Parents object to restriction on children playing in street

July 15, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

TANEYTOWN -- Residents of the Roberts Mill Run neighborhood voiced their disapproval of an action by one of their neighbors that would stop children from playing in the road at Monday's City Council meeting.

Although city attorney Thomas Stansfield said a law is on the books that restricts children's activities in the street, Diana Kemp of Taney Drive said she sees nothing wrong with her children playing in the neighborhood.

"The children play in the dead end courts in our neighborhood, not in the roadway," said Mrs. Kemp, who has two children, Billy, 13, and Shannon, 10. "I don't send my children out to play in the street, but I'm not changing anything my kids do because they don't cause trouble."

James Leonard, 30, of Taney Drive said he brought the matter to the council in June after his car was repeatedly hit by children playing soccer in the street.

"I just wanted something done," said Mr. Leonard. "When I spoke to the parents about the matter, things slowed down a bit."

Taney Court resident Michael Atherton told the council it's only natural that children play in the street.

"When I was a child, I played in the street. Didn't you?" Mr. Atherton said.

"Yeah, I played in the streets when I was a kid, but now I've got a job to do," said Police Chief Melvin Diggs. "But if one of those kids gets hit, the parents will want to prosecute the person who hit the kid when he shouldn't have been playing in the street to begin with."

Mr. Atherton said that the absence of sidewalks in the area makes it difficult to play near their homes or go to the nearby park.

"If you don't want the kids playing in the street, then put in sidewalk in that area, because there are none now," he said. "To get to the park now they have to walk in the street or in the grass and people yell at them about that, too."

Mrs. Kemp said despite the law Mr. Stansfield cited, she will not stop her kids from playing in the neighborhood.

"I'd rather have them playing in the court where I know where they are, what they are doing and who they are with," she said. "They'll want to leave the neighborhood soon enough."

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