When we think about our city, we often think about the big-ticket items that make a huge impact. We are always talking about ways to enrich San Jose with more, more, and more! This includes building BART, baseball stadiums, funding large scale developments and adding retail shopping. But it seems that when we do that—which is important—smaller projects that are also important to some citizens fall through the cracks.
One of these smaller concerns at present is the pool at Ryland Park in San Jose. Bordered by North First St. on one side and San Pedro St. on the other, it has become a very nice public space. Yes, it has its problems and has been a haven for the homeless at times; but, the Vendome neighborhood residents have done many good things to improve the park, adding a new playground and trying to make it kid-friendly. The pool has been empty for as long as I can remember and the residents want to get it reopened. However, they keep running into the same stumbling blocks. Now I hear that the pool is about to be recommended to the Parks and Recreation Dept. for permanent closure as part of the city’s “Master Aquatics Plan.” Just using the words “master” and “plan” together when we talk about anything in San Jose is a little amusing, but this issue definitely isn’t.
Reopening the pool is a simple way to improve the neighborhood park and there doesn’t seem to be any answers as to why it needs to be closed for good. There is ample housing adjacent to the park and the neighborhood clearly wants it and would thrive from it. I understand that, at present, this is an issue to a small number of residents, but that doesn’t mean their concerns should not be heard by the masses.
The ultimate question is: how do we get things like this done in a town that isn’t friendly to getting anything done in a timely manner? Here’s hoping they listen to this one.
The Master Aquatics Plan will be discussed on Wednesday, February 7 at 5:00 p.m. in City Hall if you want to find out for yourself.