Tampa’s Ballast Point Park is full of Pokemon GO players, nearly everyday, nearly all day, as police are reporting traffic overflows and problems in the surrounding neighborhood.
Ballast Point is considered a “one-stop shop” for players, because it boasts a PokeStop, Pokemon Gym, and a lot of Pokemon “spawn” in a relatively small area.
The Tampa Police Department says officers are consistently responding to complaints about crowds and parking issues. This has now prompted the city of Tampa asking game developer Niantic to remove “PokéStops” from the park.
“We’re consistently responding to complaints about large crowds gathering when the park is closed,” Tampa police spokeswoman Janelle McGregor said. “The crowds are also affecting traffic, so not only are we dispersing hundreds of people, we’re also re-routing traffic to ease congestion in the neighborhood.”
The park only has limited parking; therefore, when the spots are full, traffic overflows into the surrounding neighborhood. Many people are also parking illegally.
“The crowds are also affecting traffic, so not only are we dispersing hundreds of people, we’re also re-routing traffic to ease congestion in the neighborhood,” she said.
McGregor says that asking Niantic to remove the PokéStops was a “proactive” move to try to address the problem and confirmed that since using a Taser on a man who refused to leave the park (back on July 22), “We’ve been out there every night.”
Tampa officials completed the form to have Ballast Park be removed last week and have not yet received a response, McGregor said.
“Over the past several weeks, we’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response from the Pokémon Go community,” Niantic said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. “That enthusiasm has led players to visit many real world locations and we have received requests to remove some locations. We are moving quickly to review all such requests.”