Sunday, September 2, 2007

We got "HOSED"!

In the words of an objective observer, "You got hosed"! Another objective observer who attended the same Public Hearing meeting and spoke after those of us opposing the addition of an 80 ft. white zone on our block (taking away 4 greatly needed long-term parking spaces...) wanted to speak and put forth his message of carpooling and increasing bicycling to school. But after making the remark in his opening of not opposing or favoring this proposal, stated "after hearing what I heard, I wouldn't want the white zone there, either".

So where did we go wrong? We gathered 154 signatures in writing, on hard copy in the period of less than a week. We gathered 28 signatures on-line. We had a show of 5 people attending the public hearing meeting, 4 of us speaking. We pointed out the existing metering along Clement and a portion of 23rd Avenue itself, the White Zone already along a portion of 23rd in front of a restaurant as well as the Green Zone (limited 10 minute parking zone) on the other end of 23rd Avenue. We stated that the "Drop-Off/Pick Up" plan now currently being implemented is working WITHOUT the White Zone. We called their attention to the already existing 200 ft. White Zone that exists in the rear of the school. The school had 3 parents stating that the (additional) White Zone was necessary as part of their "Drop-Off/Pick-Up" plan, stated child safety issues and conceded that these same issues stem from their school parents putting their own children at risk. Nothing else to say. Not delivered in any particular way our with any particular passion. A formality-show up and say you support the white zone.

After what I considered to be very little thought or consideration, the Hearing Officer declared that he would authorize the White Zone, reducing it from 80 to 60 feet!

We could put up a good argument, but the bottom-line is that the plan was already set in motion and the formality of a hearing to sanctify the white zone was completed. We messed him up and he had to make a concession of 20 feet, but at least he could say that he made a consideration.

After staying later to further discuss the matter with the City Engineer and his staff, we were able to bring up a few points of contention. Our major card? The technicality that insufficient notice of the hearing had been given. New Bat-Hearing, new Bat-Date, same Bat-Time! Same Bat-Chanel! So now? September 14, a new hearing for a proposed 60 foot White Zone to be active from 8-9AM and 2-3PM. Don't get me wrong-I applaud the consideration in now not only dropping the 20 feet, but reducing the ridiculous 9 hour portion originally proposed to 2 hours total during the day. But in the long-run, 3 long-term parking spaces will still be eliminated because the school's 'Drop-Off/Pick-Up" plan cannot otherwise work? There was even the acknowledgement that the current 200-foot White Zone was not being utililzed properly. GO TEAM!

No comments: