It has long been said that an ideal compromise is only achieved when nobody is entirely satisfied.
Based on that measure, the proposed relocation of Winslow Park playing fields to airport property bordering the Lakeshore neighborhood is right on target.
No one seems to be entirely happy with the plan, although they all apparently find something in it that they like.
Let’s start with the Apponaug Girls Softball League and the Warwick Firefighters Soccer Club. Both groups would just as soon be nowhere near the airport. On the other hand, they appreciate how the Rhode Island Airport Corporation has taken into consideration their suggestions and designed a complex that accommodates their needs.
Then there are the Lakeshore residents. They live in an isolated area with a single entrance and exit to the community – Lake Shore Drive. While the RIAC proposal calls for access and egress to the park from airport property from a road now serving its maintenance garage, it’s not hard to imagine the parents of players will soon learn “the back way” into the site through the neighborhood. Cut-though traffic could become a problem and should be addressed. Yet, playing fields are a preferable alternative to the corporate hangars once proposed for the site.
And then there’s RIAC.
RIAC owns Winslow Park. Technically, they could close the fields with no obligation to relocate them.
That, of course, has not been RIAC’s position. Relocation of the fields is a component of the memorandum of understanding with the City Council. RIAC is committed to relocating the fields and the expense of the move, which surely is a burden.
On the other hand, they have responded to the community and they are using land that otherwise might go fallow.
On Tuesday, RIAC offered a conceptual design of the park. Questions were raised over neighborhood traffic and one of the suggestions was to fence off the area from the neighborhood with gates that could be code operated so residents could gain access to the facilities. It is one suggestion and maybe there are others.
But in terms of the big picture, it would seem there’s a workable plan here. It’s a good place to be, but let’s be realistic – no one is going to be 100 percent satisfied.