Raleigh city councilors voted Tuesday to limit smoking in parks. The council voted 6-2 to approve the ban, with John Odom and Thomas Crowder voting against.
As of July 1, smoking will only be allowed in park parking lots. The ban will not include Nash or Moore squares downtown.
No smoking signs will be slow to appear in city parks, as they will be installed as existing parks signs are replaced on their usual schedule. The city will also be installing ash trays around parks.
Councilors had expressed concerns over how the ban will be enforced. Crowder called the ban an “enforcement nightmare” during a council meeting last month.
Crowder added that he won’t vote for the ban “if we’re not going to enforce it.”
During that same Jan. 4 meeting, City Attorney Thomas McCormick said park staff would be the front line in asking people not to smoke. If people continue to smoke, park staff can call the police and have them charge the smoker with a misdemeanor.
Mayor Charles Meeker added that “smokers are respectful people and will follow the rules.”