May 31, 2009

SAFETY of Pedestrians in Leddy Park


To: Members of Burlington City Council

From: Patrick Kearney

Former member of Disc Golf Working Group

Subject: Safety of Pedestrians in Leddy Park if Disc Golf is Approved

Date: May 30, 2009

As a member of the working group I did considerable research regarding disc golf and learned a great deal about the sport and what actions must be taken to guarantee the safety of pedestrians.

Leddy Park is much different than other parks in the city because pedestrians, if the residents within the new north end want to walk or bike to the arena or beach they must use the paths in the woods or the narrow roadway. It is apparent by looking at the trails the trails get considerable use. Therefore it is not appropriate to have a disc golf course in the same location. I personally spoke with Steve Allen and requested that he consider the safety of pedestrians when making a recommendation regarding disc golf in Leddy Park. Wayne Gross after working with his staff and contacting other park managers recommended to the commission that disc golf was not appropriate in Leddy Park. However Steve Allen, Carolyn Hanson, John Ewing and Barbara Nolfi did not listen to Wayne. I realize that the City Council does not want to micro manage a commission but it is obvious to most persons I speak with that during the last 18 months the Parks and Recreation commission is not a great example of how a commission is supposed to work for the citizens of Burlington.

1. Disc can be thrown 80 miles per hour and 600 feet in distance. See attachment

2. Discs do not always go where they are intended to go. Therefore significant injuries may occur. At Kansas State University one person had to have facial stitches and dental work. Also the buildings received thousands of dollars of damage. During our disc golf meeting some players admitted they have been hit by disc.

3. Once a disc course is installed you cannot shut it down or control the use. Players will play even though the baskets have been removed.

4. You cannot control the number of persons that use the course

5. You cannot control the times of year that people play. They play year round in Michigan and Colorado and perhaps more states.

6. I have tried to help the Btown disc golf group find other sites:

Thomas Hubbard of South Burlington Parks and Recreation has no area for disc golf even though they have several parks and the 110 Acre Caulking’s property.

Brad Luck of Essex Junction Parks and Recreation has no area for disc golf even though they have the former Vermont State Forest area.

Glen Cuititia of Colchester Parks and Recreation has no area for disc golf and no interest.

Jim McCullough of Catamount has a 500 acre family center. Jim will not risk some of the users of the family center may hit by a golf disc off course.

It is not reasonable to expect that disc golf can coexist with pedestrians that must use the trails to access the arena and beach.

Please support Russ Ellis and his Resolution to stop disc golf in Leddy Park.