Dubuque’s Sledding Restriction – Who’s Really to Blame
The city of Dubuque has restricted sledding to two designated areas: Allison Henderson Park & Bunker Hill. On the surface this looks pathetic. And it is. The issue I have with some of the Facebook posts I've read is where the blame is being placed.
This restriction is not the result of an attempt to coddle our community' s youth and save them from the horrors of sledding or council members on a power trip trying to impose a wintry dictatorship. Dubuque City Council voted 6-1 to restrict sledding in most public areas because they don't want a $2 million lawsuit on their hands. Who can blame them?
In the past decade, Omaha, Nebraska paid $2 million after a girl was paralyzed when she was sledding and hit a tree. In Sioux City, IA the city paid $2.75 million after a grown man was sledding, hit a sign, and injured his spinal cord. These are just two examples.
Sledding didn't get more dangerous in the last decade. However, sometime between when I was a kid and now, someone sledding down a hill with trees or immovable objects and suffering an injury became the city's/taxpayer's fault.
So, yes, this is a pathetic state of affairs. This is not a reflection of our city officials. It's a reflection of where we are as a society.