Amsterdam tries to ban basketball in city streets - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Amsterdam tries to ban basketball in city streets

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AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – Amsterdam city officials are attempting to pass an ordinance that would ban playing basketball on city streets.

The Amsterdam City Council passed an ordinance July 1 banning basketball on city streets. Mayor Ann Thane vetoed the ordinance, but the majority of council members are prepared to override the veto in a meeting on Wednesday.

“We have to look at the safety for kids,” councilmember Ed Russo said.

But many residents said their children step out of the way of oncoming traffic if they’re playing basketball.

“Nobody’s complained,” parent Rafael Alicea said. “Every time we see cars, we get out of the way.”

Russo said he believes local kids should be able to participate in summer activities, but he said safety is the key issue.

“I don’t wanna take anything away from the kids. They need to have something to do,” he said. “And I think basketball is good for the kids. I want to make sure we put it in a safe place. I don’t think streets are the safe place.”

But not everyone on the council agrees.

“And I say no because our children need something to do until we get stuff fixed,” councilmember Valerie Beekman said.

Mayor Thane said there are already laws in place to address traffic issues, and the basketball issue has been passed around before.

“It failed before, and I think it should fail again,” she said.

But the ordinance may pass this time. The council needs four votes to override the veto. If the council votes to override the veto, anyone caught playing basketball on the city streets faces a fine of $250.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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