WarrenJune 22, 2012
City to restrict vehicle access at Halmich on July 4
By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer
WARREN — If you’re planning to celebrate the Fourth of July in Warren’s Halmich Park, plan on leaving the car and the fireworks at home.
City officials said Warren’s largest park, west of Ryan, between 13 Mile and Chicago Road, would be closed to all vehicle traffic for the entire day on July 4.
Officials also said the city would enforce a strict ban on fireworks in all parks and on other public property to ensure the safety of residents celebrating the holiday.
Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman said Halmich would be open to pedestrians and bicycle traffic, and all entrances would be blocked to vehicles.
“This is an effort to put into control something that was out of control,” Bowman said. “People were launching fireworks at each other. It was an unsafe environment. This is, hopefully, a one-year program.”
Bowman said situations involving crowds and fireworks have become steadily worse at Halmich in recent years. While he couldn’t recall a serious injury, he said he’d been told the city had been lucky to avoid one thus far, given the reported hijinks.
“It’s been going on for a few years, and it’s just gotten worse and worse,” Bowman said. “We will have security all day long preventing vehicles, and there will be police there in the evening to write tickets to anyone who is attempting to light off fireworks.”
Earlier this month, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts scoffed at Michigan’s new law that legalized airborne consumer fireworks for the first time, at least in recent memory.
He vowed to enforce all provisions of the law strictly, especially the element that prohibits fireworks on public property, school property or private property without permission of the owner.
Officials said violators would face a civil infraction and fines up to $500.
“My obligation is to protect those citizens who live near the park from unwarranted noise, so they can sleep peacefully without having to worry about fireworks all night,” Fouts said. “We get a lot of residents who complain about usage of fireworks at the park.”
Bowman said all city parks, including Halmich, are closed to everyone at dusk on all days of the year, including July 4.
Residents with further questions about city park access or policies for the holiday should call Warren Parks and Recreation at (586) 268-8400.
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