GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN FINDLAY
Congratulations to Jereme Phillips and Judy Brenner for their perseverance and ingenuity and a darn good idea! Also, kudos to The Courier for putting such a “feel good” story on the front page of our local newspaper on Sept. 7.
I had a spring in my step after reading and rereading the article early Saturday morning, learning about two people that overcame adversity in their younger years and used those experiences to become stronger and valiant in their pursuit of success while assisting others in their effort.
I believe that article should be discussed in every classroom in Hancock County to encourage students to never give up, believe in themselves and realize that every idea can be turned into a reality with the correct mindset.
While focusing on good things happening in our schools, I would like to commend the Women’s Resource Center of Findlay.
This week I had an opportunity to sit in on a CARE class provided by WRC being taught at Donnell Middle School. The students were being skillfully guided by instructor Becky Morgan on the rudiments of making good, life-enhancing decisions and avoiding bad influences in their lives.
They were shown how every decision affects many people, family and friends, sending a ripple out into the community.
The students were participating and their comments indicated that they were going to think before acting upon the reactions of “fitting in,” but instead doing what is right!
Way to go WRC! Great things happening right here in Findlay — keep up the fantastic work!
SAFETY STUDY NEEDS UPDATED
Having read the “Corridor Safety Study” prepared by GDP Group, I have numerous concerns about the information as presented to the public.
Grant applications have been submitted and approved by ODOT for adding bike lanes on Lincoln and Blanchard streets.
Here are the problems I see with the study:
1. The study uses dates 2015-2017. The study should have been updated using 2018 data, considering the increased traffic that has been brought about by the increased employment downtown, and the local government’s directions for motorists to use Blanchard Street to avoid the islands and other problems they have created on South Main Street.
2. The major problem along Blanchard is the intersection at East Sandusky. The intersection lacks a left turn lane in three of the four directions, therefore left-turning motorists block a lane of traffic while waiting for oncoming traffic to clear. This could be alleviated by expanding the right-of-way at the intersection to include three new left-turn lanes, and expanding the present westbound lane.
3. The study mentions problems at intersections between Lincoln and Sixth Street without any supporting data. It is relatively easy to access police department crash files to determine if there are any problems in this area.
4. The addition of bike lanes on South Blanchard can only become a major liability due to pedestrians being struck by motorists making right-hand turns across the “bike” lane. A reading of the ODOT guidance for these grants is that the “bike” lanes must be available to pedestrians and wheelchair travelers.
5. Finally, the worst proposal is the removal of the sidewalk along the north side of Lincoln Street, from South Cory to South Blanchard. This is a sidewalk that connects an elementary school with the YMCA, and features the entrance/exit to a parking garage.
A large part of this section of Lincoln is also a state route that is used regularly by trucks, and the Main/Lincoln intersection is a school crossing. Is this where you want schoolchildren and other pedestrians walking?
The prudent path may be to forget the grant, have the traffic study redone with current data, then proceed with the city’s own funds.
David J. Wobser
EDITOR’S NOTE: Wobser is a former Findlay service-safety director.
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES
I’m opposed to the Blanchard Street bicycle lanes because:
1. There are good reasons for Blanchard Street being four lanes. Single lanes with a turn lane won’t maintain traffic flow. 2. Having grant money doesn’t justify this project. 3. Findlay has bad feelings about Main Street. Extending this to another project will hurt our ability to progress as a community. 4. Many feel city leadership doesn’t care what they think. They feel they are being treated like children being told what is best. 5. Inactivity and obesity will not be solved by building bike paths. 6. There are very few bike riders. Car drivers should not be punished or hindered. 7. To reduce obesity and encourage activity, don’t focus on one exercise. Most who like to ride are already doing it. Winter, rain, and heat eliminate most riders much of the year.
1. Blanchard Street bikers could ride on the sidewalk, yielding to the few pedestrians. 2. Find an alternative, low-traffic route that still qualifies for the grant money. 3. Find a plan that will unite, not divide us. 4. Listen to and hear all citizens, giving all suggestions real consideration and exploration. 5. Find more ways to inform all the public about community resources for exercise, learning, socializing, meeting needs, etc. Ask people what would motivate them to participate in community activities and to use available resources. 6. Use resources to hold biking events in parks or other bike-friendly places. Include event activities that would encourage bikers to get to know each other. Work with schools and children’s clubs to develop biking activities. 7. Obesity will be a problem until people choose to eat well and to exercise. Find how to motivate people to use what is available before spending large amounts of money. Electronics, fast food, and social isolation are hindrances that must be overcome.
Begin reducing obesity through schools:
1. Schools get information to children. 2. Captive audience. 3. Habits have not been established as long. 4. Peers could be used to motivate. 5. More physical activity in school would help concentration when studying.