The City of San Antonio has some great outdoor pools. . . that are inaccessible too many hours of the day, days of the week, and weeks of the year, discouraging outdoor swimming and related activities at our parks and in surrounding areas.
It is embarrassing to note that cities including Austin, Miami and even Cleveland and Pittsburgh offer better access to public outdoor pools, typically from sun-up to well after sun-down, every day of the week (in an extended summer season in northern cities).
In contrast, outdoor pool hours and openings in San Antonio are erratic at best, with the season typically not beginning until May or June and pools sometimes (but not this year) opening for Spring Break and in some cases (but not always) staying open until the end of September or October (typically August) - despite temperatures throughout the year supporting outdoor swimming across the city.
For example, Heritage, Lady Bird Johnson, South Side Lions, and Woodlawn outdoor pools are opening this weekend for an 'early' swim season. Open swim will be available Tuesday through Thursday, 4-7 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday, 1-7 p.m. Lap swim will be available Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Confused? So would be any visitor or new resident to San Antonio. Why not Monday and Friday, too (like in Austin, Miami, Pittsburgh, etc)? Why not all day?
And why not open other outdoor pools including San Pedro Pool - the oldest in the state of Texas and what could be a pleasant walk from downtown (with better sidewalks)? Likewise, why not Roosevelt Park Pool just south of downtown and accessible from the River Walk?
There's something terribly wrong with how San Antonio's public outdoor pools are being managed, and we all lose out because of it. Only the City can keep its public outdoor pools open, and more City resources should go to this endeavor. If the City doesn't want to charge an admission, at least have donation boxes at the pools and operate concessions. And why not have the City's food truck program and healthy menu efforts in operation near these pools, to help make these pools and parks fun and healthy places to visit from sun-up to sun-down or later? A purchased coffee and newspaper pool side at a public pool most mornings or weekends sounds good to me (and is normal in many cities outside of San Antonio currently): http://www.sanantonio.gov/parksandrec/swimming_outdoor.aspx