Sunday, December 11, 2005

The put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in...

This makes you wonder why the CA board spent "up to" $20,000 on a consultant to do a safety assessment in the first place if they were just going to build a fence or "natural buffer" anyway.

After angry parents denounced a report that concluded a fence was unnecessary, the board discussed the issue for more than an hour Thursday night, and then voted unanimously that something needed to be done.

...The report, from the National Program for Playground Safety, was released last week. It concluded: "There is no compelling need to place a fence around the play area."

I don't wish to sound cold or unsympathetic, but policies and decisions based on emotion do not always result in the best outcomes. Then again, policies based solely on reason often fail as well. Either way, people are notoriously bad at assessing risk, especially when it involves events of very low probability and high emotion (see nuclear power).

That said, the most interesting take on this debate has to be this:
Phil Marcus, the board member from Kings Contrivance, said he and a few other members initially felt that no fence was needed. That changed as the discussion continued.

"I was slightly persuaded at the end that putting a fence there would really help," Marcus said.
Not a very strong statement of support, if you ask me.

As far as the natural buffer goes, wouldn't this reduce visibility from the tot lot to the lake, perhaps making the situation more dangerous? I'm just throwing out ideas and I'm sure CA will address this in their in-house, staff report on the matter, which is due out next month.

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