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Gridlock 2000 : prospects for mobility in Northeast Florida : conference summary


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Gridlock 2000 : prospects for mobility in Northeast Florida : conference summary
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Jacksonville. Metropolitan Planning Organization
Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council (NEFRPC)
Metropolitan Planning Organization
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville, Fla
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Traffic congestion -- Florida--St. Johns County--Jacksonville   ( lcsh )
Congestion pricing--Florida--St. Johns County--Jacksonville   ( lcsh )
letter   ( marcgt )

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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usfldc doi - C01-00405
usfldc handle - c1.405
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Gridlock 2000 : prospects for mobility in Northeast Florida : conference summary
Jacksonville, Fla.
b Metropolitan Planning Organization
c 1991
Traffic congestion -- Florida--St. Johns County--Jacksonville
Congestion pricing--Florida--St. Johns County--Jacksonville
Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council (NEFRPC)
1 773
t Center for Urban Transportation Research Publications [USF].
4 856


PREFACE On September 24, 1991, com munity leaders from Northeast Florida came together for a confer ence on mobility prospects for the region. The conference, titled "Gridlock 2000" (lest there be any complacency about the future), featured the perspectives of federa l state, and local officials, as well as leaders of the private sector. Their remarks were followed by group discussions of transporta tion funding. transportation demand man agement, and regional coordination of trans portation planning. In these discus sions, all participants had an opportu nity to air their concerns and good ideas. The conference ended with a keynote address by a Houston business leader. who described Houston's concerted response to the nation's worst traffic congestion, and with summaries of group discus sions presented by group facil itators. As with other mobility confer ences around the nation, this confer ence had a twofold purpose: first, to brief community leaders on mobility problems facing the region in this era of fiscal constraints; and second, to begin the process of community consensus building behind solutions to mobility prob l ems Most mobility conferences have focused on low cost alternatives to road and rail construction, mainly transportation demand management This particular conference broadened its scope to include financing and regional coordi nation issues. It was agreed at the conclusion of the conference that a written summary would be prepared and distributed to participants. and that a follow-up meeting would be held. This document provides the prom ised summary of the conference . . Conference Steering Committee January 1992 I



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\.,UMIYU:N Walter Kulyk, Director, Office of Mobility Enhancement, Fed e ral Transit Administration (FTA) M r. Kulyk provided the federal government's perspective on re gional mobil i ty. Suburbanization of employment has created suburb-to suburb travel patterns poorly served by existing transportation systems. To address emerging mobi l ity needs, the federal government is promotin g non-capital solutions such as trans portation demand management (TO M ) and privately operated shuttle services. These involve partnerships among the federal government. lower levels of govern ment, and the private sector. Through FfA's Regional M obility Program, technical assistance, re search, and demonstration grants are available to private local, and state organizations w ith mobility prob lems. Region o f Mobi lily Prog rom Growt" of Yel\lele MIIH Trawel6d Poj>ulatlon nd Une Mile Stte of Flori611 Vtflltll 10llt1 "111<1 lotiO-Mlo .. IO-o1111 All""'ort lt-l or. 11M

will reduce auto dependency. FOOT is promoting ridesharing and flextime; increased funding for mass transit; more strictly controlled access to state highways; and coop eration with the Florida Department of Community Affairs to tie trans portation and land use decisions together through local comprehensive planning. Mr. M cCue called for an evalua tion of Florida's current MPO structure (made up of 21 separate metro politan planning organizations ), noting that Flo rida is one of the few states that has separate regional planning councils and M POs. Some rest ructuring is necessary to better address transportation problems, which tend to be regional in scope Benjamin Starrett, Strategic Planning Administrator, Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA} Mr. Starrett praised M i ami's approach to comprehensive planning, which defines l eve l s of service in travel corridors in terms of person movement rather than vehicle move ment. The app roach is available to M iami because M iami's rail system provides an alternative to the private automobile. Unde r a proposed DCA rule change, the same basic approach wou l d be available to other l oc alities. FLORIDA RPC'S AND MPO' S REGIONAL PLANNlHG COUNCII..S 1 WEST FLORIDA. RPC 2 APALAQEE RPC G NORTH CENTRAL FlOAIDARPC 4 NORTHEAST flOAIOARPC 5 v.mtu.cooc:a EE RPC e EASI' c::emw. A..OIFII. RPC 1 TNIPABAYFFC I CEH't'RAL R.ORilo\ RPC t lftEASUAE COAST RPC 1 0 SOl1THWE9TR.ORI>ARPC 1 t SOUTH R.ORIOA RPC LOCATION OF METROPOliTAN PlANNING ORGANIZATIONS Localities could designate "transpor tation concurrency management areas (TCMAs) in their local com prehensive plans. Growth would be concentrated in TCMAs, and, as th ey gained density tra nsit woul d become a viable alternative to the automo bile. The proposed rule change would exempt most state highways jMottt.r. Mill IMI UM pr.ddtli'lg tfwoociVboflf 11M plaMfllt ...... .c.nws ......... -... 1 1 .. ,..,....-. O...l$V.10W..-' ............... .....,_ ... - .._..,._ Ill .ell tCIM..-c! .. ,..,..,...-c!ttVW*l .,.,.MIItiL IMifl l'QAAOO, 111Q.IIIo-l

in TCMAs from statewide minimum leve l-ofservice standards. In return for this added flexibility, participating localit ies would be required to develop urban mobility plans that are financially feasible, coordinated with neighboring jurisdictions, and feature TOM and good transit service. Grady Greene, District 2 Secretary, Florida Department of Transportation (FOOT) Mr. Greene advised that, before all else, community leaders need to decide what kind of place they want Jacksonville and the region to be come. Should the downtown be the site of high-rise offices and parking structures for commuters from the suburbs, or should it become a 6 mixed-use center where people both live and work! Community leaders also have to decide how they want to meet mobility needs. Shou l d the dominance of the automobile be challenged! Once quest i ons of this nature are answered, the community can decide what kind of transportation system it needs and can afford. Miles Francis, Executive Director, jacksonville Transportation Authority OTA) Mr. Francis began by express ing JTA 's commitment to coordi nation of its efforts w ith the Jacksonville Publi c Works Department and FOOT. JT A p lans to raise $1 00 million in the bond market for Interstate and arteria l highway


improvements. Twenty-th ree highway projects have been selected in consultation w i th the City and FOOT. While highway improvement s are important, Mr. Francis suggested that the answer to Jacksonville's transportation problems lies in mass transportation The heart of a reliable system is already in place, with the first leg of the Automated Skyway Express. The Skyway will eventually speed travelers through downtown on two-minute headways and interface at peripheral stations with light rail transit and express buses. To make JTA's regional system work, other governments will need to restrict parking in congested areas and designate exclusive lanes for buses. Harry Waldron, Former Chairman, Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council (NEFRPC) Mr. Waldron sounded the alarm over a proposed change in the state funding formula for t ransportation The change to a population-based funding formula could cost North east Florida (FOOT District 2) between $1 SO and $200 million over the next five years. District 2 is the gateway to Florida. It leads the state in highway mileage. I t is already a "donor" district collecting more gas tax revenue than is returned by the state. If the state switches to a population-based funding formula, the imbalance between gas tax collections and d i sbursements will grow even larger. Mr. Waldron called on community leaders to oppose the change. Linda BaJsavage, Commissioner, St. johns County, Florida Ms. Balsavage advocated a regional approach to transportation planning because traffic congestion and air pollution "do not recognize political boundaries." Presently, under the state's growth manage ment law, outlying counties onl y consider the impacts of development on roads within the i r jurisdictions. T raffle flowing north from St. Johns County becomes Jacksonv ille's prob lem when i t crosses the county DISTRICT TWO (GATEWAY TO FLORIDA) OES'niiAliCH OF IJITO V.IEO'OA& GY PEIICim' :u .. VO\'-" "CO. .... 1. O.OV tU ._ mnl.M M .. MU.tt0111Wlll 1. t.A e. Clo\(\\0110 co. 1.4 l (ltJU,I. w. .., t. C*.OtOOOA 1. t.l .. u l t.tiiCI-OW. U Source: H

line. The Jacksonville Urbanized Area MPO excludes large portions of St. Johns and Clay Coun ties and is controlled and Findings and Recommendations of the staffed by Jacksonville. FIRST Thus, even the MPO fails to achieve a regional perspective in i ts transportation plans and pro grams. One promis i ng approach to regional coordi nation was outlined COAST TRANSPOIU'ATION STUDY COMMITTEE in 1987 by the First Coast Transportation Study Committee. A single regional transportat i on authority would be formed with jurisdiction over portions of the region now excluded from the urban planning pro cess. Oudying counties would be well-represented on the authority. john Hollander, General Manager, The Prudential Insurance Company Mr. Hollander descr ib ed pro grams at The Prudentia l Insurance Company that encourage carpooling and vanpooling and enumerated the benefits in the form of reduced parking requirements, congestion, and air pollution. Private efforts such as Prudential's were contrasted with the actions of government 8 agencies. Whil e touting ridesharing, the state provides free parking for its employees in Tallahassee (which encourages solo commuting) and fails to restrict the use of high occupancy vehicle lanes in Orlando and Miami (which discourages carpooling and vanpoo ling). While endorsing mass transit, local officials in Jacksonville continue to find their traffic solu tions in highways and bridges rather than reli able transit systems. Mr. Hollander noted that, as densities rise, mobi lity can be maintained in Jacksonvi ll e only through investments in mass transit and ridesharing incentives.


Keynote Speaker Roger Hord. Vice President. Greater Houston Partnership M r. Hord shared lessons from Houston. A growth spurt in the 1970 s left Houston with some of the nation's worst traffic congestion Traffic congestio n was so severe as to threaten economic development. A mobility plan was prepared, fund ing sources were secured (sales and gas taxes) and improvements were constructed. Houston increased f reeway capacity by 43 percent and street capacity by 27 percent. It added 47 miles of busways and 21 park-and-r id e facilities. The result is a 20 percent rise in freeway speeds during peak hours and a 65 percent ris e in transit ridership Downtown has been revitalized by a 7 1 percent increase in the area that can be reache d from downtown during a 30-m inute afternoon commu te. . anct has' placed : .. Ho-ustoni 'regii:>ifal rail platr in . ,; .:.: . . . .. 9


SESSIONS Transportation Financing Facilitators: Brion Teeple. Executive Director. Northeast Florida RPC. and Patrick Griffith, Research Associate, CUTR Participants agreed at the outset that local officials should resist any effort by South Flo rida to revise the state's transportation f unding formula A shift to a population-based formula would be unfair and detrimental to North-east Florida. As for new COMPARISON OF STATUTORY FORMULA 0 GAS TAX COLLEC'QONS f) STAlUTOR Y TAX l>tSTAI8UT ION revenues the group o POAJLATION favored user fees over other options. I deally, gas taxes would be raised by the state, but a local gas tax hike was acceptable to the group if statutory authority could be SoOdc & Rud:mon. tnc., }odaotrAII<. FL secured. There was some sentiment in favor of toll projects such as Branan Field/Chaffee Road, whether funded by the state or financed with a local bond issue backed by tolls. Whatever new funding sources are pursued, participants felt that the public will be more willing to pay if told exactly how funds will be spent. Residents have to be offered a vision of the region's future rather than asked for a b l ank check. Management Facilitators: Lorenzo Alexander, District Public Transportation Mgr . FDOT, and Debra Hodes. Research Associate, CUTR Participants agreed that the region can no longer depend on the single occupant automobile to meet its mobility needs. Employers must be con vinced of the benefits of TOM and induced to provide ridematch ing services, bicycle facilities, a l ternative work hours, and other employee incent ives 10


Downtown jacksonville needs residential devel opment and shopping facilities so downtown employees can walk or ride transit to work. Business parks and shopping centers have to be laid out to be more pedestrian-friendly. There was some support for regionwide funding of TDM programs, perhaps through a regional gas tax, with some of the proceeds devoted to TOM There was also some sup port for the creation of a transportation man agement association (TMA) to coordinate the ridesharing and mod ified work hour programs t_ ___ __=:: ___ --l=!..---1 of large employers in the area. Regionalization Facilitators: Jim Winston, President, LPMC, and Gory Brosch, Director, CUTR AGENCIES WITH RESPONSIBILITIES FOR NORTHEAST FLORIDA TRANSPORTATION PLANNING There was strong support among participants for the concept of regionalization. Commuters are blind to county lines and other jurisdic tional boundaries. Jurisdictions are a ffected by the development and public investment decisions of other jurisdictions in the region, and existing mechanisms to foster coordination of decision making are not working well. Federal Transit Administration Federal Highway Administration Florida Department of Transportation Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council Metropolitan Planning Organization Jacksonville Urbanized Area Jacksonville Transportation Authority County Governments City Governments While there was general support for regionalization, the details have to be worked out with great care to ensure equity across jurisdictions Issues that must be addressed include: which counties should be part of a regional authority, how many representatives each jurisdiction should have, and how project dollars should be distributed among participating jurisdictions. Participants agreed that any new reg ional authority should replace existing agencies rather than duplicating functions. They also agreed that funding and implementat ion (as well as planning) should be on a regional basis. I I


The Gridlock 2000: Prospects (or Mobility in Northe0$t Florida conference WO$ sponsored and coordinated by the following organizations: City of Jacksonville Federal Transit Administration Florida Deportment of Transportation Floridians for Better Transportation Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Jacksonville Metropolitan Planning Organization Jacksonville Port Authority Jacksonville Transportation Authority Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council Northeast Florida Sle"a Club Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida The following contributed generously by providing a luncheon for forum participants: Bessent, Hammack & Ruckman, Inc. Jacksonville, Florida This publication was compiled and produced by CUTR Center (or Urban Transportation Research University of South Rorida, Tampa (813) 974-3120