Who wants an indoor recreation center? Almost everybody. Who wants it replacing the Kings Point Tennis Center—on Steamboat Road? Not me! I’ve wanted a rec center long before the articulate and cute fifth graders were paraded in front of the park commissioners, pleading their case for a place to play. But 143 Steamboat Rd. is the wrong site for it, inadequate for the community’s needs and unsafe for the community.
Steamboat Road is the major east-west thoroughfare at the north end of town and, yet, it’s only one lane in each direction. If (meaning when!) people double park to drop off or pick up their kids, traffic will have to stop or cars will have to cross a double-yellow line to drive into oncoming traffic. Add the synagogues in the vicinity—with literally hundreds of people walking in the streets Friday nights and Saturdays—and we have a recipe for disaster! Oh, and there’s a firehouse directly across the street. What did the traffic study say about all this? Right, there hasn’t been one!
I don’t mind spending $5 to $7 million for a rec center. In fact, I’m willing to be taxed a bit more ($1 a week, instead of 72¢), to build a real rec center from scratch, on land the Park District already owns. The very underused dog run on Colonial Road (more centrally located to serve the entire community) has a huge parking lot, and the dog run was built over a pool. Let’s have yearlong swimming, as well as yearlong skating, and room for more than just two basketball courts. If a traffic study finds this site to be problematic, how about the abandoned pool site at Kings Point Park, Steamboat Road side?
Let’s build a safe, accessible, great rec center for everyone!