March 2014 ENA Meeting Summary

This may have been one of the most interesting meetings we have had.  We had some new attendees as well as an interesting speaker and Officer Harper from the Bellingham Police Department as guests.

Officer Harper brought us up to date on the recent burglary of the home on Broad St.  They do have a “person of interest”.  He suggested keeping blinds down when we are away from home so easily grabbed items like laptop computers, other electronics, jewelry, etc cannot be seen through a window.  We brought him up to date on the hit and run near the school (since it was not reported to the police), which dovetailed into our discussion of speeding in general.

The speaker for the evening, Jon Shaughnessy, talked about the movement to establish a “village” in Bellingham which would allow people to remain in their homes as they age.  Since that phenomenon is happening to a few of us here, it was a timely, and very interesting concept.  There will be another meeting to discuss development of such a program in Bellingham and/or WhatcomCounty on Monday, April 7th.  The location has not yet been established, but the ENA will be notified and announce it.

Jon provided 2 handouts…Information About ““Bellingham Village”” and a Feedback Form, which are linked here.  Jon and the Ad Hoc Steering committee would really like to get your comments, so please fill out the Feedback Form and send it to them.

We also talked about traffic issues.  It was pointed out that the best deterrent is a $200 speeding ticket, but the reality is there simply are not enough police to monitor the entire neighborhood 24 hours a day.  Also discussed were speed bumps and additional stop signs.  These have been discussed with the city in the past to no avail, but we would welcome a volunteer to approach them again.

The group did come up with some ideas about things we can do as a neighborhood and individuals.

  • In the next couple of days, I will post a neighborhood map on Nextdoor so we can mark the areas in the neighborhood of the greatest concern.  We will provide this to our traffic officer so he can focus on those areas.
  • On an individual basis, the first step is to be sure we aren’t speeding.  It is very easy to be thinking about something else and not really notice the speed we are driving.
  • Ask your kids/spouse to help you watch the speedometer.
  • Use your cruise control in the neighborhood…it does work at low speeds.
  • Put a sign in your yard about slowing down…you can buy them, or make your own…make them humorous…change them now and then…reference children at play…
  • Remind guests about the speed limit…tell them you have cranky neighbors if you feel uncomfortable asking them for yourself.
  • Talk to your neighbors about your concerns.  If they are part of the problem, so much the better.  You don’t have to accuse them…talk about the issue in general.
  • If you feel really strongly, post the make, color and time of a speeding car on Nextdoor and ask the driver to slow down.
  • Or…if you are walking, give the slow down wave to a speeding driver.

Many of these ideas aren’t comfortable, but it is our neighborhood and we are the people who can make a difference.

General Information:

The Block Watch Newsletter is back and linked here.

The Downtown Bellingham Plan is being considered by the Planning Commission – written comment deadline March 25th, hearing March 27th.  Follow the link for additional information.

Our next meeting will be  Thursday, April 3rd at the Fairhaven Middle School Library.  Hope to see you there!



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