Tuesday, February 6, 2007

More Mapping and Jacksonville

Over at Metro Jacksonville they did the mapping exercise of comparing routes. I don't know Jacksonville very well but it seems like one line (the BRT) is aimed at commuters and one is aimed (LRT) at economic development. While both are important, which one is more important than the other given that these two lines don't follow a similar path? It looks from casual observation that they are both bad.

Why you ask? Well after further reading he compares the proposed LRT route to Austin which in fact it is much like Austin in that it doesn't really hit the main traffic corridor and does not go all the way into downtown. But Jacksonville has an amazing opportunity that isn't even being looked at to the South. On a main arterial to the South there are large grass medians to put LRT and once through downtown, arterial LRT could take travelers to the Major Regional Hospital and further north to a dead mall.

The arterials are where the opportunities lie. Not where things are cheaper such as with BRT or most rail rights of way. The reason is that this is where people drive and its also where the TOD redevelopment opportunities are because believe it or not, strip malls are not where the money is at anymore. Finally, in the google map from the link above, you can see major opportunities west of the downtown for redevelopment. A good catalyst might be...a streetcar? There is a peoplemover out there...but it just doesn't do enough.

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