Staff Writer

ASHTABULA -- With the arrival of warm weather comes an increase in reported concerns involving the placement and safety of portable basketball hoops.

Portable hoops are being left in the street or on the sidewalk even when not in use, Ward 1 Councilman Matthew Perry said.

The city doesn't have a mobile basketball-hoop policy in place to prevent potential safety hazards to children and to preserve vehicular uses of the streets, City Manager Anthony Cantagallo said. He believes such an ordinance is needed to prohibit children playing in the streets.

Ward 5 Councilman Chris McClure called the hoops an obstruction. He's concerned about the children's safety, as well as that of people walking side by side who may difficulty maneuvering around a hoop and forced to venture into the street.

"Four new basketball hoops are going up at the West 58th Street Park on Saturday, thanks to volunteers from Lyondell, who've volunteered to clean up the park," he said.

When asked about an ordinance, City Solicitor Tom Simon asked, "How far does council want to prohibit playing in the streets?"

McClure said many of the children have an attitude and move out of the way of motorists only slowly.

"That's the main problem," he said. "Maybe an ordinance will give the city more teeth."

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