Now, the city’s extensive collection of swing sets, monkey bars and slides is at the center of a debate over a City Hall proposal to bar adults unaccompanied by children from entering playgrounds in parks.
Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s proposal — aimed at protecting children but criticized as a case of government going too far — would essentially ban lone adults from hanging out in spaces meant for kids.
When I first heard about the proposal it sounded like it was going to ban single adults from any area where children play and I wondered how my park would be affected if this law passed.
I use Shadow Park Ranch in West Hills all the time. The open air adult workout section is just ten feet from the Children’s playground. It is a simple setup, pull up bar, dip bar, horizontal bar, and rings. I go at different times throughout the day and while it is never busy it always has at least one or two single adults using the equipment.
But not everyone is rallying behind the Hollywood councilman’s plan, with some accusing O’Farrell of stigmatizing single people or labeling them as pedophiles.
Inflaming the situation, others have misinterpreted the law as banning adults in parks. “Nanny state gone wild: Los Angeles attempts to ban single adults from parks,” a national libertarian group tweeted this week.
It seemed bizarre to me to somewhat label all these folk as possible pedophile’s and it got my dander up. But as I read what the law would actually do, I’m more open to it.
The motion would bolster an existing and similar state law, spokesman Tony Arranaga said. Adults without children could continue to use all the areas of the parks, he added, except the playgrounds, which are clearly marked by boundaries such as a gate, sand or other barriers.
I guess this would mean that as long as the lone adults stay off the sand of the children’s playground they would be allowed to stay. The lone adult who simply wants to use a swing or enjoys watching children play will simply have to check that impulse at the gate, sand, or other barriers.
So much for the old days when senior citizens would visit parks simply for the joy of watching the children play.
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