November 25, 2008

Exercisers warned away from traffic median

Officials in Santa Monica, Calif., said park rangers have been warning exercisers about violating an ordinance against gathering on traffic medians.

The officials said park rangers have been informing the growing crowds of exercisers of the previously rarely enforced ordinance that states medians are for walking and jogging only after recent problems with the noise and litter generated by those who use the Fourth Street median as an outdoor gym, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

I agree with the residents that they should not be rousted out of bed by a professional gym instructor at 6 in the morning saying, 'One, two, three, four!' said Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver, who lives on Adelaide Drive near the corner with Fourth Street.

Park rangers said they have issued about 600 warnings a month since they began patrolling the median six months ago. They said only eight $158 citations have been issued for violating the median ordinance since enforcement began.

Kate Vernez, assistant to the Santa Monica city manager, told the newspaper a community meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 8 just to see if we can't get some common-sense solutions to the median use issue.

What we are trying to do, Vernez said, is mediate between residents who have seen an uptick in use of the median, with pickup gyms and the like, and the exercisers.