The primary footpath to the Charlottesville Dogwood Festival is fraught with peril for families with young children.
Charlottesville City officials are urging Festival patrons to park in the Charlottesville High School lot and then cross the footbridge into McIntire Park; however, that currently is dangerous advice.
For weeks, the bridge has been missing large sections of side rail—exposing multiple gaping holes large enough for a child to easily topple through. Children face drops of 6- to 12-feet onto rough terrain should they stumble into the unsecured openings.
A workman was viewed on-site Monday morning, but flimsy strips of yellow plastic “caution” tape are the only evidence of the City’s attempt to avert a tragic accident. The hazard is compounded by a lack of on-site lighting.
Parents often let children run unattended on the bridge—which spans more than fifty feet—but their trust in Charlottesville’s infrastructure maintenance may be perilously misplaced.
It’s hard to imagine a “World Class City” knowingly taking such risks with the safety of Festival visitors, park users, and CHS students alike, when plywood boards and a few minutes of labor could alleviate the treacherous condition until permanent repairs could be made.
Yoo-hoo, is there a City Manager in the house?