Saturday, September 23

Merrill McCormick Wonderwood What? One Road, Many Names

For about twelve miles from the St. Johns River to the Atlantic Ocean, a continuous road in Jacksonville changes names about as often is possible. In fact, I'll go ahead and wager it's the most changed street name in the country over a dozen miles. (As a side note, I'm wondering why St. Johns does not have an apostrophe, as it's not like there are multiple St. Johns. Or that Johns was John's name.) Anyhow, to the many-named road.


It starts as Dolphin Dr. down by the river. Then it's called University Oaks Dr. for one block. Some might not agree that these two names constitute the true start of the road, but I'll say they do.

Next, it's Merrill Rd. (3.5 miles) and Hwy 116. Or maybe it's not 116 until it becomes Fort Caroline Rd. So it's Fort Caroline Rd. for about 1.5 miles. The street then becomes McCormick Rd. for 2.5 miles as it remains the 116.

Then, Hwy 116 turns into Mt. Pleasant Rd. for about a mile. After Mt. Pleasant, the 116 becomes Wonderwood Dr. It gets confusing after that, as the east-west Wonderwood Dr. veers both north and south, after becoming a road in Hanna Park (and no longer Hwy 116, I assume). To the north, it becomes Seminole Rd. before it dead ends. To the south, it becomes 35th St and ends at the ocean.

What's the deal, anyhow, Jacksonville? A road that runs less than 20 miles and changes names possibly ten times? Even if we start it at Merrill and end with the Wonderwood and leave out 116 as being a name change, it's still five names for one street. Do we just have too many people to name things after and not enough streets? I assume part of the issue is old roads that meandered around. So the past plays a role, but why Wonderwood in 2002? Especially since it seems most of the Merrill to Wonderwood road was once a railroad route.  I guess as a transplant, I'd rather the road names make sense, as in have the same name the whole time I'm on it.