Hmm, how should I say this? "I told you so" is too harsh. How about a more collegial, "Hey, I'm glad Glendale's finally going to take a look at evaluating traffic safety along Good Hope and Green Bay!"
As many of you know, I am running for Glendale alderperson for the 4th District. When I first sought to represent the 4th District, I took to the streets to meet with fellow residents and discuss their concerns.
The many of you with whom I met made one point clear: the safety of pedestrians and children is paramount. Traffic is a growing problem on Green Bay and Good Hope--speed and volume. The traffic not only poses safety risks for our families, but divides our district from the rest of Glendale...unless we travel by car.
I have two children. And my wife and I love to walk and push strollers. However, Green Bay and Good Hope Road are both potential death traps. Going to the park is, ironically, no day in the park. That intersection itself is a mess to get through because the "crosswalk" is poorly delineated, a northbound turn lane from Good Hope to Green Bay is like a toboggan, there are no sidewalks along either road, and traffic consistently goes 45 miles per hour. Each road by itself is also problematic.
I know too many parents who, rightfully, won't let their children cross either road until their teens. Months ago, I brought the issue to the City of Glendale after looking at the issue myself. Before ever seeking office, I spoke with a helpful alderperson who told me that the Council had looked at the issue before, but gave up because the County rules the roads--speed limits, crosswalks, etc. That was it. No more. They gave up.
I wasn't going to let the inquiry end with one phone call. I took the reins and followed through with a patchwork of calls to finally speak with a representative of the County who could exercise authority over those two streets. We didn't get too far in our discussion, though. I never learned his thoughts on Good Hope. As to Green Bay, he concluded the speed was safe enough. Though he left room for the possibility that a crosswalk migh tbe appropriate, he told me that the City would have to decide the best location before the County would act, if at all. But the bottom line? It was doable.
Still, nothing has been done. "Studies" aside, the City has never acted to fix this problem. We don't need studies, we need action! Thus it is with great hope I note that on Monday night, the Council will again discuss the matter of traffic safety on, at least, Good Hope Road. Although the topic is, yet again, a traffic "study", it might still be the jump start we need. If Glendale is going to attract young families to the area, it needs to present itself as a safe pro-homewner locale. Taking decided steps to improve safety would facilitate that goal. As most of you know, this is one of the goals which I have been working hard to illuminate.
Of course, actual changes will be a challenge. Safety on both roads faces hurdles. Both are county highways. A debate over the best location for a crosswalk might be a difficult task. And to top that off, River Hills has indicated its desire to place a stoplight at River Road. Although they have a good idea, I personally think that's the wrong location, because it won't help Glendale residents.
I'm glad that my advocacy finally drew a response from the Common Council, and I hope the council indeed takes action to improve pedestrian and child safety, rather than treat this as a pro-forma or election-cycle exercise in lip-service.
I know that the Council's collective willpower can make this happen. Let's hope that the Council isn't daunted by the task, and works to achieve something that benefits all of us--a safer community.
I'll update you on the City's decision after Monday's meeting. In the meantime, email me with any comments or concerns.