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Letter at Length, Aug. 1

Guardrail still unsafe

The Daily Tidings article of Tuesday, July 26, and editorial of Wednesday, July 27, brought up two important issues: safety and appropriate use of public property.

The 350-foot-long guardrail is noted to have been installed over a year ago by a private party without an encroachment permit as required by Ashland Municipal Code and, according to the 2014 Ashland Planning Division report, is located 30-40 feet onto city (public) property. The city proposes to spend about a quarter of a million taxpayer dollars to widen the road, leaving the guardrail in place.

The article presented the viewpoint of the city staff and of people who currently do not live in the neighborhood served by Grandview Drive — property owners and their general contractor. The article minimally mentioned the concerns of neighborhood residents who frequently use narrow Grandview Drive along the guardrail to walk to and from Hald-Strawberry Park via the Ditch Road. I believe that the guardrail presents a significant hazard to pedestrians who are at risk of being crushed between the guardrail and an out-of-control motor vehicle.

I think two statements in the editorial and reported in the article need to be carefully examined:

First, “two cars had plunged off the road and onto the property.” When, where and what are the details of these two supposed incidents? Is there any documentation to support these rumors? In previous testimony one of these incidents was said to have occurred near or on an adjacent property which does include the steep hillside.

Second, “engineers say it [the guardrail] was installed correctly.” Since there is no permit, no plan and no inspection during installation how is this statement justified? The geotechnical (soil stability) report for this steep hillside public property was not completed on June 24, yet the traffic engineer report was dated June 14 — 10 days earlier.

If the purpose of the guardrail is to protect a private home or to enhance motor vehicle safety, I think that there are a number of other ways to accomplish this that would reduce the significant hazard of the guardrail to pedestrians using Grandview Drive.

I ask that before making any decisions on the future of Grandview Drive, the Ashland CIty Council, as well as interested citizens, have all the relevant information, in the interest of enhancing safety for all — motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Paul Rostykus