Thursday, November 29, 2007

Catch 22

Ok so the big community meeting to discuss keeping the road I talked about yesterday closed to traffic happened last night. It seems the powers that be want to open up the road again just as soon as they can get the creek protection permits to do some work on the road ( like installing new guardrails to replace the ones that have slid down the bank and fix the road where dirt has slid out from under the roadway).  Where the city is going to get al the money to make these repairs is unknown since the city is dealing with budget shortfalls and can't even hire enough police to deal with the ever increasing crime rate.

OK here is where the Catch 22 parts come up. One argument the city is making for re-opening the road is that it is a public road so it needs to be open so all the public can use the road. The catch is that under a city resolution the road can be shut down if to many people from outside the neighborhood  are using a local road instead of the major arteries. In other words if the public uses this local road to much then yes it can be shut down.  This is good news for those of us who want to keep this road closed because most of the people who used the road in the past were from outside the neighborhood. The bad news ( again a catch 22) is that since the road has been closed for 10 years due to the landslide there is no documented study proving that the road was getting to much usage from non neighborhood traffic. In order to get the information we need to get the road closed we have to open up the road again so the study can be conducted to prove that the road should be closed to traffic again. SIGH

The irony is that if this road is opened to traffic again it will get a lot less usage by the local people ( since this narrow road will be to dangerous to walk, ride or dive on in the view of many people due to how narrow the road is and how steep the bank is leading down to the bordering creek) so the road will get a lot less usage that it is currently getting from the locals ( who the road is meant for) and be mostly used by people from outside the area who are using the road to avoid back-ups on other larger roads or using the road as a short cut.

In the end the city will likely send hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be better spent else where only to then have too conduct a study and discover that the road is getting to much non-local traffic which will open the door to the neighborhood pushing to have the road closed again. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No Cars Allowed

Several Years ago during a very wet winter there was a small landslide in our neighborhood. The result was a whole lot of dirt that ended up blocking a small road. This road didn't get much traffic so the dirt kept blocking the road for several years. During that time lots of the locals enjoyed walking along this  road that was closed to traffic. There are no houses on this section of road, there are lots of trees and there is a small creek that runs along the side. It is more like being on a forest path instead of being in a major city.

Finally after all these years the dirt has been removed from the road and the hillside has been altered to hopefully prevent future landslides. The problem is that lots of the neighbors don't want to lose such a lovely place to walk or ride their bikes in a car free environment. Tonight there will be a local meeting where hopefully enough people will show up to convince the city to keep the road closed to auto traffic. Hopefully there are enough of us who want to keep the road free of traffic to get the city to go along with keeping the road closed.

Today's walk stats
3.35 miles
300 ft of climbing

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Beginning

Ok for some strange reason I decided to start a blog. My life is generally pretty boring so there isn't much to write about, especially if that writing is public for anyone to read. So what has changed now? Is my life suddenly more exciting? Not really is the honest answer, the only thing really new in my life is that I've been walking everyday for the past month or so. I try to walk between 3 to 4 miles at least 6 days a week. While walking I see some interesting things, or things that get me thinking and I suddenly though it might be interesting to write down some of these mental gymnastics I go though while I walk.

Today near the start of my walk I saw 6 of our city's finest officers running a speed enforcement operation on the main street near my house. This was a much larger operation than they normally run in this area. Most of the time they send out two motor officers, They place themselves where they can shoot you with their radar as you approach and then if you are speeding they step out into the street and wave you to the curb and then write you up. today the cops clearly wanted to have some fun on their motorcycles. They were parking on a side street and after a speed when by they fired up their motorcycles and then when chasing after the offender. This seemed like a waste of time over their normal procedure but I guess it is more fun for the police. I'm sure a lot of the people getting nailed in this operation were students on their way to the junior college a few miles up the road.  I have no love of speeders, especially when I'm out there walking but I also have no good feelings about the type f speed enforcement actions I typically see in my area. It just seems that while our local police force is way under staffed and lots of fairly serious crimes are going unsolved ( and not even investigated in many cases) there are more important things to do that go after a bunch of students who are going slightly over the speed limit. Then again the local neighborhood association has been making a lot of noise for the need for traffic calming on the street in question so that is probably the reason for the increased speed enforcement lately. Hopefully all the money the city will collect from the speeding tickets will be put to good use, like hiring a few more officers so that maybe a small dent can be put into the ever riding crime rate.

Today's walk states

4.25 miles
526 ft of climbing