Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What's Wrong with Loitering in City Park?


Rules - Paso Robles City Park
Early this evening I decided to take a short walk through the downtown City Park in Paso Robles. As I was walking thorough the park, I saw the sign I have pictured here. Since this a park where people walk a lot on the walkways, I can understand why the rules state that skateboarding and skates are forbidden. We have another park for skateboarders and skaters. Most of the other rules also make sense. But at least two of the rules were broken while I was at the park  today, and I can't imagine anyone enforcing them.

Man Playing with Dog In Paso Robles City Park
The second rule is "No dogs allowed." Good luck with that. I understand the reason for the rule, but maybe it would be  better to make the rule against not cleaning up after your dog. Many people walk just in order to walk their dogs. Since the city has forbidden dogs, it doesn't have the bags in this park to clean up after dogs like many other parks do. This is what I saw this afternoon. Seems pretty innocent to me. (I took this with a zoom, so the Paso Robles Inn across Spring Street looks much closer than it really is.)

Teen on Steps in Paso Robles City Park
Then there is the rule about no loitering. This one really threw me. I thought that's what parks were for. People like to hang around and talk to their friends, picnic, sleep under trees, and any number of harmless activities that could be called loitering.

The only reason I see for this rule is so that police can ask rowdy groups or large groups that look like they might be plotting mischief to leave. I would think if someone is causing a disturbance or committing a crime, that would be reason enough to remove them. I'm guessing that this is one of those rules enforced very selectively to try to prevent trouble that may be brewing before a law is broken.

People Relaxing at Paso Robles City Park
People Relaxing under Trees at City Park