Our Opinion: Hoops not safe for city streets

By EDITORIAL STAFF,

The City of Newton is looking to improve traffic safety trying to eliminate the placement of basketball goals on city streets.

The goals have been popping up on various streets around town. While it is already against the law to place the goals in the street, the city, however, doesn’t currently have a strong enough ordinance to deal with repeat offenders.

Currently, city officials can impound the goals and hold them until they are picked up by their owners, but there is no fine structure or authority to destroy the goals on the books. So once the goals are picked up, they are back out on the streets within five minutes.

A sample ordinance given by City Attorney Brian Mayo to the Board of Aldermen at their April 16 meeting sets a new fine structure ranging from $25 to $250. It also gives the city the ability to make sure that the goals do not return to city streets by destroying them if needed.

City streets aren’t a place for basketball goals, and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt by a vehicle trying to drive down one of these roads.

That being said, our youths do need a place to play basketball if their own backyard doesn’t have enough room for a goal. That’s the main reason why the goals are there. So the city may need to consider other ways to help give Newton youths a place to play hoops, either with a community center or offering more outdoor courts other than at Ward Park.

By doing this, it will make it easier to eliminate street basketball.