Monday, December 14, 2009

Parkway Access

It is very understandable, as reported by the Sacramento Bee some time ago, that those neighborhoods adjacent to the Parkway are concerned about open access that may lead to problems—whether parking overflow, nighttime revelry, or crime—but it is not an issue that can be dealt with by restricting access to the premier recreational resource in our area.

What is necessary is dedicated management and fund raising that can provide the type of 24/7 public safety presence that the growing areas adjacent to the Parkway need; which we have made suggestions about in posts and press releases.

An excerpt from the Bee article.

“Before it was scrapped, a plan to build a fence cutting off night access to Paradise Beach in Sacramento's River Park neighborhood drew a mix of scorn and adoration from residents.

“Petitions were circulated. The area's established neighborhood group was criticized. A vote was called to decide the plan's fate.

“In other words, there hadn't been a topic this divisive in River Park since the great speed-hump debates of 2003.

“But the showdown never came. On Nov. 19 – and just three hours before the River Park Neighborhood Association was set to take a formal vote on its support for the fence – the proposal was yanked over concerns that it did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Supporters of the fence are still exploring designs that would be ADA compatible, but they aren't optimistic. Under the original blueprint, a turnstile would restrict traffic to the beach after sunset, but no one has come up with an alternative to that design.

“The pause, however, has not stopped the debate over the fence. Depending on whom you talk to in this leafy neighborhood tucked into a corner of east Sacramento, residents are either overwhelmingly supportive of a fence – or overwhelmingly against it.

“Here's the background: Last year, the Sacramento Police Department examined how it could make Glenn Hall Park safer. Among the suggestions: Adding lights with motion censors to the parking lot; remodeling the bathrooms; and building a fence with a turnstile that would lock at night, restricting evening access to adjacent Paradise Beach on the American River.

“Police determined that although activities that made Paradise Beach a destination for ne'er-do-wells had calmed since the days in the 1960s and '70s when it was known as "clothing optional," the beach was still a negative influence on Glenn Hall Park and the rest of the neighborhood. According to a city staff report, 66 percent of the crimes at Glenn Hall Park "are directly related to Paradise Beach."