20 May 2010

Washington Park Mtg Tonight

I can't make it, we have our last soccer practice of the season tonight:


Anonymous said...

I love the fact that this flyer was posted by the coalition for the homeless. Oh no were are we going to allow people to drink and drug now. The time has come. Viva la revolution!

Anonymous said...

Its being closed off to improve the park. What 3CDC is doing is a big investment to the park and the area.

Why is this bad again?

catherine said...

Some of the problem is about the process. This is a public park and some of the renovation and design decisions should be open to public discussion or at least available to view. Decisions have been made about the design of the park and the construction that have a huge impact on the neighbors of the park but these neighbors are not included in these decisions accept for a few 'public meetings" that are grudgingly granted and all input gathered is ignored.

The planned park takes out the swimming pool, basketball court and many of the mature trees. All things that many people use and enjoy. We have been given assurance that a deep water pool in OTR will be developed somewhere, someday but no details or commitment. We have been told that the basket ball courts at the new SCPA will be available to the community but I don't think anyone at SCPA is aware of this. Despite numerous attempts and inquiries I have not been able to get any reliable info on which trees are to be removed and why.

Concerning the construction, the plan is to fence of the entire park, sidewalk, and the entire lane of parking all the way around for a year and half. There has been no provision made for bus stops, bathrooms, or parking, or none that they have been able to tell us about.

I understand that their aim is to disrupt current use patterns in the park for a significant amount of time so that people will seek an alternative but they overlook the fact that many people make appropriate use of the park, sidewalk, street parking, pool, basket ball courts, trees, restrooms, etc. and not having this option may lead people to make less appropriate use of the neighborhood, my front stoop for example.

I am all for investment in the neighborhood; I have a vested interest, owning property and living on the park. However, I would appreciate being involved in processes that directly affect me and not being misled with false promises of inclusion and assumptions about what is good for me and my family. I believe public parks are a public good and should be open to all people. If people are conducting illegal activity in the park they should be targeted. Let's not throw the bay out with the bathwater!

Anonymous said...

Catherine of course your right

But, I think people are just so fed up with what's going on in the park currently that they are willing to agree to anything.

I to am concerned that the new park is going to be a sterile version of what a true park should be. I admit I'm just happy to see progress rather than urine, empty bottles and crack vials.

The fact is that any change at this point is a change for the better.

This park is the heart of OTR and with out it being cleaned up the future of OTR would be questionable.

prolix21 said...

Catherine's concerns are totally valid and I share each of them, however when it comes down to it I'm willing to put up with whatever inconvenience and pain to see the vision of the new park come to life.

I live a half block from the park in the Gateway Quarter and I'd like to see the park get a facelift and get a more positive spin, hopefully spurring further redevelopment of the vacant buildings that surround it. It would help bridge the new development on Vine with Music Hall a bit.

The work 3CDC has done to date is good and with what they did with fountain square and vine I'm willing to cut them some slack on this and give them the ball (along with the Park Board, who does great work as well). Both parties involved in this have a good track record and I think the end result will be something we will all be proud of.

With that said the community should still have a voice in it, which is why we will also be at the presentation so that we understand the full story and scope of work planned.

VisuaLingual said...

Getting back to Catherine's problem with process, there was a lack of graciousness at tonight's meeting that surprised me. It's inappropriate to roll one's eyes or make snide comments when people are voicing their opinion, even if that feedback may veer away from the direct topic at hand, or may seem deliberately confrontational or long-winded. That's just rude. But maybe that contempt should seem refreshing in its transparency?

I think there were certain really pressing quality-of-life issues that were brought up tonight -- like on-street parking, bus stops, and park use during renovation. Those were valid concerns. The bus stop changes could have been explained further, and the "discounted parking" in the underground garage" as well. Parking has become competitive enough that I would argue for permit parking areas only for residents.

It's hard for me to argue about the other amenities, but the dog park seems like something fairly specific that could be sited in a different area. The playground seems amazing; I'm most impressed by the in-between "levels" areas. The only thing I see that might be of use to teenagers is the "levels" part of the playground for skaters in the off hours, but that's not the intention.

I do remember hearing about the checkers area at the last meeting three years ago, but I don't think it was mentioned tonight.

It's hard for me to see that the park is getting a third bigger but older kids can't be more accommodated.

Dave said...

I hope the trees are saved so the squirrels and birds don't become homeless.

Anonymous said...

To play devil's advocate: Catherine lives on the park and has children. Activities such as a pool (and possibly a basketball court) are high priorities. But if you had two dogs instead of children, you would be outraged if the plans didn't include a dog park. Although the park is being designed with all of the contituents in mind, it's not going to be all things to all people. The city is closing ten pools this year because of the budget crisis. Others have been converted to less costly "spraygrounds." This is something of a cold hard fiscal reality. I'm not sure why someone thinks they can "demand" a deep water pool in their neighborhood. Many many neighborhoods in the city, mine included, do not have city-run pools anywhere near them. In addition, other neighborhoods...Clifton and North Avondale come to mind...have private swim clubs started by residents in order to fill that need. I dunnow....I think the era of city-run deepwater pools is fading a bit....and I would agree that is most unfortunate.

And I also share the concern about removing mature trees, as well as process.

ekalb said...

The single biggest eyesore for Washington Park was driving down Race and seeing the majestic Music Hall through a chain link fence of a city pool. While I have enjoyed city pools and appreciate their benefit. This particular one always stood out as a horrible mistake in planning. The removal of the pool and school are significantly the best things that could done for the park. From the final design there seems too much accommodation on all concerns. Just being a park as it was originally planned would be the finest improvement.