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June 15, 2005

Comments

rogers

And where's the post on the train station article. Too slow? Nothing to talk about? Utsa matta folks?

Sean

Right on, Ethel! Perfect example of laying out the facts only to have them met with paranoid reactions (i.e. Rich's acting as though you were putting words in his mouth). Matilda's comments and how she was treated also prove everything she said about this blog. Really, Fiona, When you feel strong, Mathilda, we would welcome your opinion too!? Could you be more condescending? Or did you honestly miss her point by that much!

So, Crossing Guards (I know, the real topic is, Councilwoman flip flops) anyway, why should the public have to pay for this? If you have a child who is too young to be walking the streets by them self then you have no business sending him or her out alone. Why don't you walk your child to school in the morning? It's great exercise and allows you to spend more time with your young one. In the afternoon, you repeat the process by walking to the school and meeting your child. Don't you think they would be happy to see you waiting there for them every day?

resident-a walker about town

The vision of children being walked to school by doting parents is inviting-but with housing prices what they are in our fair community--people with children are working to just stay here...but this goes way beyond the kids going to school. Try crossing at Carolan and Oak Grove at 7:50 am on a school day. There are a number of elderly people who walk in the mornings in that neighborhood-one with a artificial limb who try to cross there--they face drivers with a latte in one hand and a cell phone in the other--all in a hurry to beat the 8:00 am bell--the cars won't yield to eachother, yet to a pedestrian. Then try the El Camino intersection near St. Catherine's--you'd better have your rosary in your hand as you try that one..then go to El Camino and Oak Grove--what a raceway!!! The pedestrians--all of them--are citizens and the crossing guards help all of them. Public safety is the responsibility of the city. Public safety should come before raises. I'd even put sidewalk repair ahead of raises to the already highly paid... May O'Mahoney and Galligan enjoy the retirement that Coffeey is enjoying...

mary

The crossing guards are the biggest bargain in town. They get 8 thousand dollars each a year to show up morning and afternoon every school day. That's about 20 dollars a shift. It is the perfect thing for a city to shoulder for the common good in a cost-effective way.

Sean

Dear Resident-A Walker

I will not dispute that many in this town drive recklessly; I would support speed bumps throughout this hamlet. As for housing prices, if you cannot afford to live here then I guess you'll need to move (your problem, not mine). If you cannot afford to care for your child, you shouldn't have had one in the first place. Maybe you need to look into putting him/her up for adoption to a family than can provide a safe living environment?

And don't play the elderly people? card. How many crossing guards does Burlingame have? Are you suggesting that Burlingame's elderly people only live near these few crossing-guard protected intersections? Should not all of our intersections have such protection, hence, protecting our young and old? Do you see how unrealistic this really is?

Sean

biggest bargain in town,? perfect thing for a city to shoulder,? and the common good? Mary, you should go into politics!

mary

Sean,
It sounds like you are already in Burlingame politics.

Sean's question a few posts back was "why should the public have to pay for this?".

My answer - the public does not *have* to pay for it: the public as a group gets to decide whether or not it *wants* to pay for it. The decision is made at election time. The gist of this thread is that Ms. O'Mahoney seems to be betting on what she thinks the public will decide.

So the question is: if the public decides it would like to fund crossing guards, is a vote for Ms. O'Mahoney the best way to express this preference?

al

Nope. If a member of the public decides they would like the City to fund the crossing guards, his or her best way to express that preference is to vote for Baylock. Period.

Jenn

Someone way back in the blog disputed the benefit of crossing guards to the elderly. I must disagree with this statement. I live in a neighborhood that is full of children and of elderly people. The main drag is "guarded" by a crossing guard near the school, and this is often frequented by older folks, many with canes, (and good for them for walking.) This has always been a dangerous area, in need of more attention from police, but alas, there are no police available. I agree with Mary, the guards are the best deal in town. I just wish they could be around to monitor more of what happens around here. When things got a bit nasty regarding funding the guards, Baylock asked for a study of all the disputed intersections, just to make sure that guards were really needed in each area. As far as I understand, the study concluded that each disputed intersection more than warranted an adult crossing guard, not a child crossing guard. Now comes the issue of funding. To me, if the majority, whomever they are, felt that they no longer could afford to fund this area, and they took it out of the budget, then the burden would fall on the school. If the school district lacked funds, and nobody would fund the guards, then what? This is the tricky area. If a kid gets hit in the street, because there was not a guard, then is the school at fault, for not providing safe passage to school, or is the city at fault, for not monitoring the city streets properly? Afterall, there is a traffic calming program in place, but it has never been implimented, due to lack of funds. Does anyone know the answer?

Jenn

Also, though slightly off topic, I am wondering why the signal lights cannot be adjusted to allow pedestrians more time for crossing. I'm speaking about the many intersections at California. I have trouble crossing and I'm not yet in the elderly catagory. I feel sorry for them, trying to beat the light. It's not just in Burlingame, either.

Sean

Jenn, this is where you and I (I hope politely) disagree. More police are not needed. Speed bumps, for example, force people to slow down (or risk seriously damaging their cars). The police cannot and should not be expected to guard every street corner. Or, as you put it, monitor more of what happens around here.? I've been to police states (and I don't mean any of our 50). Strong police presence never ends up in more public safety. You're of German descent, yes? Strong analogy, I admit, but think S.A. or S.S. I'm really serious when I say: if you're concerned about your young one(s) walking to school, walk with them. Your comment about longer crossing times (at lights), excellent! I would support you on that one 100%! Where do I sign?

And Al, just because the people want public funding for something does not make it right. In a true democracy (which we do not have) the people will inevitably vote for cake and circus at the taxpayer's expense.

Jenn

Well, I'm glad we agree about the signals. It is a pet peeve of mine. Maybe Augustine from the city will read this. He's a good guy. On the police state issue, I don't want a police state (city), did actually say that? And yes, when my kids were younger, I did walk with them, because I know how bad the driving habits have become. But I was probably one of the few who was fortunate enough to be home in order to do so. I think they were ll or 12 before I actually felt more confident in how they could judge cars at intersections and let them go alone. Teens are sometimes space cadettes, so into their own little worlds that they don't pay any attention at all, except to gabbing with their friends. So what happens to the other kids, the ones whose parents are at work? Speed bumps can work well in certain areas, and there is a program in Burlingame that in principle could consider them for certain areas, but there is absolutely no funding and has not been since its inception a 2 or 3 years ago. I was on the committee that put the program together. Bumps can be a hard sell, though. They cost about 10K, and people with big trucks worry about the undersides of their vehicles being damaged. I always thought if you go slowly enough, it wouldn't be an issue, but I do recall hearing that remark from some of the people with whom I spoke. I personally prefer traffic circles.They are being tested in various cities, the closest being San Mateo. Some people like them, others don't. To me, I care less about who likes them or doesn't but rather, if they are effective in slowing the offenders down. Those are more in the 25K arena, however, they can be landcaped and you have probably seen attractive islands like this elsewhere. They can really be an asset. As for police, I certainly do not expect them to be on every corner, that would be ridiculous. But apparently our own department has very few patrol cars, it might be just 3 or 4 for the entire town. Even the motorcycles don't seem to be around much. And the bikes that we saw about 5 years ago are absent, as well, which is a shame. I have no idea why. I don't know what the answer is, but again, feel strongly that the guards are money very well spent.

beyonce

Did anyone notice Jenn is back from vacation. Hi Jenn.

Jenn

Hi, nice to be back!

Sean I disagree with your contention that the public voting to fund crossing guards doesn't make it right?. What better way do you have to decide whether a given public program is right than voting? If the taxpayers of Burlingame decide as a group that this is worthy of funding, this seems like a legitimate decision to make in a democracy, imperfect though ours may be.

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