" Dunlawton Avenue. Quite simply, it is an eyesore"

From: Les Orn [mailto:logan766@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 7:30 AM
To: Harden, David
Subject: Dunlawton Avenue
Dear Mr. Harden:
My family and I have lived in Port Orange since 1991, almost 25 years. I have watched this city grow into a wonderful, family and community minded young city developing with all the amenities a city with a population of 60,000 should have. Except one!
Before I tell you what that is, let me tell you this. We have travelled all over to many cities throughout the U.S, Canada and Europe. Throughout our travels, we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. The natural beauty of an area and the city which benefits from it is a gift of nature. Many cities, however, have to rely on the abilities of their community development staff, the elected officials and the public to create the ambience and the attractiveness that has to come from the foresight of those vary people.
If you look at our fair city, there is much of which we can be proud. I often hear about how businesses are required to develop their sights with specific landscaping and enhancements. So why doesn’t that seem to apply to the City of Port Orange?
I am specifically referring to Dunlawton Avenue. Quite simply, it is an eyesore. And yet, it is the main street of our city; it should be the focal point and represent who we are. I mentioned that I have travelled to many places. The main standard, the main common element to every attractive city, especially smaller ones like ours, is that their main corridor(s) are truly worthy of a first impression that makes you want to spend some time there. As one drives south on I-95 on the way to our Port Orange exit, the view to the right, as one comes toward the exit is Port Orange Pavilion. The feeling one gets is that this is a place where one would want to spend some time. Then you turn left onto Dunlawton and the further east one drives, the less appealing it becomes.
You don’t have to travel far to see what I mean. South Daytona, population 13,000 with a land mass of 4 square miles has transformed their stretch of US 1 and A1A into most appealing roadways. Truly remarkable.
Why can’t we do the same? Where did they get the money to do what they did? Some landscaping, some palm trees, some curbing and some lighting would go a long way in beautifying our wonderful city.
If I may refer you to our city’s web site which includes the following:
“On April 26, 1867, the community of Port Orange was established on the banks of the Halifax River. Now, some 148 years later, Port Orange is a community of 56,067 people who call this place home. Planned by choice, not by chance, Port Orange blends beauty and opportunity within its 28 square miles. From its tree-lined streets to its parks, this community is the pride of Volusia County.”
I don’t believe Dunlawton lives up to this. Perhaps, even certainly, funding may be the issue. I understand that. Hopefully our future plans can develop a longer term strategy to make Dunlawton the center piece that our city deserves.
Thank you,
Les Ornstin
P.S. If you are not the right person to comment or discuss, can you please advise me who is or forward this email to that person on my behalf. I have also included these comments in the survey that I recently took on the city’s website under the commets section.

3 thoughts on “" Dunlawton Avenue. Quite simply, it is an eyesore"

  • February 25, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Dear Mr. Harden:
    Thank you so much for your reply.
    I wasn’t referring to the development along Dunlawton, I was referring to the actual appearance of the median etc. (or am I misreading what you said). If you have driven down to South Daytona, you will know what I mean. Surely, if they can beautify what was truly an ugly duckling, why can’t we.
    Again, I realize funding is an issue, it always is, but how did they do it? On A1A in South Daytona, they have two sets of light standards. One for double set for the sidewalks and another set that lights up the road. To be sure, I thought it was over kill but it sure looks great at night.
    Quite frankly, the sidewalk lights you refer to are useless, working or not. They are too far apart and do nothing for the aesthetics of the road. Long term, wouldn’t it make more sense, funding possible, to have attractive lights on the median that would light up the entire roadway.
    Thanks again,

  • February 25, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Thank you for sharing your observations.
    Part of the difference between the Port Orange Pavilion and Dunlawton east of I-95 results from the fact that the Pavilion was built to current standards whereas most of the development along Dunlawton east of I-95 was built to older, less stringent standards. However, there are two projects currently in progress or planned which will improve the appearance of Dunlawton. First, the City Council is very concerned about the fact that most of the sidewalk lights are not working. They have given staff direction to get these lights back in working order and to fill in the gaps where lights are missing. The initial work will be done between Clyde Morris and Nova Road. Second, when the resurfacing project is completed the City intends to re-landscape the medians on Dunlawton over the next couple of years. Both of these projects will significantly improve the appearance of Dunlawton from I-95 to the Halifax River.
    I am sure the4 Community Development Department will consider what other improvements they could recommend to City Council.
    David Harden

  • February 25, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Les, the South Daytona project was a $4.2 million dollar project and they received about$3.7 million in grants so it was a minimal cost to the city. Port Orange medians are a work in progress, I follow the city council on a regular basis and they have committed to beautifying the medians in phases over the next couple years. I don’t believe the state would allow lights to be placed in the medians, and that would do nothing for pedestrian safety on the sidewalks. The walk lights need to be lit so the walkers, joggers using those walks at night will be safer. The vehicles using Dunlawton at night have headlights to light up the roadways, in my opinion lighting the medians would be a distraction.


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