Author Topic: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100  (Read 7531 times)

Bill Hoff

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Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« on: May 24, 2017, 08:50:20 PM »

jaxjaguar

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 12:59:55 AM »
For a major metro I'm surprised it's not lower. The parks in Jax are all pitiful compared to other cities. No landscaping, decor, maintenance or grounds work aside from the bare minimum. Klutho is literally falling apart with a trash filled creek running through it. Riverside Park has an absolutely disgusting pond as its center piece (how is it not closed as a major health hazard?). Hemming Plaza has just recently started to make a turn around, but considering it's the park at the heart of the city AND the face of City Hall it's an absolute disgrace. The park on the other side of the library had all of it's artwork removed and is just a cesspool for vagrants. Aside from mowing the grass Treaty Park is completely neglected (signs are faded so much they aren't legible, trash everywhere, etc). I could go on for hours.

Someone recently asked me what public park they could go to for some nice pictures. The only halfway decent spots I could think of were the Arboretum, Memorial Park and Friendship Fountain (which is also quickly falling into the cycle of disrepair of other parks with it's broken pumps, poorly maintained grounds, etc).

This is one of the basic things that the city needs to get a handle on. You're not going to attract people to your city with seas of concrete and poorly maintained grass. You need a group who plants seasonal flowers in high traffic areas, maintains shrubs and trees, proper lighting, artwork and sculptures, etc.

acme54321

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 04:26:43 AM »
Our parks department is a joke.  I love how they tout that we have the biggest park system in the country.  I'd rather have half the park space twice as nice.  No one cares about thousands of acres of old tree farms on the edge of town.

vicupstate

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 08:12:12 AM »
Since there are two ties in the lower numbers, it is actually even worse than it sounds. Only seven cities rank lower than JAX, not 10.

The city's that rank lower than JAX:

Laredo TX
Winston-Salem NC
Mesa, AZ
Louisville, KY
Charlotte, NC
Ft. Wayne, IN
Indianapolis, IN

The seven cities listed above universally get low scores for a LACK of park acreage and spending is low in tandem to that small acreage. JAX has a  high acreage but very low spending.
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Bill Hoff

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 08:53:16 AM »
JAX has a  high acreage but very low spending.

Yea, but I get to keep that extra  $10.27 per year in my pocket that would otherwise go towards making our parks higher quality & desirable. Low taxes baby!

Tacachale

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 10:08:34 AM »
I hate to undercut the parade of negativity, but this is another measure that's affected by consolidation. Consolidation means that not only does our parks department have a lot more space to cover, but the city limits also include a lot of suburban area that wouldn't have good park access in any city. On the other hand, it's allowed us to save a lot more land in crucial areas like the Timucuan Preserve from getting turned into sprawl. Having "half the acreage" would not be a good thing.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

vicupstate

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2017, 10:41:09 AM »
Acreage is NOT the issue. That is a metric that JAX scores HIGH on.  The SPENDING per RESIDENT is low and is even more so when considering the acreage ISN'T low.

The recreation budget and the population are not affected by the land area of the city.


 
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Tacachale

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 11:04:54 AM »
Acreage is NOT the issue. That is a metric that JAX scores HIGH on.  The SPENDING per RESIDENT is low and is even more so when considering the acreage ISN'T low.

The recreation budget and the population are not affected by the land area of the city.


Invoking the Murder me rachel style of SHOUTED CAPITALS?

YES they ARE when the POPULATION is mostly SUBURBAN and SPREAD OUT in contrast to OTHER municipalities that DON'T include as MUCH SUBURBAN LAND.
 
Jacksonville could have an objectively terrific park system in the urban core and would still score low because access and per capita spending still would be diluted by the suburban parts of Duval. That's not an argument not to do it, or not to reverse the cuts made in the last several years.

Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

vicupstate

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 12:04:53 PM »
Capital = important emphasis not shouting

Spending = Budget/Population

Land area does not factor into the equation. Regardless, the residents are not as spread out as the land is. Huge swaths of land on three sides (the 4th being the ocean) are vacant land with almost no population.

Typically parks are in residential areas, and suburban areas are primarily residential in use. If parks were added as these areas developed, there should be no disparity. More people = more taxes. 

An argument could be made that the COST is higher based on sprawl,  but the per person spending is based on what the city decides it is willing to spend.         
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spuwho

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 12:18:09 PM »
Parks, Libraries, Arts always suffer when consolidated taxing districts run into funding shortfalls. Jacksonville is no exception.

The priorities are always city services, streets, and the mayors/council priorities.

Those exurban tree farms are tommorrows future parkland. While it may be subjectively functionless today, it will be in place for future generations to enjoy.

As long as Duval pursues low taxes, consolidated management, the 3 items above will always suffer unless a corporate benefactor comes a long or a higher income base with density comes.

Anyone who played the old SimCity will understand.

Jim

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 12:26:02 PM »
These are the variables that hit us most.

Spending: 2 of 20 points.
Basketball hoops: 5 out of 20 points.
Dog parks: 4 out of 20 points.
Access: 3 out of 40 points.

Fallen Buckeye

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 12:39:36 PM »
There is a lot of potential for Jax parks. A few thoughts and wonderings on the issue:

How is the public being engaged to care for its assets? We should be getting local organizations and families involved. For instance, what if some usage fees were waived in exchange for service projects such as park clean ups or amenity installations? Get the public to have a personal investment, and it will become a priority.

A factor I saw overlooked was security. I remember going to a walk at Fowler one time. I had some creep just following me and staring me down the entire way. Do I really want to bring my kids to a place where I have to worry about their safety so much?

Can you really walk anywhere easily in Jax outside of Riverside and a few other areas? The metric has a bias toward denser cities. Rather than worry about the specific rank, we need to identify problems, and more importantly, solutions that make our city what we want it to be.

jaxnyc79

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 02:45:32 PM »
In addition to lacking the nice finishes of a great park system (like lush and diversified landscaped features and well-maintained and shaded green space), Jax parks don't seem to be very embedded in the places where people live, work, shop, and play.  If they are in certain cases, they certain don't appear to be places to celebrate...civic monuments. 

Is there some way the city can fix this problem by incorporating public park and public plaza spaces into approvals of large-scale commercial developments or mixed-use developments?  For example, what if you took Town and Country plaza, created a beautiful park and/or brick-paved plaza space on much of the parking lot fronting the street with fountain and garden features, and then lined the park or plaza space with commercial business strips?   

In Jax, if you want to spend time on lushly landscaped green spaces, go join a golf course.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 02:47:14 PM by jaxnyc79 »

RattlerGator

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 03:42:42 PM »
These are the variables that hit us most.

Spending: 2 of 20 points.
Basketball hoops: 5 out of 20 points.
Dog parks: 4 out of 20 points.
Access: 3 out of 40 points.

I hate these agenda-driven, bogus surveys that purport to be objective. Every one of those criteria they utilized has an arbitrary, built-in bias against consolidated governments.

  • To determine a city’s ParkScore®, we assigned points in three categories: acreage, investment and amenities, and access.

    Acreage: 20 points for median park size, and 20 points for park acres as a percentage of city area

    Investment and Amenities: 20 points for spending per resident and 20 points for the average of the four key amenity scores (basketball hoops, dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation and senior centers).

    Access: 40 points for percentage of the population living within a walkable half-mile, ten-minute walk of a public park

The single heaviest weight is completely arbitrary for the City of Jacksonville. Percent within a walkable half-mile? WTF? Each of the three focal areas constitute about 33% of the total -- 20 + 20 under acreage, 20 + 20 under investment, 40 under access, right? --

Anyway, of course Jax will be 90th in such a ranking process. It would be hard to design a score to make consolidated governments with big land areas look worse.

For example, given that Nashville (ranked 40th) has a city budget of approximately $2 billion and Jax has a budget of approximately $1.2 billion -- I wonder which city is using the money appropriated for Parks and Recreation most efficiently and for the greatest good?

And given that Duval County has at least a 30% bigger land area than Davidson County, how heavily does that built-in bias against consolidated cities work against Nashville *and* Jacksonville?

It's a clearly biased and bogus ranking. It seems to be a ranking on spending more than anything else.

jaxnyc79

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Re: Jacksonville Parks: 90th out of 100
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 04:57:12 PM »
Jax Parks aren't great by the standards of most cities.  However, Jax may be operating under a totally different set of rules.  A significant number of residents live in master-planned residential complexes, often with their own neighborhood club houses and pools.  In other cases, Jax residents have easy access to open green spaces right in their front and backyards.  Other large cities around the world lack this and place more of a premium on their parks as green and open getaways from very dense residential living.

Our parks may have different objectives - i.e. containing sprawl and encouraging density (hence they're on the outskirts of town), affording residents waterside access (so naturally the park acreage would concentrate along waterfronts, giving eco-tourism access (in which case a concentration in acreage would occur near wetlands and bird sanctuaries, perhaps)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 06:02:12 PM by jaxnyc79 »