.  So he's changed his tune.

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A fascinating stat I ran into always makes me wonder about the tunnel vision some folks have on this issue.

At any given time, almost 1/3 of the US population cannot use a car for transportation because they are too young, too old, medically unable to drive or cannot afford a vehicle due to finances, unemployment, lack of ability to obtain insurance or other reasons.

For what reason we call this an efficient way to run a transportation system eludes me.

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47 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

A fascinating stat I ran into always makes me wonder about the tunnel vision some folks have on this issue.

At any given time, almost 1/3 of the US population cannot use a car for transportation because they are too young, too old, medically unable to drive or cannot afford a vehicle due to finances, unemployment, lack of ability to obtain insurance or other reasons.

For what reason we call this an efficient way to run a transportation system eludes me.

What’s wrong with improving the system you already have ? Say your appealing to the guy who lives 6.6 miles from the CBD and it takes 90 minutes to get there. Does your mind really run to light rail ? If so, you’ve become Charlotte, a city where rail has had the effect of killing bus ridership.

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11 hours ago, Naqiy90 said:

Highways are a far greater waste of money than mass transit.  The ultimate I-4 project is 100s of millions of dollars over budget and will probably end up costing close to 3 billion dollars just to add tolls lanes to I-4 which will be immediately congested because of induceddemand. Indy and Columbus don't have 40 million tourists a year and both have half a million less people. Mass transit is simple geometry, until Orlando gets serious about transit our economy will remain having the lowest wages out of the top 50 metros because companies don't want to move to a city without robust transit.  In addition Indy just passed a sales tax to seriously improve their bus system and create a BRT line and Columbus recently launched a redesign as well. You might be fine with the status quo but as a young person still mad that Orlando bailed on light rail in the 90's, I hope the city has the foresight to get serious about transit so I won't be forced to leave to a city that is willing to accommodate my car free lifestyle that I and so many millennials desire. There's a reason Seattle is the fasting growing big city in the USA; because of their investment in transit! Automobiles are death traps that need to be put down, I hope you reconsider your anti-rail stance for the good of Orlando!

I think we should be fair here, thats the key to winning people over. Orlando's limited access highways are literally on the verge of becoming profitable. Basically the only one currently not profitable or at least close to breaking even from our ample tolls is I-4, and we're adding them there. And the express lane tolls have been hugely profitable to more then maintain the free lanes from what we've seen in South Florida, and it did generally solve 90% of the traffic issues, so the idea that highways waste money and need to be subsidized is dying in areas with tolls. Rail makes sense in some locations. I think Orlando has a few locations where it does, where people hate driving to, hate parking, but like going (usually due to a lack of free/cheap parking or heavy traffic). Orlando's got 3 of those areas, the airport, downtown, and the tourist corridor. If its sold correctly, they live cohesively. Right now, only downtown has any rail connection of those 3, and there is no doubt the others will get used.

Bus systems around the country are struggling right now, beginning with low ridership to start, and then it getting killed by Uber, dockless bikes, and a myriad of other transportation solutions that just make a lot more sense unless a really large number of people are going from one place to another. The millenials at UCF are even showing us with their bus ridership being down for a few years now that they don't want buses.

Another really important thing to remember is Orlando and Florida's lower taxes is a big reason why a lot of people and companies are located here. Take that away and you're gonna chase a lot of people out who are currently here, and plenty of places have high taxes and don't attract any companies with that.

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Bus can only be compared to Light Rail when talking about SBS/Express Bus.  Limited stops meant to travel vast distances.  The standard bus that stops every two blocks simply isn't a good enough vehicle for distance travel that isn't necessary (eg commuters with no other options).  

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22 hours ago, Dale said:

What’s wrong with improving the system you already have ? Say your appealing to the guy who lives 6.6 miles from the CBD and it takes 90 minutes to get there. Does your mind really run to light rail ? If so, you’ve become Charlotte, a city where rail has had the effect of killing bus ridership.

Stop trying to make Charlotte happen...

13 hours ago, aent said:

I think we should be fair here, thats the key to winning people over. Orlando's limited access highways are literally on the verge of becoming profitable. Basically the only one currently not profitable or at least close to breaking even from our ample tolls is I-4, and we're adding them there. And the express lane tolls have been hugely profitable to more then maintain the free lanes from what we've seen in South Florida, and it did generally solve 90% of the traffic issues, so the idea that highways waste money and need to be subsidized is dying in areas with tolls. Rail makes sense in some locations. I think Orlando has a few locations where it does, where people hate driving to, hate parking, but like going (usually due to a lack of free/cheap parking or heavy traffic). Orlando's got 3 of those areas, the airport, downtown, and the tourist corridor. If its sold correctly, they live cohesively. Right now, only downtown has any rail connection of those 3, and there is no doubt the others will get used.

Bus systems around the country are struggling right now, beginning with low ridership to start, and then it getting killed by Uber, dockless bikes, and a myriad of other transportation solutions that just make a lot more sense unless a really large number of people are going from one place to another. The millenials at UCF are even showing us with their bus ridership being down for a few years now that they don't want buses.

Another really important thing to remember is Orlando and Florida's lower taxes is a big reason why a lot of people and companies are located here. Take that away and you're gonna chase a lot of people out who are currently here, and plenty of places have high taxes and don't attract any companies with that.

Oh right, that’s why companies are fleeing CA, NJ, NY, MA tooth and nail for lower tax states like FL.  It’s clearly for the expansive  and profitable highway system.

 

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5 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

Stop trying to make Charlotte happen...

Seriously Gretchen-Dale, stop trying to make Charlotte happen! It's not going to happen!

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2 hours ago, HankStrong said:

Seriously Gretchen-Dale, stop trying to make Charlotte happen! It's not going to happen!

I'm willing to admit that I'm sure this is just me, but back before NC's politics went crazy and I pondered the places I might want to live there, Charlotte never gave me the warm and fuzzies. To me, it's sort of the ultimate Gertrude Stein city.

I know many folks are blissfully happy there, but I just don't get it.

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4 hours ago, prahaboheme said:

Oh right, that’s why companies are fleeing CA, NJ, NY, MA tooth and nail for lower tax states like FL.  It’s clearly for the expansive  and profitable highway system.

 

First off, you're mixing 2 points on separate issues. The highway issue is in response to "roads don't make money" when it turns out thats not so true for our highways anymore (local roads lose money still).

Nobody is fleeing Florida for CA, NJ, NY, MA either, the state that seems to do the best at attracting businesses to relocate seems to be TX, which is low tax, low regulation (Florida is obviously much more centrist as it is generally  a swing state). Those northeastern states you mentioned always have tons of people moving to Florida and Texas, and top the list of "moving out" states.

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23 hours ago, aent said:

I think we should be fair here, thats the key to winning people over. Orlando's limited access highways are literally on the verge of becoming profitable. Basically the only one currently not profitable or at least close to breaking even from our ample tolls is I-4, and we're adding them there. And the express lane tolls have been hugely profitable to more then maintain the free lanes from what we've seen in South Florida, and it did generally solve 90% of the traffic issues, so the idea that highways waste money and need to be subsidized is dying in areas with tolls. Rail makes sense in some locations. I think Orlando has a few locations where it does, where people hate driving to, hate parking, but like going (usually due to a lack of free/cheap parking or heavy traffic). Orlando's got 3 of those areas, the airport, downtown, and the tourist corridor. If its sold correctly, they live cohesively. Right now, only downtown has any rail connection of those 3, and there is no doubt the others will get used.

Bus systems around the country are struggling right now, beginning with low ridership to start, and then it getting killed by Uber, dockless bikes, and a myriad of other transportation solutions that just make a lot more sense unless a really large number of people are going from one place to another. The millenials at UCF are even showing us with their bus ridership being down for a few years now that they don't want buses.

Another really important thing to remember is Orlando and Florida's lower taxes is a big reason why a lot of people and companies are located here. Take that away and you're gonna chase a lot of people out who are currently here, and plenty of places have high taxes and don't attract any companies with that.

Bus ridership is declining because bus systems generally suck, but in Seattle where the city has made a serious commitment to their system ridership is growing by leaps and bounds. And while national bus ridership is declining, rail ridership has been growing in most cities, which is more reason Orlando should build rail. As far as companies being located here, there is a total of 1 Fortune 500 company in Orlando and 15 overall in the state of Florida which is #13 among states overall despite being 3rd in population, so obviously the state is underachieving as far as companies locating here.  Regardless it seems you agree that their should be light rail in between downtown, I-Drive, and Disney which I totally agree with, so glad to have won you over!

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5 minutes ago, Naqiy90 said:

Regardless it seems you agree that their should be light rail in between downtown, I-Drive, and Disney which I totally agree with, so glad to have won you over!

I've always been a proponent of rail where it makes sense (designed to serve areas with bad traffic, limited/expensive parking) I just think its a disservice when people make untrue statements to push the cause. I was one of the few here who didn't want our government to stop maglev from being built, which I never understood.

Edit to add: I'm also a proponent of buses as well, when they make sense (see above). I'm anti buses that don't get ridership just so there is a wide service area. If a local bus can't achieve a half hour pickup schedule for peak times at the very minimum, it probably makes no sense.

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On 11/1/2018 at 10:03 PM, aent said:

I think we should be fair here, thats the key to winning people over. Orlando's limited access highways are literally on the verge of becoming profitable. Basically the only one currently not profitable or at least close to breaking even from our ample tolls is I-4, and we're adding them there. And the express lane tolls have been hugely profitable to more then maintain the free lanes from what we've seen in South Florida, and it did generally solve 90% of the traffic issues, so the idea that highways waste money and need to be subsidized is dying in areas with tolls. Rail makes sense in some locations. I think Orlando has a few locations where it does, where people hate driving to, hate parking, but like going (usually due to a lack of free/cheap parking or heavy traffic). Orlando's got 3 of those areas, the airport, downtown, and the tourist corridor. If its sold correctly, they live cohesively. Right now, only downtown has any rail connection of those 3, and there is no doubt the others will get used.

Bus systems around the country are struggling right now, beginning with low ridership to start, and then it getting killed by Uber, dockless bikes, and a myriad of other transportation solutions that just make a lot more sense unless a really large number of people are going from one place to another. The millenials at UCF are even showing us with their bus ridership being down for a few years now that they don't want buses.

Another really important thing to remember is Orlando and Florida's lower taxes is a big reason why a lot of people and companies are located here. Take that away and you're gonna chase a lot of people out who are currently here, and plenty of places have high taxes and don't attract any companies with that.

Apparently, Florida voters are preparing to kill the proverbial goose.

On 11/2/2018 at 9:36 PM, aent said:

I've always been a proponent of rail where it makes sense (designed to serve areas with bad traffic, limited/expensive parking) I just think its a disservice when people make untrue statements to push the cause. I was one of the few here who didn't want our government to stop maglev from being built, which I never understood.

Edit to add: I'm also a proponent of buses as well, when they make sense (see above). I'm anti buses that don't get ridership just so there is a wide service area. If a local bus can't achieve a half hour pickup schedule for peak times at the very minimum, it probably makes no sense.

Where rail makes sense: the handful of large cities that grew up around it. 

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