Minneapolis

Ramsey County rethinks parks hours

2021-10-12 18:37:01 –

Ramsey County still looks up at the sky, sets the time with over 6,500 acres of green space and trails, and opens and closes at sunrise and sunset.

This means that park and trail times change daily. However, the penalties are clear, caught up in the story of a walk after illegal darkness in the park. This is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $ 1,000 and 90 days in prison.

Ramsey County leaders are revisiting as park use surges in Minnesota and across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic and residents are looking to alternative modes of transportation such as walking and biking. Ordinance governing the park, Examine everything from time to smoking, drone use, and penalties for breaking rules. It’s unlikely, but you won’t go to an overseas park. More generally leave it open for 24 hours — Authorities say the “dawn to dusk” rule may no longer make sense.

“I don’t think these rules work very well, especially since many people want access to the park,” said Mark McCabe, director of Ramsey County Park and Recreation, banning early morning jogging and evening ice. Fishing excursions or moonlit cross-county skis. “When the sun sets early, it doesn’t leave much access.”

Ramsey County’s six regional parks are a major regional attraction with an estimated 6 million visitors each year. It is important to ensure that policies are aligned with the needs of the community and promote health and well-being, said Toni Carter, Chairman of the Board.

“It’s clear that we need more time, and we have the opportunity to hear from the community,” Carter said. “Sunrise and sunset seem to exceed the time plan that marks the beginning and end of the day.”

The county has invested in several illuminated trails and cross-country snowmaking capabilities, which facilitate hours of conversation. The celestial timekeeping also feels like it’s not keeping pace with the local community, McCabe said — for example, Dakota County sets park times from 5 am to 10 pm all year round.

Ramsey County Ordinance Review Allows Rethinking Penalties for Rule Violators in keeping with recent moves by community corrections and other county departments, including libraries, to mitigate the consequences of low-level violations Sex is included, McCabe said.

Currently, light crime citations are the only tool freely available to law enforcement agencies for park violations. Between 2019 and 2020, 166 citations were issued for violations, most of them parking violations. Instead, McCabe argues that he will be fined or fined for minor offenses for minor offenses by first-time offenders.

The county held a community meeting on potential changes, with more than 1,500 responding to online surveys. The idea of ​​changing park time has evoked a strong reaction, raising concerns that longer times could lead to homeless camps. Handmade signs lamenting the possibility of changes in the ordinance are posted in some parks.

According to a response compiled by the county, one survey respondent wrote, “No one is hanging out in the park late at night.”

“Extending after a few hours only leads to crime,” another wrote.

According to McCabe, the county has banned accommodation and camping in the park, which remains the same.

Nicole Fretem, a county commissioner representing the northern suburbs, said he had received more than 100 emails about possible changes to the park ordinance.

“There were many misunderstandings about what was being proposed,” Fretem said. “We listen to and document all the information we receive. The public will continue to have the opportunity to provide feedback.”

The staff has compiled the survey responses and will present the survey results to the Board of Directors on November 2.

Frethem says he encountered cities in other countries, including Paris, in a survey of park opening hours in other communities. In Paris, several parks are open 24 hours a day. In Ramsey County, she said it wouldn’t be feasible — but more structured time could be a wise change.

“We want to provide more access and reduce confusion as much as possible,” she said.

Shannon Placer • 651-925-5037

Ramsey County rethinks parks hours Source link Ramsey County rethinks parks hours

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