In April, the Ann Arbor City Council passed a smoking ban that not only banned smoking within 10 feet of a bus stop and 20 feet of any windows, entrances or ventilation systems of city property, but also gave the city administrator the authority to designate other public lands as smoke-free. Earlier this week, the first formal request to make 77 of the city’s parks smoke free was made, meaning a change could soon be coming for those who like to light up in those spaces.
On Tuesday, the city’s Park Advisory Committee made the formal recommendation to city administrator Steve Powers, which includes designating four downtown parks and 73 other parks in the city that have children’s playgrounds as smoke-free. According to an an article on MLive.com, Powers is on vacation until Sept. 22 and could not be reached for comment on the request. If Powers approves the request, it would subject anyone caught smoking in the 77 parks subject to a $25 ticket or community service, though the hope is that signage and the public will self-police the issue.
The committee’s request includes a directive that parks staff post appropriate signage, monitor the effect and effectiveness of the ban, and then report their findings after one year.
Ann Arbor is located in southeastern Michigan and is home to just over 116,000 residents, as well as the University of Michigan.