Runner Fined in National Park Fights Back

Geo Beats
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John Bell was ticketed after taking a quiet weekend run through Valley Forge National Historical Park, which is closed as a result of the government shutdown.

John Bell was ticketed after taking a quiet weekend run through Valley Forge National Historical Park, which is closed as a result of the government shutdown.

Rangers handed Bell the 100-dollar fine when he returned to the lot where he’d parked his car.

He’s since hired a lawyer and plans to fight the citation in federal court.

According to him, the lot was on the exterior perimeter of the park and there was no signage. Bell did notice a closure sign at the main gate but did not realize it applied to the trailhead where he parked. His lawyer also noted he lives over 25 miles away.

Further, he asserts, the closure was not noted on the park’s website.

Bell’s lawyer will be pursuing the case on the grounds of improper notification.

Bell’s issues with the situation extend beyond that, however.

He feels closing public parks is a violation of the rights of runners and probably unnecessary.

Bell said, “They’re making the government shutdown worse than it needs to be, closing places that don’t need to be”.

Attempts to contact the press office of the National Park Service for comments on the matter were unsuccessful, as they are also closed.

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