Compromise to allow jogging on public golf course is wise

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A compromise to imposing an outright ban on walkers, joggers and dogs at the city’s public golf course seems reasonable and acceptable. The City Council is considering the proposal tonight.

The outright ban considered earlier this year was not.

That plan to ban walking and jogging on the Veterans Memorial Golf Course was an overreaction to a concern rather than a problem. The course operator, a contractor, said walkers and joggers tend to cut across the fairways, slow up the games and put themselves at risk — opening up the city to liability.

But walkers and joggers have used the course for years without any significant problems.

Given that the course is a public resource, ultimately funded by taxpayers, allowing access to as many uses as possible would seem a good use of a community asset.

Under the proposal, walkers and runners would have unrestricted use of the perimeter of the course from Oct. 1 to April 30 of each year.

From May 1 to Sept. 30, walkers and runners would be banned from using the course only from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The course operator would also have the authority to close the park to all walkers and runners during larger golf tournaments.

The Council should adopt this plan, which wisely still includes the ban on dogs from the original proposal.

While the vast majority of dogs on the course would be on a leash — with their dog-do messes being cleaned up by their owners — a few would not. That’s reason enough to impose the ban.

Dogs simply don’t need to be on a golf course. There are plenty of other places to take dogs for a walk.

But golf courses, with soft grass that’s easier on the body, have for years been prime locations for joggers and walkers.

Allowing joggers and walkers to share Veterans Memorial with golfers is a great compromise and a good use of public resources.

Comments

adpomraning 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The golf course is on tonight's (Wednesday July 23) Walla Walla City Council active agenda. Mayor Cummins will ask for public comments prior to a vote on this or a modified ordinance on this topic. Hope to see you there - 7:00 PM, Walla Walla City Hall, 2nd floor. Take the elevator to the right of the stairs if you cannot climb the stairs. Allen Pomraning Walla Walla City Council Member

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