People Discuss Park Petition

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- There is a growing controversy at Gypsy Hill Park surrounding a petition to make it more pedestrian friendly.

Some walkers who take daily strolls say there's no issue now, while others disagree.

"We have a right to our park, the way it is, to enjoy it for everybody. Whether you're young, you're old, whether you walk, drive, bike" said Loretta Grimm, who lives in Staunton.

She and Paula Synder, another Staunton resident, walk through Gypsy Hill Park everyday and say said traffic is a concern, especially at night.

"The cars, it can be a little crowded, but that's where you should choose to go somewhere else," said Snyder.

The petition says some people could still park near the front gate; however, some people say limiting access to parking areas could mean that fewer people would come to the park.

The petition, started by Lindsay Curren, asks the city to close a main loop of the park to cars until noon on weekdays.

"Really doesn't make sense why you would close it during those hours anyways. As you can see, hardly, no traffic," said Snyder.

Grimm and Synder are worried about handicap accessibility and baseball games.

"You've got families that might have two or three children that play ball. How are they supposed to get all the equipment and things to the ball games," said Grimm.

The petition also is pushing to close the loop completely on Sundays, with the exception of special events. According to city code, the loop is for drivers who have business in the park.

"This is a designated play street for people to walk on, teach their kids to ride bikes, that kind of thing. So it's kind of a question of you know, where we've gotten to," said Curren.

Comments on the petition list concerns, safety for kids and loitering.

"Men make comments, that they hoot and holler, that they drive in an intimidating fashion," said Curren.

As people walk and drive, everyone agrees the park is an asset to fight for.

The petition doesn't have 250 signatures yet. Curren wants to get the issue on the city council agenda and make a presentation.

People against a traffic change say they just walk following the rules of the road.


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