Showing posts with label Public Safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Safety. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

PARKS: Misuse of Nunziato Field Off-Leash Recreation Area and Park

Question/Comment:  A resident reports misuse of of the dog park at Summer St & Putnam St.  People are there right now (11:38 pm Sunday), despite the fact the the park sign restricts access between 10pm and 8am. The resident points out that this is a nuisance to the local families.  S/he would also like the City to note that people frequently use the adjacent park as a dog park.  The resident would like to request that a police officer puts a stop to misuse of the dog park and Nunziato field in general.

City Update 6/9/10: Both the City's Animal Control Officer and Officer Alan Monaco, the Ward 3 Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO) have been made aware of this issue.  The Ward 3 NPO has committed to making more frequent stops at Nunziato field during his shifts to ensure it is not being misused and enforce park rules.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TRAFFIC: Safety at intersection of Medford and School Streets

Question/Comment: A resident is concerned about driving safety at the intersection of Medford and School Streets. She reports that many cars run red lights at this intersection during rush hour and notes that although it is only two blocks from two schools (Winter Hill and SHS), there is no crossing guard on duty. Between 7:30 and 8:30 am, she reports to have seen pedestrians dive out of the way of vehicles running the red-light, and law-abiding cars often have to wait for two or three cars to run the red before being able to go on green. Unfortunately, even with a crossing guard down the street at Medford and Sycamore, she reports that the crossing guard often has to run out into the intersection to protect children who have started crossing the street from cars running the red light. She finds the situation at both these intersections dangerous and very discouraging, given that so many people get away with unlawful and reckless driving.  She would like to request that a plainclothes police officer be assigned to observe these intersections during one rush hour to assess the extent of the current problem. 

City Update 4/1/10:  The Somerville Police Department's Traffic and Parking enforcement division has been informed of this concern and will respond through stepped up enforcement at these locations.  Notice was sent to all Traffic Unit Personnel yesterday for immediate targeted enforcement at the locations being complained about.  Personnel have also been instructed to call in activity at these locations on the radio to document that these problems are being dealt with.  This notice was directed towards both day and evening Traffic Officers, as well as day and evening uniformed Patrol Officers.

Friday, March 5, 2010

TRAFFIC: Pedestrian signal at Highland in Davis Square

Question/Comment:  A resident says the pedestrian walk signal at Highland Ave., where it intersects College Ave., Elm St., and Holland Ave. in Davis Square has been malfunctioning for several months.  S/he elaborates that the digital clock that counts down the 20 seconds allowed for crossing Highland and Elm randomly skips as many as 5 numbers at a time. As s/he describes the problem, it does not occur every time the walk light signal is activated, making it seem as thought the problem has been repaired at times. S/he says a typical scenario is that the seconds will count down from 20 to 11, then skip over 10 to 7, so in effect it goes from 11 seconds remaining to 6 seconds remaining, creating a safety hazard for pedestrians.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

TRAFFIC: Left turns at Pearl and McGrath

Question/Comment:  A resident would like to know if something can be done regarding left turns into the gas station at Pearl and McGrath Highway.  The resident would like a "no left turn to gas station" sign posted, because left turning traffic creates gridlock at this already congested intersection. Moreover, the resident says vehicles drive up a short distance and then attempt a u-turn, using driveways and even the sidewalk, which has been going on for quite some time and is dangerous at this intersection.

City Update 2/19/10: Upon review of the intersection, the Traffic and Parking department has determined that a no let turn sign should not be installed at this intersection.  However, the City's Senior Traffic Engineer has informed the Somerville Police Department of this complaint and they will be monitoring the intersection more closely to ensure that dangerous drivers are cited for traffic law violations.

City Update 2/18/10:  The City's Senior Traffic Engineer has been informed of this concern.  Further assessment is needed before any action can be taken to modify this intersection and it is being reviewed by the Traffic and Parking Department.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TRAFFIC: Combatting wrong way traffic on Moreland Street

Question/Comment: A resident raised a concern at a community meeting that when Mystic Avenue is congested during rush hour drivers often cut through Moreland Street in the wrong direction to avoid traffic.

City Update 2/9/10: The SPD's Acting Chief made note of this issue and it will be monitored and addressed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Response to Earthquake in Haiti

Question/Comment: A resident would like to know where the donations the City is collecting for disaster relief in Haiti will be sent.  Additionally, she saw a news report stating that at the City's meeting on Haiti, a decision was made to send doctors, nurses, and health professionals.  She would like to know how this is being carried out, including how funding will be raised. 

City Update 2/4/10: The City is joining with Tufts University and the Chamber of Commerce to host a benefit concert at the Somerville Theater on February 18th.  Local acts will perform to raise funds for Haitian earthquake relief efforts.  Tickets will be available at the door on the day of the concert from 6:00 PM on for a suggested donation of $30 or more.  There will also be silent auctions and a 50/50 raffle. 

City Update 1/19/10:  The funds the City collects will be sent to the International Red Cross and other reputable organizations who are currently leading the relief efforts in Haiti.  The City has been asked by FEMA and MEMA not to send other donations (such as food or clothing) at this time, because of the difficulty in coordinating the overflow of support from across the world.  The money we collect will be used to purchase the necessary supplies (the City raised more than $30,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief).

The organization of groups of doctors and nurses is being done independently, as the City has also been asked NOT to coordinate these efforts at the local level.  City officials participate in daily conference calls with State and Federal officials to get updates on the situation, and ways in which the City can be most helpful.  There is currently a list being used to coordinate which regions send search and rescue teams to Haiti, and when.  Due to the backup at the one existing (and heavily damaged) Haitian airport.  Massachusetts is currently 15th on that list, and if and when Somerville is asked to send responders, the City has a list of Police and Fire officials who will be sent to Haiti.

Friday, December 11, 2009

PUBLIC SAFETY: Curb hopping

Question/Comment:  A resident pointed out that near Harris Park, vehicles are hopping a curb to get to Stop & Shop at a community meeting.

City Update 12/11/09: The Somerville Police Department's Traffic division will investigate this issue.


Question/Comment: A resident expressed concerns about burglaries in the area at a community meeting.

City Update 12/1/09: The SPD Chief warns that theft of gold has become a concern due to price increases from just $200 up to $1100 an ounce.  He urges residents to ensure that they keep their homes and cars locked.  He also notes that working with residents, businesses and neighborhood policing have reduced crime.  Please report any and all concern, either call for emergencies, or text the new Tip411 service in non-urgent situations.  Also, don't hesitate to contact your Neighborhood Police Officer.

TRAFFIC: Stop sign on Warren Avenue

Question/Comment: At a public meeting a resident noted that on Warren Ave. coming into Union Square it is difficult to see anything from where you need to stop for the stop sign where it is currently located. 

City Update 12/11/09: This intersection may need a traffic signal.  The Union Square transportation study should include a review of this intersection, which will inform the City's judgment on this situation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

TRAFFIC: Enforcment of bicycle traffic violations

Question/Comment: A resident would like to know if  the police could step up enforcement of bicycle traffic violations (wrong way up one way, running red lights).

City Update12/17/09: The Somerville Police Department's main focus in traffic enforcement is motor vehicle violations because of the more serious safety threat that reckless driving poses to pedestrians, other drivers, and bicyclists.  However, if an SPD officer does witness a bicyclist violating traffic law s/he will stop the individual and educate him/her on the rules of the road that bicyclists should follow.

TRAFFIC: Concern about Car Speed at Dane & Orchard Street

Question/Comment: A resident requested that Somerville Police Department look at speeding at Dane & Orchard street.

City Update 12/16/09: SPD has posted this location to all Traffic Units to begin monitoring speed and enforce with tickets as necessary due to this complaint. This is the first complaint received for this location. SPD data indicates that this not a high traffic or accident location.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TRAFFIC: Pedestrian safety Somerville Ave.

Question/Comment: A resident requested that traffic enforcement be stepped up on Highland Ave. near Engine 7 and on Somerville Ave. at Park St. to improve pedestrian safety.

City Update 12/16/09: Traffic signals and crosswalks are available at these locations and this area has not been a concern to residents in the past. Pedestrians should use the traffic control signal lights to stop all traffic before crossing.  If you see drivers endangering pedestrians do not hesitate to call SPD, or text their new Tip411 service.

TRAFFIC: Pedestrian saftey at Washington Street and Beacon Street

Question/Comment: A resident is concerned that the intersection of Washington Street and Beacon Street is dangerous for pedestrians. He walks through the intersection on a daily basis and believes the walk signal is too brief to allow for safe passage across the intersection. 

City Update 12/9/09: The Mayor's Office has requested that Traffic Enforcement division of the Somerville Police Department monitor this area for possible additional enfrocement.  The City also considered the possibility of instituting a no right turn on red policy at this intersection.  However,  this may prohibit vehicle movement at the intersection of Washington and Beacon and because there is a heavy traffic flow on both Washington and Beacon Streets in the morning and evening peak hours this would result in significantly increased vehicle queues and delays on both streets.  Vehicles are already prohibited from turning on red if pedestrians are in the crosswalk.  

Thursday, December 3, 2009

TRAFFIC: Traffic speed regulations & school zones

Question/Comment: A resident is concerned that the Kennedy school zone is not posted. She did some online research and found that it is several houses past hers, but she believes there are no signs marking it. 

Additionally, to reduce traffic speed around the city, she suggests that Somerville should have zero tolerance speeding days. She was pulled over and ticketed in San Diego for going one mile over the speed limit.  Apparently it was broadly advertised as a zero tolerance day, but she had not heard about it.  She thinks this could be a good idea for Somerville.

City Update 12/4/2009: The City's traffic engineer said that he would do some research on the posting of school zones. The Chief of Police said that it is difficult to ticket drivers who are speeding by less than five miles over the speed limit because traffic courts often throw out these tickets, because of the presumed inaccuracy of speed tracking. Because these tickets are often contested, it greatly increases the cost of having officers in court. The policy can be further discussed and considered, however. 

TRAFFIC: Crosswalk signals and corresponding traffic lights

Question/Comment: A resident noted that most traffic signals in Somerville require pedestrians to push a button and wait for the traffic signal to stop vehicles in all directions for a cross signal to come on, but s/he has observed that many pedestrians just cross when there is a break in traffic or when parallel traffic has a green light. In Boston and Cambridge, most traffic signals have pedestrian signal phases that come up automatically when parallel traffic has a green light. S/he would like to know if it would it be possible to reprogram the signals in Somerville to operate in this manner.

City Update 12/9/09: Somerville's walk signals are all pedestrian activated and most allow for walking from all approaches.  They normally function on a red, yellow, green cycle, and when the pedestrian button is pushed the walk signal is activated at the end of this cycle.  The majority of pedestrian cycles are 90 seconds, but cycles are longer at major intersections and in squares.  In the opinion of the City's Traffic Engineer, signals that allow walking from all approaches are safer for pedestrians.  Walk signals that are concurrent with green lights leave pedestrians vulnerable to turning traffic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PUBLIC SAFETY: Concerns regarding unleashed dogs

Question/Comment: Constituent said he would like to raise awareness about unleashed dogs as a public safety hazard on the Community Path, especially between Willow and Cedar Streets. He reports that the problem of unleashed dogs is chronic and that dog owners are also starting to bring their unleashed pets into the playground area known as Lexington Park while children are present. He reported an instance in which a dog ran into the basketball court where two boys were playing to chase the ball. The boys were frightened and climbed the fence to get away.

Some suggested action could include: More frequent monitoring of the area by Police Dept, issuing of the tickets when violators are spotted, strengthening the leash law by increasing fines, or making leash law fines appear on offender's record.

City update 11/18/2009: The City has hired a part-time animal control officer, in addition to the regular full-time officer. This part-time officer will enforce outside of the regular 9:00 to 5:00 work week. Officers will be asked to continue to monitor the area and take action on any and all violations.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PUBLIC SAFETY: Youth in traffic intersections

Question/Comment: A resident is concerned that it seems unsafe to allow children to stand in traffic intersections asking strangers for money.  While school activities are underfunded, this does not seem like a safe or educational approach to raising funding.

City Update 12/3/09:  For youth to undertake fund raising drives of this nature they must obtain a permit form the City.  Applications for the permits are reviewed by the Somerville Police Department and they are generally approved if they meet the requirement that an adult supervisor will be present.  If residents see children undertaking in these activities in an unsafe way, or without adult supervision, please report this to the police and they will respond.

DATA AND TECHNOLOGY: City implementing innovative "Tip411"

Question/Comment:  The City of Boston has recently rolled out a fantastic iPhone application for easily reporting grafitti, potholes, and the like. It has proven to be very helpful in reporting damage to school property and general city-wide conditions.  Here's a link to the website:

City Update 11/12/2009:  This new iPhone application is something the City plans to research more fully.  In terms of cell phone usage and City services, in the next week or two, the Somerville Police Department will be introducing a new technology, "Tip411." This will allow residents to anonymously communicate with the SPD at a moment's notice to report crimes, safety issues, etc. via text message.  More information on this program will be released soon.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PUBLIC SAFETY: Off-Leash Dogs in Lincoln Park and on the Community Path

Question/Comment: Please address the issue of off-leash dogs and dog feces in Lincoln Park and on the Community Path, by Lexington Park.

City Update 8/1/09: A part-time animal control officer has been hired. That person will be avialable to patrol in the morning and evening hours and on the weekends. The City has purchased additional "No Dogs Allowed" signs and these have been posted at parks and playgrounds where dogs are not allowed.

City Update 2/19/09: The dog-control officer and Jim McNally issued warnings in area and will start ticketing.

City Update 5/15/08: A part-time dog officer is planned for FY09 to address off-leash violations outside of the regular workday. Also, call the police via the 311 line anytime you see a dog off-leash.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

PUBLIC SAFETY: Call Boxes on Community Path

Question/Comment: Is it possible to install emergency call boxes on the Community Path to improve security?

City Update 12/2/2009: Call boxes will be installed on the community path to increase public safety.  This project is planned to take place as a part of  the extension of the path Community Path.

City's Update 5/28/2008: The Assembly Square developers have agreed to fund these call boxes and they will be placed on the Path before IKEA opens.