A new petition is going around to ask DPR to revert Wilson Pool to the 50 meter configuration, except when the high school swim team needs to practice. Everyone I've talked to is unhappy with the 25 yard set up they've recently been using. If you agree, please say so by email to the petition's organizer, RGross at bwra.com, and indicate where you live (MD, VA or DC (and if DC, which ward)). They're hoping to get 1000 signatures before presenting the petition to DPR. Here's the petition:
PETITION TO SAVE THE WILSON FIFTY
WHEREAS, all of those signing this Petition believe that:
1) The Wilson Pool has been open and operating for over two years in a 50-meter configuration to the great delight and satisfaction of the public;
2) The Wilson Pool is the only 50-meter configured indoor swimming pool in the District, is used by residents of every ward, and there are 7 other pools operated by the DPR that can be used by those who prefer a 25-yard configuration as well as the work-out pool adjacent to the lap pool at Wilson;
3) Every survey of the public since the Wilson Pool opened has consistently demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of people using the pool prefer it to be configured in a 50-meter mode;
4) The most recent survey of DC residents undertaken by the Department of Parks and Recreation showed 85% of those with a preference chose for the Wilson Pool to be configured in a 50-meter mode at all or most times;
5) The Wilson Pool is not dedicated to, nor operated by, nor is an adjunct of Wilson High School or the DC Department of Public Schools, but is a DPR facility for the public at large that can accommodate the needs of the Wilson High School swim team with their cooperation;
6) The DPR ignored the results of its own and all previous surveys of the interested public and implemented a plan that arbitrarily rejects the preferences of the overwhelming majority;
7) The lane configuration plan implemented by DPR:
1) By requiring wholesale lane conversion every day, reduces the available hours of use for the public by almost 7%;
2) Allocates almost 40% of the remaining hours to 25-yard swimmers despite the fact that only 15% of survey respondents indicated a preference for all or mostly 25-yard configuration;
3) Assumes that the lanes can be reconfigured in no more than an hour by the staff and no more than 30 minutes when the Wilson Swim team helps the staff, despite demonstrated experience that it takes much longer than that to reconfigure the pool; and
4) Has immediately resulted in a dramatic fall-off in pool usage during 25-yard lane configuration periods.
NOW THEREFORE, the undersigned demand that the DPR:
1) Promptly suspend the ill considered lane configuration schedule currently in place, and
2) Devise a feasible plan which satisfies the pool's actual regular users; preserves 100% of the swim time for all users; works a reasonable accommodation for the Wilson swim team, and reflects the consistent preference of the overwhelming majority of DC pool users and survey respondents that, with an exception allowed for the Wilson school team, the pool be continuously operated as a 50-meter pool.
I haven't been to Wilson since the new changes, but is the petition serious about the below quote?
"Assumes that the lanes can be reconfigured in no more than an hour by the staff and no more than 30 minutes when the Wilson Swim team helps the staff, despite demonstrated experience that it takes much longer than that to reconfigure the pool"
It takes them much longer than an hour to reconfig the pool? That is just crazy.
I was there Friday at close. There was only one guy doing anything, and by the time we filtered out it was about 8:15 and they were almost done removing all the 25y lanes. So I don't think it takes them more than 30 minutes. The staff probably all got to go home 30 minutes early that day.
I'm actually liking the variety of the 25/50 switch. If they can cut down on the lane change times, I'll be satisfied. The seriousness with which people take their lane configuration preference kind of scares me a bit to be honest.
And yet another petition. I don't think the petition will be received favorably with DPR since they have probably heard enough. Even though the majority prefer 50 m - the old people like 25 yds and they have louder voices. Also, at least in Alexandria (don't know about DC), even though the public pool is operated by the City Rec dept, the school (TCWilliams) has always had priority for its use. That is just City policy in Alexandria
People will always need something to complain about. And why not lane configuration at a pool?
@morunner66 - Actually I went to a few of meetings and most of the old people (65+) actually wanted to keep it as 50 meter as well. It was mostly 40'ish folks that have kids that were fighting for the 25 meter the most. Unfortunately - those people were on the various boards and neighborhood groups.
I don't mind the 25/50 split - though I don't understand why it takes them so long. I just wish that they didn't cut out so much pool time.
Interesting topic. I think I will keep to myself as to why they should keep the pool at 25-yds. Please don't hate.
Hugh, I think I am with you. Which may or my not be why I have chose to not comment previously....
A possible compromise being bandied about is to change the pool from a metric to a yard designation. That way, someone swimming 25 (meters) will actually swim 27 (yards). And an impressive-sounding 54 instead of a flat 50. In either case, the athlete will leave the facility with an inflated, and superior, sense of performance.