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Update: Joslin Park & Manchaca/Ben White from CM Kitchen

posted Jul 30, 2018, 3:13 PM by Leann Land

Dear Neighbors, 
I would like to provide an update on all the actions that are being taken to address the challenges facing our community around Joslin Park and the Ben White/Manchaca Rd. overpass.

Below, please find an update regarding Joslin Park:

  • Park Activation:
Please know Park Rangers have visited Joslin Park on July 24th and July 26th to provide Leave No Trace programming and will return July 30th and August 9th between 5:00 pm and 8 pm. The purpose of this programming is to activate the space and remind park users of the park rules and good stewardship practices.  

  • Playground Lighting Adjustments:
PARD is fabricating brackets to extend the ‘arm’ of the light fixture to provide a better distribution of light at the playground using the two solar lights that are currently installed and one additional solar light that will be installed in the near future. Once the playground lighting is adjusted, PARD will schedule an evening meeting with Joslin park representatives to review the lighting adjustments and identify priority locations for additional solar security lighting within the park. The additional solar lighting will be purchased and installed during this next fiscal year which starts in October 2018. PARD will also consider additional solar lights along the track near the playground and fitness equipment with FY19 lighting funds. Austin Energy has been contacted and a request to dim the sidewalk light has been submitted. The PARD team will work to determine a timeframe for reviewing/analyzing the light options.  

  • Playground Equipment:
On July 20, PARD reached out to KOMPAN, the equipment manufacturer, to discuss the potential for swapping out play panels at the existing platform structure to increase transparency at the playground. On July 25, the manufacturer responded that they do not currently offer replacement panels or netting that could “plug and play” with this specific structure. The manufacturer’s design team is reviewing the structure to see which panels can be safely removed to allow better views into the structure, but still maintain a high level of play value. A meeting will be scheduled in the next two weeks with PARD’s playground safety team and Becky, the KOMPAN representative, to review the proposed changes to the structure for potential modifications.

The potential of altering the existing play structure will be determined once the lighting changes have been completed and the community stakeholders have had the opportunity to observe any benefits gained by the adjustments. In the meantime, KOMPAN will continue to research alternatives to the enclosed platform area. 
 
Further updates will continue until the issues are adequately resolved.  


Updated Schedule of Clean-ups at Manchaca and Ben White in Addition to the TXDoT Clean-ups:
         
August-14th                                              
Sept-18th
Oct-16th
Nov-20th
Dec-18th
Jan-15th


As always my office will monitor the situation at the overpass and work with all parties to continue making improvements.

I want to thank everyone, neighbors, city staff and staff from all the other agencies who are committed to finding effective solutions for these challenges. 

Please stay in touch with my office with any questions or comments and call 911 when you see a situation that APD or EMS needs to address. 
Thank you for all you do for our community!

Best Regards,
Ann Kitchen
City Council, District 5

From Ann Kitchen - Update: Joslin Park & Manchaca/Ben White

posted Jul 24, 2018, 5:37 AM by Leann Land

Dear Neighbors, 
I would like to provide an update on all the actions that are being taken to address the challenges facing our community around Joslin Park and the Ben White/Manchaca Rd. overpass.

1. Joslin Park

From Kimberly McNeeley, Acting Director, PARD:

As promised below is a progress update regarding the items discussed at last week’s meeting:
Progress Update: 
Contact Austin Transportation Department regarding the parking issues around Joslin Park and provide contact information to the community for further investigation: 
  • ATD has been contacted and an email introduction was made. The ATD will work directly with community members and park supporters regarding the parking concerns.

 Investigate options for extending the recently installed lighting to better illuminate the playground area:
  • Joslin Park has two separate AE electrical services to the park. One service provides electricity to the tennis courts and is in working condition. The second service was used to light a softball field at one time. The softball field lighting is currently inoperable and will require a major investment to bring back into working condition. It is because of the inoperable condition of the second lighting system that PARD has use the solar alternative. 
  • As you know, PARD installed 2 solar lights. A 3rd light will be installed in the coming weeks. The solar lights are currently being analyzed and adjusted by PARD maintenance to extend increase lighting in and around the playground. The adjustments that are being tested include redirection of light, installing extensions to the existing lights and installation of a third light. The PARD team will continue adjustments and testing in the next week. A request has been made to Austin Energy to dim the existing night watchman light along Cinnamon Trail. If the night watchman continues to be too bright even after dimming, PARD will request the light be disconnected. 
  • Additional information regarding the lighting progress will be provided next week. 

Complete the tree trimming next to the adjacent light between the playground and exercise equipment for better illumination 
  • Forestry was able to conduct some tree pruning, however, the work is not complete. A work order has been created for more extensive tree trimming with the goal of completing the work in the next week. The Forestry work is being coordinated with Joe Diaz. 
  • Additional information regarding the lighting progress will be provided next week. 

Review illumination and make adjustments to the light once the tree has been trimmed 
  • In addition to the hardware improvements, the settings for the solar lights are being adjusted to increase light intensity when activated by a motion sensor. Some of the live oak branches have been trimmed to allow for better light distribution. 

 Increase signage within the Park to allow for better enforcement of established ordinances 
  • New signs have been added. This task is complete and APD have additional enforcement resources.
Return the picnic table to be placed next to the playground under the tree Joe Diaz 
  • Completed. 

Schedule a “Leave No Trace” educational session to engage park users and provide information about responsible pet ownership and general environmental stewardship
  • Park Rangers will provide Leave No Trace/Responsible Pet Ownership at least four evenings (between 5:30 and 8:30) between now and the end of August. The Ranger Team is working to adjust their current schedule to include the above programming. 

Schedule a community meeting to further discuss playground equipment options to deter individuals from sleeping on the equipment 
  • Patrick Beyer met with the community members on 7/19/18. Based upon feedback there is a request to explore options to replace panels with netting. PARD Team Members will meet with the playground manufacture to determine options and report back to the community.
  • Additional information regarding the playground progress will be provided next week. 

2. Ben White/Manchaca Overpass 

As we announced last week ACM Sara Hensley indicated there would be more frequent clean-ups in addition to TXDoT clean-ups the 1st week of each month. Today she updates us with the cleanups that are currently scheduled:

Scheduled clean-ups
August-18th
Sept-15th
Oct-20th
Nov-17th
Dec-15th
Jan-19th

As always my office will monitor the situation at the overpass and work with all parties to continue making improvements.

I want to thank everyone, neighbors, city staff and staff from all the other agencies who are committed to finding effective solutions for these challenges. 

Please stay in touch with my office with any questions or comments and call 911 when you see a situation that APD or EMS needs to address. 
Thank you for all you do for our community!

Best Regards,
Ann Kitchen
City Council, District 5

Joslin Park Follow-Up Update 7.20.18

posted Jul 20, 2018, 6:52 AM by Leann Land

Good Morning Park Supporters-

 

As promised below is a progress update regarding the items discussed at last week’s meeting:

Progress Update: 

·         Contact Austin Transportation Department regarding the parking issues around Joslin Park and provide contact information to the community for further investigation  Kimberly McNeeley 

o   ATD has been contacted and an email introduction was made.  The ATD will work directly with community members and park supporters regarding the parking concerns.

·         Investigate options for extending the recently installed lighting to better illuminate the playground area Patrick Beyer

o   Joslin Park has two separate AE electrical services to the park. One service provides electricity to the tennis courts and is in working condition. The second service was used to light a softball field at one time. The softball field lighting is currently inoperable and will require a major investment to bring back into working condition.  It is because of the inoperable condition of the second lighting system that PARD has use the solar alternative.

o   As you know, PARD installed 2 solar lights.  A 3rd light will be installed in the coming weeks.  The solar lights are currently being analyzed and adjusted by PARD maintenance to extend increase lighting in and around the playground.  The adjustments that are being tested include redirection of light, installing extensions to the existing lights and installation of a third light.  The PARD team will continue adjustments and testing in the next week.  A request has been made to Austin Energy to dim the existing night watchman light along Cinnamon Trail. If the night watchman continues to be too bright even after dimming, PARD will request the light be disconnected. 

o   Additional information regarding the lighting progress will be provided next week.

·         Complete the tree trimming next to the adjacent light between the playground and exercise equipment for better illumination  Joe Diaz and Amanda Ross (a work order has been submitted)

o   Forestry was able to conduct some tree pruning, however, the work is not complete.  A work order has been created for more extensive tree trimming (WO#201811579) with the goal of completing the work in the next week. The Forestry work is being coordinated with Joe Diaz. 

o   Additional information regarding the lighting progress will be provided next week.

·         Review illumination and make adjustments to the light once the tree has been trimmed

o   In addition to the hardware improvements, the settings for the solar lights are being adjusted to increase light intensity when activated by a motion sensor.Some of the live oak branches have been trimmed to allow for better light distribution.  

·         Increase signage within the Park to allow for better enforcement of established ordinances Joe Diaz

o   New signs have been added (see attached email w/pictures).  This task is complete and APD have additional enforcement resources.

·         Return the picnic table to be placed next to the playground under the tree Joe Diaz

o   Completed.  

·         Schedule a “Leave No Trace” educational session to engage park users and provide information about responsible pet ownership and general environmental stewardship

o   Park Rangers will provide Leave No Trace/Responsible Pet Ownership at least four evenings (between 5:30 and 8:30) between now and the end of August.  The Ranger Team is working to adjust their current schedule to include the above programming. 

·         Schedule a community meeting to further discuss 

o   Playground equipment options to deter individuals from sleeping on the equipment

o   Patrick Beyer met with the community members on 7/19/18.  Based upon feedback there is a request to explore options to replace panels with netting. PARD Team Members will meet with the playground manufacture to determine options and report back to the community.

o   Additional information regarding the playground progress will be provided next week.  

o   Dog Park considerations

o   PARD Planning Staff does not support the development of off leash dog parks in existing neighborhood parks. The PARD experience is

§  Neighborhood parks are not large enough to support this function

§  Dog parks draw visitation from all areas of the city, increasing traffic and parking issues within neighborhoods

§  Dog parks in close proximity to schools create incompatibility issues that are difficult to overcome

§  Neighborhood parks are generally designed for walkability- therefore it is difficult to add adequate parking for dog park visitation

§  Off leash dog areas are generally found in Metro Parks, District Parks and in greenbelt areas where neighborhoods are less impacted, adequate parking is available .

 

Please expect another progress report email next week.  Constructive feedback is always welcome. 

 

 

Best Regards- 

 

Kimberly McNeeley, CPRP, Acting Director

Austin Parks and Recreation Department

512-974-6722

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