There’s a fairly small city in Georgia that isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. They’ve just proposed a new project and are going through the usual motions to plan it out.
But in that respect, they’re doing more for pickleball than many towns across the U.S. and abroad. Let me explain.
Dalton, GA recently approved a site study for placing a new pickleball court.
They aren’t the first city to do that, of course, but they are fairly unique in their thoroughness.
As I said in my article, “Pickleball Doesn't Have A Noise Issue: It Has a Planning Problem,” the sharp increase in demand for pickleball courts over the last few years has caused some towns to have a reactionary approach to placement.
The result? Story after story (after story!) about pickleball courts causing too much noise; pickleball courts taking up too much of tennis’ space; pickleball courts being some kind of problem…All because towns have rushed the planning process to meet public demand.
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Do we blame parks and rec departments for bringing pickleball to the people? Of course not.
But the reality is that the national situation isn’t what it once was during the pandemic, when demand started to surge.
Now, there’s no need to rush courts – even if states like Texas or New York desperately need them – for the sake of surging demand, especially when all these pickleball protests as a result of poor placement persist.
My opinion: municipalities should be like Dalton. Take the time to conduct a study and place your courts wisely, and pickleball’s PR problem will slowly disappear.