New Rule: No sitting on walls in Rittenhouse Square

RITTENHOUSE SQUARE (WPVI) -- There's a new rule in Rittenhouse Square.

"We saw the sign, we we're like, 'Oh! There's no one in the park this evening,' " said Megan Iqbal of Rittenhouse Square.

Action News found one rogue wall-sitter Friday night at the once popular hangout in Rittenhouse Square, where signs now warn the historic Limestone walls are off limits.

"It's not fair to everybody who wants to just come out, sit, relax and enjoy themselves," said Dennis Williams of Center City.

"It's not nice. I think it's kind of oppressive," said

The park's department approved the new rule to protect the recently restored walls. But the prohibition isn't sitting well with some.

"It's kind of lessened the vibe here at Rittenhouse Square, I think. We used to enjoy the different people that would come here," said Steve Lee of Rittenhouse Square.

"We had so many people sitting on the wall that were smoking marijuana that a 3-year-old going by gets stoned," said Genie Murphy of Rittenhouse Square.

Genie Murphy says loiterers have become a growing problem in the Square.

Many of them smoking pot and damaging the walls.

"Putting their cigarettes out on the wall, ruining the whole wall, and I think it's unfortunate that people abuse the privilege," said Murphy.

"I doubt that people sitting on the wall are causing damage to the wall. Sounds to me like they're really just trying to get rid of maybe a certain type of people that were in the park," said Raavi Iqbal of Rittenhouse Square.

The area has seen a recent rash of crimes. A murder in October has lead to increased police presence.

Some worry whatever the reason, the ban will have unintended consequences.

"I think it's 'we're not open for business', 'this is not very friendly', and I don't like that because I want Philly to be open for business," said Maxine Jones of Washington Square.
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