Tuesday, May 7

Will Anyone With Sense Please Step in and Stop the Autonomous Vehicle Fiasco Downtown?

The Jacksonville skyway thingy is pretty stupid. It's good for photos, like the Landing was (years ago), but no one uses it except a few tourists, and most locals barely know it exists. Kind of like the Mayport river ferry. But to add millions of dollars on top of stupid in order to get a fake autonomous system that's basically just a van (with a driver) is borderline criminal. Actually, it's over the borderline. Sometimes, cool innovations just don't work, and then it's time to move on. Please, someone in the mayor's office or city council or Shad Khan or whoever really runs Jacksonville, for the love of God, shut down the autonomous vehicle ride fiasco before we owe more money for a few tourists to ride a few miles in a van. 

Can we just admit that Jacksonville is not a city built for public transit? It's super spread out, and there isn't enough going on downtown. Maybe a decent investment is more of the JTA vans, or just throwing money at Uber/Lyft to take over for empty buses. Or an actual fast-moving, long-distance street rail system that ties downtown to the Beaches and maybe a stop on San Marco and the Town Center. But fast and long-distance, not short and slow, whether autonomous or not.

Or nothing. It's just a kind of welfare, anyhow, especially in such a car-centric city as Jax. I took a lot of Urban Planning classes, and I wish I was wrong, but I'm not. Rethinking transit options in Jacksonville might be possible, but it's not going to come via pretending to have an autonomous vehicle system intended to carry almost no one to nowhere in particular. Please, someone with a say, kill the autonomous skyway Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C) Bay Street Innovation Corridor (BSIC) money pit before we all get sucked in.

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