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New zoning commissioner, mayor, defended at council meeting

Norwalk Republican convention 072213 053
State Rep. Gail Lavielle (Wilton/Norwalk/Westport) was among the Republicans supporting Linda Kruk Tuesday night in the Common Council vote to make Kruk a Zoning Commissioner.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Republicans stepped up to defend a widely criticized mayoral appointment Tuesday while Norwalk Democrats voted against that appointment, even if they knew if was futile.

The appointment of Republican Linda Kruk to the Zoning Commission to replace Democrat Adam Blank brought state Rep. Gail Lavielle and three other Republicans to speak in her support in to the Common Council, citing her intelligence and other qualities, and emphasizing that it is the mayor’s decision. 

Every member of the Republican caucus voted for the appointment, while the three members of the Democratic caucus in attendance  – Matt Miklave, Warren Peña and Anna Duleep  – voted against it.

Kruk was one of five Republicans seeking four Board of Education candidacies. The news that she had dropped that quest – forgoing a potential primary – came out at about the same time that Blank’s term ended.

Blank said last week that Moccia had told him that his vote on a “big box amendment” was part of the reason he was not being reappointed. Republicans on the Zoning Commission said that he had been a good member, expressing surprise at his non-reappointment at the end of their last meeting.

Blank, an attorney, has since written a letter to the editor accusing Moccia of dishonesty.

The mayor first told NancyOnNorwalk that he wanted to appoint someone new. He is quoted in The Hour as saying that Blank’s firm was representing people who are suing the city on tax appeals, which strained relations with Associate Corporation Counsel Brian McCann.

Blank said in an email that, while his firm has represented a “handful” of Norwalkers in tax appeal matters over the past six years, it is not currently representing anyone with that issue. The tax appeals were taking place before his initial appointment, he said, and city officials were aware of his connection.

Moccia responded to the dishonesty accusation Tuesday evening.

“You can have disagreements with me about zoning, whether you should be reappointed,” he said. “But to have a person I’m not putting back on for various reasons, and have said as much – a misrepresentation no matter how many times you say it, does not make it the truth. I will end it at that.”

He also answered the allegation about the big box amendment, which had originally been proposed to cover both the areas on which Lowe’s and now BJ’s Wholesale Club subsequently requested permission to build. The amendment passed, but only for Connecticut Avenue.

“(Republican Zoning Commissioner) Emily Wilson voted for the same procedures or same restrictions on box stores, Lowe’s vs. Bjs,” he said. “As I said, my only consideration is that we’re being consistent. It’s not berating anybody for how they voted.”

Councilman Doug Hempstead (R-At Large) said he had served on the Zoning Commission years ago, but Mayor Alex Knopp did not reappoint him because Knopp wanted a Democrat.

“You move on,” he said. “If you read the charter, there is no repetition with this. You get it for the grace of the mayor that is appointing and the council that is affirming.”

Critics have said that Blank’s skills as an attorney will be missed. Hempstead said there are no special qualifications needed to be on the Zoning Commission.

“When I read the constitution it says, it says ‘we the people.’” he said. “That’s where the qualifications end. Same for the same job that we run for. There’s no qualifications but willingness to want to serve the community in any which way. If you bring something else to the table it’s always nice. But you just have to live here. That’s all we ever have to ask anybody.”

Republicans who described themselves as Kruk’s friends sang her praises.

“She is a very qualified, articulate, well educated,” Peter Torrano said. He rhetorically asked council members to raise their hands if they would object if he was removed from the police commission should someone else become mayor. No one did.

Glenn Iannocone said he had worked on a couple of campaigns with Kruk.

“She is very dedicated and articulate,” he said. “I am certain she would be an asset to the city of Norwalk and the Zoning Commission.”

Lavielle said Kruk has an “exceptionally open mind, a willingness to see both sides of an issue” and an “exceptional ability to stay calm.”

“She is not going to bend to expediency but what she thinks is right,” Lavielle said.

Councilwoman Anna Duleep (D-At Large) said she knew she would lose but she was voting against Kruk.

“For me, it’s not so much whether a particular mayor in the past would have thrown someone off the commission, who tried to make it go the other way, but that at this particular time Norwalk is facing not one, but two, big projects coming in,” she said, referring to the Lowe’s on Connecticut Avenue and the BJ’s proposed for 272 Main Ave. “I don’t see the reason to replace someone who had been doing a good job and who had proven, upsetting our side of the aisle as well as yours, a propensity towards fairness. In addition, Mr. Blank is an attorney. He is somebody who, just because he was already in the role, had a little more time to get up to speed than Ms. Kruk will have.”

Moccia pointed out that Lowe’s was already approved. As for BJ’s, he said, “Not sure if Ms. Kruk will be allowed to vote on that or not.”

Comments

25 responses to “New zoning commissioner, mayor, defended at council meeting”

  1. NorwalkVoter

    Does this mean that Mr. Kimmel, the “independent thinking” Democrat voted for the unqualified, Moccia puppet? Or was he conveniently out of town?

  2. Suzanne

    A circus posing as real. It’s a shame commissions are regarded with such little concern for the outcome of their work.

  3. piberman

    Attorney Blank’s letter now gives the mayoral campaign a real issue to bring front and center – Norwalk’s failed redevelopment/development efforts and stagnant Grand List. Who knows, together with discussion of reasons for our stagnant property values amidst a national housing boom we might actually have a useful discussion on how we could do better. Of course, it will require more than “sitting down” with friendly developers.

    A second issue is whether its proper for the Mayor to hold secret discussions with zoning members. Mr. Lyons, esteemed BOE Chairman, studiously avoids such policy discussions with fellow BOE members. But without denials it does seem Mr. Blank has suggested that Mayor Moccia is indeed in charge of Norwalk’s development and redevelopment. Clearly Mayor Moccia has an opportunity to defend his record and the candidates an opportunity to suggest how they – without requisite experience – could do better.

    Who knows, maybe a campaign of “substance” awaits us yet !

  4. piberman

    Common Council Doug Hempstead’s comment that there are no special qualifications for appointments to Zoning (or presumably other City commissions) perhaps helps explain Norwalk’s peculiar position of a City with a years’ long stagnant Grand List, stagnant property values in a booming national housing market, punitive property taxes financing among the state’s highest paid public workers, a remarkably hostile teachers union and a less than successful redevelopment/development. Norwalk is indeed the City where all appointments are truly political.

    Friends and colleagues in neighboring cities and towns in Fairfield County suggest their communities follow a different drummer in attempting to find citizens with relevant experience, especially professional experience, to serve on City commissions and boards. They often remark when visiting that Norwalk seems a City with “for sale” signs everywhere. Looks like Norwalk’s unique brand of politics isn’t admired elsewhere.

  5. Ante Litteram BOE

    How can one be as right and wrong as Mr. Berman is in his analysis. The dear GOP of our fair city has a bad habit of secret deals. The esteemed Chairman Lyons tried to review curriculum in a private executive session. That, dear reader, is executive privilege run amuck.
    Certainly, the Mayor’s treatment of Mr. Blank should remind us all of his abandonment of Jackie Lightfield when she served the zoning board with distinction and independence- both of which are anathema to the Moccia Regime.

  6. spanner

    With one building only a few years old needing 2.5 million or so to repair for what seems to be shoddy work,the same people are down the street building a new fiasco.Why have anyone over seeing the building in Norwalk its just plain stupid appointing inexperience when the city is under a new cloud of poor workmanship.

    Serously who is going to buy into a new building when when of their old ones is falling apart.Its dangerous even according to news reports tonight.

    The same names on the new water st building are the same ones who designed built and pawned off to unsuspecting friends of Moccia.This ought to be good once it hits home.

  7. LongTimeDem

    Ahem… Doesn’t Gail Lavielle live in Wilton? I realize that her district includes part of Norwalk, extending down the far east side of our City, almost to the Sound, a gerrymandered expression of Wilton’s historical yearning for a warm-water port. But does that really give her any moral authority to weigh in on municipal appointments in a city of which she is not a resident? I suppose anyone — resident or not — has a right to express her or his opinion at public meetings, but this really does seem just a little over the line, and a bit unseemly.

    1. Lavielle began her speech thusly:
      “Because I am not a Norwalk resident I think it would be presumptuous of me to address the political or administrative aspects of any appointment to a city board or commission. I am only here because I know Linda Kruk well and I would like to offer a few comments on her character and capabilities.”

  8. LongTimeDem

    Thank you for that additional information, Nancy. The term that Rep. Lavielle used (presumptuous) is better and more apt than the one I used (unseemly).

    And as a true one-off, standing up to vouch for a friend in spite of the fact that she lives in another town, it isn’t really even presumptuous. (Without the language you just quoted, it seemed more like an exercise in maintaining a public profile in Norwalk politics, but in this context, not so much.)

  9. David McCarthy

    I had largely withheld comment on this issue, because Mr. Blank replaced me on the Zoning Commission when I went onto the council and had served with me as an alternate before.
    Mr. Blank’s comments elsewhere do him a great disservice, and are specious and self-serving. The mayor has appointed more D’s than Rs to this commission, to his credit, but the commission needs more balance given the shenanigans of some members (not Mr Blank, admittedly).
    Given the increased politicization of Mr. Blank’s activities, that he not receive preferable treatment from the man he is bashing on a daily basis should be no surprise.
    To suggest that there is some litmus test or qualification necessary to be on the ZC is ridiculous. The mayor has appointed Nate Sumpter, Jill Jacobsen, Harry Rilling and almost all others with absolutely no experience in Planning and/or Zoning. To appoint people with that experience is likely to get you a group of developers or people like me with a degree, but a life that went away from urban land use theory.

    Lastly, Pete Torrano’s point was that a newly elected Democrat Mayor would not reappoint him, and that no one, not even those of us who know that he is an excellent and accomplished Police Commissioner, would be surprised by that fact.

    He would be missed by the city as well as the State of Connecticut, having served as Chairman of the State’s Police Commissioner’s Association.

    The way this story is written makes it seem that the council’s respectful listening was somehow a judgement. Council rules state that commenters will not be engaged in debate or discussion.

  10. Adam Blank

    @David McCarthy – I don’t recall you complaining about my “politicization” when I signed a letter to the editor endorsing you for Common Council a couple years back. But now that I am criticizing a single republican you take issue with my actions as being too political?

    I also suspect you know that the reason I did not publicly voice criticism of the Mayor until now was because he insisted that, for him to even consider reappointing me, I was not to publicly criticize him or publicly support any other mayoral candidate – a condition which I adhered to until it became obvious I would not be reappointed.

  11. M Allen

    Did you just say that you were willing to overlook your issues with the Mayor until such time as it was no longer politically expedient for you to do so?

  12. NorwalkDinosaur

    @Nancy Chapman, do you have a roll call vote from the council meeting? Any abstentions? Absent?

  13. Lisa Thomson

    The fact that one need not have any urban planning and zoning experience to serve on the P&Z board might offer a glimpse into why we are evolving into a hodge-podge, big box city, where folks from neighboring towns come to discount shop but wouldnt consider buying a home in.

    We are raising the bar on the BoE and have hired a top notch, nationally recognized superintendent, perhaps we might want to raise the bar in P&Z appointment guidelines and make sure that individuals appointed have relevant professional experience.

    Perhaps we have identified a mayoral issue that all candidates and Mayor Moccia can address.

  14. Joe Espo

    Lisa: I’m sure we could attract slew of appropriately educated and experienced candidates for boards and commissions if we could dangle some reasonable compensation in front of them for their time and effort. If you’re successful in loosening Bruce Mellion’s stranglehold on our operating budget, we just might find some cash to do that. Until then, we have to rely on volunteers with a sufficient masochistic bent to donate dozens of uncompensated and thankless hours to do the heavy lifting.

  15. Mike Mushak

    Interesting to see Mr McCarthy praise Police Commissioner Peter Torrano and celebrate his accomplishments. Perhaps Mr. Torrano’s repeat endorsements of Harry Rilling as Police Chief should be taken seriously by Norwalk voters.
    .
    I am just a bit puzzled by Mr. Torrano’s decisions as a Traffic Commissioner, which is a shared role along with Police Commissioner. He has compromised public safety and put children in harm’s way in places like Beach Road, Seaview Avenue, and West Avenue where professional taxpayer-funded studies were ignored and so-called “compromises” resulting in dangerous life-threatening conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. Public safety should never be compromised on our streets, and for those decisions Mr. Torrano’s role as a Traffic Commissioner should be questioned.

  16. Norwalk Lifer

    Thank you Mr. Blank, you are re-affirming my suppositions about the management style at City Hall; it is run like a corporation, not a democratically elected body of public servants. That is deplorable, if there is no debate there can be no improvement, while many know we are solidly aligned to democratic ideals in this town, state, country, it is distressing to hear, that once the lights are out, individuals who hold their own personal beliefs in higher regard than the ideals of their office, will foster those ideals on others in an attempt to quell any useful, objective, opposing viewpoint. That is stagnation of spirit at it’s worst. Nevertheless, it is not surprising, but given the fact this is a political season, its best it is aired now to the body public. Thank you once again for your viewpoint in this matter. I do not consider your comments whining nor complaining, I believe you are attempting to rent the fabric of mendacity in order to shed light on what not to do as a leader. A leader convinces others to follow his or her path, without the rancor or rhetoric of personal polemics. A leader understands the awesome power of public office, and hangs their head in respect for it. Instead of hanging their head, when newly minted public official makes disasterous and demeritious comments about a whole body of people in this town. And I’ll add, if this individual who was a little too loquacious in describing a whole body of people as “thuggish” in what was supposed to be a celebratory tableau is NOT new minted, then that individual may be in for considerable criticism himself come election time. There is a Chinese saying “One who mounts the tiger cannot dismount”, that tiger of “thugs” as so succintly described by Mr.McCarthy are no so sanquine in their reaction to his words. Clearly he has offended many in Norwalk who do not hold the same viewpoint as he does. I would dismiss his comments summarily.

  17. M Allen

    Mr. Mushak, you are out of line with your accusations that certain individuals, because they aren’t voting for or recommending the pet projects you support, are putting children in harm’s way. Why not take a more moderate and sensible stance and simply say that they are choosing to not improve safety conditions rather than insinuate that they have a hand in actually putting people, children, in harm’s way. They are not, and you sound like an alarmist (at best) with your comments. Work your vision as you see fit. But you likely alienate as many people with these types of remarks as you do encouraging people to agree with you.

  18. Mike Mushak

    M Allen, I do not have “pet projects” as you claim. However, I do strongly support many professional plans that Norwalk taxpayers have paid millions for over the years, that indicate just how bad our road design is and how we should improve it.
    .
    These are NOT my pet ptojects but the projects that experts tell us we need to improve public safety, which are routinely ignored by Mayor Moccia, Peter Torrano, and the third mostly silent Traffic Commissioner O’Connor.

    I am not out of line when you realize the extent of the bad decisions the Traffic Commission has made, literally putting folks in harm’s way and risking injury and death by ignoring these expert studies, an dignoring federal and state safety standards, based mostly on politics and Mayor Moccia’s and Hal Alvord’s irrational aversion to crosswalks, safe sidewalks, and on-street bike lanes (what is they afraid of, that they may prove popular and folks may want more of them as I suspect?).
    .
    I tried to post pics on this comment to prove to you how bad it actually is, but it didn’t work, so I recommend you go down to the East Norwalk Yacht Club on Seaview aAvenue next to Overton’s this weekend or any warm weeknight, and watch what happens when the folks at the Yacht Club do their illegal angled parking, which Hal Alvord to his credit wanted to eliminate because it was so dangerous and illegal, and which Mayro Moccia and the Traffic Commission APPROVED last year. The angled parking forces kids and families literally into the middle of the street at the double yellow line (especially if there is a big SUV parked there), into speeding traffic, which speeds because the travel lane width is up to 14 feet wide there, wider than teh 12 foot interstate size for traffic doing 65, which ignores federal standards to narrow lane width to 10-11 feet to slow traffic down in pedestrian areas which this is because of teh 2 ice cream shops.

    So, the action of the Traffic Commission, which is clear from meeting minutes, approving illegal parking over the objection of Hal Alvord, and which forces thousands of kids every year into the middle of speeding traffic, is cause for alarm on my part as I see the dangerous and life-threatening results every nice day I pass by there.
    .

    If you want to call me alarmist, go right ahead. All I can tell you as a landscape architect, is that if the state Engineering licensing board got wind of this decision, which Hal Alvord had to follow even though he objected to it but which he is ultimately responsible for as DPW Director, and that the city of Norwalk INTENTIONALLY and with NO REGARD FOR PUBLIC SAFETY, installed this sidewalk without any crosswalk or warning signs that forces folks into the middle of the street, that Mr. Alvord is risking his state engineering license as he is sworn under oath to protect public health and safety, which this decision clearly does not. He bowed to pressure form Moccia who did a favor for his drinking buddies at the yacht club, with no regard for the public’s safety, just so these boat owners didn’t have to cross the street with their coolers full of beer heading to their boats. What a sad and tragic situation.

    On Beach Road and on West Avenue, the Traffic Authority ignored expert studies costing Norwalk taxpayers over a million dollars in total, and instead we got “design by committee’ hobbled together “compromises” that do not follow federal safety guidelines but follow Mayor Moccia’s irrational and purely political objection to modern street design including bike lanes. These plans recommended state of the art bike lanes and road diets (NOT my pet projects but the recommendations of national experts EVERY Norwalker including me paid for with our taxes), and in both locations the expert plans were ignored.
    .
    In fact, Peter Torrano continues to stubbornly insist that one of our expert plans recommended the dangerous and poorly designed “sharrows” on Beach Road. The study he refers to actually mentioned sharrows in a PRELIMINARY chapter when ideas were floated, but when the consultant went out to measure the street carefully and found there was room for separated bike lanes, they abandoned the sharrow plan and called for the safer separated lanes in the FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS, where sharrows ARE NOT included. In a follow up meeting, off teh record after the meeting was over, the consultant said they would never recommend sharrows in this situation.
    .
    That is because federal safety standards say whenever you have room for a separated bike lane on a street, which there is room for on Beach Road in both directions (two 10 foot lanes and a 4 foot wide bike lane on a 24 foot wide street in both directions), you should NEVER use sharrows in that situation. The standard also calls for NEVER using sharrows on high volume streets with higher speeds, and since the 4 lane design of that mile-long length of Beach Road, designed in the car-obsessed 1960’s, encourages speeding by its own inherent design and is subject to peak times of high volume and speeds when cyclists are most likely present as well, this clearly PUTS FOLKS INTO HARM”S WAY!
    .
    The sharrows on that road are a deadly accident waiting to happen, and even Coucilperson Michelle Maggio, who abandoned local safety advocates in her neighborhood nearby and supporrted the sharrows “compromise”, admitted she would not let her small children ride on that road on their bikes. I don’t blame her for that, although I do blame her for going along with a wacky compromise that cherry picked a study without reading the entire thing, and ignoring federal safety standards.

    The liability in an accident here will fall on taxpayers all over Norwalk, since Norwalk is self-insured. Any lawyer looking into this will find out that the federal safety standards were ignored, and we will all have to pay, not to mention the poor victim who may have to pay with a life long injury or even death.
    .

    These are strong words but following safety standards to protect the public health and safety should be priority number one for any government official, and is serious stuff with major legal implications, and Mayor Moccia and Peter Torrano and the other silent one who votes with them no matter what, have proven they cannot be trusted with following expert plans and protecting public safety on many occasions. (I am too tired to get into West Avenue fiasco,, another tragic ignorance of expert plans with a dangerous compromise using sharrows on a 4 lane crowded road where everyone speeds, exactly where federal standards say NOT to install sharrows, as I said earlier about Beach Road).
    .
    It all seems like a big joke to them somehow (Haha, we got our yacht club buddies to keep parking illegally, and we got rid of the bike lanes on Beach Road and West Avenue, just because we can, so screw you safety advocates and professional consultants!) How sad for all of us. One more reason to put Moccia and Torrano into retirement asap. Lives are literally on the (double yellow) line.

  19. Norwalk Lifer

    Dear Mr. Mushak

    You are citing one of the basic values of any well developed organization; the competency and skills of an individual must be aligned to the work scope; if the mayor and others in his administration do not have the competency and skill set to make decisions of this nature, they should not be involved. What others here do not realize, is that if an accident were to occur, and as you state the tax payers of Norwalk would be liable for such payments, then there can be no ommission under the law. One final note, as I have stated before, the City of Norwalk is run like a corporation; here’s where it diverges; no corporation would disregard a safety issue such as this without consequences. Just look at BP, and Union Carbide and Bhopal India. If there was expression of safety concerns and no counter study was done to disprove such a concern, then this is not acceptable. And you are correct about the East Norwalk Yacht Club; it is an accident waiting to happen, even in a vehicle exiting the Harbor Lights or Overton’s it’s a wonder that no one here seems to grasp the severity of what you say.

    You are not being an alarmist, you obviously know what you are talking about, but I get the impression that there has been no counterpoint to your point, just silence and ignorance of the warnings.

    If such a concern or risk is brought to the attention of those who pledge to protect and serve a city, it would seem to me, that if such a risk or concern becomes reality, then at the very least, scrutiny will be given to the reluctance to heed such warnings.

    Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

  20. M Allen

    Mike, you had me with “I do strongly support many professional plans that Norwalk taxpayers have paid millions for over the years, that indicate just how bad our road design is and how we should improve it.”
    .
    The remaining 1,000 words, which you tend to repeat every time, just get bypassed because most of the people here have read it time and time again. Pictures would have been nice, but certainly not required as in the end if people are all that concerned they can visit the sites you mentioned for themselves. I just don’t care to hear how Republicans or this administration or that guy behind the tree hates babies, kids and old people and are walking them by the hand into the street to be mowed down by cars. But like I said, if it works for you, go for it. To me, it just cheapens a logical argument and turns it into an over zealous rant. But perhaps that is what you’ve found it has come to. So be it.

  21. Mike Mushak

    M Allen, If yu witnessed how teh Seaview Avenue decision was handed down by teh Traffic Authority, you might become a zealot against corruption of process in City Hall like I am.

    The meeting was illegally noticed (no agenda posted 24 hours in advance), admitted by Alvord and the Mayor’s office afterwards when confronted with this little detail. An FOI complaint could have been made but with the number of violation sunder moccia, it hardly seems worth it. So teh meeting basically was illegal, as the public was NOT informed of what they would be talking about.

    Safety advocates like myself found out the day of the meeting that it was happening, when it was published in the Hour (as Dave McCarthy said after the meeting revealing his ignorance of FOI rules, “it was in the paper, what more do you want?” as if the legally required published agenda 24 hours in advance so folks know what is happening in a public meeting is just so much bothersome nonsense.

    When we asked, we were told there would be no public comment, and so we should just stay home. We were surprised to find out in thje minutes soon after that the yacht club folks were there and did speak, yet folks who supported bike lanes and proper crosswalks and sidewalks in that busy area were told there would be no public comment and not to bother coming. At that meeting, Mayor Moccia and Peter Torrano and the silent one approved the illegal parking at the yacht club, which forces kids into the street.
    .

    Call this another zealous rant if you want about my “pet projects”. I call it a list of facts that exposes the corrupt Moccia administration for what it is, a system based on serving the mayor’s friends and political supporters only with often bad decisions for the public in general,ignoring expert studies we all paid for and expect to be implemented as any responsible well-managed city would do and not based on any apparent legal commitment to proper procedures and professional standards, including those that address public health and safety as happened on Seaview Avenue, Beach Road, and West Avenue.

  22. M Allen

    Mike, since you seem pretty invested in the safety issue and since you probably have ready access to the statistics, could you do us all a huge favor and post here the data showing how many bicycle and pedestrian accidents/fatalities/injuries have occurred on Beach Road and in the area of the yacht club in the last 5-10 years? It would be very helpful in understanding just how dangerous these areas are to our young people.

  23. Suzanne

    I was down at Calf Pasture Beach the other evening having dinner. While exiting, I noticed what the “bike lanes” consist of: one sign, perhaps 10 x 12 on top of a pole saying something like, “Caution: Roadway is shared with Bikes”, and a painted bike symbol to the left of the sidewalk with an arrow pointing North. The road itself is wide with no speed bumps and no signals and no stop signs (to my recollection.) It is in direct entry to the major beach area for Norwalk. Whether there have been accidents there or not, it IS an accident waiting to happen. (Not even a line delineating where bikes should stay within a lane?) This is the proverbial stop sign problem: no stop sign at an intersection until maybe one, two or three accidents occur, then, “Wow! We need a stop sign?” Whether there have been accidents or injury or not, the conditions imply huge risk and, at the very least, a line should be painted on these wide, subject to speeding streets, to show where bikes are allowed.

  24. M Allen

    Everyplace is an accident waiting to happen. Every street, every intersection, not just these areas. Beach road, bicycles and cars are not a new phenomenon. I don’t think it is wrong to ask if there is any evidence of it ever happening in the past. I’m sorry. I don’t live in a world where viewing every intersection and every activity is cause for hyperbole regarding safety. We can’t idiot-proof every last inch of roadway. Either there have been legitimate issues in these locations in the past, some evidence of the implied “huge risk” or there is not.
    .
    As for the “proverbial stop sign problem”: you can’t place a stop sign at every intersection. Not every inch of a roadway is a safe place to cross the street. Again, idiot-proofing every potential location where a person may choose to do somethign that puts them at risk of getting too close to a moving vehicle is simply not possible. At some point, personal responsibility comes into play… or does it?
    .
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against bike lanes or sidewalks, of kids eating apple pie on a unicycle. I’m against hyperbole and scare tactics being used.

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