As a community member who campaigned for a new track for over 10 years, and an avid runner, I am less than impressed with its public access policy. It is disappointing that the school district that champions inclusion would discriminate against islanders, no matter how small the group. And yet, the new track access policy prevents islanders who work swing or graveyard shifts, or who regularly commute early, from using the new track, since they are either at work or sleeping when access is scheduled Monday through Friday.
The weekend times are especially flawed, since most exercisers maintain a regular exercise routine. Telling someone who exercises in the morning (the preferred time of day) they must exercise three hours later on weekends is counterintuitive. Furthermore, with the Northwest weather getting hotter, preventing runners from using the track during the cooler morning and evening hours on weekends also makes no sense.
And what about the 61 weekdays the schools are closed each year? There is no reason the track should not be available throughout the day when there is no school.
I understand the need to protect this valuable asset, while providing easy access to most of the community. However, there are alternatives. For those of us who choose to use the facility outside of “normal” hours, an access card arrangement would work. As long as “big brother” is not tracking the vast majority of users, I trust most “off-hour” users would not object to there being a record of when they used the track.
I have identified a challenge and a solution in the same letter — I trust there should be no problem updating the access policy to include all members of the community.
— Scott Harvey