Mill Creek Park police issuing out citations for violators of ‘road closed’ barriers

A man and his two friends were cited for walking through a “road closed” barrier in Mill Creek Park on Sunday.

Youngstown’s Brett Wilson said they were walking through the southern barrier of the closed stretch of Mill Creek Park’s E. Newport Drive. It came with a $150 fine — $70 in court costs.

“I do think the ticket was unfair because clearly there is an opening for pedestrians or bicyclists. There’s plenty of them going through there,” Wilson said.

Back at the spot Tuesday afternoon, there was an opening to pass through with the sign prohibiting pedestrians and bicycles lying on the ground. Mill Creek Park Police Chief Jim Willock had to put the sign and some of the barriers back up.

“Yeah, they’ve taken the signs down and they’ve taken the barricades down,” Chief Willock said.

People have been using the prohibited area, not listening to police or the signs.

The safety issue is a road that’s slowly collapsing. What started as a small pothole in April has grown to 10 times that, and continues to grow. It looks like the aftermath of an earthquake.

“Right now, while it may look safe, in two days, it may not be safe. If someone comes down through here on a bike or something like that, they may become injured,” Chief Willock said.

At the northern barrier, there are road closed signs but nothing saying pedestrians and bicyclists are prohibited.

“Aside from that, there probably should be something that says violators will be prosecuted or fined because we weren’t warned at all,” Wilson said.

Wilson also said he might take the issue to the courts in Boardman to fight the citation.

Chief Willock says they spent several weeks warning people.

“So we’ve started issuing some citations and apparently we’ve got people’s attention and that’s getting the desired effect for their safety,” Chief Willock said.

A Mill Creek official says it is unlikely the road will be repaired this year.

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