Just when you thought the hype behind Pokemon Go dropped, yet again it is in the news. PokeStops, an essential piece to the game for players, are being taken away from Lake Park one-by-one by Niantic Lab, which has been working with the Milwaukee County Parks System.
The removal has sparked argument between the consistent players in the park and the neighbors who surround the area that deal with an everyday crowd wandering in their front lawns.
The primary spots where the discontinued PokeStops are found is near the Lions Bridge, Bartolotta’s Bistro, the waterfall, and other open spots placed throughout the park. The primary focus is on these areas since they are prominently known to the public and used by people who don’t play PokemonGo.
“I mean that’s kinda stupid. Obviously a lot of people like this and are coming for it. So why ruin everybody’s time?” said Perry Casarez, an avid Pokemon Go User.
The company that first pitched the idea to Nintendo, Niantic Labs, takes full control of where the PokeStops go. The MCPS (Milwaukee County Parks System) made the company aware of the issue at hand. This comes after the company was pressured by the county to potentially get a permit for PokeStops.
In an email sent by the county press spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, she said, “There are still more than a dozen Pokestops in Lake Park, but we have also requested that Niantic consider expanding the Pokemon experience in nearby Veterans Park.”
The actual implication took place just a few weeks ago. Not all of the PokeStops have been taken away.
Communications Director for the county executive, Baldauff, gave remarks via email on how exactly these concerns were raised to cause the removal of PokeStops.
“When it came to our attention that the placement of several PokeStops along Wahl Avenue had become a public safety concern, as distracted drivers, double parking, and traffic congestion were a frequent occurrence on this narrow residential street, we made Niantic aware of the situation and they chose to relocate those stops,” said Baldauff.
Some PokeStops will remain. In the same email, Baldauff said, “There are still more than a dozen Pokestops in Lake Park, but we have also requested that Niantic consider expanding the Pokemon experience in nearby Veterans Park.”
It isn’t just children playing the game. Adults and parents are even going out and playing whenever they can. They hold strong opinion about the game as well. Just up the wooden steps from the Lake Park Waterfall, Brenda Wright, an adult Pokemon Go player, held strong feelings for how the game builds community.
“This is just people walking in a park. Why do we want to stop this? We have more important things to worry about than people walking in a park.”
The argument becomes stirred up when you take into account the neighbors of the park, and people directly affected by the increased consistent attendance. Over on Lions Bridge, a couple from Dallas was taking pictures of a lighthouse. They opened up pretty quickly about their ordeal with Pokemon Go. What happened was their daughter down in Dallas recently passed away. When visiting their daughter’s grave stone, they noticed a mass amount of people consistently being present at the cemetery.
“I noticed there were some signs up, no trespassing, private property, and at the bottom it said Pokemon Go,” said, Michael Graybick.
He continued saying, “every time they come around, it trips the alarm. And we pay taxes for it and, besides, this is a sacred place.”
Showing the alternative actually helps the public agree with what the Parks System is trying to do by moving the PokeStops. Dustin Underwood, was walking along the trail by Wahl Avenue and said he consistently goes there on his free time simply to get, “items.” He actually agrees with what the parks system wants to do.
“This area, the density is way higher than other places that I can go to. Moving the locations to somewhere more open like Veterans Park or even closer to the lake I think would help,” Underwood said.
The mile-long park stretches from North Lincoln Memorial Drive down to Bradford beach, relative to the massive Veterans park (103.5 acres).