Late last month, the city’s Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance that formally sets the speed limit in 12 city parks at 15 mph and adds language that requires motorists to obey traffic signs and regulations. The vote was 7-0 with Alderman David Thomas [Ward 1] absent.
The ordinance came about after Alderman Jerry Hollingsworth [Ward 2] told the board at an earlier work session that, while the city has posted speed limits and traffic regulation signs at city parks, it lacks the authority to enforce them. Hollingsworth said the city hadn’t approved an ordinance to establish that authority.
Hollingsworth said he and Alderman Judy Bateman [Ward 2] have received a number of complaints about speeding traffic in Woodland Sports Park but the city cannot ticket violators. “We cannot enforce the ordinance because we don’t have an ordinance,” Hollingsworth said.
He added that he and Bateman had a particular issue with traffic exiting the park at a high rate of speed while youth ballgames are ongoing.
Alderman Michael Shea [Ward 3] said the board had discussed traffic regulations earlier at Lakeside 370 Park. Shea said a lack of enforcement doesn’t set the right example for many out of town visitors that use 370 Lakeside Park.
Alderman Dave Thomas [Ward 1] said he was surprised particularly at 370 Lakeside Park, which has designated street signs. Hollingsworth said it would be nice if city police could pull over a vehicle traveling 25 miles over a 15 mph speed limit that has been posted on park roads.
“That’s kind of embarrassing,” Thomas said. “It certainly is,” Hollingsworth said.