Wednesday, August 12, 2009

County responds to BMX initiative

Regarding the BMX project undertaken by some neighborhood residents, here is an email from Demetra McBride, a Natural Resources Manager for Sarasota County:

I spoke with Mrs. _____ (the owner of property adjacent to the BMX track) on Monday, early evening. The creation of that track has disrupted and damaged root systems of trees in that corridor. In addition, the use of the area for that purpose has created grade variations that could form trip hazards for people unaware it is there (especially in the dark).

The fact is, this is County property, and any conversion or alternate use of it should have been cleared with the County and properly vetted and permitted. I am looking into the possibility of finding a location that is more suited for this purpose. Also, please note that this is a transportation corridor, not a parks property, and the expectation is that this will be the site of a project that is a "learning transportation corridor" for youth. This site seems ideal for that purpose because it connects children throughout the community with the several neighborhood schools, including a specials needs school for which we can provide an ADA-compliant venue. The learning elements are also provisionally conceived to provide engaging information about sustainable habits, the environment, and connections among kids, growth and nature. But, also, to provide in some measure even engineering info about transportation systems. Who knows, perhaps that corridor could inspire both future ecologists and engineers - with the advantage of knowing how the two can work together for a healthy and successful community. For that purpose, we anticipate that this will remain a transportation corridor, just one for the younger members of our society.

As to the BMX track, this seems to be a useful amenity with popularity among Lake Sarasota youth. As I am certain you will understand, we do have to consider the use, any risk, and whether we are able to construct or permit construction on public property without addition precautions or measures. Be assured we are looking into that, and a more appropriate location for that use.


In a follow-up email Ms. McBride wrote:

Thanks, but this foonote is important -- I spoke with Mrs. ___ about inviting her son Michael to be a "neighborhood spokesperson" when we open the community conversation on this project. From his work, it appears that he is motivated, organized and a good youth ambassador. As this potential project is intended to serve that demographic, we feel it is important - if not critical - for those voices to be heard. I hope Michael takes me up on the offer?

Ms. McBride had proposed creating an educational walkway for kids on the site last year. See this link for more info.



We'll update as this "community conversation" develops.

2 comments:

Concerned Resident said...

This area is quickly becoming a dump and will negatively affect the resale value of the surrounding homes.

It used to be nice to walk through with my kids and dogs. Now I avoid taking my family through because of the grafiti, trash, and rude kids.

How can this be openly allowed by Sarasota County? This is exactly why so many neighboorhoods have deed restrictions. This is the way to set an example to the younger kids walking through to the elementary school.

I was never for deed restrictions but this makes me think twice. Maybe it's time to reconsider deed restrictions.

Lake Sarasota Community Group said...

Your input is appreciated. Next step would be to come to our monthly meetings, join us in doing what we can to make the entirety of Lake Sarasota more like what we all wish it to be.