North Primrose Update…little accomplished

snazzy1.jpg Last night North Primrose resident and association founder Robert Parry, gave an impassioned speech to our city council regarding their traffic safety concerns and requests. The speech was responded to with more of the usual “not warranted” despite all the neighbors, some 30+ homes and apartments signing up and agreeing they want stop signs and traffic control. In the end they got the same promise of a “committee” to look into it as well as the mayors promise to meet with the citizens at their convenience. For a quick update on the history of this neighborhoods action review HERE, HERE, and HERE.

The only promise they got was to have a pot hole filled.

As I sat there watching it unfold I was a bit taken aback by the patronizing response following the same pattern this group of citizens has become so frustrated with. In talking with the group they are frustrated over years of inaction and promise to make this a repeated issue until it is resolved to their satisfaction. I admire their tenacity and can’t help but wonder if those that can correct understand their ability and the level of frustration in the community.

The complete transcript of Mr. Parry’s speech after the jump. He even delivered a bag of garbage to them to illustrate the problem from the fast food places down the street from him. Sorry I didn’t have a snazzy pic to show but nothing happened and watching asphalt patches being put on is about as dull as it gets.

Here it is, uneditted. I got it as I asked for it after the meeting last night. The frustration is apparent.

My name is Robert Charles Julian Parry, I live at 129 N. Primrose. My wife, Maribel, and I are the co-founders of the North Primrose Residents Alliance, representing the residents of most of the houses and many of the apartments on Primrose between Foothill and Oaks – and hopefully, soon, our neighbors farther north.

As you are well all aware, within the last two days, our Alliance has launched an effort to address the dangerous situation of speeding traffic on our street.

I want to assure you that this public display of our frustration is the culmination of fear, anger, and, ultimately insult. Within about 50 yards of my home live six children under the age of 7. It’s just a matter of time before a bouncing ball or rolling scooter brings a child into the path of a Monster Truck accelerating to freeway speed on our narrow road.

We have tried a variety of methods to address this issue. Two weekends ago, I screamed and waved at a young man behind the wheel of just such a monster truck, who fish-tailed as he gunned his engine while turning onto the street. His response to my plea – A single finger salute. Other speeders blare their horns in defiance, as one did just last night.

We have called the police repeatedly, as I did in response to my single-digit assailant. Monrovia PD, as usual, could not find the violator, but an officer stopped by and told us they know that there’s a problem – she’d spent many hours on Primrose when she worked traffic patrol. And then she raced off to an urgent call.

We’ve not seen a cop on our street since.

In the fall of 2006, my wife and I spoke to members of this Council. Within days, a very professional police officer visited us, a traffic officer spent a few days on the street and a radar trailer was placed to advise motorists of their velocity. The offenders’ reaction? Well, on Halloween that year, a pumpkin was thrown through trailer’s display. I guess that was a different kind of salute.

We’ve had little help since.

Other members of our Alliance have spoken to various appointed and elected City officials regarding the problems on Primrose. They requested speed humps and stop signs. These officials have agreed to meetings and other half-measures, but ultimately no effort has been made to do what’s needed – stop the speeding.
We fully realize that the Monrovia Police Department is understaffed, underpaid and over worked – especially the last few days. Still, the situation on Primrose is a matter of life & safety, not just law enforcement Mark my words, if this issue is not addressed, somebody will get killed. Still, we get nothing.
Perhaps today’s Tribune article was instructive as to the cause of this inaction.
To quote the article: “It’s a pretty inventive way for folks in the neighborhood to self-police and to really bring the speeds down.” Those are the words of our City Manager.

Mr. Ochoa, thanks for the compliment. I’m touched that you find us inventive. Unfortunately, it seems you do not understand. It is not our job to invent solutions to problems in this City. It is your job. WE PAY TAXES, Mr. Ochoa. We should not need to pay $170 to have traffic signs made – WE ALREADY PAY FOR THEM! We do not need to self-police. We PAY for the police. Where is the return on that investment? We should not need to INVENT solutions to our problems. We PAY YOU, Mr. Ochoa, to find solutions that keep our children safe, and property valuable. Do not patronize us and move on to matters you consider more important.

Notably, speeding is not the only issue on Primrose Avenue. We have a wide and deep pothole that is only getting worse. One member of our alliance is a civil engineer for the Air National Guard. Should he get some asphalt and fill it for you?

We have a constant flow of garbage from the fast food restaurants and liquor store in our neighborhood. This past Sunday, I returned from my National Guard drill to find this trash spread in and around my yard. Should I collect it and deliver it here? Well, here you go. (Yes, I dropped a bag of garbage on the podium).

Tonight, on channel 4, the city spokesman, Mr. Singer, said it was good that we had put our signs up because, and I quote, “it gets the citizens involved in the process.” I must ask, what is the point of the process if it does not produce a solution?
Mr. Ochoa, if you are not capable of producing a solution to these problems – if we have to be inventive, and self-police – then, please, by all means, return our portion of your salary, and we will take the law into our own hands. We’re more than happy to do that.
Until then, Mr. Mayor, members of the council, we respectfully but urgently request that you and the staff you hire step forward and address these problems, and treat us as taxpaying citizens, but do not patronize us as inventive children.

I wish them well in their endeavors. Good luck to you Mr. Parry we need more people who care to stand up and try to change things.