‘No Overnight Camping Allowed’ signage posted in North Lawrence; signs have been posted at other city parks since last year
photo by: Austin Hornbostel/Journal-World
New signs that read “No Overnight Camping Allowed” were installed in North Lawrence between the Kansas River and the river levee last week, and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department says they are a direct response to neighborhood complaints about “disruptive noise and overnight activities” affecting the nearby neighborhood.
The signs can be found just south of the North Lawrence neighborhood in the area of Lawrence Riverfront Park, between the end of North Fourth Street and the intersection of Eighth and Oak streets, according to a map provided by the department. One sign the Journal-World was able to locate on Monday is posted at the tree line not far from the start of the Riverfront Park mountain biking trail.
photo by: City of Lawrence
That park follows the curve of the Kansas River along the east side of North Lawrence and is where the city’s support site for people experiencing homelessness, “Camp New Beginnings,” has been located since last October.
The Journal-World first reached out to the city asking about the signs on Monday after learning of similar signage posted at Burcham Park, which is located along South Powerhouse Road across the river from the city-sanctioned camp. But though that park did have a few new signs added last week as well, Parks and Recreation assistant director Mark Hecker told the Journal-World the area in that park has had this type of signage since last year.
The same goes for Naismith Valley Park, Hecker said, which is located in the southern part of the city. That park, too, has had park hours and no camping signage posted for over a year.
But in all three locations, Hecker said the signs have been posted as a response to neighborhood complaints. Hecker added that park hours signs are posted “in a number of parks where overnight parking was an issue,” but he didn’t name any specifics beyond that they’re “posted in multiple locations around the city’s park system.”
Camping around the city has been a concern for some city leaders lately, including at last week’s Lawrence City Commission meeting when Lawrence Mayor Lisa Larsen asked city staff a list of pointed questions about why the city isn’t enforcing a no-camping ordinance.