City Council Discusses Scooters, Roads, Bricks, And The Future Of Meghan George's At-Large Seat
City Council began on November 18 by recognizing the winners of Keep Lakewood Beautiful’s 2019 Beautiful Homes with an awards presentation. Once everyone got a chance to take a photo and congratulate the winners, Council President O’Leary started what turned into a very efficient City Council meeting where several new projects were discussed that will bring positive change to Lakewood.
Electric scooters and electric bikes
One of the issues coming out of the Public Safety committee is how Lakewood will respond to the popularity of electric scooters and bikes. While Ordinance 47-19 allows for eventual rules to be created, City Council would like to hear from residents and other experts in the community on what rules and safety precautions they feel they need in the city to keep everyone safe.
“We’ve been trying to bring in as many experts as we can. While the data is relatively new on this emerging activity, it is important we on Council do as much due diligence as we can to protect our residents,” Councilperson Bullock commented. “We need to be careful we have a strategy in place that protects people from just wiping out on them, causing self-injury or potentially running into people on some of our more narrow sidewalks.”
There are a lot of concerns being voiced on different message boards and within the community about this new trend hitting the Lakewood borders. Bullock added, “We can’t just let this become the Wild West of e-scooters and e-bikes. We need to be proactive. Working together, we can make sure this can be an enjoyable activity without causing huge risks.”
Speed tables on Marlowe Avenue
In recent years, Lakewood has been willing to take on pilot projects to install traffic calming devices on the residential roads. Lakewood has seen chicanes, road caps, and now the recent addition of speed tables on Marlowe.
According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, the differences between the speed hump and speed table are as follows: Speed tables are mid-block traffic-calming devices that raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle to reduce its traffic speed. Speed tables are longer than speed humps and are flat-topped, with a height of 3–3.5 inches and a length of 22 feet.
Councilperson Litten commented, “They are extremely popular right now. They’re temporary, so we will see how this winter treats them. If successful, we will make them a permanent feature as part of the asphalt.”
The goal of the speed table is to slow the vehicle down without making it go through a bunch of turns, keeping it simple. Litten added, “Some people have strong feelings about the chicanes, but we have heard nothing but positives about the speed tables. People are excited for the pilot to finish so they can request one for their street.”
After the pilot program, City Council will determine what should be the overall strategy when deployed. Mayor-elect George has stated on the campaign trail, “We need to be smart about this. We don’t want to push problems into other neighborhoods or streets. We need a thoughtful, proactive strategy that takes into account residents' feedback. Keeping our streets safe should be our top priority.”
Lakewood Hospital bricks from A-Wing
Bryce Sylvester reconfirmed that this Friday and Saturday, residents will be able to obtain a brick from the former Lakewood Hospital A-Wing. The city has two truckloads of bricks and will distribute them at the Refuse & Recycling Facility at 12920 Berea Road.
If not all bricks are claimed, the city will announce additional pick-up hours during the Refuse Department's normal operations. Their goal is to make sure the bricks go to residents before mass pick-ups start occurring.
Pick Up Times
Friday, November 22 - Noon to 3:00pm
Saturday, November 23 - 9:00am to Noon
Meghan George’s At Large seat
Lakewood’s Charter provides City Council 60 days from January 1 to appoint someone to Mayor-elect George’s At-Large seat when she is sworn in as mayor.
Lakewood City Council has had to utilize the appointment feature in the past. While the specific details are still being ironed out for this opening, there will be a post from City Hall requesting Cover Letters & Resumes from interested parties. While they will be accepting them in the near future, deliberation on a potential selection will not be entertained until Councilpersons-elect Neff and Shachner are sworn in.
In the past, there have been dozens of applicants with maybe only a dozen interviewed. This opening is already garnering similar interest from well-known residents of Lakewood like Finance Director Jen Pae, former City Council candidates Laura Rodriguez Carbone and Lindsey Grdina, and a Democratic Precinct Leader from Ward 3, Greg Mahoney.
In the coming weeks, I will be doing a write-up on the candidates who have put their names in to be considered, why they feel they should be appointed, and what they hope to accomplish. If you are a candidate interested in taking part in this piece, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216.288.7045.
Brad Presutto has been a Lakewood resident since 2005.
Brad Presutto - Lakewood resident since 2005