Sometimes when Riverside is just being Riverside it is utterly charming. The whole “A Village in a Park” vibe. We get it. 

But then there are moments when just being Riverside is stultifying. The current timid march toward installing a disc golf course in the Indian Gardens south of Fairbanks Road reflects calcification, not care for traditions.

Disc golf. As best we understand this game/sport it involves flinging small plastic discs across a span of open land while trying to land said disc in a little metal basket. Do it often enough and you just might win the match. And you could shout a “Hurrah!” Just not too loud. 

The village board last week approved the funding for the disc golf equipment. No more than $12,000 tops. But the board urged the Parks and Recreation Department, the source of all this potential merry-making, to continue having its 25-member disc golf committee meet and review its plans with an eye to satisfying a small group of critics who, let’s face it, will never be satisfied.

We quote a neighbor in this week’s news report who opines that as a test course was set out recently for evaluation, she could see two of the baskets and from both floors of her home.

Egads. Just possible there will be people visible having fun in their public parks. 

We are fully informed about the balance sought between active and passive park spaces. But passive does not mean inert. And people who live adjacent to public parks ought to expect and welcome some activity.

Riverside, as we expect Olmsted would agree, is a village in a park. Not a village in a museum.

Safe paths to schools

It is a good sign that the Brookfield Village Board wants to grow the number of local students who are walking and biking to school. And the village government will now apply to the state’s Safe Routes to School grant program seeking up to $250,000 for engineering and construction costs.

As the board’s conversation unfolded, at least two trustees raised concerns about two specific school approaches where there might be safety worries. S.E. Gross Middle School and Congress Park School were both cited as being worth a good look.

We were glad to hear Derek Treichel, village engineer, say the board discussion led him to think specific conversations need to be held with local school principals to surface concerns they have about safe paths to their schools. That’s exactly right.

While it would be nice to have an additional state grant to upgrade sidewalks in the village, the purpose of this funding is specific to safe walking and biking to school. It seems logical that the critical final approach, when cars, kids and bikes congest, will be the places to pay the greatest attention.