Missing Use of a Community Asset



It’s been a couple of years since the high school all-weather track (which we all paid for) was closed to the public during the hours it was most useful. On New Year’s Day, no less. Now, people who want a flat, hazard-free, safe place to exercise have no option except to drive to the field at Top of the World. That’s more cars on the road, more gas being used, more wear and tear, and pretty darn un-green. And what if you can’t drive?

The school board rejected a proposal for community members to get passes to use the track during the day. Naturally, the words “liability” and “safety” were batted around. People even offered to pay money for said passes (again, for a track we paid for with the promise it would be a community available asset).

While driving to TOW, I have rarely seen anybody on the track in the middle of the day. It would be so nice to be able to walk from my home like I used to and get some exercise in a place free from curbs, traffic, and dog doo. I miss the runs where I could just turn my brain off lap after lap. I miss the friendly people I walked and ran with during the day. I miss how it made Laguna feel like a special community where adults could be a good example to students by modeling good health and fitness behavior.

I understand the imperative of student safety. But tell me, oh so wise school board members, how does closing the track make the school safer when the front gate is wide open? Why not erect a taller fence between track and school? You have the baseball field locked up.

As time goes by, the decision to close the track seems more hard hearted, more big government and more and more capricious. Unless, of course, the thought of senior citizens walking in order to rehab their hip keeps you awake at night.

Please reconsider.


Mike Rybah, Laguna Beach

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