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Suburban Jacksonville: Julington Creek Plantation

With nearly 6,000 residents spread over 5,000 acres, Julington Creek Plantation has become one of Jacksonville's fastest growing suburban master planned communities since it's founding in 1994.

Published February 13, 2012 in Neighborhoods      77 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


feature

About Julington Creek Plantation Community Development District



Situated along Race Track Road between State Road 13 and Interstate 95, Julington Creek Plantation was established in 1994 by the Atlantic Gulf Communities Corporation.  Covering 4,150 acres, the community's amenities include over 100 lakes, 1,200 acres of nature preserves, and seven miles of bike & jogging trails.  Like the urban core of Jacksonville, the Julington Creek includes higher density development, commerical, recreational, and educational uses in its center.  However, unlike the city, connectivity between many of these uses is better suited for the automobile.



A short stretch of Race Track Road illustrating the area's 1990's era rural feel.


Race Track Road through Julington Creek today.








Regional Parks



Julington Creek Plantation is home to two large recreational parks.  Both Mills Field Community Park and the Regional County Park are located on Race Track Road.  Most park users appear to drive to these parks from their residences throughout the community.










Commercial Julington Creek Plantation



Julington Creek Plantation's commercial districts are located along Race Track Road at Flora Branch Boulevard and State Road 13 (San Jose Boulevard).










Bartram Walk Shoppes



Located at the intersection of Race Track Road and State Road 13, Bartram Walk is home to a number of retail and dining establishments.















CDD and POA Governance



Quote
A Community Development District (CDD) is a special County taxing entity that provides funds for local infrastructure improvements and possibly recreational facilities. Julington Creek Plantation and River Oaks Plantation are part of the same CDD; however, some JCP communities that existed before the CDD was created voted not to pay the taxes, and therefore, are not included in CDD membership. (An owner in these neighborhoods is not considered a CDD member, and may not use the members-only recreational facilities unless an annual recreational fee is paid). So our CDD area contains most, but not all, of Julington Creek Plantation, and all of River Oaks Plantation. The CDD fee is assessed along with regular property taxes. The CDD has a Board of five Supervisors who own property in the CDD area. The CDD Board of Supervisors operates under the CDD Rules and Procedure documents and its Supervisors are considered public officials, subject to both Florida “sunshine” laws and Chapter 190, “Community Development Districts,” of Florida statute. Board Supervisors must be CDD members (meaning they must own property in a CDD neighborhood). They are elected by their fellow CDD members as part of annual County elections. Supervisors are compensated for attendance at their Board meetings. CDD Board meetings are the second Tuesday of each month and are open to the public.

The JCP Property Owners Association (JCP POA) consists of property owners in Julington Creek Plantation. (River Oaks Plantation property owners have their own ROP Association.) The JCP POA has legal status as a non-profit corporation.  It operates under Chapter 720, Homeowner Associations of Florida Statute, and the JCP Association Bylaws. It is responsible for overseeing community operations, maintenance of POA common property, and homeowner adherence to covenants, regulations, and deed restrictions.  The POA Board consists of seven Directors. Directors are property owners in good standing in JCP and are elected by their fellow POA members at the Association’s Annual Meeting. Directors who serve on the POA Board are not compensated. They are assisted by other property owners who volunteer to serve on committees such as Grounds, Financial Review, Safety, Covenants Enforcement Hearing, or Architectural Review. POA Board meetings are the second Wednesday of each month and are open to JCP property owners. Link to POA
Both Boards choose their Directors/Supervisors via elections. Elected Board members serve for two years. Approximately half the seats on each Board are open during any given election.  Any member in good standing may run for an open seat on one of the Boards.  There are no term limits.


CDD vs. POA: Who Does What?

Julington Creek Plantation has two organizations that are responsible for community planning and asset maintenance:

The Community Development District (CDD) and

The Property Owners Association (POA).

The CDD is responsible for the main recreational facilities and for the common grounds along Race Track Road and State Road 13 that border our community. The POA is responsible for the rest of the common areas and for promoting compliance with community covenants. Each organization has a Board composed of property owners elected by their peers to oversee these respective functions.
http://www.jcpcdd.org/CDDvPOA.html


Residential Julington Creek Plantation



Julington Creek Plantation is home to a mix of residential uses and neighborhoods at various densities.






































Julington Creek Plantation is located where Race Track Road intersects with State Road 13 in Northern St. Johns County.  Julington Creek Plantation is roughly a 30 minute drive south of downtown Jacksonville in light traffic conditions.

Article by Ennis Davis







77 Comments

ben says

February 13, 2012, 08:39:33 AM
Not a fan

finehoe

February 13, 2012, 11:11:19 AM
Yuk.

Jumpinjack

February 13, 2012, 11:17:49 AM
Very pretty sububan homes and stores. Sort of boring though.

ben says

February 13, 2012, 11:22:20 AM
Very pretty sububan homes and stores. Sort of boring though.

Verrrryyy boooorrrrinnngggg and verrrryyyy faaarrrr away form the core. Ughhh

ubben

February 13, 2012, 11:24:40 AM
Looks like Orlando. Thumbs down.

duvaldude08

February 13, 2012, 11:55:19 AM
I cant not stay anywhere that has word "plantation" on the end of it. Im just saying!  ;D

Just to let everyone know, this was joke just to make myself laugh.

duvaldude08

February 13, 2012, 11:58:56 AM
Sprawl my children Sprawl I say

thelakelander

February 13, 2012, 12:44:32 PM
I cant not stay anywhere that has word "plantation" on the end of it. Im just saying!  ;D
LOL, I used to say the same thing, especially when I was living in Tallahassee.

blizz01

February 13, 2012, 01:07:14 PM
Shannon's is a pretty sweet pub, I must say....

jaxnative

February 13, 2012, 01:35:15 PM
Great area.  Clean, safe, tons of activities for families.  Moved out here when my kids were young mainly for the schools.  Never regretted it.  Schools ranking in all the top levels, structured, safe, good curriculums, and tons of parent support.  The parks are full of kids and families during the weekends and evenings during the week.

Tacachale

February 13, 2012, 02:00:45 PM
My oldest friend's family were among the first to buy in the new developments back in the 90's. They first lived in Switzerland while their current house was being built on Julington Creek. This was back when many roads were unpaved, the schools weren't built yet, and the Ghost Light could still be seen on Green Briar Road.

Some pretty houses and natural settings out there, but those arterials quickly and predictably turned hideous and clogged with strip malls and driving traffic. I remember thinking even back then (I was a teenager) that it was all pretty ridiculous. To each his own, I suppose.

We used to joke that you had to love white bread and driving 15 minutes to get it to live there.

dougskiles

February 13, 2012, 03:27:12 PM
Great area.  Clean, safe, tons of activities for families.  Moved out here when my kids were young mainly for the schools.  Never regretted it.  Schools ranking in all the top levels, structured, safe, good curriculums, and tons of parent support.  The parks are full of kids and families during the weekends and evenings during the week.

When you say that it is "safe", what dangers do you feel protected from?

finehoe

February 13, 2012, 04:13:37 PM
When you say that it is "safe", what dangers do you feel protected from?

Pedestrians?

Keith-N-Jax

February 13, 2012, 04:51:40 PM
I cant not stay anywhere that has word "plantation" on the end of it. Im just saying!  ;D






LOL

Tacachale

February 13, 2012, 05:09:41 PM
^I've long felt than in a former slave state, if something has the term "Plantation" attached to it, it better have honest-to-God historical plantation buildings, carefully restored and maintained as a respectful reminder of how our current infrastructure was built under a cruel system  through much blood, oppression, and toil.

If it doesn't, you're an asshole.

Jaxson

February 13, 2012, 05:17:09 PM
I agree with the previous postings about the use of the word 'plantation' when designing subdvisions.  Aren't we a little too advanced to be yearning for the days of the 'lost cause'?  Just sayin'!

Garden guy

February 14, 2012, 06:47:52 AM
Most of the land this place is on should never have been built on...it was mostly wetlands...land trading and back room deals in Tally allowed this place to be developed...just another example of the good ole boys with wetland fucking up our state.

cline

February 14, 2012, 08:50:26 AM
I know quite a few people that live here.  The number one reason they give for liking it so much:  good schools.

thelakelander

February 14, 2012, 08:56:25 AM
I wonder what the average Julington Creek Plantation's household automobile/transportation budget is?  It appears to be your typical suburban style master development but it seems like its a good distance from clusters of commerical, office, and industrial employment.

Jumpinjack

February 14, 2012, 09:31:21 AM
I read a report done on Housing and Transportation Costs in the Washington DC area. The study, while complex in most ways, found that in general, commuting costs of homeowners living in suburbs began to exceed housing costs at a distance of about 15-17 miles.

tufsu1

February 14, 2012, 09:39:37 AM
I wonder what the average Julington Creek Plantation's household automobile/transportation budget is? 

I doubt they care much...residents out there have higher HH income than the metro area in general or the state as a whole.

Tacachale

February 14, 2012, 10:32:33 AM
By hilarious coincidence I had an unfortunate experience in Julington Creek last night that I'd like to relate. I discovered that another thing the neighborhood is "safe" from is easy access to hospitals.

We were attending a party with the friend I mentioned in an above post, who's currently taking care of his parents' house on Julington Creek. Shortly into the night I started choking, which necessitated a run to the emergency room. The route to the nearest hospital, Baptist South, was 15 miles and took over 20 minutes- with my wife hauling ass. The shortest route was 9 or 10 miles but had so many traffic lights it would have taken even longer. Either way, not a fun trip when you can't really breathe.

In contrast, my own house in San Marco is no more than 2 or 3 miles from Baptist Downtown. Even if we had to call an ambulance and wait for it to come and go back, it still would have taken half the time it did.

I've been leaning this way for years, but this experience has totally convinced me: we need to be less preoccupied with oblique concerns about "safety" and sprawling out to build excellent new schools instead of fixing existing ones, and start building communities with all working parts.

jaxnative

February 14, 2012, 11:55:01 AM
Wow, settle down boys and girls.  I never realized I was a racist, environmentally destructive, insensitive to injured people who don't know how the hell to get to the hospital quickly, asshole.  I'm going to be tossing and turning at night for weeks!!!!!
I really love this area.  I feel really safe and have just about every thing I need close by.

There ya go, let the entertainment continue.

thelakelander

February 14, 2012, 12:13:35 PM
I wonder what the average Julington Creek Plantation's household automobile/transportation budget is? 

I doubt they care much...residents out there have higher HH income than the metro area in general or the state as a whole.
  I know, I was just wondering what range it possibly falls in.

Tacachale

February 14, 2012, 12:16:05 PM
Wow, settle down boys and girls.  I never realized I was a racist, environmentally destructive, insensitive to injured people who don't know how the hell to get to the hospital quickly, asshole.  I'm going to be tossing and turning at night for weeks!!!!!
I really love this area.  I feel really safe and have just about every thing I need close by.

There ya go, let the entertainment continue.

oh come now. No one said any of those things about you. It's cool you're happy where you live and appreciate the low crime rate, excellent schools, and car accessible parks. But from where I'm standing I didn't feel particularlt safe going through that neck of the woods last night.

thelakelander

February 14, 2012, 12:20:32 PM
Wow, settle down boys and girls.  I never realized I was a racist, environmentally destructive, insensitive to injured people who don't know how the hell to get to the hospital quickly, asshole.  I'm going to be tossing and turning at night for weeks!!!!!
I really love this area.  I feel really safe and have just about every thing I need close by.

There ya go, let the entertainment continue.

LOL.  Julington Creek Plantation is a great place for those who choose to live there which, by looking at all the cars driving down Race Track Road, numbers in the thousands.  Being in a diversified community, we're going to have an environment where several types of lifestyles appeal to a variety of people.  Obviously, from judging from the comments, the majority of MJ appears to be more urban oriented, so don't take anything said on these discussion boards personally.

dougskiles

February 14, 2012, 01:51:40 PM
The continued use of the word 'safe' is interesting to me.

It reminds me of when I learned to scuba dive at night.  The instructor taught us that it is more dangerous to dive at night, but only because of how we react to perceived danger.  Night time didn't bring any greater risk of shark attack, equipment malfunction, etc.   But, if we panicked at the thought of any of these, we could get in trouble very quickly.

So, let's assume that there is a very small increase in risk for a home invasion.  How does that compare to the increased risk assocated with driving because home is farther from work?

All things considered, is it really safer?  Or do we just perceive it to be safer?

thelakelander

February 14, 2012, 02:05:47 PM
This particular situation (which could be nearly any place in the region) didn't seem safe to me, which is why I snapped the shot.  It will serve as a visual example of how not to design pedestrian crossings at roadway intersections.



Lunican

February 14, 2012, 02:16:43 PM
Check out what actually kills people...


http://fcpr.fsu.edu/flcured/causes_of_death.php

Unintentional injury and cardiovascular disease can be directly attributed to our autocracy.

thelakelander

February 14, 2012, 02:20:11 PM
Hmm, that would make Northwest Jax one of the safest areas in metro Jacksonville.

Jaxson

February 14, 2012, 04:39:21 PM
More thoughts on the use of the word 'plantation'...

http://uvamblogs.com/landscape_of_slavery/?p=9

http://www.thegrio.com/opinion/should-plantation-get-the-n-word-treatment.php

duvaldude08

February 14, 2012, 04:48:55 PM
I was actually down near hasting last night and I seen a said that said "Jacksonville" that had an arrowpointing down CR13. And I told my friend that is a shame that this city is so sprawled and spread out. I had no idea Julington creek was that far out.

Lunican

February 15, 2012, 08:08:29 AM
From the 2013 DOT Budget:

Quote
Reducing highway fatalities continues to be a priority at the Department of Transportation. Even though fatalities on our roadways are at an historic low, highway crashes remain the leading cause of death for Americans age 4 through 34. Approximately 33,000 people died on the Nation’s highways in 2010, and action must be taken to address this serious public health and safety problem. The financial burden of roadway crashes is at least $230 billion per year — a sign of the economic magnitude of roadway crashes. Only the Federal government has the authority to establish National safety standards for vehicles, regulate motor carriers and mandate roadway safety features. A coordinated and comprehensive approach is needed to address roadway safety challenges and issues.

John P

February 15, 2012, 10:20:26 AM
I know quite a few people that live here.  The number one reason they give for liking it so much:  good schools.

That is a shame. There are many good students that get scholarships at the lower rated schools. I think that a good school to some people is a school where they have to do as little as possible to help thier child. In my experience a child can succeed anywhere as long as their parent or caregiver is engaged in their academic progress. Stereotypes and fear drive this thinking. I would not be surprised if that Julington creek and Nocatee developers of the world pushed those stereotypes and fear further because schools are the number 1 reason most give whe asked why they move there.

blizz01

February 15, 2012, 10:57:38 AM
Quote
I think that a good school to some people is a school where they have to do as little as possible to help thier child.

I think that it's the opposite, really.  There is SO much parent involvement in these schools that it's often smothering.  Keep in mind that most of the top rated schools (K-6) in St. John's (& Clay) county are in areas with a large population of stay at home moms; they don't play tennis all day. 

thelakelander

February 15, 2012, 11:04:34 AM
Are the schools in St. Johns and Clay any better than the schools in Duval County's suburban areas?  After all, they are the exact same demographic pool.

blizz01

February 15, 2012, 11:15:40 AM
Well, FCAT results say that they are.

tufsu1

February 15, 2012, 11:21:48 AM
Are the schools in St. Johns and Clay any better than the schools in Duval County's suburban areas?  After all, they are the exact same demographic pool.

I'm not sure that's the case....I think the income and educational attainment levels of parents may be higher (especially in northern St. Johns)...can't say enough about the effect of genetics and home environment on student success.

Tacachale

February 15, 2012, 11:40:52 AM
FCAT results in demographically similar areas of Duval County are about the same as they are in St. Johns County (and Clay). You can sort the FCAT scores here.
http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/default.asp

A cursory review shows that by this past year's data, schools of all levels in Mandarin, the Beaches, and a lot of the Southside score similarly to schools in St. Johns (or Clay). There are also others throughout the rest of the county (including the urban neighborhood of San Marco) that also score highly.

St. Johns does have more consistency across the board - they have no schools that scored lower than a "B", and all of those "B" schools appear to be in the St. Augustine area rather than Ponte Vedra or the Julington Creek-Fruit Cove area. Presumably St. Johns' success is affected by the fact that a lot of families move St. Johns specifically for the schools - like seeks like, and all that.

Not that the FCAT is a great measure (it takes in no consideration for specializations, honors programs, International Baccalaureate, etc.), but it is a measure.

thelakelander

February 15, 2012, 12:35:11 PM
^Thanks.  My kids attend Mandarin Oaks Elementary and I recall that their FCAT grades were no different from those found in Northern St. Johns and Clay County.

Imo, the major difference between these areas as a whole is that Jax is a city and the others are suburbs.  Being that a city typically has a larger cross section of the population at different economic and educational levels, it's going to have a wider cross section in terms of overall performance as well.

tufsu1

February 15, 2012, 12:49:08 PM
exactly Lake....the demographics of Julington Creek are very homogenuous

Non-RedNeck Westsider

February 15, 2012, 12:58:29 PM
^Thanks.  My kids attend Mandarin Oaks Elementary and I recall that their FCAT grades were no different from those found in Northern St. Johns and Clay County.

My son goes to Ribault Middle and he's there because of his FCATs.

fsquid

February 15, 2012, 02:12:50 PM
2010 census had the three tracts that make up JCP at 92% white, maybe just a little under that.

finehoe

February 15, 2012, 02:27:01 PM
2010 census had the three tracts that make up JCP at 92% white, maybe just a little under that.

I suspect for many, that is all you need to know.  Folks who wouldn't dream of saying "I like it 'cause there are hardly any nigras there" say "Schools!  It's the schools!".

Tacachale

February 15, 2012, 03:29:14 PM
^Thanks.  My kids attend Mandarin Oaks Elementary and I recall that their FCAT grades were no different from those found in Northern St. Johns and Clay County.

Imo, the major difference between these areas as a whole is that Jax is a city and the others are suburbs.  Being that a city typically has a larger cross section of the population at different economic and educational levels, it's going to have a wider cross section in terms of overall performance as well.
That's a big part of it, especially combined with how Florida organizes its school districts. Unlike some places our districts are nearly exclusively organized by county, and we have very large counties in both population and area, especially compared to most of the East Coast. As such suburban schools in Mandarin, Southside, etc. are within the same district as the urban schools.

cline

February 15, 2012, 04:59:01 PM
^Thanks.  My kids attend Mandarin Oaks Elementary and I recall that their FCAT grades were no different from those found in Northern St. Johns and Clay County.


I believe that those people that I was referring to that moved their because of the schools did so more because of the high schools.  There are a lot of great elementary schools in Duval County with high grades- not as many high schools.  In the NW SJC area you have Creekside, Nease and Bartram Trail- all schools with fairly high grades.  In some areas within Duval County you can send your kid to a decent elementary school but then they might have to go to a not so great high school.  Or you can send them to a magnet (Stanton) or a private school.

By the way, this is just what colleagues have told me, not from personal experience.  In full disclosure, I went to Fletcher (one of the better public duval high schools IMO :))

Overstreet

February 15, 2012, 05:11:07 PM
......................
LOL.  Julington Creek Plantation is a great place for those who choose to live there which, by looking at all the cars driving down Race Track Road, numbers in the thousands.  Being in a diversified community, we're going to have an environment where several types of lifestyles appeal to a variety of people.  Obviously, from judging from the comments, the majority of MJ appears to be more urban oriented, so don't take anything said on these discussion boards personally.

I agree.

Ocklawaha

February 15, 2012, 06:35:46 PM

To fast forward to 2012, just add pavement!

Nothing wrong with it and a lot right about it, it's a matter of CHOICE. Example, if I were suddenly a widower I'd be in the Peninsula by the end of the month! But I've also been in WGV (think Julington Creek disjointed) for some time and find it's not unlike my stint in Oklahoma, in a tiny town called Cashion. Cashion was jumping from the year 1904 to 2004 in one giant leap as more and more residents who enjoy a COMPLETELY rural lifestyle move in. Cashion was a choice, and I actually built "my dream home" on acreage, backed into a woods, complete with creek on the northwest side, and out the front window you could see 5 days straight ahead. Guess what? The air REALLY is sweet, across that waving wheat, when the wind comes right behind the rain. It turned out to be quite an experience. In fact just yesterday I was sharing some old Cashion photo articles with Ennis.

One adventure I'll NEVER FORGET was when our 4 farm-to-market arterial connecting us with a few other little burgs and ultimately OKC finally got the attention of the OKC road department.  They came out in November or December and graded, crowned and laid a chip and seal pavement down. I wasn't the only one dancing in the streets, it cut all of 20 miles off getting to a supermarket or Wal-Mart! The day after the pavement went down we got snow, followed by ice, followed by more snow, followed...well you get the point. I think it was actually about a week later when the melt exposed a dirt road again! The Daily Oklahoman Newspaper called it The Case of The Vanishing Highway.  My best guess is they laid that stuff when the ground temperature was cold as hell and it lost all tack. LOL! But little Cashion got some real laughs on  OKC that week. They have subsequently put down a real road.

Stuck in a 2 car traffic jam while cowboys drive the herd across the road...  Watching the thermometer plunge from 75 to 15 in about 3 hours... Watching a puma at the end of my driveway.... Finding out your stunningly beautiful "Hispanic" neighbor is from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe ( http://www.c-a-tribes.org/ )... Telling the crew to "GET READY" when a parade of storm chasers zipped by going toward the Cimarron...  A flock of tiny fearless birds who swarmed over my coat and hoodie for a snowy day handout... A local 8 man football team that put all 1,200 residents in the stands... All things you'll probably never see in Jacksonville.

So the chunk of WGV next to the river is now home, when we need to buy some vittles or attend a Sunday-Go-To-Meeting, we head for Greater Metropolitan Green Cove Springs.

halimeade

February 19, 2012, 12:05:14 AM
Growing up in Mandarin, I will say that Julington Creek is almost universally despised. Not because of who lives there, what it looks like, or how its planned out, but because ALL OF THE TRAFFIC funnels down San Jose to 295, causing horrible congestion near the on ramp area. Its unreal. Its gotten especially worse in the past 5-6 years, to the point that the savvier Mandarin locals have to take back roads to avoid San Jose if we want to get anywhere at certain times of day.

duvaldude08

February 19, 2012, 02:43:58 AM
Growing up in Mandarin, I will say that Julington Creek is almost universally despised. Not because of who lives there, what it looks like, or how its planned out, but because ALL OF THE TRAFFIC funnels down San Jose to 295, causing horrible congestion near the on ramp area. Its unreal. Its gotten especially worse in the past 5-6 years, to the point that the savvier Mandarin locals have to take back roads to avoid San Jose if we want to get anywhere at certain times of day.

Nightmare is not the word. Not knowing how bad it was, I had to travel down San Jose one evening after work and I was so stressed and pissed off. The traffic was T E R R I A B LE.! I could not believe how bad it was.

JeffreyS

February 19, 2012, 08:14:04 AM
^ and in an effort to subsidize their neighbor county to the south Duval has added lane after lane of roads to maintain.

cline

February 19, 2012, 11:27:20 AM
Growing up in Mandarin, I will say that Julington Creek is almost universally despised. Not because of who lives there, what it looks like, or how its planned out, but because ALL OF THE TRAFFIC funnels down San Jose to 295, causing horrible congestion near the on ramp area. Its unreal. Its gotten especially worse in the past 5-6 years, to the point that the savvier Mandarin locals have to take back roads to avoid San Jose if we want to get anywhere at certain times of day.

You can't attribute the disaster that is 295 at San Jose solely on Julington Creek residents.  "Mandarin locals" are to blame as well.  That's why the "savvier" greater Jax locals avoid that area at all costs.

Gravity

February 23, 2012, 01:53:08 PM
Let me show you how ignorant you are by applying my stereotypical views

fsquid

February 23, 2012, 03:18:39 PM
I'm assuming that the growth of Mandarin East of San Jose also has a bit to do with the rush hour snarl along that route.

themathochist

September 27, 2012, 11:56:31 PM
First, my apologies for digging up an old post.

I've lived in the westside, northside, beaches, riverside/avondale, and am now in JCP. Every area has its pros and cons. I particularly miss riverside/avondale. My wife and I enjoyed being able to walk to just about everything, and seeing so many people out and about was a major draw for us. However, with a baby and hopefully more in the future, the thought of schools and neighborhoods drew us out to JCP. Like many have said, it's a great place for families. Part of the reason I think the schools do well here is because of the family-focus of the area. It's likely not the place for single folks or young couples without kids, but once you do have kids, it's a pretty nice place to raise them.

While traffic is heavy, it really is no worse than on any other major artery (e.g. Arlington Expressway near the Matthews), Roosevelt, Southside Blvd, etc.

Tacachale

September 28, 2012, 09:26:04 AM
First, my apologies for digging up an old post.

I've lived in the westside, northside, beaches, riverside/avondale, and am now in JCP. Every area has its pros and cons. I particularly miss riverside/avondale. My wife and I enjoyed being able to walk to just about everything, and seeing so many people out and about was a major draw for us. However, with a baby and hopefully more in the future, the thought of schools and neighborhoods drew us out to JCP. Like many have said, it's a great place for families. Part of the reason I think the schools do well here is because of the family-focus of the area. It's likely not the place for single folks or young couples without kids, but once you do have kids, it's a pretty nice place to raise them.

While traffic is heavy, it really is no worse than on any other major artery (e.g. Arlington Expressway near the Matthews), Roosevelt, Southside Blvd, etc.

The schools "do well" in St. Johns County because the area draws in a homogenous demographic pool that values education and is isolated from the more diverse Duval County School District. There's nothing more to it than simple white flight. "Family-focus" is subjective. Taking me as an example, I don't consider a development with no ability to walk or bike around, no where to walk or bike to, clogged arterials and a 20-minute drive to the nearest hospital to be a very enticing environment to raise a family.

fsquid

September 28, 2012, 10:05:19 AM
I walk and ride my bike all the time in the area.

Tacachale

September 28, 2012, 10:51:47 AM
So do these people:



It doesn't look like a particularly "safe" or "family-focused" environment to me.

fsquid

September 28, 2012, 11:39:45 AM
I've never had a problem as long as I wait for the traffic signal to tell me to cross.  Plenty of kids bike across that intersection to Fruit Cove Middle and Julington Creek Elementary every morning and afternoon.

thelakelander

September 28, 2012, 11:46:50 AM
That's definitely not a safe or kiddie friendly intersection.  It's a shame that we've let things get so bad in Jacksonville that people actually consider crossings like that safe and family friendly.  Nevertheless, I assume most of the people in JCP drive anyway.  This could be seen at the parks where the parking lots were packed.

fsquid

September 28, 2012, 12:45:27 PM
It's 4 lanes with a cross walk and a light.  Growing up in Urban Memphis, I crossed roads like that all the time. 

You are correct that some parents don't even bike or walk to the park with their kids which is sad, but it's a free country.  It's not like there aren't 4 parks in the area all connected by wide sidewalks that are used.

thelakelander

September 28, 2012, 01:02:15 PM
Memphis is like Jacksonville.  Outside of downtown and a few urban neighborhoods, its not pedestrian friendly.

You are correct that some parents don't even bike or walk to the park with their kids which is sad, but it's a free country.  It's not like there aren't 4 parks in the area all connected by wide sidewalks that are used.

I don't blame them.  The area isn't designed in a manner that promotes walkability.  However, its clear that wasn't the intention of the county, the development team, and the people who live there could care less about it.

simms3

September 28, 2012, 03:12:28 PM
The thing about JCP is that it is still within 15 miles of downtown (with a direct 6-lane route, SR-13).  Compared to most larger metro areas and certainly compared to the extreme sprawl of Atlanta, that is pretty good.  I'll bet you there are brick versions of JCP 50 miles outside of Atlanta's CBD in any given direction with no direct access to the CBD except for a 2-4 lane arterial (serving 5 JCPs) to the nearest 20 lane highway.

Jacksonville is SPRAWLY and its core is sadly not developing like other cities right now, but it's relatively confined compared to say Atlanta (densifying core, but metro sprawls 50 miles in every direction), Charlotte (sprawls almost as much as Atl with 1/3 the population), Nashville, Boston (yes Boston outside of the City is soooo sparse), Chicago, Dallas, Houston, LA, San Diego, San Francisco (forced to be sparse overall by geography, imagine commuting into the City via car from Walnut Creek or Fremont!), etc etc.

I-10east

September 28, 2012, 03:30:53 PM
Boy, you can tell who's in the biased urban-fantasy land bubble; Any other environment outside of it is deemed 'unsafe' like you're crossing the freaking Atlanta Motor Speedway during race time or something. It's just a typical neighborhood that you can find all over the country, nothing 'unsafe' about it at all. How come you don't see Julington Creek pedestrian/bicyclists deaths on the news constantly? Exactly ::)

Tacachale

September 28, 2012, 05:15:08 PM
Boy, you can tell who's in the biased urban-fantasy land bubble; Any other environment outside of it is deemed 'unsafe' like you're crossing the freaking Atlanta Motor Speedway during race time or something. It's just a typical neighborhood that you can find all over the country, nothing 'unsafe' about it at all. How come you don't see Julington Creek pedestrian/bicyclists deaths on the news constantly? Exactly ::)

Uh, because people aren't walking or biking in any great number? At any rate, there are plenty of auto accidents in Julington Creek that hit the news, including some pretty tragic ones involving bikes and pedestrians, these are some from the last 2 years I found in a 2 minute search.

http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-08-07/story/19-year-old-identified-fatal-jacksonville-crash-sunday
http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2011-06-04/story/reader-feedback-open-season-pedestrians
http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/072608/ner_309381055.shtml
http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2011-03-25/suv-strikes-child-dog-julington-creek#.UGYH9CLbjjM
http://staugustine.com/news/police/2011-02-10/police-report-february-9-2011#.UGYK6yLbjjM
http://www.news4jax.com/news/24088771/detail.html

fsquid

September 28, 2012, 06:39:22 PM
What a horrible person I was biking with my six and two year old to Brickstone for a pizza tonight.  We werr putting our life at risk!  It is no way urban, but ifyou want to walk or bike, you can.  Easily.  When you come to an intersection wait until that white thing tells you to walk

Tacachale

September 28, 2012, 07:23:23 PM
It's not a matter of being horrible (and you're clearly not). It's a matter of choice, though a choice heavily influenced by what one perceives as "safe" and "family friendly".

fsquid

September 28, 2012, 07:33:06 PM
I see flat sidewalks, which I enjoy more than my uphill ride from the pub in Charlotte!

Non-RedNeck Westsider

September 28, 2012, 09:17:19 PM
I see flat sidewalks, which I enjoy more than my uphill ride from the pub in Charlotte!

Obviously you forgot to consider the ride home when purchasing in Charlotte.  Think about it, if you had only had a downhill coast from the pub....  you might still be there.

themathochist

September 29, 2012, 06:37:22 PM
The schools "do well" in St. Johns County because the area draws in a homogenous demographic pool that values education and is isolated from the more diverse Duval County School District. There's nothing more to it than simple white flight. "Family-focus" is subjective. Taking me as an example, I don't consider a development with no ability to walk or bike around, no where to walk or bike to, clogged arterials and a 20-minute drive to the nearest hospital to be a very enticing environment to raise a family.

I partly disagree with you with respect to why schools do well. Yes, it is because of how much one values education. However, I would not go as far as to suggest that only one demographic group values education. Stanton College Preparatory, where I went to high school, did well because of the parents who got involved, regardless of ethnicity, income level, etc. not because of the homogeneous demographic. In fact, its existence was in part due to the need to diversify high school student bodies. Northshore Elementary, a school in a fairly poor neighborhood, pulled itself out of the hole largely due to the people who cared about keeping the school from being closed. I've provided examples from both a stellar school, and one that a few years ago was on the brink of closing its doors. The key was the sense of value in education as you pointed out. However, that is these are more exceptions than the general rule in Jacksonville, which is quite opposite when you visit the schools in the JCP area.

As for walking, I can agree that San Jose / State Road 13 is not pedestrian friendly.  Though is there any main artery for which this is the case? Once you get off of the main roads, there are plenty of places to bike and walk. There are lots of parks here, plenty of bike lanes (you can see cyclists pretty much every day). In fact, I see quite a few runners, cyclists, folks walking their dog, etc. on the way to and from work on a daily basis.

As for clogged arterials -- I am having a hard time even naming one place that is not close to some artery that gets clogged with traffic. No matter where you live, you will be close to some main artery filled with traffic -- how else are people going to get around the huge space that is Jacksonville without it taking over an hour? (It already takes about 30 mins to get anywhere even with the big roads.) So what place did you have in mind? I've lived in almost all areas of Jacksonville, and I feel pretty confident there is not one single place that is completely free of traffic problems.

themathochist

September 29, 2012, 06:43:22 PM
So do these people:



It doesn't look like a particularly "safe" or "family-focused" environment to me.

You're kidding right? If I'm not mistaken, that's Racetrack -- a pretty busy street (probably second to SR 13, a.k.a. San Jose Blvd). By that logic, Riverside is unsafe because of the I-10 and I-95 interstates, anywhere between the St. Johns and the beaches would be unsafe due to one of Atlantic Blvd, Beach Blvd, Southside Blvd, or A1A... If that were the intersection within a neighborhood, then you would have a point...

I-10east

September 29, 2012, 06:54:22 PM
Bottomline is that there is nothing uniquely unsafe about San Jose/SR13 in comparison to many busy 'unsafe' streets in Jax. It is a suburban area, so I wouldn't expect San Jose to be like Newnan. 

themathochist

September 29, 2012, 06:57:33 PM
Memphis is like Jacksonville.  Outside of downtown and a few urban neighborhoods, its not pedestrian friendly.

You are correct that some parents don't even bike or walk to the park with their kids which is sad, but it's a free country.  It's not like there aren't 4 parks in the area all connected by wide sidewalks that are used.

I don't blame them.  The area isn't designed in a manner that promotes walkability.  However, its clear that wasn't the intention of the county, the development team, and the people who live there could care less about it.

I think it would be pretty difficult to make most of Jacksonville walk-friendly. The city is the entire county! Even if you magically added in safe sidewalks everywhere, there's no way someone from the Westside is going to go "strolling" out toward the beaches =) But I disagree with you if you mean to say within any given area, there is little room for walking or biking.

As for walking to parks in JCP -- I think you'll find that there are more people at those parks than could possibly fit into all the cars parked there (even with a full parking lot).

Tacachale

September 29, 2012, 08:19:31 PM
So do these people:



It doesn't look like a particularly "safe" or "family-focused" environment to me.

You're kidding right? If I'm not mistaken, that's Racetrack -- a pretty busy street (probably second to SR 13, a.k.a. San Jose Blvd). By that logic, Riverside is unsafe because of the I-10 and I-95 interstates, anywhere between the St. Johns and the beaches would be unsafe due to one of Atlantic Blvd, Beach Blvd, Southside Blvd, or A1A... If that were the intersection within a neighborhood, then you would have a point...

Yes, basically all of the roads you describe are very unsafe for pedestrians and bikes, and make the areas they run through that much less safe (though pedestrians aren't allowed on I-10 and I-95). However, clearly some areas are more walkable and bikeable than others. Again, it's all a matter of preference, but I submit the appeal of a neighborhood is heavily reliant on your personal perceptions about such things as "safety" and "family focus".

thelakelander

September 30, 2012, 07:34:48 AM
As I've said, things have gotten so bad in Jacksonville, in regards to how one can layout a community and roadway planning that we don't even recognize that a commerical corridor through a community can be walkable and bikeable. 

Racetrack Road is actually JCP's version of Riverside's Riverside Avenue, Springfield's Main Street, Durkeeville's Kings Road, etc, not I-95.













These are random shots across the country, with the last being an image of a Racetrack Road intersection near SR 13. All these streets pretty much serve the same function in the neighborhoods they penetrate.  Some just happen to be more multimodal friendly and safe than others primarily through roadway design and land use policies.  WIth that said, JCP is what it is.  However, that's no reason for anyone to defend the horrible road designing regulations Florida has established in regards to pedestrian and bicycle safety.  There's a reason why we have so many pedestrian and bicycle deaths.  The designs of streets like Racetrack Road, Southside Boulevard, etc. have a lot to do with it.

fsquid

October 30, 2012, 11:10:43 AM
By hilarious coincidence I had an unfortunate experience in Julington Creek last night that I'd like to relate. I discovered that another thing the neighborhood is "safe" from is easy access to hospitals.

We were attending a party with the friend I mentioned in an above post, who's currently taking care of his parents' house on Julington Creek. Shortly into the night I started choking, which necessitated a run to the emergency room. The route to the nearest hospital, Baptist South, was 15 miles and took over 20 minutes- with my wife hauling ass. The shortest route was 9 or 10 miles but had so many traffic lights it would have taken even longer. Either way, not a fun trip when you can't really breathe.

In contrast, my own house in San Marco is no more than 2 or 3 miles from Baptist Downtown. Even if we had to call an ambulance and wait for it to come and go back, it still would have taken half the time it did.

I've been leaning this way for years, but this experience has totally convinced me: we need to be less preoccupied with oblique concerns about "safety" and sprawling out to build excellent new schools instead of fixing existing ones, and start building communities with all working parts.

They finally built an ER down here, so next time you are out here you aren't too scared.

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/400638/charlie-patton/2012-10-29/emergency-care-center-opens-northern-st-johns-county

Tacachale

October 30, 2012, 02:12:15 PM
By hilarious coincidence I had an unfortunate experience in Julington Creek last night that I'd like to relate. I discovered that another thing the neighborhood is "safe" from is easy access to hospitals.

We were attending a party with the friend I mentioned in an above post, who's currently taking care of his parents' house on Julington Creek. Shortly into the night I started choking, which necessitated a run to the emergency room. The route to the nearest hospital, Baptist South, was 15 miles and took over 20 minutes- with my wife hauling ass. The shortest route was 9 or 10 miles but had so many traffic lights it would have taken even longer. Either way, not a fun trip when you can't really breathe.

In contrast, my own house in San Marco is no more than 2 or 3 miles from Baptist Downtown. Even if we had to call an ambulance and wait for it to come and go back, it still would have taken half the time it did.

I've been leaning this way for years, but this experience has totally convinced me: we need to be less preoccupied with oblique concerns about "safety" and sprawling out to build excellent new schools instead of fixing existing ones, and start building communities with all working parts.

They finally built an ER down here, so next time you are out here you aren't too scared.

http://jacksonville.com/opinion/blog/400638/charlie-patton/2012-10-29/emergency-care-center-opens-northern-st-johns-county

Good to hear. At this point we've let the sprawl get so rampant down there that the cost of building a totally new facility is necessary.
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