Ron Bukley’s article last week, “Several Park Improvements On The Drawing Board In RPB,” caught my eye because I believe Royal Palm Beach has done an outstanding job of building and maintaining its parks. I was very pleased to read that they are sparing no expense spending hundreds of thousands of dollars buying equipment, rebuilding children’s play areas, replacing the kitchen and baths at the RPB Cultural Center, because it cost money to keep things nice and safe for residents. What disappointed me was I didn’t see any money mentioned that was being put aside for florescent aerosol paint cans — you know, those crazy bright-yellow or orange colors you see them paint on the roads.
The reason I bring this is up is because about two years ago, a couple was walking through beautiful Earth Day Park — no playgrounds, just a nice gazebo, plenty of oak trees and some bench seats that attract many seniors and small children. Anyway, the woman fell and was hurt pretty bad. She tripped over the broken asphalt walkway, hurt her leg, arm and head, and couldn’t walk for a few months. Not looking to cause any trouble, they notified the Parks & Recreation Department and advised them of the accident, and how the village was opening themselves up to possible liability because of the problem. Well, the very next day, RPB workers were out at the park with — you guessed it — yellow florescent paint, which they used to mark all the dangerous areas. We all assumed the village would be out to repair these danger areas, but then the days turned into weeks, which turned into months and then into years.
Then several months ago, a mother and her small child were playing in the same park, and the child tripped over the broken asphalt walkway and fell, hurting his leg. So the mother quickly contacted the village and advised them of the danger, and yep — you guessed it — they were out there the very next day spraying the dangerous areas again, but this time they used orange florescent paint. Now the days have turned into weeks, which have turned into months, and I assume will turn into years until somebody else gets hurt.
While Royal Palm Beach will boast how they will spend hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars to build a new kitchen and baths for the cultural center, or buy lawn equipment for $80,000, they refuse to fix a sidewalk that has been and still is a danger to those who use it. I think our parks are fantastic. I’m very much looking forward to the opening of Commons Park, but really, it would be nice if Royal Palm Beach would just fix the walkway in Earth Day Park before somebody really gets hurt and sues.
Peter ReJune, Royal Palm Beach