Columbus is putting people who enter city parks after hours on notice: Your car will be towed.
City Council is expected to approve a rule next week to do just that. The council presented the legislation during a meeting last night. Department of Recreation and Parks towing officials said yesterday that the city will focus on areas where people have complained of illegal drug activity and possible sexual misconduct at city parks.
Residents near Blackburn Park, on the cities Near East Side, have recently complained of homeless people with cars using the park to produce, sell and use drugs. Others have complained about cars parked during the night in the lot at the Golden Hobby Shop, 630 S. 3rd St. in German Village, as well as at Tuttle Park in the University District.
Hobby and Parks Director Alan McKnight said the people parking their cars near some city parks aren’t always a problem. For example, parking in German Village and near campus can be difficult to find, and motorists are using those city park lots.”But the complaints at Blackburn, no one has a reason to be in the park after it closes, and we want to make sure people are adhere to the park hours,” he said.
McKnight and numerous other city officials said that making parks safe is main, pointing to the stabbing death of a woman in a Blendon Township park on Sunday. Columbus will contract with Pro-Tow, one of the companies that past this year secured the city’s lucrative $2.3 million-a-year towing contract to remove vehicles from meters and no-parking zones.
There will be no cost to the city for the parks contract because the charge will be paid by the offender, McKnight said.Pro-Tow will install signs at area parks to warn motorists that cars parked after hours will be removed. Towing likely will begin in the next 2 months, officials said.