Mark Bernstein, January 24, 2011
I am assuming there was a gathering at the shul last night (Sunday, Jan 23) because Morseland Av was densley packed with parked cars in front of the shul. I was driving east on Channing Rd and made a right turn onto Morseland aroung 6:30 PM. There were three cars parked between the new "No Parking" sign and the corner of Morseland and Channing. The streets were particularly narrow because of the snow plow work. My visibility down Morseland Av was completely compromised by the inconsideration of the drivers of those three illegally parked cars.
If the cars did not belong to members of the shul I apologize. However, this is not the first time cars have parked illegally since the sign has been in place. And I witnessed a gentleman leaving the shul, with others, and entering his illegally parked car.
At our meetings you and other shul representatives have promised to discuss the safety issues concerning parking on the neighborhood streets with the general membership. I am sure that you have. Apparently, what we are up against is a type of institutional behavior: despite its best intentions, leadership can not control the actions of a large group of people who do not identify with the needs and concerns of the neighborhood.
Police may have more important priorities that preclude their rapid deployment to Morseland Av to ticket illegally parked cars. If this blatant disregard for neighborhood safety continues we need to discuss other deterrents at our next meeting. Eventually, there will be an accident where someone may be injured. Let us try to come up with an effective solution beforehand.
Secondly, there has been a change in the use of the outdoor lights during the last two weeks. Previously, only some of the lights on the western side of the building stayed on at night. This partial output seemed more than adequate for safety, etc. Now all the lights on both the western and northern sides of the building are lit. This is much too much light and is unnecesssary. It is wasteful from an energy point of view and pollutes the neighboring homes with light into bedroom windows. Hopefully, the new lighting schedule is an oversight and the former lighting schedule will resume.
-- Ira Schor, 1/24/2011 Re: Safety concerns and light pollution
All, I too observed and was very upset by cars (3) parked illegally between the sign and the corner. I too hesitate to waste taxpayer dollars to have the police called for such behavior but that may be the only way to have the rules obeyed and safety promoted. Such blatant disregard for the rules and for considerations of safety continue to amaze me.
-- Stephen M. Linsky, Alderman, Ward 2
While I appreciate the reluctance some may have in calling the police, to the extent we are trying to encourage certain behavior, we ought to avail ourselves of all available resources. The police remain one such appropriate resource whose employment, if necessary, should be considered without hesitation.
As for outdoor lighting, we would anticipate that any change from prior deployment will be discussed before implemented.
Thank you. Last night, Tuesday, once again, there were 3 cars parked between the sign and the corner - the disregard for traffic and safety regulations is remarkable - I wonder if these same drivers do so on their own streets.
Ira Schor 1/26/2011
I would like to point out that Shaarei has violated many of the terms of its agreement with the City, terms which it agreed to in order to receive approval for its new building and renovation of its old building.
One such term is relevant to the current discussion and concern of good neighbors, and can be found in Attachment C, Section 2 (Communication and Coordination):
Congregation Shaarei Tefillah will develop a calendar of events to be made available to members of the neighborhood that lists congregation events and social celebrations. ... Congregation Shaarei Tefillah will also designate both weekday and weekend (subject to Sabbath restrictions) contact persons and post the names and telephone numbers of those persons on its website so that members of the neighborhood community will have a contact person if issues arise.
I would like to point out that Shaarei's website consists of one page only, which lists only a "welcome" note, its address and email address, and davaning times. This has been the case for one year now; it seems that its regular multi-page website was removed when construction/renovation began, and this one-page website took its place as soon as construction/renovation began. There are no public notices of events, and no names and telephone numbers or email addresses of anybody at all from the synagogue.
This is only one among many persistent violations of its own agreements with the City, that Shaarei voluntarily agreed to in order to receive approval for the demolition of the old home and construction of the new shul building, violations of which are detriments to the community whose support it so vigorously sought in order to receive approval.
Jane Hanser 1 26 2011
Hi Alderman Linsky, Another DAILY traffic problem is the number of cars parked from the Com Ave carriage lane to Ward St. This small strip of road is NOT marked as illegal parking and DAILY cars are parked there for early morning services (7-8am) when there is very busy traffic for commuters and school kids and buses.
LS 1 26 2011