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There are two corridors planned for Jacksonville's future transit system: North/Southeast and East/Southwest. The JTA has decided to go with Bus Rapid Transit, which I'm not too fond of. I would have preferred rail, but for now, they'll use buses. They said that once (and if) ridership increases steadily, they might upgrade it to rail. Hopefully... Here's the info I found:

North/Southeast Corridor


The North/Southeast Corridor Rapid Transit Studies, started in 2000, is a two-year project that will ultimately determine the best kind of transportation improvements to meet the expected demands for this area. Completion is scheduled by early August 2003. Ranked highest among the four corridors, the North/Southeast Corridor has immediate needs and could benefit the most from a possible rapid transit system. High congestion, limited bus transportation service in the southeast, and parking shortages are just a few of the transit challenges studied.

The North/Southeast Corridor is 32 miles in length and connects the north and southeast sections of the First Coast community.

Major corridor features include:

Largest employment centers that include Downtown, Southpoint, Deerwood, Freedom Commerce Center and others

Largest population of transit-dependent households

Connection to three major malls and other activity centers

One of the community's most traffic-congested corridors

Ideal right-of-way availability for a rapid transit system

Strong potential for economic development incentives in the north district

East/Southwest Corridor

Pic Coming Soon?

The East/Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor Study, begun in 2002, is well on the way to determining the best kind of transportation improvements that meet the expected travel demands for this corridor. Representing a major portion of southwest Duval County, northern Clay County, Jacksonville's downtown and areas east of the St. Johns River, the corridor is roughly 35 miles long, and home to major employment centers, Naval installations and commercial destinations.

The East/Southwest Corridor is a 35-mile corridor connecting downtown Jacksonville with northern Clay County, Argyle/NAS, Ortega, Avondale, Riverside, Arlington, Mayport and Jacksonville beach communities.

Major corridor features include:

Over 200 miles of major roadways

Represents nearly 40% of our community's traffic congestion

Houses two Naval stations

Features high concentration of retail/commercial centers

Marks large population of transit-dependent households

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From looking at these two, I'd only construct the northern half of alternative 2, since it actually goes through neighborhoods. Instead of building a line down I-95 or Philips Hwy., I'd try to establish a commuter rail line, between downtown and St. Augustine along FEC's tracks. A connection between a vibrant downtown core, San Marco, University Blvd., Avenue's Mall, the Dog track, & St. Augustine has a great chance to be successful.

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You know, it's a shame the members of UrbanPlanet's Jacksonville Forum aren't in any high positions with the city. The ideas I see on this site are really smart, but some of the key people just don't think the way we do. Just my thoughts...lol

I'd contribute to the Lakelander election fund.

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Only 8 months, and you already have more sense of where to take Jax than the Mayor!!

Don't get me wrong though, I'm still holding out hope for Peyton. My observation is that most mayor's need one term just to really learn the job and how to accomplish the big things they want.

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Personally I like the mayor. I should disclose that I have a contract with Downtown Vision (I am the project manager for the art walk). DVI is NOT part of any city agency or function and stands alone as a BID, but we obviously work closely with the city on many projects, etc. Still, I should disclose these things I suppose. I do not speak for DVI on this or any other public forum.

I think the mayor's business sense (which I believe is his best asset) keeps him from making quick (and sometimes obvious) decisions. But some of the decisions he has made have been thoughtful and clearly new-urban. The defeat of the pedestrian bridge at the library comes to mind as does the dedication to 10k units of housing downtown. His stance on incentives, in my opinion, is fair. We have gotten worked on quite a few deals. I was at a function where he was asked about the landing (which I think should be helped to a degree by the city). He said basically that they bought the property for $5M and wanted $50M of your money to develop it, and I don't think the kind of deal we want to do. I think this is a succinct answer and I think it sends the right message. Keep coming back with proposals until one works. We lost a whole neighborhood (La Villa) by making the first deal that came to the table.

Any way, hes got a bear of a problem with the courthouse, that if he can bury that, hopefully we'll get cranking on some real city changers...like enforcement of the property maint. code. ;)

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I think we all kind of got spoiled by the quick pace of things under the last mayor, John Delaney. But we have to remember that Peyton deserves "ramp up" time, and that Delaney was in his second term after having been chief-of-staff for his own predecessor.

I have not met Peyton, or heard him speak, but I definitely agree that a strong business background is his best asset. I also applaud his decision on the library bridge.

The city needed to be more generous with incentives in the past, because downtown redevelopment was just really getting started, particularly housing. It is certainly appropriate that the city be less generous with incentives, now that the risks involved are smaller. I only hope that Peyton doesn't go too far in the other direction, such that the momentum slows dramatically.

I know Ron Littlepage thinks the taxpayers got taken for a ride with Berkman Plaza, but I do not. The WORST thing that could have happened was if the owners HADN'T made a profit! They were among the very first ones to take a chance on downtown and the city got what it was promised would be built. Unless the city is willing to pay the full tab on a project of that size, I doubt it could have come out any better.

I do hope that Peyton doesn't consider money alone in making a final decision on the courthouse. As Lakelander said, the current Cannon design would certainly not have won the design competition. If that is the case, why have a competition to begin with?

I think with Elaine Brown becoming the new council president, that will help bring more focus to downtown.

Edited by vicupstate
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Who's Elaine Brown, and how will she help? I hope you're right about her. I think that if it hadn't been for the courthouse screw-up, Peyton would be able to focus on other projects. The stupid Cannon design is like a bad rash that won't go away. It gave us a big waste of time, and like 6 vacant city blocks.

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Elaine Brown is a city councilwoman that just took over as the president of City Council. In that position, she can speed up or delay legislation and appropriations by deciding which committees gets each bill. She also picks the chairman of each committee. She use to be on the DDA board and has long championed downtown and LaVilla projects. She has been a driving force for the Intermodal Transportation Center idea for LaVilla.

The presidency is only for one year, but a couple of years back, Matt Carlucci put downtown and historic preservation on the frontburner in his term. Most of the incentive funds for Laura Place, as well as several Bay Street projects were set aside during his term as president. His successors in that position (Jerry Holland, Lad Daniels) have had different priorities, and the downtown 'torch' has largely been carried by the mayor since then (Delaney and now Peyton).

Having someone like Brown in charge of the council again, can only help downtown. She and all of her committee chairman choices are all veterans on the council, which should help things move a little faster too.

Her husband is also a former Jax city councilman and is now mayor of Neptune Beach.

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  • 2 months later...

Planes, trains and automobiles

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority unveiled its vision for a transportation center headquartered in LaVilla. The Downtown Development Authority is considering an amendment to the downtown master plan to include the $127 million facility, which would provide access to the Skyway, JTA and Greyhound buses and an airport shuttle.

The Skyway station would connect to an Amtrak station via a covered bridge. JTA is expecting Amtrak and Greyhound to base their downtown operations at the transportation center. Greyhound would move out of its current Bay Street building.

The plan includes a renovated Skyway station on West Forsyth Street.

Some members of the DDA are concerned the massive facility would clash with the walkable, residential and retail environment envisioned in the City

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