Rudgear Park, Walnut Creek
As pickleball becomes more and more popular, so has sound and parking issues increased at Rudgear Park, home of the Walnut Creek Pickleball Club. I recently checked out the park and was surprised to see the tennis courts essentially deserted. However, I could hear a lot ping ponging nearby and as I rounded the corner, I couldn’t believe my eyes as I saw dozens upon dozens of people playing or waiting to play pickleball. To those unfamiliar with the fastest growing sport, pickleball is played on what looks like miniatures tennis courts, and is like a combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton.
Neighbors living on Dapplegray Lane, right across from the courts, have been complaining about noise, parking and other problems and it looks like Walnut Creek is listening as they are considering locking the courts on weekdays, directing players to indoor courts at Tice Valley Gym instead.
Do the neighbors’ goal of peace and quiet override the enjoyment of pickleball players at a park? When I visited, I saw people of all ages enjoying socializing while playing pickleball, no doubt improving their health and well being. I was particularly amazed by the agility of retired people as they diligently hit net shots, easily keeping up with younger players through their finesse play.
Is closing these outdoor pickleball courts and moving them indoors an equitable solution to the pickleball community? Would introducing parking restrictions and bathroom signs in addition to sound dampening features be a reasonable solution for neighbors instead?