Monday, May 17, 2010

PARKS: Safety of New Play Equipment in Hodgkins-Curtin Park

Question/Comment: A resident expressed concern related to the renovation of Hodgkins-Curtin Park. S/he noticed that the rails on the arched bridge in the play area for older children are a bit high, such that s/he thinks that if a child falls while crossing the bridge, s/he may fall to the ground from the gap between the bridge and the rails. The resident would like to know  if it is possible to lower the rails or fix this problem in some other way, making it safer to use.

City Update 6/14/10: The City's Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development (OSPCD) has double checked the dimensions of the playstructure at Hodgkins Park with the installation contractor and they assure me that the rail and bridge were both according to the manufacture's specification.  In addition, after the rubber safety surface is installed, but before the park is opened later this month, a representative from the product manufacturer, Columbia Cascade, will inspect the structures and provide us with a letter stating that the play structure is installed properly according to national industry standards. OSPCD also examined playgrounds in other communities with with similar bridges, manufactured by other companies, and found that the space between the bridge deck and bottom of the railing on those structures is larger then the space between the at the bridge deck and railing at Hodgkins Park.

City Update 5/20/10:  The City sincerely appreciates all input from parents regarding the safety of the equipment in our parks.  With that said, the City has not identified any issues regarding the design of the play structure being installed at the Hodgkins-Curtin Playground.  The play structure meets all current national playground safety specifications and the components have been inspected and tested by an independent agency. The play structure is also being installed over a rubber safety surface that will help protect children from injury when they fall.

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