ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – St. Louis Metropolitan Police call it a traffic management strategy. Barricades blocked all vehicle entrances to Fairground Park Sunday. Visitors driving to O’Fallon Park were asked to show identification and proof of auto insurance.
21st ward alderman Antonio French says the practice has been in place for the past several Sundays. He expressed his displeasure through social media. He sent messages on Twitter showing a picture of the barricaded Fairground Park.
“We don’t think it’s any way to police a neighborhood,” said French. “That’s not something to be proud of. We want to see a full park, where people feel welcome and safe.”
French says he’s asked the police department for two full time park rangers to be assigned to each park. The police department says each park in the City of St. Louis is patrolled, and officers will maintain enforcement in parks as the weather warms up.
Some park visitors we talked with supported the barricades. They said cruising has been a problem on Sundays. Many others were opposed to the idea.
“The message that it sends is that they can do anything with our tax money,” said one visitor.
French has collected signatures from citizens in an effort to bring full time park rangers to each park.
“This is not a success when we have an empty park on a holiday weekend,” said French.