Thursday, July 31, 2008

A dissenting view on Frame Park baseball

Jeff at Five Points calls "BS" on my assertion that the park would be essentially off limits to the public for 34 nights during our limited summers, accusing me of being misleading.

Speaking of the Freeman Editorial Page, James Wigderson misleads people into thinking they cannot use the park when games are being played, which is completely false. The entire park (walking paths, volleyball, playground, formal gardens) will still be open and remain undisturbed. He also claims thatthis would result in “34 nights taken away from the community in the summer.” Which is also bs. First, the baseball diamond is alredy off-limits to everyone unless they are on a team that is allowed to play there so really it is opening the park to more people. Second, what about the 1000-2000 residents who will attend the games? Are you taking the park away from them? Concerned about parking for the other amenities? There is a simple solution, leave the playground parking lot off limits to baseball game visitors.

There is, of course, nothing simple about it. How would you identify those who are there to use the walkway and the playground? Set up a cordon and brightly tag those people? By the way, Jeff's "simple solution" of putting even more parking off limits to the team is just absurd when there's a shortage of parking to begin with for the proposed stadium.

I like baseball, too, but Frame Park and its environs is hardly the Menomonee Valley. The proponents should stop being pollyanish about the parking situation and be honest, starting with themselves.

Besides, how long before the team will come back to the city and request more parking accomodations be made to handle a growing customer base and probable expansion of the stadium? (Notice Jeff includes an upwards estimate of 2000 for a stadium that only will seat 1600.)

Jeff points out the walkway and the playground will remain open to the public on game days. But who will be able to get to them to enjoy them?

And he does not answer the question about the irrevocable change to the very character of Frame Park. Frame Park is not just the neighborhood park. It's not a vacant lot designated for future industrial use. It's a treasure for the whole city to be preserved and passed down to future generations of Waukesha residents for all to enjoy.

Succeed or fail, by supporting this baseball proposal we will have created a permanent eyesore in the middle of a treasured green space. There will be no turning the clock back.

No, find somewhere else, and take the existing baseball diamond with you so this city's mayors will never be tempted again by a slick salesman promising gold is buried under the ground of Frame Park.