Throughout the United States, many regions are still under full lockdown, with all social gatherings banned, and all residents asked to stay indoors and away from public spaces unless they are going out for food or other essential services. Among other outdoor activities, skateparks and similar facilities have also been closed, and in some areas where people have disobeyed “stay at home” orders, authorities have decided to fill the parks with sand, entirely covering all the ramps.
Officials in Pittsburgh have dumped sand at a skatepark in the city’s Polish Hill neighborhood to prevent people from using the facilities, but the plan appears to have backfired.
Piles of sand dumped around a local skate park. Pittsburgh public works crews say they were forced to take these measures, after people cut the locks to get inside & gather in large groups. #WTAE pic.twitter.com/agebX6XZnv
— Marcie Cipriani (@MCipriani_WTAE) May 7, 2020
Director Mike Gable said that nearby skaters repeatedly entered the park when it was closed, even going so far as to cutting the locks to break in.
“We don’t take any pride or pleasure in doing this. The park is closed and we kept the gate locked, but they cut the lock or the chain or they hopped over the fence. People have to listen to what the directive is and the directive is social distancing,” Gable said.
“When its all good and better again we’ll take the sand out and they can skateboard again,” he added.
Gable said that other locations in the city, like playgrounds, basketball courts, and tourist sites have also been closed. They went to great lengths to keep people away from the parks, including removing the rims from basketball nets and removing netting from tennis courts.
The skaters responded by cleaning up the sand and symbolically leaving a pile at city hall.
— Ben Schmitt (@bencschmitt) May 8, 2020
Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri said that police are currently investigating the source of the sand, but did not give any information about the investigation.
In California, where officials took similar action at skateparks, skaters came back with dirtbikes instead of skateboards.
LOOOL checkmate government dweebs
Turning skatepark into a dirt bike track now pic.twitter.com/GYHi6cQvZo
— COLTYBRAH (@coltybrah) April 20, 2020
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