The weather has warmed and the basketball hoops issue has resurfaced in Oak Lawn. Now, however, park district commissioners seem ready to remedy the problem.
The park board was expected to vote April 7 on a proposal to take down one of the two hoops at Little Wolfe Park, 107th Street and Laramie Avenue, thereby eliminating full-court games.
The vote was delayed until the May meeting because not all of the park commissioners could attend the April session, said Sue Murphy, park board president.
We’re encouraged that the park district has decided to take action at the park before the summer begins in earnest. This issue was debated for several months last year and it was clear that residents who live near the park wanted something done to eliminate full-court basketball games.
The competitive games, they contended, led to a variety of problems, including vulgar language, littering and numerous cars parked in the area. They added that player conduct caused other people, especially those with little children, to avoid the park.
Was race an issue? Perhaps. No one would say that out loud, but we suspect it played a role in some residents’ strong opposition to full-court games. Some wanted to eliminate the court altogether and replace it with a sand volleyball court or some other form of recreation.
That’s a bad idea. Lots of people enjoy playing basketball, and the park district should not deprive them of that opportunity. Half-court games should be sufficient for most hoopsters. If problems continue to occur, resident should call police and report them and notify the park district as well.
We salute the park district for responding to residents and proposing a compromise that should make everyone happy.