God’s oceanfront -- Ormond-Daytona-Ponce Inlet-New Smyrna -- has become a political football re beach driving

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Regarding the beach driving issue the very first thing we the people did wrong was allow the closing of the stretch of beach to cars on the World's Most Famous Beach® beach behind the Bandshell many years ago.

From there, even though it took a while the gradual chopping up of beach driving allowances began. Where we had over 40 miles of wide beautiful drivable beach we are now down to less than 17 miles with at least another mie being taken away since the County Council voted tlast month to let the big money hotels stop driving behind their establishments.

In between, we had moneyed people building houses and getting no driving behind their homes. Part of that came from the turtle nesting issue which was blown way out of proportion way back when. That killed our ability to drive on the beach at night. When I was in high school in New Smyrna Beach, there was very little to do but we could drive or park on the beach. We could even have a small fire to roast marshmallows over. None of that is allowed any more. The list of things one cannot do on the beach is huge and posted at all open entrances.

How did we let God’s ocean become a political football that we never get to catch? We try to vote out the bums of the council or any politico who are not representing us as they should only to get one just like those tossed out. They make big promises that are never carried out and we the taxpayers who voted them into office are the losers. This goes as high as the White House in my opinion. Not many of our elected officials keep their word.

How did we let God’s ocean become a political football that we never get to catch? We try to vote out the bums of the council or any politico who are not representing us as they should only to get one just like those tossed out. They make big promises that are never carried out and we the taxpayers who voted them into office are the losers. This goes as high as the White House in my opinion. Not many of our elected officials keep their word. 

Our one representative who voted with the people who packed the council meeting against letting the hotels have their way was Joyce Cusack, the at-large representative from DeLand. I for one want to thank her for listening to us and standing her ground.

The handwriting is on the wall for beach driving to fall by the wayside. None of the cities near the beach had the forethought to buy land for parking areas when it was lower priced. Now that it is a needed commodity no one is getting a deal. When they do close the beach to cars we will be parking across A1A who knows where and have to trek across that busy road trying to drag kids, beach chairs, coolers and dodge cars at the same time. How many kids and parents do you imagine under the tires of speeding cars?

The other side of that coin is the loss of people even bothering to come to the beach; they can stay home and go to a local lake with safer parking and shorter walks. We are cutting our own throats letting the people who think they are big shots like Hyatt Brown of Brown & Brown Insurance, former Florida speaker of the House and a trustee with International Speedway Corp., because they have money run our towns and county into the ground while they flourish on our backs. One of the biggest draws to our area has always been being able to drive on the beach. What will replace that as a lure for tourists? I don’t see anything I’d come here for currently.

Friends and relatives are no longer as enamored of visiting the beach due to beach tolls, confusion on where one can drive and hours you can do so, traffic in the area and crime rates rising higher daily. They’d rather go to Orlando where there are many amusements as well as public transportation that doesn’t require you to ride all over town for hours to get where you are going like Votran does here. They can spend less money and travel time over there than here so why wouldn’t that be their choice?

I am sad to think that beach driving will go away, but that is what I can see coming. I hope I am wrong, but since we can pack a room with powerful people against an issue and we are ignored what hope do we really have otherwise?

Darlene Vann Picture

Short Bio

Musings By Darlene Vann
Darlene Vann is a resident of Edgewater and has been with the 24/7 Internet newspaper from the onset. She likes to write about the lighter side of life, but sometimes feels compelled to tackle some of the tougher issues. The blog, "Musings" (and its contents), is the sole copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, and cannot be reproduced, copied or published in whole or in part elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the publisher. NSBNews.net, VolusiaNews.net and HeadlineSurfer.com are owned by NSB News LLC. All three domains fall under the umbrella of Headline Surfer, a registered trademark.