The "Social Circle" is a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.
Last week, The Dubuque, Iowa City Council voted to ban sledding in all but two parks in the city because of the potential for serious injury leading to lawsuits. Effective immediately, a first time offender will be given a warning. A repeat offender could face a $750 fine.
In recent years, other cities have enforced less drastic measures including Montville, N.J.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Columbia City, Ind.
OnMilwaukee.com asked the Social Circle this week for its thoughts on banning sledding in the city of Milwaukee. What are your thoughts?
Lisa Carini Turecek: "As soon as we can ban ignorant and / or irresponsible parents and guardians who don't teach their children how to play smart."
Scott Carlson: "No! Beaches and pools post signs that state ‘swim at your own risk’ so why can't we sled at our risk? It is ridiculous that we cannot be responsible for ourselves and make our own choices. If the parents cannot teach their kids not to sled into obstacles then they should ban bad parenting."
Roy Henning: "Banning sledding might approach the dumbest thing I've ever heard … ever."
Betsy Holmes: "Real life story: my 15-year-old sister goes sledding down St. Mary's Hill in 1971. She breaks her spine; instant paraplegic for life. My parents find out St. Mary's staff has been calling media for years telling of injuries and deaths from so called ‘suicide hill.’ They are told they can't sue the ‘nanny’ government and city does not have to do squat. People keep on getting hurt, year after year. And those snow fences get b*tched about. Taken down. I am so tired of bringing this to media attention or seeing it happen because of more death and damage."
Katie Johnson: "You can take away our Jarts, but you'll never take away our toboggans."
Kent Knapp: "Over-governing. Freedom of choice. My son broke his leg sledding, valuable lesson learned, and we didn't sue the county."
Jeff Krawczyk: "Go the other direction: ramps at the bottom of every hill."
Scott Olson: "Next they'll go after rope swings!"
Ted Perry: "Better sled than dead."
Nick Rondelli: "Of course cities should ban sledding and helmets should be required to be worn at all times – except when showering – as long as you sit in the shower stall or tub."
Laura Schiff: "Everyone in my family would say yes."
Sara Santiago: "I'd prefer the government stay off my toboggan."
Richard Schwalb: "A general ban on sledding? No. Restrictions at certain dangerous locations. Yes."
Jeff Sherman: "Ten-15 years ago hardly anyone wore helmets skiing / snow boarding ... probably not a bad thing for kids to do while sledding on bigger hills. Banning seems a bit much."
Stephanie Sherman: "It is one of the winter joys. No."
Laron Taylor: "No. I’m still upset about the fences they put up at St. Mary's hill 20 years ago. I prefer ‘at your own risk’ to ‘the government will protect you from yourself.’"
Lance Weinhardt: "No. I've heard tell of people getting injured riding bicycles and in car accidents, and even ice skating too. If the logic here is: if someone can be injured by an activity, we should ban it, then you'd have to support banning those activities too."
Patty Zastrow-Jankowski: "Heck no! And I'd like to see them try to stop me!"