City fails to address safety concerns | Letter

Aug 14, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

On Feb. 17, I hand delivered individual letters of a safety concern to Mayor Dave Earling, Planning Manager Rob Chave, Police Chief Al Compaan, Parks Director Carrie Hite, and, subsequently, Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis and Strom Peterson.

These letters highlight my wife’s and my concern for the number of near miss accidents at Howell Way and the busy Third Avenue South as pedestrians attempt to cross into City Park.

For a city committed to public safety, and a mayor with a goal of “better communications,” I find it ironic that to date there has been no action or any acknowledgement of our letter of concern.

Below is the Helgren's letter to city officials:

Dear City Officials:

My wife and I live in a condo 30 feet north of the City Park exit, and are the closest residence to the intersection of Third and Howell.

We have some safety concerns I hope you will address in the proposed new play area.

We are very supportive of the expanded play area, but we don’t wish to witness a pedestrian tragedy.

To aid children at the entrance to Yost Pool, three stop signs and brightly painted crosswalks were installed.

A small playfield at Pine and Sixth also has stop signs and painted crosswalks. However, our city planners have made no effort to assist current City Park users with crossing aids.

Soon you will attract even more children with your new playground plan. What is your safety plan?

We have witnessed current traffic close calls for vehicles as well as pedestrians. In three years, rarely have we seen any police speed traps for the speeders using Third Avenue to and from the Woodway area to the south.

It’s a straight downhill run from the Woodway boundary all the way to Dayton Street without even a stop sign. This is a dangerous stretch of street, and without some significant way to slow or caution traffic, I’m predicting a serious accident.

Please address this concern in your planning before someone becomes an accident victim on his or her way to a fun day at the new play area.

John and Janice Helgren


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