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Why sledding is illegal in Syracuse city parks

One of the many "No Sledding" signs at Westcott Reservoir.

With all of the snow Syracuse gets in the winter months, one would think sledding in the city go hand-in-hand, but not in certain parks.

Syracuse common council approved an ordinance in 1968 banning sledding and other winter activities from city owned parks unless otherwise approved.

"It's tough to tell people that you can't go sledding when that's a primary thing that you want to do in a snowy area, but for the safety of the children and the liability of the city and tax payers, you can understand why there's such an ordinance in place," says Syracuse Councilor Joseph Carni.

After a 2009 sledding death at Westcott Reservoir, the city put up an orange safety fence around the hill as a precaution. Signs are also posted at city parks, warning sledders to stay away.

If you're caught, you could face up to a $500 fine or get 15 days in jail. Still, the signs and fines don't seem to stop kids.

"I don't necessarily know you're going to have officers going up a hill to write tickets to 12-year-olds," says the councilman.

Carni says they've been talking about the sledding ban at recent meetings and whether to get rid of the law. He hopes people realize safety is the city's main concern.



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