May 4, 2009

Miller Playfield resurfacing will happen: time to lobby for extras

Last Fall, when I advertised the Nov. 5th Parks meeting about the proposed playfield resurfacing, I made 3 suggestions for ways that the project could be made even better (and which would minimize the impact of expanded field use on the neighborhood). 

Since then we've entered a recession, and the City has been making drastic cuts, and raiding Parks Advisory Council funds. Nonetheless the Mayor has decided to go ahead with the Miller Playfield resurfacing that we heard about last year. Project Manager Ted Holden tells me that a bid has been accepted for the project: work should start by the end of June and the field should be playable by mid-September. He noted that he'll be installing an information kiosk near the fountain pumphouse to display playfield rules, parking suggestions etc.

Now is the time to act on my suggestions: I'm seeking volunteers to join me in meeting with Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher to argue for them (E-mail Andrew) . E-mails/calls/letters  to him would also be useful.

My suggestions were as follows (see links for full details):

1) Free time on the field for pickup games.  Knowing the field schedule would help here: I note that the new Loyal Heights field has its schedule online.  We should push for a similar service: it could also be posted in the new field kiosk.

2) Encouraging teams to use off-street parking. This involves better signage to the lower parking lot, and a requirement for teams to distribute maps to the parking lot to their players. The reopening of the field would be a great time to start this. 

3) Keeping the bathrooms open to allow after-game use.  Several neighbors at last November's meeting noted that players peed in the park before driving home after games. 

Suggestions 1 and 2 should cost almost nothing. Please contact me if you'd like to come and convince Tim Gallagher that these ideas would make our resurfaced playfield an even better resource for the community. (E-mail Andrew).

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