Sunday, September 23, 2007

Head Scratching

We took our morning coffee out to the stoop the other day to enjoy the bright and balmy day. An obviously agitated neighbor wandered by.

Noting our friend's distress, we inquired as to why the scowl and this was the response:
I am tired of the crap that is allowed to take place in this city. NO ONE pays attention to red lights, crossing at the right place, parking regulations, speeding, noise violations, GARBAGE AND TRASH ACCUMULATION. When will it begin? If the police would ticket the sweeper violations, parking in the wrong direction, illegal parking around the post office, speeding, red lights and noise violations the courts may have a bit more work ( hello?!?!?!THAT'S WHAT THE DAMN FINE IS FOR!!!) but WE WOULD GENERATE MORE MONEY AND , this is the good part, people would begin to obey the law!

Warming to the topic, our friend continued:
As long as I am on the subject...what about how clean this city is...NOT? Drive anywhere outside the city of Trenton and turn around and come back. You can tell when you get to the city limits because of the trash on the side of the road around homes and disgusting street conditions. NO ONE F*****G CARES. At least when we HAD the bike race that route was cleaned....CLEAN AND SAFE. Dude, when you have company over to the house, if the place is trashed, your guests will not care either. If you have a nice home and company visits, they will use coasters and not trash the homestead. THE SAME IS TRUE FOR A CITY. CLEAN HOUSE; CLEAN CITY. It just upsets me.

"Friend" makes a good point. Tackling the basic "quality of life" issues sends a message and sets a tone. Enforcing the laws, collecting the fines and/or demanding community service from offenders are proven deterrents to not only these seemingly "minor" annoyances, but can actually help decrease more serious crime.

One other note, if we want consistent and effective enforcement of the laws, we have to be ready to suffer the consequences if/when we ourselves are cited for a lapse of adherence to the rules.


This morning's Times has an interesting article by Kevin Shea that catalogues the shortcomings of the City's oft-touted but obviously defective network of video surveillance cameras.

This is the same system that former TPD Officer Butch Osterman was suspended for criticizing publicly on his Trenton Facts website. After a prolonged suspension, Butch was "allowed" to make a plea, and transfer from TPD to the Mercer County Sheriff's department. Fortunately, Butch landed on his feet...or at least on his Segueway Scooter.

After reading Kevin Shea's article, am I the only person who thinks the Administration and Director Santiago in particular owe Mr. Osterman a very large and public formal apology?

Or are they going to seek retribution against Mr. Shea for speaking the same truth?

One of the canine residents of the neighborhood, Baron von Bark-Bark, and his human dodged yesterday's rain showers to take a walk along the dike in Morrisville. The Baron and friend got to thinking about how nice it is to be able to stroll from the Calhoun Street Bridge to the Lower (Trenton Makes) bridge along the red stone path atop the dike.

The walk affords great views of the Trenton skyline (where keen eyes can spot buildings built in the 18th through 21st centuries), not to mention easy observation of the river itself. There are almost always people out sitting and contemplating the water's flow; watching the various fowl that frequent the area; or just getting some exercise by walking or cycling along the path.

And there have been a steady stream of improvements to the area to make it more user friendly. Most recently noted is the installation of mini-pads of pavers that one assumes will be the location for a string of new benches along the dike.

Little Morrisville obviously understands that it's river frontage is an asset and is working to enhance it.

When will Trenton ever get to that point?

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