Riverside may remove picnic tables at 3 parks after homeless complaints

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Riverside may remove picnic tables at 3 parks after homeless complaints

A panel will discuss whether to add outdoor gym equipment at Hunt, Shamel and La Sierra parks.

After public complaints about homeless people hanging out for hours under picnic shelters at several Riverside parks, officials are considering whether to fence the shelters or replace picnic tables with outdoor exercise equipment.

The council’s community services and youth committee will discuss the picnic shelters at Hunt, Shamel and La Sierra parks at 9 a.m. Monday, March 20, at Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main St.The city has been cleaning and sprucing up the shelters. Officials had talked about installing permanent wrought-iron fences and requiring reservations to use the shelters, as is done at Fairmount Park.

But a report from the Parks Director Adolfo Cruz notes fences could cost as much as $80,000 per park and would limit use of the shelters for everyone. Instead, he suggested replacing the tables and benches with an outdoor gym, which could be funded at least in part by a federal grant.

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