Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Ball Park on the North End of the East Bank? Play Ball!

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 8:59 AM

I've seen a lot of snarky comments about putting a ballpark on the north end of the east bank of the Cumberland River, but I think this is a great idea. Yes, it's an underdeveloped flood plain. That's exactly why finding a way to utilize it in a non-butt-ugly way is so crucial.

The more we can develop the downtown area, on both sides of the river, the better. An East Side ballpark could share parking with LP Field if necessary. It's on public transportation routes. It's easy to reach by interstate and by surface roads. And it could be designed with the potential to flood in mind.

Finding ways to develop the river that allow for it to be a beautiful, vibrant part of the city and that addresses realistically the possibility of flooding is important. We could continue to treat one of our greatest natural assets like an embarrassing open sewer, or we can take a page from Chattanooga's book and make the river an integral part of the city. That's going to require development that acknowledges that rivers flood.

So we as a city have to ask ourselves: Do we just make all our flood plains parks, or do we find some ways of allowing for easy-to-clean development? As much as I love our parks, I throw my lot in with the latter option — like a ballfield.

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