Oct 29, 2008

Playfield resurfacing. Idea #3: bathrooms

(Something to consider at the November 5th Miller Playfield resurfacing meeting)

When we helped design Miller Community Center, I ensured (on the advice of female soccer playing colleagues) that the outside bathrooms be clearly visible from the field.

Unfortunately, the bathroom doors must be locked by the Community Center staff before they leave at ~ 9:30, so are not available for players after games (and they often seem to be locked earlier). This has created problems for players who need to use the bathrooms after games. The issue has been mentioned in The Stranger.

I have suggested in the past (and repeat here) one obvious solution:
The bathroom doors should be automatically locked and unlocked by timers. I've seen this done in parks in Tacoma and Monroe (pictures). Hours could correspond to legal park hours.

When I suggested this before, the drug/prostitution problems from Madison Street were still spilling into the park, and incidents did occur in the bathrooms. Those issues are now history (hurrah!) and we have a new Park Superintendent, so now is the time to implement this simple suggestion.


Community Mom said...

I totally agree with you on the automatic locks idea. I don't know if this is still the case, but a couple of years ago I used to take my kids to the playground all the time. The bathrooms were always locked AND the lower doors to the community center. This was a problem, because when my two year old had to pee NOW, we had to climb all the way up the stairs to the main entrance then all the way down the stairs inside to the indoor restrooms. Not very cool. Almost makes you not want to use the park.I think both of these locked door issues have to be addressed for the better use and enjoyment of the community center by the community.

Andrew Taylor said...

E-mailed comment:

Andrew, my 8-year old granddaughter and I use Miller Park pretty regularly, but we do not use the playfield. As a park user, we would like to see Miller Park dark within a half hour after the last playfield use every night. Miller Playfield was, until the lights were installed and allowed to be on all night, the only place in the area where one can observe the stars at night. We agree that it would be loverly to have an automatic lock on the outside restrooms, as the community center is usually not open in the evenings -- especially in summer.

Thank you for your thoughtful proposals for upgrading the playfield. We support them all, including the reservation for local play.