Tuesday, February 24, 2009

High Speed Rail For Jax?

I know this is a little off topic for Bike Jax. But who doesn't enjoy a little train porn once in awhile? High Speed Rail into and out of Jax would be awesome.


Archi-Phreak said...

It will never happen. Or, if it does, it will be one station/stop on the outskirts of town where no one can, or would want to, get to it. It will remain in obscurity for all time...or at least until we have a complete overhaul of our City Leadership. Whichever comes first.

Anonymous said...

Archi is correct. This won't happen until peyton leaves. He has too much $$$ in gate & construction companies. We'll be behind forever:(

Archi-Phreak said...

It's not just Peyton. There are members of the City Government that are actually FIGHTING bringing light rail to our wonderfully spread-out city, constantly touting that it won't/can't work in a city like ours. Hell, all you have to do is look at cities like New York and D.C. to see that mass transit works and works well.
Maybe one day, generations from now, Jacksonville will catch on to a better way of thinking.

defried said...

Am I a Negative Nancy to complain this early? Why no connection to Gainesville or Orlando?

GhostRider said...

This could shape up to be a classic case of "no one ever rides it!".

For a lot of cities who have toyed with commuter rail or similar rail-based transportation solutions, this is how it happens: the City or municipal government approves a test leg -- maybe a couple of stops and one stretch of track. This "test leg" doesn't really take anyone where they might want to go, and no one rides. Then, the City comes back and says "see, no one wants light rail. Discontinue the rest of the project."

For a city to have a successful rail-based solution, they've got to agree to it in its entirety -- a full complement of stations, routes and all the other infrastructure. When it's done correctly, almost every city who has done so does NOT regret the capital outlay, and these rail systems make a good difference in congestion and getting folks around the area. When it is done piecemeal, though, it is doomed to failure.

Jacksonville is a PRIME candidate for a light-rail solution. Tampa is clamoring for one, too, and it is being met with lots of derision. Tying the major cities (J'ville, Tampa, Orlando and the large suburban centers between them) makes a lot of good sense, too. Trouble is, folks in Florida just don't get it and can't see how great such a system could be.