Mar 25 2018

Opinion: What’s Next for Beach Play Field? 

The government body which met on Wednesday, March 21, 2018,  at 7:30 p.m. was the Piedmont Recreation Commission discussing the future of Beach Play Field. The contract to design the new field complex was given to GroundWorks Office, who proved their creativity, collaborative approach, and vision of Piedmont needs.

Groundworks employee Sarah Keshell presented the 35% in progress plan for the new Beach Play Field to the Recreation Commission. Groundworks said they conducted an online survey which received about 200 responses. They also met with community members to come up with important additions to the new play field. Things that were pointed out included “Tot lot valued by the community, no place to watch sports, add restrooms at north end, and make tennis courts regulation size.”

After hearing all the community feedback, Groundworks’ Will Smith presented the in progress plan which included 2 new building complexes, a skate park on the south end of the park (next to the Oakland Avenue Bridge), an area to eat lunch next to the existing redwood trees, which will be preserved, expanded tennis courts to meet regulation size, and an “Art Plaza” which will bring color to the new Beach Play Field.

Near the end of the meeting, community members addressed problems such as safety for the children crossing Oakland Avenue coming to play.  Another major issue is the noise from the skate park which will affect the recently built townhouses and nearby neighbors on Greenbank Avenue.

The neighbors are tired of monitoring the field and new amenities will cause teenagers to come out and party, creating a lot of unwanted noise.

I think it would be easy to fix these issues by adding a speed radar next to the Oakland Avenue crosswalk, and more illuminating colors to get drivers’ attention. To solve the noise, adding sound walls with art on them is an easy solution and locking up the area at night will keep out unwanted visitors. Additionally, I interviewed a  group of young skaters. They said they were kicked out of all the skate spots and adding the new skate park is a good idea. They urged the Recreation Commission to have a professional skate park designer come to help because “it really makes a difference, especially to make it for all age levels.”

In conclusion, the Recreation Commission is very excited to see the project continue and enjoyed the presentation. Moving forward they will focus on dealing with sound issues and safety for the children.

By Jason Finkel, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author. 

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