Aug 14, 2009
The Promised Playground
Creating a playground as a destination for children with special needs is an enormous responsibility. In different posts on this blog I have mentioned some of the issues. I had also privately contacted several members of City Council with these concerns in more detail. That debate is over, but there is one danger which by conscience I must discuss. The City is encouraging cycling on the paths and roads. Fast moving bicycles near that playground is not a good idea. Last night Weitzel mentioned that the path in Trexler Park is wider than the one to be paved in Cedar Park. Actually, Allentownians of memory know that the "path" in Trexler Park was a one way road. About 20 years ago there was a tragic collision between a bike and a walker. The path in Cedar Park will only be 6 to 8 ft. wide, yet it will include a bike lane; I'm afraid that's an accident waiting to happen. I know of no reason to pave the path other than to facilitate cycling. Praying that they won't propose widening the path, and knowing that current conservation guidelines recommend against paving, perhaps we can save the gavel and keep the path safe for walkers.
Now that I'm older, by 12 hours, let me be somewhat conciliatory toward City Council. Michael D'Amore headed the effort to use the park grants throughout the park system, instead of concentrating all the Tupperware in Cedar Park. Jeanette Eichenwald persisted on the citizen's right to speak at the previous Council Meeting. Michael Donovan publicly conceded that Council should have done better with the Park Plan and has introduced legislation for future guidelines.
Last night as I approached the podium, I considered introducing myself as Michael MisInformation. It's sad that Allentown has been reduced to labeling those of us who ask questions as obstacles to moving forward. Although a Councilperson or two thought the crowd was a positive sign of participation and democracy, over half in attendance had no familiarity what so ever with the issues. When Weitzel said the "improvements" will enhance pride in the park, and result in less litter and need for maintenance, there was audible laughter. Pawlowski may have thought it was a good night for them, I don't think it was.