On December 19th, I talked to everyone about a local issue about a BMX Park proposal. The Daily Echo has been following the topic but seems to miss the real issues in my opinion.
The most recent articles seem to single out "dog walkers" as opponents to the proposal. Residents are mentioned as well as visitors but there's no identifying description associated with them that singles any resident or visitor out from another. I haven't polled those who oppose the proposal. Perhaps there are a prominent number who are dog walkers that disagree with this particular location being chosen for this development. If that's the case, shouldn't that be factored into the decision of developing the area? Considering "dog walkers" use the area all year round that demographic would take prominence in my mind over any smaller demographic that might use it heavily on a seasonal basis. Over all, it seems inflammatory to portray the issue as "dog walkers" against the "BMX'ers". It does a disservice to the community by detracting from the overall issues being discussed.
I'm not a dog walker nor a dog owner. I don't fall in that category. The issues that I feel most significantly impact the decision to develop this area into a BMX park have nothing to do with dog walking.
The Chewton Bunny is a fairly unusual place to my knowledge. It's one of the last pristine, undeveloped stretches of coast line in the nearby area. I can't even begin to imagine the environmental impact of developing, in particular, the lower lying area of the Chewton Bunny which deals with flooding or bogginess. Soil erosion has been a big concern in this particular area for well over a decade. But so far, imagining what the environmental impact would be is all I'm capable of doing until someone does an environmental impact study and makes the results public. Why is something of this nature even being considered without that information being available for public consumption? If it is available somewhere, I haven't seen it but would love to know about it. Please send me that information if you have it.
It would be easy to pocket me as someone who just doesn't like BMX, BMX parks, or anything of that nature from reading these articles but it's not true. I LOVE BMX. I really do. They amaze me. There is an art to it like no other that involves a level of athleticism that I can't even begin to imagine possessing. They seem to possess a fearlessness and a freedom of spirit that's really awesome to watch.
Despite my enjoyment of the sport, I doubt the retirement community in that immediate area will feel the same. I also doubt they will have an extreme appreciation for it being located so near their homes. Surely, there is a better location to consider placing this park. So far, between the dog walkers and the retirement community, we've discussed two significant demographic groups that will be severely impacted.
Last time we discussed this topic, I have to admit some of the readers comments got me to thinking. Recreation and entertainment are obviously things we all enjoy. However, in a time when the government is making funding cuts to essential parts of our infrastructure like the Police or the 490,000 public sector jobs that are slated to be lost*, it seems imprudent to focus spending on a recreational facility. Perhaps it's an idea for the Government to get itself out of the business of funding recreation and entertainment for the public until it can adequately fund the infrastructure. That's what I do when I don't have enough money in the budget to cover all my bills. I stop my recreational and entertainment spending.
As a tax payer, I'm concerned about how funding is being allocated at this point. I can't help but wonder how many tax payers are being negatively impacted by all of these infrastructure cuts and how many future generations will be dealing with the ramifications of these cuts. I wonder how many tax payers are bothered by the concept of paying for a park at a time when their child benefits are ending. It's sort of an interesting dynamic if you think about it. With one hand, the government is taking money out of the tax paying parents pockets but with the other they're giving them a BMX park next to a retirement centre that has historically had drainage and erosion issues.....