A few years ago the central topic for one of my District 2 Town Hall meetings was Rembrandt Park. There were concerns raised about the lack of lighting at the tennis courts, the basketball area, play equipment and the skateboard area.
Ruby Goodman, who has served as a park attendant for more than 20 years at Rembrandt, was asked to get a feel from the users. I also set up a small committee and we conducted surveys from people of all ages. The consensus was to fix the lights, maintain the basketball area as is and replace the skateboard space with greenery.
Last spring the Public Spaces Committee of the city, composed of senior staff and some councillors, highlighted the skateboard area for demolishment at some point this year or next. Work began last week. I was not aware of the specific date and while some parents have come forward and stated their kids enjoy the area, inspections done in recent weeks warned of serious danger. due to cracks in the asphalt as well as heaving areas in the asphalt. Our Public Works Department told me Friday that this area is not conducive to skateboarding. Potential accidents would result in costly litigation. Some youngters use their scooters there, something which is also highly dangerous. As a result, filling in the bowl meets with the new required safety measures.
The earth is coming from excavation projects throughout the city. It is therefore, an environmentally friendly project. We will install sod and topsoil to create an area in the shade for picnic tables and benches, providing residents with the opportunity to enjoy summer fun in the shade. It will therefore be transformed into a nice gathering space
Ruby Goodman confirmed Friday that he has seen very few skateboarders there in recent years. In fact Public Works was constantly tasked to clean the bowl as it was becoming a garbage dump.
When I was first elected 13 years ago there was a soccer field at Rembrandt Park that was sunk below the ground. We consistently found benches and debris dumped there. As well seniors complained about delinquents causing problems and using the spot as a hideout late at night. We resolved the problem by filling the hole with leveled greenspace.
Constituents are always invited to contact me directly to discuss these issues.