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Councilman wants money for road traffic control plan


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Councilman Lake Ray will ask the council to reduce BJP's $100 million funding for BRT, by shifting $75 million to create a citywide traffic control center. Intelligent Transportation System would use roadside cameras and pavement sensors to relay traffic conditions to the control center. Operators would use that information to adjust the timing of traffic signals and post information for drivers on roadside electronic signs.

As an argument against BRT, he states that low ridership on the skyway is a reason to use less money on rapid transit in other areas of town. Hopefully, this doesn't fly. If Hurricane Katrina has taught us anything its that we should be seeking alternative forms of transit, especially in a sprawled city such as Jacksonville.

If they are serious about diverting transit funds, then divert them to building commuter rail. Nashville's Music Star Commuter rail system under construction is the perfect example we should follow. Planned to be operational early next year, the 32 mile line has a total cost of $40 million. Officials there bought 11 old train cars from Chicago for a total of $11 and cut deals to use an existing rail line, instead of building new tracks. Instead of expensive skyway like stations, they're building spartan stations.

For more on Lake Ray's push to reduce the effectiveness of rapid transit, click on the link


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Wow, is this guy really serious? This would be a terrible idea. I agree with you Lake in that they should go with a commuter rail system. My guess is that it would be a bit more expensive to implement in Jax because we are more spread out. Maybe they should reserve $60 million for the rail and leave the excess to ITS control center.

After the meeting, Ray said the Better Jacksonville Plan needs a $75 million budget for such a system, and the rapid transit funding would be "a great spot to go get it." He said an Intelligent Transportation System would provide more immediate traffic relief for drivers than buying land for a future rapid transit system. He cited the low number of riders on the Skyway, which runs on elevated tracks in downtown, as a reason for spending less on rapid transit elsewhere in the city.

"We've got $180 million in the Skyway Express and we're getting all but no benefits from it," he said.

This is a silly argument. The Skyway is a secluded system servicing one distinct area. The proposed rapid transit system services the entire region and does it with less money than the Skyway. How could he compare the two? Besides, ridership on the skyway is and will continue to increase as more of the residential towers under construction start to accept occupants.

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Genius, lets increase traffic relief funding by diverting funds from our traffic relief funding. Wile E Coyote...Super Genius.

While we're at it lets increase our education funding by cutting our school bus funding.

Jacksonville is in the traffic congestion problem it is because of narrow sighted people in office. The whole "fix it for 15 minutes" isn't solving anything. Low Skyway numbers? Was he absent each time a new residential tower was discussed at a council meeting? You know the whole 10,000 units in Downtown thing? Wait, I know, we should divert 75% of them to JTB. Sarcasm and rhetoric are good friends.

What sources does he have that his plan will aleviate city wide traffic for the long term? I want figures, I want dollar values, I want this guy to sit in Phillips Hwy rush hour and rethink his $75 million dollar diversion.

It's amazing Jacksonville has grown to be what it is with backwards thinking people on the board like this.

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An ITS Control Center would probably be a wise investment, but under NO circumstances should it come at the expense of rapid transit. Cancel a few more of those hulking overpasses, and they will have the $75mm they need. They need to hurry up and spend that $100mm on mass transit somehow. Why wait for prices to rise further, and tempt other politicians to take the money.

The article gave the impression that Peyton is opposed to diverting these funds. Kudos to him, I hope he sticks to his guns.

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