Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Annual POA meeting, Part 3: Traffic issues

An interesting story on the front page of this morning's Houston Chronicle provides a great lead-in for this next topic which was covered during Centerpointe POA's annual public meeting on March 26, 2013, because we are up against this same issue of dangerous driving (as is every subdivision in greater Houston).
According to the internet, this nonprofit group represents a slew of subdivisions and businesses in the Copperfield area.  Screengrab of text from Houston Chronicle. 

I find it a amazing that so many people are so passionate about traffic violations and yet at the same time, a significant majority of people are so passionately opposed to the idea of automated traffic enforcement.  I'm not sure if we're dealing with different sub-populations or what, but B doesn't always seem to follow A. Part of me wanted to stand up in that POA meeting and ask, "How many of y'all voted against red light cameras, now?  Can we have a show of hands?  And yet here we are having a detailed discussion on how to improve traffic compliance?!" 

But I didn't do that because I didn't want to distract from the specific solve-able issues that people were raising. 
Anyway, as the story was reported by Chron, the president of that nonprofit watchdog got into some kind of suburban road rage incident with one alleged sign runner.  This led to vehicle damage and an arrest.

If we wanted to make a meaningful dent in the number of stop sign runners within Centerpointe, I estimate that it would require at least six people working full time - either that, or a computerized camera system that issues tickets automatically - duh!! 

The fact is, people run stop signs here more often than not.  Recall this random dash cam video segment that I first embedded in a post back in March of 2011

That was just two sequential vehicles chosen at random - and they both barely slowed down for their respective stop signs.  This is entirely typical of what happens here. 

As of right now, Centerpointe doesn't have a formal group that performs a similar function as the Copperfield Coalition

We do have one vocal dash-cammer in the form of yours truly, and a couple of other residents began voicing specific concerns to League City's Assistant Chief of Police in the POA meeting.

A few of those issues I'm not going to comment on yet, because we need to advance the progress of those issues before I have a more complete story to convey.

However, one resident's complaint is worth talking about in terms of the work-arounds and countermeasures that are and are not feasible. 

Reportedly, there's a teenaged driver wreaking havoc with dangerous driving on his or her particular street segment, where many small children play outdoors.  None of the opposition mustered by the impacted residents has abated this behavior to date.  What fell out of the resulting discussion with LCPD is the following:
  • It's not lawful for citizens to put their own cones or other traffic impediment devices in the public right-of-way for the purposes of traffic control. 
  • It's not lawful for citizens to park their vehicles in such a way as to intentionally restrict traffic on a public street.  However, if there is a perceived situational need for residents to be parking their cars directly opposite each other on the street... as long as it's not done for traffic control purposes, that's another matter, because it is legal to park on our public streets.  Both sides thereof. 
Do you get the picture on that second point?  It's extremely difficult for motorists to proceed with excessive speed between two opposing cars, because our subdivision streets are not that wide.  It's usually necessary to slow down in order to pass between two opposing vehicles safely. 

The LCPD representative encouraged contacting the police where dangerous driving is perceived to occur.  That's what the police are there for.  Your tax dollars at work. 

Anyway, I'll have more later on the other traffic issues that were raised.
How often do you see this happen within Centerpointe - a 25 mph motorist?
Very rarely, in my observation. 

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