Jacksonville Warnings and Dangers
Like most growing big cities, Jacksonville has good and bad areas, so you must be diligent and know where to go or not go. Crime could occur anywhere, but it is important to know which areas to steer clear from.
Northwest of Downtown
Most of the streets in this area are hotbeds of crime, including prostitution, drug dealing, and gang activity. West of the Saint John’s river, don’t be surprised to see this activity on the streets.
One upcoming section of this area, called Springfield, is proud of their up and coming center for historic restoration of the homes, returning them to Victorian grandeur. If you want the ambiance of a lively historic neighborhood, San Marco and Avondale are much safer options.
Violent Crime is High
Every day in Jacksonville there are reported violent crimes that could pose a threat to your safety. Unfortunately, the crime in this growing city has been growing along with it, in particular with cases involving stolen cars, murders, assaults and robberies.
Traffic and Road Signs are Maddening
All around the city there are tons of vehicles coming and going and it seems like everyone is driving at the same time. There are regular frustrating traffic jams all over the city. The main perimeter loop of US 295 and 9A is dangerous and crowded and there are often traffic delays.
It seems hard to maneuver around the city, especially around downtown area. The signs are not adequate for forewarning where to turn or which lane to get into. Access to the South Bank, or coming off it to get to downtown, is a nightmare consisting of one way streets and having to go under the bridge twice. If you are unfamiliar with the roads and highway system, consider getting around via taxis or ride sharing services.
There are panhandlers and homeless that hang out in one of Jacksonville’s largest parks, Hemming Park, which is located downtown. This is becoming a growing problem in other areas of Jacksonville, also and should be avoided.
East and South of the Saint John’s River are the Safest Areas
The Southside and San Marco east and south of the river are some of the nicer sections to traverse. But still be aware of some rattier, but inoffensive pockets of areas in the east, like “Sin City” along Atlantic Boulevard where a lot of clubs are located. There is also a small rougher section near Jacksonville University, but it is not too bad.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Jacksonville Things to Do – Attractions & Must See
- Florida’s Many Faces and Places
- A Florida Vacation with the Grandkids
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