The meeting on 7/7/21 took place at the home of Bob McCarthy. Eric Johnson, from the City of Bellingham Planning Department, Bob McCarthy, ENA Treasurer, and Sandie Koplowitz, ENA Secretary, attended the meeting.
Sandie gave a brief history of the safety concerns in Edgemoor Neighborhood which have been raised in previous years at ENA meetings and in a neighborhood survey. The main issues have been vehicles speeding through the neighborhood, blind corners due to vegetation, and unsafe places to walk along roadways where sidewalks should be extended to the next street such as on Fieldston where the sidewalk ends to the corner of Willow and around the blind corner on Bayside Road to Hawthorne.
Regarding the vegetation issues, Eric Johnson, City Planner, said right-of-way maintenance between the pavement and property is the responsibility of the property owner. The City does not like to get involved. However the process is as follows:
- 1. Complaint is filed
- 2. Code compliance looks at the issue.
- 3. Letter is sent to the homeowner giving 30 days’ notice.
- 4. If the homeowner doesn’t comply, additional letters may be sent with a final letter stating they may be charged with a potential violation.
- 5. There may be a site visit from a technician to determine what action to take.
- 6. They may get a letter from the police department stating the city will now take action.
Regarding sidewalks, the City has a Bicycle Network Plan and a Pedestrian Plan created in 2012-13. There is a Transportation Fund which generates revenue to cover sidewalk improvements and both plans will come up for review this fall at which time the public process will go into effect. Encourage residents to participate in order to move up the priority list. Currently, Edgemoor is on the bottom of the list for sidewalk improvements.
Regarding speeding issues, there are no funds for speed limit signs and residents are not permitted to install our own signs. This can cause issues of other neighborhood wanting the same signs but are unable to afford the expense, and can create friction between neighborhoods. Eric stated speed limit signs don’t work because people tend to drive at speeds they are comfortable with depending on their vehicle, current road conditions and their surroundings. There are currently only 6 traffic safety officers in the city.
Sandie Koplowitz, Edgemoor Neighborhood Association Secretary
Bob McArthy, Edgemoor Neighborhood Association Treasurer