WE WON! Councilmember José Huizar and the parks department are teaming up to install a playground fence at Spring Street Park (see news here). HUGE thank you to everyone who signed and shared the petition, as well as everyone who shared photos and stories. You are the ones who made this happen! Now the politicians and developers can’t say there aren’t any families downtown or that downtown families don’t count. Go us!
The opening of Spring Street Park on June 17 was a big deal for those of us raising kids in DTLA–the park is one of only two public spaces in all of downtown set aside for children. But while we’re happy to have a new space where we can let our kids run and play, it hasn’t been all good news for downtown families. The playground was built without a fence, making it impossible to keep out dogs (especially off-leash dogs), creating a safety hazard for the young children who play there every day. In addition to the potential threat from dogs, there are also problems with people who are high, drunk and/or mentally ill hanging out in the playground area. All the more reason to have a fence.
In order to keep the playground a safe space for kids, downtown parents created a petition asking that the Friends of Spring Street Park and the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council fund the building of a fence around the playground area (see petition page at Change.org). More than 100 people have signed the petition, including parents raising their children in downtown Los Angeles, grandparents who have a strong interest in protecting the safety of their grandchildren, and community stakeholders who understand the importance of maintaining a safe public playspace for neighborhood children.
I also want to share with you some of the petition comments and personal stories I have received from people who are concerned about the safety of children in the Spring Street Park playground.
Finally, below is a series of photos forwarded to me by a parent who has snapped pictures of dogs (many off-leash) in and around the playground area.
All of the above information has been forwarded to Friends of Spring Street Park, the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) and the office of Jose Huizar, who represents downtown LA on the Los Angeles City Council. If you have additional information or photos that you’d like me to add, please leave me a note in the comments.
I’ll keep everyone posted on next steps!