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Mansfield to reconsider bylaw that bans playing ball in streets

Terry M. Langley is petitioning the town of Mansfield to change a bylaw that prohibits playing ball in the street.  Neighbors called police about her son and others playing ball.
Terry M. Langley is petitioning the town of Mansfield to change a bylaw that prohibits playing ball in the street. Neighbors called police about her son and others playing ball.Credit: Lane Turner/Globe Staff

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An 82-year-old bylaw makes it illegal to play ball games in public streets in Mansfield. That ban was largely forgotten until the middle of this past summer, when police, responding to a complaint from neighbors, cited the law and told a group of boys and young men that their pickup baseball game in the middle of Highland Avenue was against the law.

Terry M. Langley, the mother of one of those boys, organized a petition, and Town Meeting next May will vote on whether to change the bylaw.

“I’m not doing it just for my kids. I’m fighting for all of them,” said Langley. “This [bylaw] is from 1931. Let’s see if in 2013 the townspeople have the same desire as they did in 1931.”

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