I've harped on the need for splash pads for decades, but I didn't think we'd get them this way.
What Is Happening?
The Lubbock City Council has voted to turn three neighborhood pools into splash pads. There are some upsides, starting with the fact that they will be able to be open for longer each year than the pools were. Now that we have accentuated the positive, let's look at the negative.
To be generous, I'd say that splash pads are for kids 10 and under. I think I'd look kind of ridiculous playing next to a giant water mushroom or whatever theme they come up with. It's probably true that city pools appeal mostly to kids anyways, but that's mostly because they've been targeted to do so. These pools at least had the capability to appeal to teens and adults if someone had taken the time to do so. Night swims could have been so awesome.
So as much as I love the idea of splash pads, they're kind of the territory of the wet diaper and up crowd. I'm also bummed that there will now be fewer places for kids to go for safe water training.
All of this is being done under the guise of saving money. I'm not sure that idea (pardon the pun) holds water.
How about we put rocks instead of grass in our parks? That would also save money. How is it that many Lubbock homeowners can have pools, but the entire City of Lubbock can't pitch in to maintain about a few? The truth is, someone decided that this city service just isn't important anymore, and that's really sad. I don't really want to even get into hard numbers here, but something seems a little off.
Where Are We Headed?
I often wonder what's important to the people of Lubbock. We just don't seem to do a good job of providing services for people, but rather rely on private businesses to step up. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't.
We could make entertaining kids a priority, but now we've put that cutoff age at 10. I can also tell you as a former delinquent myself, that the number one way kids get into trouble is not drugs, but boredom. Someone really should have looked a little deeper into this pool's situation before giving up on them.
We could have made Lubbock better, but instead we just made it slightly different.