Council Notes
by Press-Banner
Feb 20, 2014 | 1583 views | 4 4 comments | 229 229 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Stop signs to be removed on Glenwood Drive

The Scotts Valley City Council voted at its Wednesday, Feb. 19 meeting to move forward with a plan to remove the northbound and southbound stop signs along Glenwood Drive at the intersection with Kerry Court and Casa Way.

The signs will be removed for at least two months, said City Engineer Majid Yamin, while city public works staff conduct studies on whether or not the signs' absence relieves pressure on the traffic during school hours.

After two months, he said, the issue will likely return to the council.

The signs were put in place as a temporary measure during the construction of the now-completed sidewalks on the way to the nearby Scotts Valley High School.

The stop signs on Casa Way and Kerry Court, however, will remain in place.

Neighbors from Casa Way and Kerry Court respectively argued for and against the signs' removal. Residents of Casa Way pointed to the number of vehicles that cut through their neighborhood to avoid the traffic backups, while Kerry Court residents said that the stop signs make entering and exiting their cul-de-sac safer.


City loosens restrictions of sewer connections

The council also voted to loosen regulations on allowing residents with property outside the city limits to connect to the city's sewage system.

The council cited the reduction of strain on the city's wastewater treatment facility in recent years as one of the primary reasons for the decision.

As part of the plan, properties need no longer be directly adjacent to the city limits, or within the city's “sphere of influence” to qualify.


Incentives for new police officers approved

The council voted unanimously to allot more funding to the Scotts Valley Police Department in an effort to create more competitive bonuses and incentives for recruiting new police officers.

The department, which has lost several officers to retirement, injury, and poaching by other departments, cited the need to create enticing incentives — not only for recruitment, but retaining officers once they've completed training.

“What we're hoping to do is make our department more appealing to those in academies,” said Chief John Weiss.

The new plan calls for $5,000 in bonuses to be awarded to recruits from police academies over their first three years with the department, as well as $2,000 to help new hires relocate to the Scotts Valley area if necessary.

“Anything we can do to make (academy trainees) take a second look at us is helpful,” said Councilwoman Donna Lind, herself a retired SVPD officer.

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Matthew Hur
March 02, 2014
There is not a "Casa Way camp" or a "Kerry Court camp"- in fact, half the people who live on the affected grace/casa way that spoke at the city council meeting were against removing the stop sign as well.

The issue is about public safety based on traffic and speed, and the issue with the stop signs is about calming traffic on the long Glenwood straightaway that must be crossed when people go to the high school, park, church, elementary school, and neighborhoods.

Thinking globally would imply that we think of the good of the overall community and the character of the community we all live in - Scotts Valley is a community that values openness and interaction - I would hope that our Scotts Valley values are summed up more by phrases like "communal", and "pedestrian friendly" rather than "traffic must flow!" which to me really misses the point.

Theryl McCoy
March 03, 2014
It just sounds like you're interested in keeping the stop signs up, and you're hiding your argument behind rhetorical buzz words such as 'communal' and 'miscommunication'. There are two camps; one of them wants a stop sign, and one does not.

The best way to deal with traffic is to let it flow. Coincidentally flowing traffic benefits the greater community with less pollution and delayed global warming.

A pedestrian stop light activated only when pedestrians are present would be a good compromise here - funded by the local community of course.
Matthew Hur
March 01, 2014
I read the article “Glenwood Stop Sign to be removed” (Feb 21, 2014 Press Banner page 5), and I was puzzled, because the information was presented in a way that seems to pit one neighborhood against another – there is nothing further from the truth.

The article implies that the Casa Way neighborhood and the Scotts Valley neighborhood are somehow pitted against one another, with Casa Way concerned about their safety due to traffic and Kerry Court selfishly concerned about their ability to enter and exit their street.

Who was the author of this article (there is no attribution)? Was anyone from the Banner in attendance at the City Council meeting? If not, then was there any verification? I ask these questions because the article does not report on the issues, but instead seems to be trying to put a spin on something for no reason at all.

My understanding of the issue has to do with 1) traffic through and congestion in the Casa Way neighborhood during the high school start and stop times 2) public safety for people (especially students) who walk or ride bikes to the store, to the middle school, the elementary school, San Augustin church, the high school, or the new Shugart Park.

As a resident of Kerry Court, I am offended at the way myself and my neighbors were portrayed. I am not so concerned with traffic while entering/exiting my street – the intersection at Scotts Valley Drive provides a much bigger traffic backup than the stops signs. My concern is that the stop signs performed a different function – they helped slow down traffic that otherwise would have no calming measures on a long straightaway on the Glenwood hill – this is a straightaway that passes directly past a church, the new park, and the high school. The stop signs also provided a place for people to cross the street – without the stop signs, the only places to cross would be at the Shell station or at the far most entrance to the high school.

Furthermore, if we step back a bit and look at how this entire issue has been handled, I think we will discover lack of or miscommunication that made what should have been an open discussion about traffic and public safety into some weird neighborhood vs neighborhood issue. This whole issue should have brought together the interested parties to discuss clearly defined issues of neighborhood traffic and public safety. How can anyone disagree that these are important concerns that should have community participation? Instead, this issue was not clearly articulated and, more importantly, was not communicated and did not involve affected parties (San Augustin church for example). We need our City Council to be more transparent with issues like this.

I hope that you, as responsible journalists, and the City Council, as responsible politicians, would help the public deal with this issue in an open and respectful way. This is certainly not an issue of neighborhood against neighborhood. This is an issue that is being and will be faced in other Scotts Valley neighborhoods as well. We need to find productive and inclusive ways to deal with increased traffic and growth (as reported by the Press Banner, five new housing developments have popped up in the last several years) while maintaining an environment that is not only safe and pedestrian friendly but also supports the open, communal spirit of our community.

Theryl McCoy
March 02, 2014
Well... if the neighbors have nothing to argue about then I hope everyone will side with the Casa Way camp, but for reasons other than those listed.

Traffic must flow! When a car has to stop this wastes resources and increases our carbon footprint. Think of all the asbestos from the brakes that is deposited at that stop sign. Is this safe for our school children? Think of the global warming that is caused by cars needlessly stopping and accelerating all day every day for years and years. Is this healthy for our children?

Let's think globally and act locally here.

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