Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Watching Astro Turf Grow

How long does it take for Seattle to put down artificial turf in a playing field? Seven years and counting. See the timeline . The city has faulted the Parks department for not involving citizens to weigh in with their opinions. Of course, the Parks department could've been thinking that since Seattle citizens voted to pay for park and playfield improvements, then they could go ahead and install artifical turf and lights. Not very inclusive of the Parks officials.

In true Seattle fashion the proiject became bogged down in meetings and oversight reviews. The result was a compromise to mitigate, if not minimize, the impact of having teams actually being able to use the playfield during the rainy months, which was the whole purpose of the improvements. The controversy is reported in the Seattle Times .

Questions: Is the type of grass found in parks and playing fields really natural and "green"? Are people who live next to the playing field upset that they they live next to a playing field? Is plastic grass and night lights a symbol of the man oppressing the people?

1 comment:

Steve said...

OK, this one is a hard call. I can see the kids and the parents needing a place for the kids to play….
But, on the other hand I have to side with the people who live around the park. We had a situation in our 'hood where one house starting running a home church. It just hacks you off to have people parking all along the street and cars coming and going throughout the day and night.
The same thing happened to my dad. One day he wakes up and the parks department is laying out soccer fields on what was suppose to be a 'neighborhood' park. Suddenly during the weekend there was no place to walk the dog or let the kids play (not that my dad had any kids living at home at that time, but it affected the other residents who were parents). What had been designed as a limited access quiet street suddenly became the public parking lot.
In addition, sports parents do nothing to help their cause. When nicely asked not to block drive ways they respond with profanity or machismo. They leave trash behind and seem to think all other park users must give way to their games and kids.
No, in this case, I have to agree with those with the homeowners.