Monday, July 14, 2008

stop, in the name of love

Lincoln Park's city council rep, Paula Lantz, recently sent this out to the Neighborhood Watch block captains, and she kindly gave me permission to post it here, saying "I welcome any input I can get." So without further ado, I bring you --

To All,
Just wanted you to know that I have shared the frustrations of the last Neighborhood Watch meeting, and the Public Works Director has volunteered to analyze "traffic calming" possibilities for the Lincoln Park neighborhoods. He is also going to do some traffic counts and speed analysis to see where the biggest problems are. If you can let me know any specific streets, intersections or blocks that are of particular concern, I will make sure they are included.

In case you haven't been by Lincoln and Como, there is a stop-sign there now, as well as on Gibbs at Garfield.

There has also been some recent discussion about revisiting closing some alleys. My suggestion was, that since each alley has specific "issues" it should be discussed at a Block meeting (actually, a two-block meeting since it involves two sides of the alley) specific to the alley in question. Any Block Captain that wants to set that up, I am happy to attend and bring the specific options available from Public Works. Biggest issues will be getting buy-in from owners of homes that have only alley access to their garages (easements can be granted for access), and the on-going maintenance of the alley. If it is closed to the public, then public tax dollars probably can't be spent on it.

At any rate, let me know specific problem areas for traffic, and hopefully I can have something before the next Block Captian meeting.

I should add (this is Meg, not Paula, talking now) that if other people have announcements or information that they want to get out to fellow Pomoniacs, email them to me and I'll post them. I reserve the right to decide that something isn't appropriate for the blog, but you probably have figured out by now that appropriateness (much less propriety) was never my strong suit, so don't let that stop you.


Anonymous said...

While I do think closing the alleys would be a major problem for some people, there is going to be a need to do something. That is the major way that people are getting burglarized. They are going through, over or just knocking down back fences. That is why some people (including me) are so gung ho for alley lighting & clearing weeds.
I think if there was some sort of barrier in the middle of the alley that didn't allow vehicles to go all they way through street to street would be a good start. It would still allow residents to get to garages off the alley but would make a get-away for bad guys 50% worse. I do realize that they are not always in a vehicle. It would also cut down on foot traffic in the alley & the graffiti that that people on foot bring. It would also still allow for firemen access.
Just an idea.

Ed said...

Mark, can you give me some idea of the magnitude of crime that's emanating from the alleys? My perspective is slanted by my (alley) experiences, so it would be useful to have additional info.

Just for reference: I've been using solar-powered floodlights and motion sensors that chime in the house when someone is in the alley, so I may not be representative of the typical Pomona homeowner.

me said...

how often do your alley chimes go off, Ed?

When I left L.A., there was a big campaign going on in the City to gate alleyways. The L.A. police and the fire department were all for it. Some of the alleys were turned into parks and gardens. Also, you can upgrade to an electric gate, so people can still drive down the alley. Not sure why it's been such a hard sell in Pomona. Once a gate installer company pays off someone in the City, I'm sure we'll see gated alleys go up all over.

G of P

Anonymous said...

Ed, Since I am a neighborhood watch block captain I see the emails concerning specific break-in's in the Lincoln Park area.
In the last few weeks I have read about people scouting out houses by looking over fences (this by people in their house doing dishes & seeing a head popping up & looking into the yard). Also people that have old 4-6 ft high chain link fences have been targeted because of visibility.
Another last week had a older wooden fence just pushed down during the day & they were robbed.
Although I am still surprised that some people don't have alarms for when they are away.
This is a bit older but when we moved into our house we had a short wood fence at the back of our property. We had, of all things, our pool sweep taken.
We have since put up a block wall all the way across with no gate.
All of the crime in the area isn't just from the back but any crime any where should be delt with as best as possible.
Mark (on 300 block of Jefferson)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark.

Do you think the block captains might consider doing a blog? I might be willing to do it (with a map), if nobody else will step up.

Turning alleys into gardens is an interesting idea, although I keep stumbling over the utility easements that exist. I have the same problem with fencing the alleys in the middle. I'll admit to being a little risk averse, but I foresee an eventual catastrophe by having large service vehicles backing up in narrow alleys. Gating alleys could be an option, but then I would expect the homeowners are financially responsible for maintaining the alley.

I think just with increased vigilance the community is heading in the direction of minimizing these opportunity crimes. So,currently I'd fall into the category of encouraging individual homeowners to find solutions to the alley problems, rather than having the city close down alleys. Look no further than Paula Lantz, who gave wonderful examples of potential solutions to the lighting problem.

I'm guessing vehicle burglaries and GTAs are the more common problem, but we aren't calling for eliminating all overnight street parking. Or are we?

Of course, I'm really in the dark about the magnitude of the problem, so I reserve the right to change my position in the future.

And how much does my house chime? A couple of times a day, and usually it's a cat. I should add that we have been victimized by one case of theft via alley access in the five years of living here. Which is less crime than we experienced in our five years in northern Claremont where we didn't have an alley. (Sorry for the anecdotal reference, but that's the most compelling for me right now.)


Anonymous said...

Ed, me again.
What is a "GTA"?
As for street parking. I don't see the need at all to ban street parking. This was brought up by residents around Palomares & Alvarado where there are a bunch of apartments and thus, a ton of cars.
Myself, I try to never leave my car on the street overnight. I know the drive-way is still a target but less so. My cars been hit twice in 8 years in Lincoln Park.

me said...

Just "chiming in" that (knock on wood) my family has never had anything stolen or broken into in our 5 years of living here, and our backyard is not even enclosed. We have never caught someone so much as walking back there. I do make a point of keeping bikes and toys in a locked garage at night and we keep our outside lights on all night long. Once it's dark, we close all the window coverings, so you can not see into the house. Then there's our Clifford-like dog... Closing the alleys is not as big a deal as some are making it out to be.

G of P

calwatch said...

GTA - Grand Theft Auto

I like the idea of gate-guarding one side of the alley, to maintain public access, as necessary.

Anonymous said...

My car ('87) was stolen off of Palomares sometime between yesterday and this morning. On the upside, the police officer said the neighborhood has been doing a good job with the Neighborhood watch program.