Thursday, October 06, 2005

Highland Park, Zoo and Soccer fields

Where are the ULTIMATE FRISBEE folks? Remember the past promises?

Back in 2000 -- when Mayor Murphy was making promises that still were not known to be fabricated lies -- (The promise was a lie, but it wasn't known to be a lie.) -- there were some "promises" to make "frisbee fields." The ultimate frisbee crowd, "those urban young people," jumped on board with Tom Murphy. They took the story, hook, line and sinker.

How about an update on those fields, please.

Let's hear from all sides on that.

The plan, in the article below, is lame. There is much more to do that is much better than what they'll even imagine.

For starters, build a simple bike path that stretches from the zoo parking lot to the bike oval. The bike path is needed, now. It was needed years ago. People can bike to Highland Park, but can't get out of the park at the base of the hill unless they take their life into a near death zone by the end of the Highland Park Bridge. The pathway would be easy to construct. There is space among the weeds.

Murphy is such a pathway fart. He misses the main connectors all the time.

The plan in the city now is to stretch the bike path out of the bike oval on Washington Blvd UP the hill to Homewood and then to East Liberty. There is a grand plan. But the basics should be accomplished.

Then if you want to get grand -- give all of Highland Park to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

You know we spend more to build and upkeep places for our fish to swim than we do for our children.

You should see how they treat the kids here in Hong Kong: Climbing walls, kids play rooms, signs on buses that say give up prime seat to parents with children, indoor swim pools, tennis courts that are not under a bubble -- but are in much greater heat than what Pittsburgh experiences. Pittsburgh puts its best tennis courts under a bubble all summer. Go figure.

By the way, I loved the article about how Clarion, PA, was a noted as a great place to raise kids. Great coverage. Great concepts. We in Pittsburgh could do much better as we'd be able to bridge that link when the kids get older and go to college and enter into the job market. But, we have to keep the family centered hopes alive.

By the way too, I loved to read that Pittsburgh is one of the most safe places in the US for kids walking on the streets. They must have looked at auto deaths and not the deaths from drive bye bullets the radiate from a few of those cars. And, they seemed to overlook how Tom Murphy took all the burden of the crossing guards out of the city budget (where it belongs). The crossing guards are important. They are part of the city's responsibilities. Murphy fumbled again.
Soccer fields, park, trails proposed for zoo parking lot
Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mayor Tom Murphy's administration has introduced legislation that would turn the northern end of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium parking lot into a soccer field, park land and trails.

A resolution now before City Council would steer $200,000 in city funding and $200,000 from the state to the design of a 40-acre extension of Highland Park.

The zoo is in agreement with the proposed change, said spokeswoman Rachel Capp. "Soccer fields, kids, families -- that's in line with what we do," she said.

The zoo would shift some parking southward to the site of a former asphalt dump and would have the same number of spaces it does now, she added.

The project would ultimately involve $12 million in expenditures by the city, zoo and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said Pat Hassett, assistant director of city planning. PennDOT would reconstruct the Butler Street Bridge near the site, he said.

City Councilman Len Bodack said the project has the support of community groups and answers the need for more soccer fields in the city. Council could take a tentative vote on the design funding next Wednesday.

If all goes well, soccer fields could be ready by spring 2008.

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