This feels like the sort of thing that after a short period of time it would sort itself out, but alas the City of Prior Lake has put up some signs on area bridges telling folks that jumping from the bridges is prohibited.

The notices of the bridge jumping ban only came to my attention when the Scott County Sheriff's Office shared the city's post about the new city code and it's enforcement. Here is what the city code says in regards to the bridge jumping.

Image Credit: Paul Shea/TSM

We see jumping/diving restrictions in pools on the shallow end, no running/no diving, but I wonder what would have caused the need for the city to add the language not allowing jumping or diving into navigable channels or narrow passageways after there was a rule over swimming in them? CYA? Maybe.

Reaction from residents of Prior Lake to the post was mostly memories of jumping off the Lords Street Bridge in the summertime, while others commented that there have been signs up on bridges for years and that hasn't stopped kids from jumping or fishing from the bridges.

Image Credit: Paul Shea/TSM

I reached out to the Prior Lake Police Department for a comment on the new language added to the city code, Commander Brad Cragoe got back to my inquiry which you can find below with the reasoning behind the new ordinance.

My understanding is that some concerns were brought to the City Council about some instances where people had jumped from the bridges into the channels without realizing there was a boat passing underneath. There were a few near misses. The Sheriff’s Office and the DNR have received similar complaints in the past from people concerned that someone was going to land on a boat or be injured by a propeller. The Council looked around at what other places were doing and decided that it was probably safer if people were not swimming in the navigable channels that boats were also using. They adopted an ordinance that is similar to one currently in place on Lake Minnetonka.

Didn't our mothers always used to ask us the question 'If so-and-so jumped from a bridge, would you do it too?'. The answer now in Prior Lake is no.

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