Home > The Playground, Tips & Tricks, Visual Stimulus > Why can’t we play in the streets?

Why can’t we play in the streets?

From the weekend

Street Pong

The Lincoln/Boyd Street Brigade held a small gathering in the street over the weekend, with full permission.

In the TC Street Ordinance (PDF): 1020.05 CLOSING STREETS; PERMIT REQUIRED (PDF). No person other than a police officer or firefighter shall close any street without a permit. A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

Permit is easy. $25.00

EXTRA: I do take issue with this section in the Street Ordinance. Streets are for people too…

1020.04 PLAYING IN STREETS AND ALLEYS; TOY VEHICLES.
(a) No person shall play ball or any other game upon any public street or alley.
(b) No person upon roller skates or riding any coaster, toy vehicle or similar device shall go upon any roadway except while crossing a street on a crosswalk. (1976 Code Sec. 9.06)
(c) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction. (Ord. No. 410. Passed 12-19-94).

Reclaim the streets, beginning with your own.

  1. Paul Fetter
    August 23, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Have times changed, when I was growing up in Bay City one of the only places we had to play was in the street. Especially at night under the street light. Of course we felt safe it was in front of a convent.

  2. June Thaden
    August 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    And in the 1940s in Midland we played ball in the dirt side street that passed our house. But in those days there were few cars (gas rationing, remember) and people generally were not in the hurry they are now. And we could scatter out of the way pretty quickly.

    Yes, streets are for people too — but they are built to move people from one place to another: by car, bikes, and often in TC by feet. I don’t think its reasonable for 2 people to block a street from it’s primary purpose to play a game. However to close a “lesser” street for a neighborhood picnic is reasonable. I think.

  3. aastricker
    August 24, 2010 at 7:22 am

    . . . “(b) No person upon roller skates or riding any coaster, toy vehicle or similar device shall go upon any roadway except while crossing a street on a crosswalk. (1976 Code Sec. 9.06)”
    If coaster toys can’t be on the sidewalk, and they can’t be on the street, where exactly are we supposed to skate???

  4. August 24, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I have to agree with AAstricker here…where are they supposed to go? Parking lots I suppose. The fact is that this ordinance is rarely enforced, including people playing ball.

    Playing in the street frequently happens on my block and it happens in most of the alleys everyday. And it should! People and cars can share the streets, particularly the neighborhood streets that are quiet most of the time. I cringe when I hear people tell their children not to play in the street. Why not? Let’s teach them how to do it responsibly. Cars, and cyclists, can slow down and navigate through on the rare occasion that someone is playing catch in the street.

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