Lot at Finlay Park closed to prevent 'sex in the city' - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Lot at Finlay Park closed to prevent 'sex in the city'

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By Jordan Sandler - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Neighbors say a popular Columbia spot is playing host to some 'sex in the city.'

The city of Columbia is in the midst of an experiment to try to stop the activity from happening at Finlay Park.

If you've come to Finlay Park this summer, you might have noticed a chain blocking off the upper parking lot. The park hasn't closed, just this parking lot.  

Friday is day 40 of a 45-day trial run for the city to see how people are using the park without the lot.

Robin Gorman loves the view from her Governor's Hill balcony, overlooking Finlay Park.

"If you look out you can see families," said Gorman. "You see all ages, you see blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asian, just a multitude of people who come and enjoy the park."

One night in the Finlay's upper parking lot, Gorman saw a different image.

"I witnessed a couple having sex," she says.

Gorman says even during the day she's seen the parking lot used for sex acts, drug deals and motorists who hang out in the parking lot, but not the park.

"The parking lot is just a major place for people to meet," she says. "Sometimes they don't even get out of the cars."

Because of complaints by neighbors like Gorman, the city of Columbia closed the lot for a 45-day trial period. Leaders wanted to see if people could still enjoy the park without the convenient parking area.  

It's possible the city could close the lot for good.

"I think they should keep the parking lot," says park visitor Tara Corbett.

Corbett isn't thrilled she now has park on the street and walk to see her favorite image.

"The waterfall and the rocks and stuff, I love that part," she says.

Gorman loves seeing people like Corbett enjoy it. She believes if the parking lot permanently closes, it will draw more visitors as well.

"More people enjoying the park for all the right reasons," she said. "Because it's absolutely fantastic."

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