Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has taken tons of heat for the installation of a heater in city’s East Potomac outdoor pool. Seemed like a great amenity for a die-hard triathlete, a classic use of public resources for personal enjoyment, even though Fenty denied having anything to do with it.
Now that the hubbub over Warmwatergate has passed, and the summer pool season has fired up, another question surfaces: Did the city pick the right pool to heat?
Yes, we know about the bona fides of the East Potomac pool, including its Olympic size and the ample parking.
But check out this page here. It’s the Department of Parks and Recreation’s pool-usage charts, and according to these early-summer numbers, the East Potomac pool is getting lapped by a more centrally located competitor. The redoubtable Francis pool, located in the slightly wooded recesses Dupont Circle/West End.
The numbers show that Francis is logging in with 3,605 visitors, to East Potomac’s 1,170. The only pool that deserves to be in the same qualifier with Francis is Volta Park, over there in much-neglected Georgetown, with 2,102 visitors.
Now: The usage numbers are supposed to “automatically” update every five minutes, according to DPR. But I haven’t seen them budge in days. Whatever the updating frequency, I predict Francis’s blowout lead will grow, especially after what had to have been high traffic over Pride Weekend.
So yank that heater out of East Potomac, near where no one actually lives, and put it in a neighborhood!
Photo of Hayward H400 pool heater courtesy of billjacobus1, Creative Commons Attribution