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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)




I think Marion Street is not being used to it's full potential primarily because of it's designation as a transitway. Now I do not spend any time downtown during the work hours, so maybe someone can enlighten me. How popular is that bus route? Does it merit a dedicated street to bus transit?

The street, I think, is the most tree covered out of all of the downtown streets. Ideally, this could be a vibrant street with retail and dining. There are alot of people magnets along the way like office buildings, churches, government buildings. I think allowing 2way car traffic throughout the day on a brickstreet would help give the area and any future destinations more exposure. Since Marion Street doesn't really go any way north of downtown, I don't think it would have heavy thru-traffic. It seems to me that this street has a lot of potential of being a vibrant pedestrian-friendly corridor.


Something along these lines would be good...





Any thoughts?
 

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I am not sure about the bus route there, but I have been DT during the lunch hours and Marion is always rather crowded with people eating lunch and walking around. Interestingly, there are also a fair amount of street vendors selling food. I am not sure how much more traffic would increase business in the area....the main problem is getting people into the area when it is not 8-6pm, regardless of a transit way.

Steve
 

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I think it would be a good idea to add more retail/dining along the street and make it a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. I agree that the street is not being used in a way that it could. Keep in mind however that HARTline pushed for the transitway since the 70s and finally had it built as a transitway in the 80s. This was looooooooooooooong before the Marion Transit Center was even planned. The downtown terminal then, sat underneath I-275 and was a huge disaster later on.
 

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Yea, Marion is a waste because it's a dead end and no one needs to take the bus for the 10 blocks through DT. You can walk it faster than waiting for a bus. It might make more sense if it was a thoroughfare. Or if they make a bike lane (Tampa St has one, but there isn't a great way to go N through DT on a bike).
 

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^^
I agree. But try arguing that to HART. Again, they pushed since the 70s to get that transitway and they won't give it up that easily either.
 

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Yes it is a city street. But what steps, if any, would need to be taken? Is there even anything required on HART's part? I guess not?

Jason, 97Roll, what are your opinions on this?
 

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Even though it is a city street I am sure it would not be easy, or if the politicians have the will to go against HART after the recent TECO line expansion fiasco that pitted the city against HART. These organizations have to work together day in and day out, having bad blood between them is not a good thing.

I do not feel giving up the transit way is a good idea, frankly I wish that it could be extended to go fully N/S and another one E/W through DT/Channelside. I highly doubt that making it accessible to cars would make it more attractive to retail. People can currently park on the cross streets if they wanted to, not to mention the other streets that could be used by retail.

Steve
 

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Jason, 97Roll, what are your opinions on this?
I think that Marion and Franklin should both be ped only streets with streetcars running down the middle, with as much shade that can be mustered, be it via awnings, trees or whatever. I also feel strongly that in this scenario, Marion should be extended south of Whiting until it hits Channelside, or better yet, curves over to Meridian. There are a number of ways this could occur, but no matter how it occurs, I consider such a street (a direct link from the core to channelside), fundamental to getting different districts of downtown to actually begin to function cohesively, instead of the isolation we presently have.
 

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Interesting discussion. Last year JTA (Jacksonville Transit Authority) had serious plans to convert Downtown Jacksonville's Adams Street into a bus only transit mall. We (Metro Jacksonville) successfully got them to eliminate that BRT plan, partially using Marion Street as an example of what we DID NOT want in our urban core.

In my opinion, if a vibrant downtown is the goal, the street needs to be reopened to automobile or streetcar traffic. It, like the rest of that section of downtown, have a lot of potential that's not being taken advantage of.
 

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I would hope Franklin Street becomes more developed and brought back to the days when Franklin was THE pedestrain mall with lots of reatil and restaurants, and the streetcar running through it, BEFORE they do anything with Marion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One of the biggest things appealing about Marion St are the mature trees. Secondly is the fact that, Franklin can't be the only street that is pedestrian friendly. I don't have time to elaborat more now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm no city planner, but what about a grid of pedestrian-friendly corridors downtown. For example...Marion, Franklin, Ashley(shared as a prime auto-corridor on north end) also for the E to W streets, Polk and Zack.
 

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I'm sure it is no coincedence that Franklin is "On it's way back" because most of it was reopened to vehicular traffic. The reason that most of Franklin St. was converted back to through traffic in certain areas was because it failed as a Ped. Only street. I'm sure the overall downturn of downtown during that era contributed most to the failure of the street and it's businesses, but the street being closed to vehicular traffic was the nail in the coffin.

The problem with Marion St. is that none of the buildings along the street front the street directly. The Old Courthouse has been closed for years and it's back sits directly on this street. I think the new AIA Courthouse plan can help the transitway to become more vibrant and attractive to casual bus riders.
 

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It's still so baffling that they picked Marion St, considering that it doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't reach past Whiting to the south, and barely reaches past I-275 to the north before terminating. To make such a short run of high density buses be worth a damn, the built density along the line would have to be crazy high and include a range of uses. Just like with Franklin St, it really only becomes worth a damn if it connects different parts of DT. And as expected, none of this exists and probably never will either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The problem with Marion St. is that none of the buildings along the street front the street directly. The Old Courthouse has been closed for years and it's back sits directly on this street. I think the new AIA Courthouse plan can help .....
True it seems more like an alley. It would definately need some storefronts built into the existing buildings. Marion doesn't really go anywhere outside of downtown, but I think a street that you'd want to be vibrant for pedestrian uses and auto friendly shouldn't be a major auto corridor. Ashley already has this conflict on the north end.
 
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