Noisy Playground Zip Line in Davis Stirs Up Neighborhood Dispute

DAVIS -- The city of Davis has reopened a popular playground device patterned after a zip line after a dispute over how much noise it made.

Fans of the SkyTrack Zipline quickly petitioned for it to remain open, but some say it was how the complaint was treated that got their attention.

The lone complaint came from the wife of a former Davis mayor and apparently prompted quick reaction by city officials. The attraction was closed after her numerous complaints but has since been reopened with modifications.

But the dispute isn’t going away.

The SkyTrack Zipline ride is not exactly a zip line. Instead, seats are connected to an overhead rail.

"It’s a lot of fun, it goes really fast,” said park visitor Cassandra Bicakaci.

It can also be a bit noisy, but that’s not a bad thing if you’re riding it.

“It’s the first thing they want to do when they get to the playground,” said mother Lilly DiCarlo.

Noise dampers were installed at the end of the rails and extra lubrication was used before it was reopened following complaints.

“It doesn’t seem super loud. I guess if you live right behind that might be an issue,” said mother Kristin Higgins.

“I can’t get away from it, it’s absolutely pervasive,” said neighbor Janet Krovosa.

Krovosa does live behind the playground, not 40 yards away. Her house is at a spot where the sound resonates into several rooms. She is also retired and in the house a lot.

“It’s like someone following me around with two metal things clanking as I walk through the house and it’s not like it’s super loud, but it’s super present,” she explained.

Krovosa said she enjoys the joyful noise of kids at play but the SkyTrack noise is mechanical, unnatural and annoying.

After the city closed the attraction, other neighbors and parents objected, with 260 of them signing a web petition started by neighbor Darci Silbaugh to reopen it.

“The voice of the majority should hold a little bit more weight of one or two people, even when those are people who have traditionally have been in power,” Silbaugh said.

“I did not point out who I was. I did not ... If anybody has construed that I don’t know where they got that idea,” Krovosa said.

Krovosa also said the city never notified neighbors that a playground renovation would include new equipment.

“There’s no opportunity previously for me to comment on it,” she said.

Others said meetings were posted, including onsite postings when the playground was closed for renovation.

“That would have been the time to voice their concern and their opinions, not after taxpayers money has been spent on a such a expensive but really popular piece of park equipment,” Silbaugh said.

For now, the SkyTrack will stay open until sundown each evening.

Krovosa said she’ll continue her efforts to move it to another location because she doesn’t believe the city followed proper procedures. She said she doesn’t want to deprive families of a popular attraction, she just wants it put at a spot not so close to homes.

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