Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stalked at Stroller Strides

Some of you may remember I joined Stroller Strides as part of my New Year's resolution to get back in shape. I LOVED the class from the start and immediately signed up for a monthly pass which allowed me to take an unlimited amount of classes. I’ve found the class has made me feel a million times better physically and emotionally, it’s a great place to connect with other moms, and they contribute so much back to the community. (Find out more at http://www.strollerstrides.com/)

Imagine my shock and anger when I heard that during one of the classes, park patrol approached one of the instructors (in front of the moms and their children) and cited the instructor and threatened to have her arrested if she continued the class. Then, along with some nasty words, the park patrol proceeded to call TWO more cruisers for backup! Geez I didn't know a bunch of moms with strollers could pose such a threat. As a result, our classes were cancelled until our local stroller strides franchise owner and instructor, Zoe, could work things out with the city.

Well – the moms continued to meet in the park on their own without the instructors because Stroller Strides had become such a wonderful source of support, friendship, and a healthy part of their daily routines to get themselves energized and their children out into the fresh air. Unfortunately, the moms found themselves being watched. Park patrol sat in their cars with binoculars, took photographs, and noted the moms’ cars and license plates. The franchise owner was sent citations for continuing to operate the class, saying that even if the instructors weren’t there, that if it there was a time and place posted online then it was considered a class. (Even though we all have an email saying classes are cancelled and will be receiving refunds for the cancelled week!) It was maddening to hear. These moms live in this community, pay their taxes, and use a public trail and park but are being watched! Will nannies be charged for taking children to the park too? How about personal trainers that take their clients outside?

I could go on and on about what’s going on…but you can read more here as the story has been picked up by our local paper: http://www.dailypilot.com/articles/2009/02/17/business/dpt-strollerstrides021309.txt Basically the city wants to take over the classes which would make it more of a hassle to register and sign up for, and probably a completely different class, or they want to charge a ridiculous amount to a small business owner that already pays her taxes.

Zoe has since met with the city and they will hopefully come to an agreement in the next few weeks, but nothing has been set in stone yet, so I’m gonna write my letter to the city now and cross my fingers! Save Stroller Strides!!!


Barbara said...

Seriously? They want $300 an hour to use a public park? Seriously? That's insane. In this economy where people are losing their jobs left right and center and the government is bailing out everyone...a mom can't make a few extra bucks, hardly a full time income I'm sure, teaching a fitness class in a park. Don't those people have anything better to worry about than moms pushing strollers through a park...like maybe the criminals on the street?!

Fine, charge for a permit, but be reasonable, $300 an hour or running the business through the city is not acceptable. What happened to the land of the free? It's just sad.

I can't imagine this is the first time Stroller Strides has dealt with this, wonder if HQ has any insight on it and how to handle it.

Pam said...

Are you serious? All the crime going on in the world, and the police are worried about moms walking around the park in strollers.


I am just shocked. Hopefully the city will back down.

But then again, if the city wants to control it, then are they going to stop moms from doing play groups as well?

Ack. I could go on and on, but I wont.

Hopefully it's all resolved soon.


Pam and Rhett

April said...

you have GOT to be kidding me?!?! this makes my blood boil!

Katmandu Herself said...

@cindyoohlala's late night tweets from the ER just reminds you that every one is ACTUALLY human :D Woot Woot for staying up late to tweet in the ER!!!
Stay funny, sassy, and beautiful!!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!


Jo said...

They hate it when us Mommy's try to organize things for ourselves...I think they are afraid we will ALL go hormonal at one time...so instead they tick us off and makes us hormonal by telling us grown Mommies what we can and cannot do...and kuddos to everyone who continued without the instructor...bet you that made the "inforcement" angry. LOL..:P

THE Stephanie said...

OMG that's insane!!! Seriously... Park Patrol on a power trip!

lorrie said...

wow thats outragous, I mean they should be thrilled to be seeing moms and their strollers out in the parks. instead they are making a nusience of themselves, next time those moms should bring their hubbys to deal with those bad patrolmen

wonder if they would have dealt the same way with daddys doing that or if this is because its a group of women on their own

Anonymous said...

So, what ever happened with this?