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The Daily Gripe
Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 08/08/2011

50 meters vs. 25 meters: Which side of the lane are you?


The scene at the Wilson Aquatic Center in the District on a recent evening. (MARVIN JOSEPH/THE WASHINGTON POST)
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Annys Shin dove into the world of competitive and recreational swimmers at the Wilson Aquatic Center in an article Saturday. The two-year-old facility houses the only indoor pool with 50-meter lanes appealing to competitive swimmers for training.

At issue: whether or not the lanes at the Olympic-size pool in Tenleytown should have shorter, 25-meter lanes for more swimmers and activities, or maintain the 50-meter lanes that are more suitable for training. The conversation has rippled into petitions and heated neighborhood listserv conversations.


The pool at Wilson Aquatic Center is one of the few with 50-meter lanes. (WE LOVE DC )
The $34.7 million pool project was started and completed under the tenure of former mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D); the facility opened in August 2009. The lanes are 50 meters long and the Department of Parks and Recreation decided to keep them that way after an inconclusive 2009 survey, according to the department.

A third solution has been proposed: make the lanes 25 meters long half the time and 50 meters long the other half of the time. But some take issue with the half hour or so it will take to switch lane lengths.

We put it to you to solve the problem. Do you agree with kimbash, who suggested in the comments that “the most obvious solution is to follow the seasons. Long course (50m) in the summer and fall and short course (25m) in the winter and spring. Swimming has seasons like track does and it would be easy to follow them”?

Commenter ihaveapoint offers this take: “If anything, take three of the lanes on one side and put in a divider in the middle of the pool — a boom or something — to make those into six lanes rather than turn the entire pool into 25 meter lanes.”

And Apostrophe simply suggests: “take down half the lanes. that frees up half the pool for recreational swimming. how hard was that?”

What say you, readers? Is there a solution that the department and swimmers are missing? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll forward them to department officials and get feedback for you.

By Akeya Dickson  |  12:55 PM ET, 08/08/2011

Categories:  The District, Unfixed

 
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