Trick-or-Treat Curfew -- It's Time

Crazy Talk

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



0 #1 Christina 2013-11-01 15:47
Visited Grand Street last night. :) Totally awsome fun for lots of people. I seen many of parents and kids having a good time, and there were many holding blinking lights, and I did not see many unsupervised children running around. I say, why put RULES on something so fun? Just let it be. I understand the need to keep children safe, but like in any circumstance with large crowds, we have to just be careful, and hope for the best. The curfew would not work for people with children of split ages, I have a 13 year old, and a two year old. That would mean, I would have to make my daughter who is 13 leave before it even gets dark since my son has a curfew? Thats no fun :( We should just lighten up and enjoy the holiday spirit! BTW - I did notice the litter, that was disturbing. Maybe the city should put out some trash cans? I personally walk the street today to pick some things up, but I don't think many others do.

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