Monday, June 25, 2012

Post park rules

Should the City of Woodstock post the special rules applicable in the Park in the Square, so that visitors can know the laws before a cop swoops down on them?

The Park in the Square has several rules that are more restrictive than for the other parks in Woodstock.

City Ordinance 6.2B.2 reads

"It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in any of the following activities in the park in the Square:

"A. Playing ball, riding skateboards, riding bicycles, serving or gliding frisbees or other similar sailing or gliding devices.

"B. For any group of persons to congregate in the park in the Square in such a manner that free access along paved sidewalks is restricted, prohibited or blocked.

"C. To ride any bicycle, skateboard or other devices on any adjacent sidewalk to the park in the Square. (Ord. 1365, 4-20-1977)"

When the Ordinance reads "...unlawful for any person...", does that mean a father and son playing catch on the grass in the Park on the Square? Or is the law just applied to a teenager or other young adult? Kids or young adults with a Frisbee or a paper airplane are violators and are subject to a citation and a $100 fine, plus court costs.

If two or three are standing on the sidewalk that runs through the Park in the Square and talking, must someone be attempting to pass for "free access" to be restricted, prohibited or blocked? Or is the fact that they are standing there (no one passing by) enough for a cop to cite them?

I commend the Woodstock Police Department for keeping down crime and rowdiness in the Park on the Square and throughout Woodstock. But is this ordinance enforced only again kids and transitional youth, or is it evenly applied across all ages and socio-economic groups?

How about on Saturday mornings, when the Farmers Market is operating?
Should the City post signs at entrances to the Park in the Square to inform all of these special rules?

What about dogs and other animals? Isn't there a sign at entrances to the Park in the Square that no dogs are allowed? Although the sign is there, I don't find an ordinance forbidding them. In addition, the sign at the south entrance (across from the Opera House) has been defaced. Does the presence of a sign (alone) constitute a law? I would say that it does not. So, is it unenforceable? People seem to have dogs in the Park in the Square all the time.

No comments: