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Captain Obvious

Overpasses may be cancelled! :)

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Mayor to seek cancellation of 6 overpasses

His Better Jacksonville Plan revamp would also cancel three road projects.

By DAVID BAUERLEIN, The Times-Union

Mayor John Peyton will ask the City Council to cancel six Better Jacksonville Plan overpasses when he files legislation today as part of a sweeping approach to tackle cost overruns for a long list of roadwork.

In a change from past draft versions that circulated in the mayor's office, the formal proposal that goes to the council will recommend eliminating an overpass slated for Roosevelt Boulevard at Timuquana Road, .... Atlantic and University boulevards, Beach and University boulevards, Atlantic and Hodges boulevards, Southside Boulevard at Baymeadows Road, and U.S. 17 at Eastport Road.

...

City Council President Kevin Hyde said the council will offer a number of forums for residents to voice their preferences on what should stay and what should go in the plan.

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor..._19333710.shtml

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Talk about saving money, this is a good way to do it. And, no one in these neighborhoods even wants the overpasses. Why should residents have to endure ugly overpasses (and pay for them indirectly through their taxes) so people from Clay and St Johns Counties can get downtown faster?? I say can these overpasses and use the savings to build a new, complete courthouse.

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From what I understand, a lot of this money will be shifted to JTB, for improvements at Phillips and I-95. Personally, I'd kill them all and implement more double and triple turn left turn lanes at these troubled intersections.

I guess these forums will offer a good chance to promote the study of commuter rail.

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These overpasses represent the backwards thinking of traffic engineers. They cost obscene amounts of money, while negatively impacting the immediate neighborhood, and not even really helping the traffic problem. (The Baymeadows & Southside overpass was famously projected to speed up traffic flow by only 4mph, with a total cost of something like over $150 million).

I think it is absolutely imperative that we keep our eyes out for these public imput hearings, and voice support to the council for the cancellation of all these projects. It will require 13 of the 19 council members to ax these projects. This really is 100x more important than the library debate. While these areas are hardly urban to begin with ... the overpasses would utterly destroy any urban potential for the surrounding neighborhoods, meanwhile breaking the city's budget in the process.

The overpasses MUST go.

(Lakelander - I 100% agree with you about promoting the idea of commuter rail at these meetings. If my schedule permits - i.e. if I'm not in Gainesville - once these meetings are announced, I would like to speak about that as well. It's an ideal time to plant the seed.)

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This is a very good call. The two of the proposed intersections that I have to use the most ar The Hodges/Atlantic and the Southside/Baymeadows, and honestly I can't see any conceivable point to spending $200million plus on two intersections that really aren't all that bad, even at rush hour. Surely something more practical can be done with that kind of money.

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The proposed cost of Southside and Baymeadows was near $70 million and that included ROW costs. The original estimate was much lower around $38M for the whole shebang. Escalating ROW costs and construction material costs hurt that project. Another detail that is never looked at with repsect to cost is the fact that the scope of this project improved 4 intersections, not just one.

Ragardless of what you might have read in the papers about a bridge at this intersection increasing speed by only four miles an hour (not the complete truth anyway), not doing this project will hurt that part of town in the long run. The project was slated for construction sometime after 2010. This was not a short term fix. The traffic models show this intersection griniding to a halt during morning and afternoon rush hour in the next five to ten years. Should we wait until then to fix it? How will all of the people living near that intersection feel about a bridge when they are sitting in their driveway blocked in by traffic.

Expanding to triple lefts and double rights would make the situation somewhat better than leaving it alone, but then you would lose significant amounts of commercial property on three corners. I have a feeling that the owners of those properties wouldn't be too happy about that either.

To say that the intersection is not that bad, is not true. I drive through it every single day. It gets lighter during the summer for sure, but don't be fooled. Waiting for 6 cycles to get through the traffic light to head east on Baymeadows is bad no matter how you look at it.

Just $.02 from someone who must (by virtue of where I work and live) travel through this forsaken mess everyday.

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I have an idea. How about instead of starting a LRT downtown or at the center and branching outward, have LRT lines working on the areas that have these bridges proposed (roads at capacity already).

For example, while I live in murray hill and work in the tinseltown area, most of my coworkers live beaches and just west. If they could stop the driving portion of their commute at 3rd street and ride on in, they could actually go home at 5 rather than hanging out at the office until 6.

There's lots of open land (looks open anyway) east of gate parkway and south of JTB. And while I know the chance of me getting to ride some sort of viable mass transit (buses are not viable, with the mindset JTA usually has, that the workers are still ALL downtown) to work is negligble, getting something started would be awesome.

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Out of Pure curiosity,

Has there ever been an instance where a private developer built a mass transit like light rail, (not subway)? I would think that a light rail that goes from JTB/Belfort, over to the deerwood/baymeadows area and maybe an extension going to tinsle town area would infact be very profitable. Anyway.. pure curiosity.. nothing else.

(the only example I can think of is in NY about 125 years ago with the first subway. And it was only lik 1/4 mile if I remeber correctly

Anyway

Cheers

Josh

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Most of the old "streetcar" light rail lines in the early 1900s were privately owned to some degree.

However, their limited private funds couldn't compete once the government started sinking so much public money into the construction of roadways for automobiles. What good is public transit when the government guarantees to keep building roadways to match demand - no matter the cost ...

It's incredibly counter-intuitive for most people, but public transit used to be the private free market solution, while most roadways (to this day) are just one big government money-pit.

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Great news for Jax, though really hard to believe.

It's incredibly counter-intuitive for most people, but public transit used to be the private free market solution, while most roadways (to this day) are just one big government money-pit.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed, the most expensive and wasteful social program in our history.

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Roads and Highways are not money pits. Most pay for themselves through usuary taxes - tolls or gas taxes. Don't want to pay for them, don't use them. Other social programs work off of money that is abducted from your paycheck (not a discussion for this forum).

Mass Transit ventures typically start out as money pits. As much as I like the idea, the ASE is a gigantic money pit. Eventually it or somethig like it will be successful here, until then you've got to work with what people are using - roadways.

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Transit, like Architecture, is what you make of it. Good design and follow through of that design is critical. Before we can lable the ASE as an ultimate failure, first we must realize that its an imcomplete system, considering the city never built other transit lines originally intended to connect with it.

Furthermore, the ASE is one of the most expensive forms of rail transit, suffers from incompletion and has a pretty bad route layout (ex. doesn't even service the Sports Complex) and isn't a good example compared to a cost efficient system like commuter rail. To put the costs in perspective, pricing for a system like the ASE would be like building a road on stilts or a continous bridge, like the Buckman.

Nevertheless, all transit systems start off as money pits. As time goes on, they make money be attracting development. However, unlike rail, suburban development eventually clogs the road originally intended to relieve other highways and then you get the never ending problem of traffic congestion (ex. Blanding, Southside, Atlantic, Beach, Kernan, etc.).

Also keep, in mind that no city has ever paved itself out of traffic congestion, especially one with a poor suburban layout like ours. Adding commuter rail wouldn't solve all traffic problems, but it would offer a quick and affordable alternative way to avoid getting tangled in road gridlock, for those willing to get out of their cars.

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I think our biggest problem road wise is not the layout, more the lack of east/west and north/south routes. In the south side, your realy only have 3 routes to go east/west, (wonderwood not included due ot the fact it is too new and hasnt proven itself yet) though there are a number of north/south, (ie kernan, San Pablo, etc) However, most of these dump into the trhee main artieries. (with the exception of SS and Phillips. If we are going to stay suburban, what realy is need to help alieviate traffic is not overpasses, but more east west routs (preferably one that crosses the river at about university/San Jose)

Cheers

Josh

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I think our biggest problem road wise is not the layout, more the lack of east/west and north/south routes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think the failed proposal linking Timuquana with the JTB area would have helped tremendously, too. When I lived with my parents on the Westside, the fastest way across the river was to take I-295. Traffic builds whether I continue southbound or travel eastbound on I-10. Many who work in the Southpoint area crowd the southern leg of 295 trying reach points west and south. Also, a good number of those in the military live east of the river. There's a long stretch from the Fuller Warren to the Buckman without a bridge. Unfortunately for the thousands of motorists who travel these routes, the NIMBYs won.

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I think our biggest problem road wise is not the layout, more the lack of east/west and north/south routes. In the south side, your realy only have 3 routes to go east/west, (wonderwood not included due ot the fact it is too new and hasnt proven itself yet) though there are a number of north/south, (ie kernan, San Pablo, etc) However, most of these dump into the trhee main artieries. (with the exception of SS and Phillips. If we are going to stay suburban, what realy is need to help alieviate traffic is not overpasses, but more east west routs (preferably one that crosses the river at about university/San Jose)

Cheers

Josh

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It may be a mis-use of words, but that's what the previous posts about road layout were about. The overall road sytem layout is totally out of whack. Adding bridges at busy interchanges won't solve anything. Like you said, we need more N-S & E-W roads running parallel to our sprawling highways.

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Southside and Intracoastal west was grided well to start with but the problem happened when they stopped gridding. 2 miles between each lateral grid (JTB, Beach, Atlantic) is too much. Imagine having a E-W route in between each.

Alden road as a 4-6 lane road from Southside to the beaches.

Bowden or Touchton as a 4-6 lane road to the beaches.

Of course a middle crossing from either JTB or University to Timuquana would have been phenomenal.

Merril to MLK crossing the St Johns would have been great.

The US 17 spur off of I-10 (Still called BeeLine expressway?) should have gone to I-295.

Having Kernan and Hodges at 4 lanes to start with would have been nice.

There are dozens of other should have beens as well.

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