City Talks to Community About Park Safety

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- A walk through Peter Pan Park with city leaders points out safety concern and the lack of lights.

Connie Perez lives right by the park and worries for her safety.

“The best thing would be for lights, to light up area so the people who live in the area can see out the window and see what’s going on,” said Perez.

Director of Parks and Recreation, Lynn Johnson, knows the lack of lights is a problem. This is why he organized this meeting to listen to what people want.

Lighting on the south side is relatively easy to do because the poles are there and electrical service is there, LES will be able to do that fairly quickly," said Johnson. "The proposed lighting on the north side will take a little longer, it will probably be next summer sometime."

Johnson also says that adding lights to the north side of the park could cost up to $5,000 each. He also mentions another solution: to have homes by the park, leave their porch lights on.

Some residents don’t agree.

“It still doesn’t do anything. That’s why I don’t have patio furniture back there because I won’t let my wife or me go back there,” said a Lincoln resident.

“Hopefully the porch lights tell everyone there are positive things going on and hopefully helps deter the negative activities that happen,” said Johnson.

Johnson hopes to work with LES and figure out how to pay for the potential additions. In the mean time, those who live by, like Connie Perez are thrilled that their voice is heard.

“It’s just going to be something different. This part of town has been forgotten sometimes, and it’s great to see new things happening here,” said Perez.

City officials also suggested a neighborhood watch, so those around the park can help one another.

The community conversation was prompted after Jarvis Long was found stabbed to death in the park Jan.16.