What has happened to Jacksonville? In 1910 Jacksonville was being compared to Los Angeles, only our population was growing faster. It was fully expected that Jacksonville would soon overtake LA as one of America’s premier cities.
It is likely that a Jacksonville resident from 1910 would recognize parts of our city today but they would be heartbroken when they realized that we have long since surrendered our position of dominance in our region. A simple visit to Orlando, Tampa or Miami would probably so stun them that they would willingly return to the realm of the dead.
This story is not about parks. It does, however, use parks to illustrate the state of our city today. The city that once had ‘the most beautiful streetcar line in the world’ now has endless miles of ghetto conditions, unmaintained roads, a mishmash of bad zoning, urban decay, demolition, favoritism and good ol' boys that are more likely to line their pockets than to serve their public.
Fraught with Neanderthal-like thinking at every level, local state and city agencies including JTA, JPA, JEA, JAA, Public Works, parking enforcement and all of their associate agencies have long since removed us from any competition with Los Angeles. A loss of pride and the subsequent trash heaps that go along with it will cost us dearly...