To deter pedophiles some NYC parks are banning all adults without children

You’d have won a bar bet with me, if you had bet me this was an actual law.

Is this is an appropriate municipal strategy to keep play areas pedophile free?

Readers want ‘crazy’ park ban benched

That’s ridiculous. I’ll admit that I’ve kept my eye on a few childless adults when I take the kids to play, but that’s what I’m there for. What they need to do is ban children without adults. Don’t drop your two-year old at the playground and then go play basketball with your buds. (Yes, I’ve seen this.)

I’ve sensed for, like, forever that we child-free are somehow “second-class citizens” in this society, but this tears it! I am spittin’ :mad:!!! Sod you people, I wouldn’t touch your damn kid with a ten-foot pole!!!

How many parks are affected by this?
There are no details in the NYDN as usual.
If they are small playground only parks, then the law is not too bad.
If it applies to large parks or areas that have traditionally catered to retired citizens, it would seem to be an unfare restriction.

The Fine sounds rather extreme, For $1000, the benches should be labeled with warnings also.

AFAIK, this only applies to some smaller, kid friendly parks. In essence, it designates the parks as “kids only”, but allows the kid’s guardian to be there for safety. I don’t think it’s a big deal, I pass one and think of it as a kiddie playground, not a park I’m being denied entry to.

I saw another story on this situation where they mentioned that the police brass didn’t really think the ticket was appropriate, and that it would likely be dismissed by a judge. I think the rule is OK, but the enforcement was overly zealous.

From the first few paragraphs, it seems this is being applied to areas within the parks designated as “playgrounds” – which in the case of smaller parks where you cannot fence out or control all accesses to the playground and the immediate environs thereof I can imagine means losing most of or the whole park. Almost every big city has a whole bunch of smallish “parks” that are little more than lots, but which are mighty conveniente for someone to just take a lunch break.

I kinda got a bit puzzled by the expressions of a supporter of the ban to the effect that “if you want to sit down, go to a deli and buy something small” – so, there is no right to just sit down unless you’re paying for the privilege, eh?

Remember it is a Daily News story. Outside of an excellent Sports section, it is basically a rag.
I bet it is small Parks that were actually built for young kids. I just passed one of these, last Saturday.
As an adult, I wouldn’t have thought to go sit on the benches in the park. Now if it was a large park that happened to have some playground equipment I would be incensed.

I am moderately outraged. We’ve lost enough public space as it is. It used to be that you could spend a nice Sunday out in the city and not spend more than a couple bucks for lunch. In the last fifty years, we’ve seen nearly all leisure time activities privatized- think about when the last time you went out with your friends or family and didn’t spend a buttload of money. Screw anything that continues and enables that trend.

Also, even as an adult, swingsets are still my favorite thing in the world. One of my simplest and greatest pleasures in life is going out in the late evening or early weekday mornings when there are no kids around and using the swings. One of the best things about living in the city is that everyone can have outside space, not just the rich who can afford all the backyard they want. I will probably never be able to afford a home with enough space for a swingset in urban California. But thanks to my tax dollars, we can all share this rare and wonderful resource.

I saw this thread a couple of days after reading Frank Furedi’s article on “Paranoid Parenting” on his website
http://www.frankfuredi.com/articles/parenting-20010425.shtml
The section headed “The Code of Mistrust” particularly applies here.

(For that matter most of Furedi’s articles are worth a read, and I recommend his book “Where have all the intellectuals gone?”)

A few days back I was walking down by the Thames at low tide, and thought I’d walk down to one of the slipways down to the water. A small child ran past me, chasing an escapee balloon, slipped on a patch of Thames mud/slime and went flat on his back. Trying to get up, he fell on his face and started crying, not so much I think because he was hurt, but because by now he had a fair bit of grime on his clothes, and, just, kids tend to cry when they fall over anyway. I jogged over and helped him up, then walked him to where it was dry and not slippy.

He said “thank you” through little sobs, and went off to join his brother who was somewhere back on dry land. As far as I know, nobody saw any of this happen. It suddenly dawned on me that if his mother was to show up now, I really had no idea how she or anyone else would react. With the media-fuelled climate of suspicion these days, as a man out on his own, in the company of a crying kid, I could see the situation ending up with me in custody trying to explain myself. I made myself scarce.

As Furedi points out, 20 years or so ago, when I was growing up, there was a basic assumption that kids (like me) could go out to play and the “adult world” would generally keep an eye out for our safety. Now the assumption seems to be that all adults are a potential danger and junior is best off at home watching TV. Which in reality probably isn’t the best thing for him at all.

Mm. And there I was outside Mothercare and I noticed a little girl (3yo?) crying.

First thought: Go and help.
Second thought: Not in this century you don’t!
Third thought: See if I can spot worried looking adult.
Fourth thought: Great, now I’ve been spotted checking out an unattended child and “furtively” looking around.
Fifth thought: :frowning:

I’ve seen these places with the “no adults w/o kids” signs.

They are indeed small areas withing a park that are fenced in and have swings and slides and such. You have to go through a gate with the sign on it to get in there. Basically they are for parents or caregivers who want to sit down and not have to directly watch the kid. The fence keeps the kid in the play area.

I think the ban is to keep people out that are how shall we say, bums? Yes, I think that is the term.

These closed off areas are in larger parks that are open to all.

I’ll never forget being at the public library when I was a kid, like 8 or 9 years old, when I saw a little girl about 5 or 6 standing on her tiptoes on a footstool, trying to reach the water fountain and turn the knob and drink at the same time, and having a hard time of it. I just went over there and turned the knob for her, and she immediately started screaming “HE WET MY SHIRT! HE GOT ME WET! HE WET MY SHIRT!”

I panicked and ran the hell out of there.

Sorry for overreacting a bit, then. I’m not at all familiar with the Daily News. When I hear/read “park”, I think “public greenspace.” The kind of thing you describe is what I would call a “playground,” and I have no desire whatsoever to hang out at one of those.

I guess I’m a little sensitive about some of the “assumptions” people make about people without kids. And how Hollywood and Madison Avenue group virtually all adults together as “moms and dads.” Hidden agenda comes across (in my mind) that “if you don’t have kids, you’re not ‘normal.’”

Hey no problem in th NYC area we buy the Daily News to read comics, look for ads and read the great sports section. Then we line the trash bag with it. :wink:

If it was actual parks I would be shoulder to shoulder with you in protest.

The other side is I remember spending a week in the summer in the Bronx with my Grandpa back in the early 70’s. He would take me down to the park and sit on the bench with the other old men. A lot of older/retired people like to sit and watch kids play for completely innocent and nostalgic reasons.
So I would hope these playgrounds might have benches outside for seniors to sit at, feed the pigeons and watch the kids play. (Or is this a hopelessly outdated notion that is no longer true?)

So … you admit you’d touch a child with an eleven foot pole, then? :wink:

Better call the cops, he’s planning to assault kids with Lances and Pikes. :smiley:

My mother used to say that the Daily News was for people who moved their lips when they read. That was 45 years ago, so it has a long tradition.

Please note that not all people with kids are with them all the time. Some of us have been at it so long the kids have actually left. This is not directed against childless people, but is another instance of stranger danger paranoia.

Feeding pigeons in public parks is indeed illegal, I believe.

The ban is for the playground areas of the park. Not for large public areas of Union Square or Central Park or anything. So if you are a 35 year old who has some burning desire to play on a jungle gym, I can understand how you might be upset.

Heh. I go through the exact same process. Worse, kids just seem to like me for no good reason. Last time I went to the bookstore I went upstairs to the children’s section, both to look for Christmas presents for the kids of an ex-coworker and to see if they had a copy of The Westing Game. One little boy started following me around and asking me random questions; you know: “Hey, Mister! Where’d you get that jacket? Hey, Mister, whatcha lookin’ for? Hey, Mister, wanna see my tooth that’s loose?” I kept giving him the polite disinterest response and worrying that his mother was going to show up and start screaming bloody murder. (This has never actually happened to me but I’m anxious about it nonetheless.)

Somehow, I doubt the pedophiles are becoming more prolific (and since most offenders are known to their victims anyway, this instant and ingrained suspicion of all strangers doesn’t seem especially effective) but in any case the media-fueled rampant paranoia about child abduction verges on the absurd. But it sure brings in the viewers.

Stranger