Thursday, October 22, 2015

Message to Chief Browder about bottleneck...

Chief Browder:

Hello, I am Jeff Dean, a resident on View Place Drive since 1991 and past president of the View Place Civic Association. I am also a 1973 graduage of Finneytown High School. On August 14th, there was a traffic bottleneck on View Place Dr. that lasted from 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm whereby residents could not get into or out of the neighborhood from either direction. This type of thing happens all too often. I had a conversation on the phone with one of your officers shortly thereafter.The officer was polite and listened to me, however, I am not happy with the content of any of his answers or statements. I will describe below. Know that none of my questions/ statements are about the performance of the officer on traffic duty, that is not the issue. The issue is what to do about this situation and how serious it is.

1) The officer said that we should communicate with St. X about this. My response is that we have communicated to X about this over the years and nothing has ever gotten better. When we moved in here in 1991, things were not nearly as bad. They have gradually gotten worse over the last 15 or so years. They have gotten worse with regard to traffic, noise, and St.X's overall performance as a nieghbor. I won't go into the supporting details for that statement here in this email. We did in fact communicate to them this time, and there has been no response so far.

2) The officer said that St. X parents have to come into View Place Dr. to drop off or pick up their kids (turning from North Bend Road on to View Place and heading north toward an entrance to St.X on the left) because St.X and your department have decided that all of St. X's driveways on North Bend need to be used for going out of X. My response is that there are two driveways for X alone off of North Bend, and one even has a double yellow line indicating going in and out. Logic tells me that the parents should be able to use these driveways for looping in and then out.
I have included a picture of the problem on View Place Drive. As you can see, both lanes are stopped. They were stopped for about a half an hour. In the picture, you can see that the last vehicle in the right lane is waiting to turn into the entrance to X that I described earlier, on the left. No way they can get in. This is for two reasons, one being the general bottleneck, and two being that two busses are parked in front of the building waiting to pick up kids (you can't see that in the photo, but it is easily verifyable.That would occur to the left of the photo) . This brings me to the most problematic of your officer's statements:

3) I said that I was concerned that an emergency vehicle cannot get into the neighborhood in this situation. The officer said that oh yes they can, that I would be amazed at how fast they could get a firetruck or EMS in. I say this is false statement. First, look at the picture. What you can't see, but what you can see for yourself if you go there is that there is not room on the left. Between the oak trees and the street, and between the oak trees and downslope, there is not enough room. There is no room on the right. Too many power poles and the like. And remember, the other thing the photo does not show is that North Bend Road is also plugged up in both directions!!  You might be able to get an emergency vehicle in, but within a decent respone time???  Doubtful.   And I am not downplaying the significance of the inconvenience to all of us either. Like I said before, when we moved in here it was not this bad.

4) Look at the photo again and note where Wellesley Drive is to the right. The last car on the left is a bit behind where Wellesley starts. Once or twice during the football season, the owner of an empty lot at the corner of Wellesley and View Place rents out the space for parking during the games. This causes the exact same problem of the bottleneck going both ways. I have complained about this in the past to the Township, to no avail. To their credit, they did stop people from parking on our neighborhood streets, and this has been a great help.But again, the emergency vehicle problem exists. Here is the response from your officer, and it is my favorite - "you can't stop people from making money". With that logic, why do you stop people from making money fixing cars in their front yard?  Because its ugly and its against the zoning code. I think that parking activity is also against the zoning code. So is their illegal drainage pipe and driveway that they put in to allow the cars to come in. I know they don't have a building permit for it, because it does meet any standard that I know of, and I am a civil engineer.

I am copying the president of the Finneytown Civic Association, just for his information. I am not asking for any action from the FCA at this time. I am also copying our current president of Viewplacenews.

I would like to hear your response to this before I send to the administrators or the fire department. You should also know that this bottleneck caused an accident involving St.X kids or parents on the day being discussed here.

I would also like to point out two more problems with the set up on North Bend. I can tell you, and Joe and Donna, spread the word, that I will come to the court appearance of anyone who gets a speeding ticket through the zone. That is because you have two problems. One is that the flashing lights for east bound traffic are located right at the curve in the road, so that a driver cannot see it until the last second. It is also partially obstructed by tree leaves. THe second is that there is no flashing light on View Place. If somebody exits View Place and turns right, and it is near the end of the period that kids are coming/leaving and therefore not much traffic, there is no way for that driver to know that the school zone is in effect.
Jeff Dean
7491 View Place Dr.

In loving memory of Sue Hummer...

Information about Sue Hummer's memorial mass at St. Vivian's Church is here.  I got to know Sue through the PTA  and neighborhood association soon after my daughter received the "Big Heart Award."  This award is given to a middle school student  to honor Sue and Dan's daughter, Stephanie.

I will remember Sue for living a faith-filled and purpose driven life. She was an example for all us.

Friday, October 16, 2015

In loving memory of our dear friend, child advocate, and neighbor...

I learned that Sue Hummer, our dear friend and neighbor, passed away peacefully in her home. Our deepest condolences to Dan, her sons and  their family, and all her friends.

Sue will be remembered for many things, by many people, but I will remember her faith and devotion  to serving God, her husband Dan, her family, and her community.  Whether it was passing time at the gas pump or running into each other in the neighborhood or meetings, I will remember her face lighting up when she talked about the Big Heart Award,  her niece's Thanksgiving meal, her sons and their new families, and other events that filled her day.  She lived her life with purpose and devotion.  She had a way for fixing things in our  neighborhood and at school.  She also took to the time to comfort people in their time of need.

My deepest condolences to Dan and her big family, and  her many friends who loved and cherished her being, her light, courage, and her faith.

May her sweet light shine in the darkness,
My her memory unfold as prayers for the living, and 
May her grace, courage, and faith continue to fill the silence.

Our prayers go out to Dan, family, and friends...