|Trick-or-Treat Curfew -- It's Time|
Published: Thursday, 05 November 2009 15:39
Far be it for me to spoil the best holiday of the year, but after years of complaints, it's time to rein in the goat rodeo that Halloween on the Island has become.
Back east, where I grew up, trick-or-treaters had a curfew of 9 p.m. This is not unique. In an unofficial office poll, Harborcreek, Pa., Greenbelt, Md., Warren, NJ and Dallas all have trick-or-treat curfews - no knocking on doors after a certain time. In some communities, this policy goes back 50 years or more.
This past Halloween saw a back-up of more than one and a third miles on High Street between Central Avenue in Alameda to International Boulevard in Oakland between 7:30 and 8 p.m. From the litter on Grand Street, you might've thought a candy factory exploded.
There are several neighborhoods in town that get harder-hit than others. The above-mentioned Grand Street and High Street, the Gold Coast and Fernside areas take the brunt of the Halloween invasion, but traffic and pedestrian safety issues afflict the entire city.
This community takes great pains to be a safe one, and parents from out of town know that Alameda is a good location to take the kids (not to mention the wealth of treats offered by residents who get into the spirit). But to allow excited children and traffic to mix in the dark makes for an accident waiting to happen. And given the tragic murder of Iko Bayarsaikhan on Halloween, 2007, taking youths off the street at 9 p.m. might avoid future incidents. The Alameda High student was killed after 10 p.m.
I propose the following:
Trick-or-treat curfew 4 to 6 p.m. for kids 11 and younger 4 to 9 p.m. for kids 12 and older
This way, kids can have their scary fun, residents won't have to sell internal organs to pay for copious amounts of candy and drivers will have a window when they know kids will be running willy-nilly in the streets. Anybody with me?
Eric Turowski is a local nutjob. Contact him at eturowski @alamedasun.com