Yukon Parents Upset Over Ordinance Restricting Children To Play On Streets

Monday, October 10th 2011, 10:54 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

YUKON, Oklahoma – In Yukon, the city council voted to uphold an ordinance that says children can't play in the streets. It's an issue that has some parents upset.

Heather Bratcher wrote on News 9 Kelly Ogle's facebook page saying Yukon city leaders "are upholding the city ordinance which does not allow for any play to take place on the streets of Yukon. I really think they are taking this to the extreme level. "

This all stems from a basketball goal, which is planted in the ground at the end of a Yukon street.

For roughly ten years, the neighborhood kids on the 400 block of Oakcreek in Yukon have spent countless hours shooting hoops on the basketball goal.

"Almost every day, especially during the spring, summer and fall months," Bratcher said.

But in Mid-August, the City of Yukon posted a notice on the goal, saying it had to come down because it was violating city ordinance.

That's what prompted Bratcher to write a letter to the city asking them to change the ordinance, to allow the use of residential streets for play.

"You want kids to go outside, play outside, it used to be this way when we were kids," said Bratcher. "Obviously it can't be that way."

But last week, the city council voted to keep the ordinance as is. According to the City Manager, it's above all, a safety issue.

"It's dangerous," said City Manager Grayson Bottoms. "It is after all a public thoroughfare where people drive,"

Bottoms says this all started when another similar goal went up in another neighborhood and not all neighbors there were happy about it.

"For every one of them that's asking the city to reconsider, there's a neighbor that's calling in and saying they're at it again," said Bottoms.

But Bratcher says all her neighbors want the goal to stay and there have never been any safety issues with traffic.

She thinks the decision to let them keep their hoop should be a slam dunk.

"I'd hate to see it go away," Bratcher said.

Bottoms says they don't have officers driving around looking to cite kids playing in the streets, but if a neighbor complains they will investigate.

Oklahoma City, Midwest City and Moore all have the same ordinance in place.