(KMOV) – St. Louis residents could soon get a ticket for being on a public playground.
One St Louis city alderwoman is proposing a plan banning adults from certain areas of public parks.
She argues groups of people are hanging out there, often engaging in illegal activity and intimidating kids and families. Right now, she says police can do little about it.
She’ll propose the new ordinance to the Board of Aldermen on Friday.
It lays out a punishment of up to $500 for violations, but the alderwoman said it’s not about punishing people; it’s about protecting the integrity of the parks.
“The city has a problem retaining families and this is one way to help them feel comfortable staying,” said 6th Ward Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia.
Ingrassia said adults without kids simply have no business being on playgrounds like these. Her proposed plan says only children 12 and under and their supervisors should be allowed. They’d create specific boundaries and post clear signs.
“It would not apply to all city parks, it would be up to the discretion of the parks department,” said Ingrassia.
“What would you say to someone concerned if they were out here and wanted to have lunch on the swings, they could get in trouble?” asked News 4 Reporter Lauren Trager.
“I think that’s a valid question, I think the police will have to use some discretion,” Ingrassia said.
Ingrassia said the ban has been successful in other cities. But some park-goers Trager talked to aren’t yet on board.
“Everybody pays everyone should be able to enjoy it,” said Gaylen Taylor.
Taylor says while he gets the idea, he it just isn’t fair. “$500 for being in the vicinity because you don’t have a child, yeah, I think they are over-stepping their bounds on that one.”
Ingrassia will introduce the bill Friday morning. It could be in effect by the spring.