Monday, June 30, 2008

LP Neighborhood Watch

Two hours before the neighborhood watch meeting and I'm finally posting about.

For those who missed the yellow signs scattered throughout the LP neighborhood.......and if you read this in the next two hours, there is a meeting scheduled for 7PM (6/30/08) @ First Church of the Nazarene (200 E. McKinley, next to Orange Grove and East 10 onramp).

Stay tuned!

But fat chance that I'll write about it!


Anonymous said...

So we went to the Neighborhood watch meeting last night.
The representatives from the city were exactly what I expected.
Instead of doing something to stop speeding on streets in Lincoln Park, we got reasons that they can't put in stop signs & humps to slow people down. It's always "what we can't do" instead of "what we can do".
The good news is I got a new catch phrase from the meeting. "It's your park, take it back!" That was what we were told to do about the gangs, drugs & prostitution in the park. Now that's a battle cry I'm going to use.
Now I know why it's called neighborhood watch.. we are the only ones watching.

LinknPark said...

The officials at the watch meeting last night were right about residents having to take the park back ourselves and actually use it in order to keep the undesirables away. What im curious about is why we arent using other similar parks in Southern California that have been revamped as our model. One that immediately comes to mind is Rose Park in Long Beach; . Why dont we start organizing a Lincoln Park neighborhood association that focuses on street signage, lighting, alley clean up and park beautification by raising money and coordinating with city officials to change things ourselves. Screw this whole waiting for the city to care thing, it isnt going to happen unless we take the initiative. We have lots of resources within the neighborhood that we can organize, as well as connections with Southern California businesses that could volunteer time, money or resources.

Ed said...

Linknpark, thanks for the link. I might just make it down there to check out the park in person.

Regarding the alley cleanup issue: why isn't Code Enforcement proactive about patrolling the alleys? I'm not a fan of "neighbor reporting on neighbor" unless there isn't another solution, and in the case of alleys, Code Enforcement could easily handle the problem. An additional benefit would be to ensure that a cleaner alley program would be applied city-wide.

Even before last night, I wasn't optimistic about stop signs, since I'd heard the same rhetoric about excess exposure to litigation, but I was heartened by the desire of the residents to slow down traffic. Sleeping policemen (speed humps) seem to be the most effective 24/7 protection, despite their inconvenience and expense. Of course, how much would it cost to position a traffic officer at a location 24/7? Funny how that cost never gets mentioned when talking about humps or red-light cameras. Oh, but I digress!

Great to see that many people show up. And kudos to the coordinator for keeping the meeting on track.

calwatch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
calwatch said...

Unfortunately, the meeting leader didn't do enough to steer the wild mustangs in the right direction. Lots and lots of questions, many of them irrelevant or individual problems best dealt person to person. A lot of mind blowingly stupid ideas, like making Lincoln Park private (!!!!) The representative from Public Works tried to do a decent job explaining the situation but it seemed that he was unaware that the desire for stop signs was for speed reduction, not sight distance, yet it took a while for the discussion to head in that direction.

Speed humps are not the only solution... there are lots of things like traffic chokers, raised crosswalks, etc. that might work. But they are not a bad choice. Overall, though, at times I was rolling eyes and wondering what a waste of time some of the side conversations devolved into. Overall this was informative but it would be better if the coordinator actually stuck to allowing the representatives to give their spiel first, uninterrupted, and then allocating actual minutes for questions (while ensuring that they stay at least a half hour afterwards so individual concerns could be addressed).

Also, I have a feeling that many of the speeders are other people from the neighborhood, not outsiders. Maybe on the weekends, sure (and one of the better ideas was having reservations for the picnic areas, so that there was no need to wake up at 5 am to mark off a spot), but on the weekdays, I would bet that most of the speeders are people who live in the neighborhood. Maybe not the attendees themselves (although I love how one person fessed up to speeding on Palomares), but definitely other neighbors. As for myself, with higher gas prices, I've learned to not race to stop signs, and as prices edge higher, I expect many others to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Are gangs, drugs, and prostitution really a problem in Lincoln Park? I see evidence of a lot of tagging that probably happens at night and I see a lot of families carelessly leaving trash all over the play area, (which OCD me complusively picks up), but I have never seen prostitution or drug deals going down as is obvious in Garfield Park.

Last Duke of Pomona

Anonymous said...

"Are gangs, drugs & prostitution really a problem in Lincol Park?'
Uh, yea it is.
Saying it can't be as bad as Garfield Park doesn't make it ok to have just a little of it in Lincoln Park. Why let it get a foothold?
And Calwatch... The neighborhood watch group is not toastmasters.
Darlene did the best she could.
If the public works guy didn't seem to know the need for stop signs he must be a moron. He was at the block captain meeting where HE talked about stop signs & how easy it would be to put them in. He never said anything about sight lines or red curbs. That was totally new info for the big group.

Ed said...

I'll agree with Calwatch that there are indeed other speed mitigation options available to traffic engineers. I love the raised crosswalks and wouldn't mind seeing corners extended to slow down right turns and shorten the distance for pedestrians. I don't see a value in chicanes, but speed-sensing radar signs could be useful.

I was dismayed that the public works representative didn't appear to do much thinking about solutions. I similarly didn't see much problem-solving on the part of the Parks employee. I did enjoy Paula Lantz's solutions to the alley lighting problem, though.

As far as speeders, I can only offer some anecdotal evidence. Prior to the speed humps on the 500 block of E. Jefferson, the typical speeder (that I witnessed) was coming from the direction of McKinley. From the 4-way stop at Gibbs and McKinley, they could take a free right at Palomares, a free left at Lincoln, another left at Jefferson, and not stop until Towne. Since the humps were installed I've seen less speeders which probably means they've moved to Lincoln or continue on McKinley. Repaving the segment of McKinley (500 block?) has probably exacerbated their problem.

These are only my observations (possibly distorted).

calwatch said...

Darlene should have still tried to exert some control. She tried to keep things on topic at first, by her introductory statement, but she didn't enforce those limits. Instead, we heard about off topic things such as lighting on Caswell (outside the bounds of the area), making Lincoln Park private, why bouncers should be banned from the park, and making all of the neighborhood a residents-only parking zone. Totally off topic and they should have been politely but firmly cut off. Have an agenda, determine how much time is necessary, and stick as close to that limit as possible. It is easier when it is a small group, I'll grant, but she should try harder to get things under control next time.

Kate Valdez said...

I'd like to point out that Darlene is a volunteer. I'm sure she has plenty to do with her time; she's chosen to try to address the concerns of her neighbors. Sometimes a thankless task at best. We are all adults-perhaps we should exercise control over ourselves. Too often,and I see this at all meetings, regardless of the venue, people digress onto their personal issues. All in all, I think Darlene did a good job.

Kate Valdez

Sherlock said...

I actually found value in some of the digressions, so I was more amused than annoyed. If it had spilled past 9, then my perspective might be different.

Keep the meetings coming!