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Trustees Johnson (pres), Eckman, Hanewall, Hickey, and Phinney Do Not respond to questions on Snow Problems, while Trustees Anderson and Maher do Communicate

Politicians & Politics, Village Administration, Walkable

After all the problems Shorewood has had with piles of snow and ice througout the Business District, the delay in clearing Crosswalks, and the Free Show Removal for St Roberts, I sent the following questions to all the Trustees:

 Do you think that St Roberts should be charged for that service.  Do you think that service should be expanded to other private lots.

What position do you take on making the business district "Walkable" year round, by having the DPW removing snow and ice from the sidewalks, aprons and curbs? 
 
And on making the crosswalks safe by quickly cleaning them to the pavement, especially for the needs of the elderly and those who must use canes, walkers and wheelchairs.
 
Do you agree  that snow and ice removal in the Business District should be a priority, not only for the business owners to be able to engage in commerce, but also for the safety and welfare of the pedestrians? 
 
Do you support giving  the proper resources to the DPW (equipment and funds) for snow and ice removal to make Shorewood safe for its pedestrians in winter --- and for businesses to be accessible to their customers?
 
Only Trustees Anderson and Maher choose to communicate their opinions as follow:
(Trustee Anderson responded twice -- responses are in order as received)
 
(1) From Dawn Anderson 
 
Hi Dave - thanks for the note. First - of course I believe it's
important to make sure the district is walkable. I am an avid walker and
believe me, I had some real issues last month not only in the district but
in residential areas as well. It was a horrible month that caught alot
of communities off guard - WFB was just as bad in their business
district although I noticed alot of business owners had cleared their own
curbs, and of course we know the trouble Milwaukee had on the east side.
Part of the problem (I believe, but will find out more) could be the new
overnight parking allowed on North Oakland. This does make it more
difficult for the DPW to do a thorough job - but it's a new program and I'm
sure there will be kinks to iron out.  Regardless, crosswalks really
do need to be a priority. I agree.

I have to admit that I meant to talk to the DPW about the St Roberts
issue when it first popped up on the blog and it fell off my radar. I
will definately talk to them to find out what precipitated it. I was very
suprised by it honestly and I am concerned that a precident was being
set which I don't believe SHOULD be set. But since I don't know the
details, I won't comment beyond that for now.

Thanks again and have a good weekend,  dawn
(2) From Mike Maher
 
Dear Mr. Tatarowicz,

I share your concerns about maintaining the walkability of our entire
community in winter.  For Shorewood to achieve this goal, it requires
the combined efforts of residents, businesses and the Village. The vast
majority of Shorewood residents and businesses do an amazing job at
keeping their sidewalks cleared plus helping neighbors when needed.  The
Village DPW works hard to keep up with clearing the streets, sidewalks at
the corners, parks, public buildings and business district but because
of budget and staffing constraints they can only do so much so
quickly.  I will frequently see a DPW staff person plowing the streets into
the evening then see the same person picking up garbage carts out of snow
drift at 8:00 a.m. the next morning.  

This past December, Shorewood received a large amount of snow and some
of it froze like concrete which made removal very challenging for
everyone.  I continue to strongly push to have the Village clear the large
mounds of snow that build up at the crosswalks at the street
intersections.  I have asked the Village Manager to update the Village Board on
how the snow removal operations are going so far this season and explore
possible ways for the Village to clear the sidewalks at the corners in
the residential areas and the business district more quickly.  As with
any municipal service,  there is always a balancing of striving to
provide the highest level of service within the budget constraints the
community faces.  I know there is also interest from the Village's
Pedestrian Safety Committee to review the Village's snow removal efforts and
see if there are ways to improve our efforts.

I have asked the Village manager to provide me information on the
possible clearing of an area at St. Roberts. I was not aware the Village was
clearing any area at St. Roberts. The Village does clear a few private
parking lots where the Village has an arrangement with the lot owner
to allow Shorewood to sell overnight parking permits for the lot. St.
Roberts is not one of these overnight parking sites.  So until the
Village staff gets back to me with the background information, I would be
just guessing on the reason for the plowing.  There maybe Village traffic
safety concerns with the grade school children walking to the school.  

Thanks for your e-mail. I will continue to push to do as much as
possible to keep our community as walkable as possible. 

Mike Maher

Trustee 
(3) From Dawn Anderson
 
Hi Dave - I spoke with Jim Swenson yesterday before the snow got bad
and he filled me in on St Roberts -  they asked for help removing the
PILES of snow - we did not really plow their lot although given the date
(right before Christmas) our guys probably felt they'd do a little extra
clean up for them. The piles were causing a safety hazard not only
because kids were climbing on them, but the freeze/thaw cycle was causing
runoff onto the sidewalks - creating an ice hazard.

My understanding is that Jim will be sending you a note, if he hasn't
already, explaining the situation in more detail. Along with Trustee
Maher, I would urge patience. They do the best the can with the available
resources.

Thanks, dawn
 
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS --- PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW
 

For some thoughts on issues other than Shorewood, visit my other blog at

http://nonconventionalwisdomperspectives.blogspot.com/

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