Interactive Play hours at Scioto Mile Fountain Changed
- April 27, 2015 11:54 am at 11:54 am #1073659
Apparently people living in the Waterford and Miranova Towers complained about the noise from kids playing in the fountain… Also, the restaurant didn’t like all the kids playing and thought that it was disturbing their upper class adult clients. So the end result: Kids are banned from Bicentennial Park after 7:30. The fountain will be “viewing only” from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The problem with this is that is basically prevents working class family from using the fountain… as these people work and won’t be able to get their by that really early hour (in summer, the sun doesn’t even set until around 8:45 or 9:00). Rich old people ruin everthing…
From the Dispatch:
Kids will have less time to play in Scioto Mile Fountain
The city said that when the fountains open on Monday, play hours will be 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The remaining hours will be for viewing the fountains only.
Columbus is reducing the hours children can play in the Scioto Mile Fountains at Bicentennial Park after complaints from people who want to enjoy the display without screaming and running children.
The city’s Recreation and Parks Department said today that when the fountains open on Monday, play hours will be 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The remaining hours will be for viewing the fountains only.
“I’m not sure any of us ever imagined it would be as popular as it has become,” said Alan McKnight, director of recreation and parks, in a press release. “It is definitely a summer destination for entertainment and play, but we knew when we built it that we wanted people to have an opportunity for a visual experience as well.”
Bicentennial Park has become popular for families seeking a cheap cool down since it reopened in July 2011. The 15,000 square-foot fountains are part of $44 million in renovations at the park.
The fountains are free and open to the public.
They are fed by 110,000 gallons of water held in an underground reservoir and can shoot water 75 feet into the air. Some of the fountains are kept off at times when workers want to prevent surrounding grassy areas from becoming a muddy mess.
“While this change may cause some concerns, I think it’s important to note that the majority of the fountain’s hours are still committed to play, and the new policy is also in line with the operational hours of all of our outdoor swimming pools and spray grounds,” McKnight said.
They open today. Who wants to go down and watch the Fountain Gestapo police tackle a five year old who enters the fountain at 7:31 p.m.? Protest anyone? Their is a racial component to this (however unintentional it may be)… I guess more a socioeconomic component… the rich (generally white) people in their ivory tower don’t want to be bothered by the poor “street urchins” in what they view as THEIR fountain.April 27, 2015 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm #1073670
I can see that an argument could be made about class discrimination. Personally, I enjoyed listening to the kids playing the fountain the few times I visited Milestone 229. OTOH I am enough of a curmudgeon to think that 8:30/9 would be a reasonable time to shut things down, and based on the statement that this is in line with other outdoor pools can’t imagine this being a lasting issue.April 27, 2015 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #1073673
Given that the pools operated by the city of Columbus also close at a similar time (or even earlier; many close at 6:30 p.m.), I don’t see the problem. I have nothing against kids (I have one myself) or kids being kids, but I don’t have a problem with the city setting up a reasonable time at which the area takes on a more adult atmosphere. Having that time correspond to when other pools around the city close is entirely appropriate.April 27, 2015 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #1073674
Maybe this would also cut down on “fecal incidents”?
Since opening on July 7, seen here, the Scioto Mile fountains have closed three times so that staff members could clean up feces. This week, officials will begin enforcing 10-minute rest periods every two hours to fight the problem.April 27, 2015 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm #1073676
They open today. Who wants to go down and watch the Fountain Gestapo police tackle a five year old who enters the fountain at 7:31 p.m.? Protest anyone?
Have fun, if you are a parent and allow your kid to play in a fountain when it’s below 50 degrees out you deserve to get tackled.April 27, 2015 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm #1073677
I’m torn on this issue.
As a father of two small children who love the fountains there, I think it’s ridiculous to ban family usage of a public amenity paid for by public tax dollars. There’s a pretty compelling argument to be made that if you want urban places to be inviting to all people, then they need to be friendly to the elderly and to children (that goes for public parks, bike lanes, sidewalk spaces and everything else). If the request did come from residents in Miranova and/or Waterford, I think it’s cranky NIMBYism at its finest.
That being said, I think the request from the restaurant is an understandable one, as I’m sure it does impact business later at night when it’s an adult clientele looking for a night out for dinner and drinks, and not every guest is as capable as I am at tuning out the sound of children laughing and playing in the background.
Having 10:00am to 7:30pm open hours for families seven days a week is certainly a large usage time period for just about anyone to be able to find the time to utilize. Axing the final later hours isn’t likely to infringe too much upon any family use, especially since young kids are more likely to be heading home for bed around that time.
Also, the restaurant didn’t like all the kids playing and thought that it was disturbing their upper class adult clients.
Have you been to Milestone? Sure, you can get a steak there if you want to drop a few extra bucks, but I wouldn’t call any place where you can get an $11 burger or $13 pizza “upper class”…April 27, 2015 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm #1073682
Playing devil’s advocate here, but how does Easton and more specifically Brio handle this same issue with the children playing in the fountain next to their patio??April 27, 2015 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #1073683
I think it’s a terrible decision. Sun-up to sun-down seems like a much better policy, which is standard at city parks. The folks at Miranova had to know their tower wouldn’t always be both urban and quiet.
The opinion of a person who can’t stand the sound of laughing children should be taken with a grain of salt.April 27, 2015 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm #1073684
I’m totally comfortable with saying that I’ve been annoyed in the evenings by kids there late when I’m trying to have a more chill night. I don’t have an issue at all with the sounds or sights of hearing kids playing. They’re pretty entertaining during the day. My problem is inattentive parents who allow kids to bother restaurant guests, go into the restaurant and on the patio dripping wet and touching stuff, and just be generally annoying to the restaurant guests and staff. I’ve never been at the restaurant when the fountain is open where I haven’t seen this happen at least once. I’ve seen the Milestone staff be MUCH nicer than they should have to be dealing with that stuff, so I think this is totally appropriate. And like Walker said, 1030-730 7 days a week is a pretty generous bunch of hours, and as someone else said, is very similar to public pools. I think even an hour later would be fine, but I think a cut off time is totally fine.April 27, 2015 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm #1073685
This is denying all people from using the fountain after 7:30, not just children. Plus, in the summertime it does not get dark until later in the evening and the temperatures do not cool off at night in the city. Putting velvet ropes around a city asset because of noise complaints in a public park is not the way to satisfy the needs of all its citizens.
Parks and recreation needs to reevaluate this policy.April 27, 2015 1:01 pm at 1:01 pm #1073686
Looking at some other links for other “splash pads” around the city in various parks, etc, and I’m seeing most of them in park areas close between 7 and 8. The mall ones seem to be open during mall hours. So this 730 time doesn’t seem out of line or unusual compared with what other public parks are doing.
Easton and Polaris = Mall Hours
Ballantrae Park Dublin = 10A-8P
Powell Splash Pad = 9A-Dusk
Homestead Park Hilliard = 9A-Dusk
Barnett Park = Noon-7PApril 27, 2015 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #1073690
Reading the facebook comments on the dispatch post makes my head want to EXPLODE! It honestly reminds me of any episode of Parks and Rec that has a town hall meeting and the insane things the town folks say. “There was a sign in your park that said don’t drink the fountain water and I drank it, now I am sick”April 27, 2015 1:17 pm at 1:17 pm #1073692
Judging from the past few years, people do use the fountains during those later evening hours. I think that it’s much more important to keep providing that excellent entertainment for people rather than bending to the will of those who expect a park to be silent.April 27, 2015 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #1073694
I was always surprised that the fountains stayed open for kids as late as they did in the past. I agree that 7:30-8ish is a much more reasonable time. I like the idea that there will be some quiet time to just enjoy viewing the fountains from the Milestone patio. It gives everyone time to enjoy them.April 27, 2015 1:24 pm at 1:24 pm #1073695
My problem is inattentive parents who allow kids to bother restaurant guests, go into the restaurant and on the patio dripping wet and touching stuff, and just be generally annoying to the restaurant guests and staff.
Totally agree, it’s the inattentive parents who are the worst.
We were there last summer having dinner when this mother came in dragging her kid behind her, kid was wearing shorts only and dripping wet, and stands right next to our table. The AC is on and the kid is shivering, teeth chattering. All the while the mother screams out “excuse me… Excuse Me!… EXCUSE ME!!!” while the staff trying to scurry around the puddle and screaming mother to attend tables. And just as one of the hosts come over to point her to the restroom the kid can no longer hold it and pisses right there on the floor. Of course staff came and cleaned it up as fast as possible but it’s shit like that that keeps us from Milestone as much as we’d like to.
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