City Faces Challenges in Addressing Skate Park Concerns

Youths riding bikes and not using helmets are a common sight at Menifee's new skate park. ...

Youths riding bikes and not using helmets are a common sight at Menifee's new skate park.
A Menifee city official said Thursday that the city is exploring options to further increase security and safety at the new skate park, but that there are limits to what can be done at this time.

Robert Lennox, director of community services, said he is aware of complaints from residents about youths breaking the stated rules in the skate park at the Audie Murphy Ranch Sports Park on Newport Road. Menifee 24/7 has also been contacted by several readers who are concerned about three major factors:

-- Individuals riding bikes in the park.
-- Individuals riding without a helmet.
-- Cars parking in the bike lane along Newport Road outside the park.

"There are challenges there right now," Lennox said about the park, which opened to the public on May 24. "We do have plans to install security cameras and signage warning patrons so they know they are being monitored. We also have traffic engineers looking at the parking situation, and we want to remind people where parking for the park is provided.

"The city council has not approved any staff plan to enforce the rules at the skate park other than to ask for increased police patrols, which we have done."

Each time a Menifee 24/7 reporter has visited the park, there have been several skaters without helmets and some bikes as well. Other than parents who sometimes watch the skaters, there are few adults in the area and no official supervision.

That's a complicated issue, said Lennox.

"There's a state code that provides liability to cities as long as it's a skate park only, not bikes," Lennox said. "As soon as the park becomes supervised, the city takes on more liability."

That's the reason there is no supervisor on site and the rules prohibit bikes, said Lennox, even though he knows the rules are being broken often. While solutions are being sought, he wishes to remind patrons that those using the park on bikes or without helmets could be cited if caught by police.

Skate park patrons parking in the bike lane along Newport Road pose a risk to themselves and oncoming traffic.


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