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Locating playgrounds

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
I thought Gedunker's question was interesting and deserved it's own thread so here goes....

JNL said:
Lots of playgrounds sounds good, though I have seen many bad examples of poor siting giving very little surveillance from the street. These ones don't seem to get used. I've got some pics of a real shocker I took the other week. Halfway down an alleyway
Gedunker said:
Don't playgrounds with proximity to the street have a higher probability of child abduction, as opposed to those in the interior? Does the age of the predominant user matter?

I ask because we moved a playground for pre-schoolers from an intersection to an interior location because the proximity to the street seemed to encourage "snatching".
One I was thinking of in Aussie had high grass mounds that blocked all views from surrounding houses and streets, therefore making it hard for parents to keep an eye on their kids. It was set back some distance from the road.

Here's the one I referred to in the quote above, located halfway down an alley way with high fences. There was graffiti on the playground equipment, and note the hole ripped in the wire fence. Gate was missing too.



Here's the approach from one end of the alley. You can just see the wire fencing around the playground. The fence on the right has barbed wire running along the top!


Conversely, I am aware that being too close to the road can be a problem. I saw a poor design where trees lining a road adjacent to a playground would allow coverage for someone to approach the playground almost unseen and make a quick getaway.

I am not an expert in this so am interested to hear others' experience in locating playgrounds :)

My feeling is that there is a fine line between locating them so that people nearby can 'keep an eye on things' and locating them TOO close to nearby activity, esp. streets.
 
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Seabishop

Cyburbian
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3,838
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25
A visible location that might encourage the rare case of snatching might also reduce the more common playground crimes of drug dealing, prostitution, vandalism etc. These crimes are probably more preventable than snatching which is something done by hardened criminals with real problems, rather than bored neighborhood teens.

Then again, snatchers aren't attracted to playgrounds the way I'm attracted to a donut shop that I happen to see off the road. They might prefer the more isolated playground where fewer people can see them.
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,289
Points
30
Access

Is the approach shown in the photo a public access easement or ROW? Are the fences located in the easement/ROW? If so, tear x| them down and replace with a decorative black wire 6 foot wood post fence. I agree that playgounds must be wide open, I don't even like the fences around them, as long as they are located away from water and high traffic roadways. Use Park benches to encourage parents and grand parents to visit with their (grand)children. I also think that any residential fences located adjacent to or backing up to a playground need to be the open kind....lower privacy level offset by higher property values :h: (backing to a playground as long as you have access).....
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
The One said:
Is the approach shown in the photo a public access easement or ROW? Are the fences located in the easement/ROW?
I'm not 100% sure how this works in NZ so I have just made enquiries to get clarification. Notice how on the right, a second, taller fence has been constructed behind the lower one? I'm guessing this, and the barbed wire, were the homeowner's initiative... See also how graffiti has been painted over with brown paint? Probably by the council.

I don't have a background in planning myself, so I have contacted our library to find out how fences between private and public land are regulated, and then I am hoping to propose a small project to improve the alleyway.

Here's a close-up of the nice, friendly (=sarcastic) barbed wire (and some graffiti):

 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
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3,066
Points
31
JNL
Don't cut yourself short. You do not need a background in planning (which we think you do have, BTW) to know that this is not right. The property owner probably installed the fences, as you guess. Usually fences between public and private properties are not regulated...any differntly from any private property fence. If this is an area wide problem, consider a new regulation.

We had a thread some time ago on fences and alleys. I still cannot convince our citizens that there would be less property crime if alleys were open to peering eyes.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
mike gurnee said:
JNL
Don't cut yourself short. You do not need a background in planning (which we think you do have, BTW) to know that this is not right.
Cheers :) Of course, there is my online education in planning I have received through Cyburbia, almost 2 years of study now. When do I get my diploma, Dan? :-D

mike gurnee said:
We had a thread some time ago on fences and alleys. I still cannot convince our citizens that there would be less property crime if alleys were open to peering eyes.
I learnt last week that my city is looking at developing some walkway/alley design guidelines that will incorporate CPTED principles - and I said I would love to help out! Will be a most interesting project.
 
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