By Paul Taffel
I’ve lost count of how many years we’ve been waiting for the West Hollywood park and its children’s playground to reopen.
I’ve spoken to recreation services staff several times, most recently.
Anyway, bottom line is that the children’s playground contract appears to have been awarded (not by recreation services) to a contractor who, despite having several YEARS to get their act together, has been manifestly unable to do so. Recreation services finally inspected the playground IN THE LAST MONTH with another contractor, who is JUST NOW looking to order critical missing pieces needed to finally open the play area. Apparently equipment and (some) landscaping are still not up to code, and need to be replaced.
The most basic tenets of project management involve not ending up in this situation. Years behind schedule, and yet apparently unable (or unwilling) to predict or take necessary measures to complete this relatively small piece of the park plan on time. To say nothing of the apparent lack of accountability.
The children’s play area is, they explain, a very complex project with many regulations that must be adhered to. Whatever excuses are produced, it is simply unbelievable that no one could have foreseen these problems and taken measures to correct for them well before the park reopened.
I find the interior of West Hollywood park stunningly unattractive, sterile even. And the children’s playground, whenever it finally opens, seems to perfectly match the same design aesthetic. It contains 3 pieces of equipment, far smaller than either of the original two play areas that it replaces. A traditional swing, for example. It just boggles the mind how any half-competent planner could have approved this design, and then allowed this shit-show to go on so long, only to finally think about ordering missing pieces in the last month.
How much has this playground cost (so far), and how much are we paying Steve Campbell and his highly experienced staff to “direct” this sad embarrassment?
The little girl in the photo below will be 4 soon. Her name is Sevara. She’s never had the opportunity to play here, despite it being walking distance from my home. Unfortunately she’s not in transition, she wishes to be called she/her, and she likes pink very much indeed. What a shame she’s at the very bottom of our progressive city’s list of priorities.