Nov 8 2011

Opinion: Citizen relates Crime Report to Policing for Blair Park

PCA received a copy of the following letter from a Piedmont resident:

Nov. 7, 2011

Piedmont City Council

Re: Nov. 7: 3rd Quarter Crime Statistics.

The fundamental changes in the traffic aspect of the Blair Park Proposal may require more Police resources. The Police parking space shown in the Blair Park final plans was not in the FEIR plan. The original traffic plan intent using a pedestrian bridge was to allow traffic to flow; now the intent is to decrease traffic speed by about 50% or “gum up the works” (Clarence Mamuyac 2/24/11) with the insertion of the Maxwelton mini-roundabout. This radical change concept was neither analyzed nor mentioned in the certified EIR.

Chief Hunt’s report states crime has increased 38%. A visual estimate of the crime distribution map suggests that half the crime in town falls in the western 30% of town around a three block radius about the Oakland/Grand Avenue intersection, my neighborhood. The crime median line appears to be at Carmel Street. The potential drain on Police resources created by the Blair Park Sports Fields will be on the other side of town. The certified EIR (“FEIR”) had concluded there would be no impact on police resources. A reasonable person might now conclude there will be a Police services drain.

The FEIR did not analyze the changes noted above. CEQA Guidelines §15163 are plain language requiring a supplement to the FEIR if there are substantial changes that may have significant impacts. The new traffic plan alone appears to legally require a supplemental EIR. There are inherent risks to bicycles and automobile safety issues created by the Maxwelton mini-roundabout. The PRFO traffic engineer has created a design that directly contradicts  his own previous bicycle design work, and is contrary to Federal Highway Administration mini-roundabout technical guidelines (see FHWA-SA-10-007). Allowing the proponent “special counsel” attorney to determine only an EIR addendum is needed is not in the interest of all residents, nor is it customary municipal practice. Compounding this nonstandard decision by City Staff, bad public policy is being allowed here as further traffic analysis without proper public comment and analysis will be done by the proponent’s paid-for firms. In the interest of all residents, City Administrator Grote should now require an EIR supplement.

The crime statistics at page two do not seem to match what is shown on the page three map. The one assault is not shown on the map. Stolen vehicles are stated as 30, the map shows 27. Some other figures do match.

Rick Schiller

Piedmont, CA

(This statement expresses the personal opinions of the author. All statements made are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.)

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