Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Summary of Salem Commission on Disabilities, December 2009

Curb cut and tactile strip under construction at 10 Federal 

[Due to a technical problem, we lost the audio for the December meeting and cannot air it on SATV this month.   This is a summary of what was discussed at the meeting]

The Commission on Disabilities met December 15th, 2009, 4 PM at SATV.  Present: Jack Harris, Mike Taylor, Debra Lobsitz, Andy LaPointe, David Moisan, Charlie Reardon, Jean Levesque and David Tracht.

  • Jason [the Mayor’s chief-of-staff] met with officials from the MBTA and Market Basket to discuss rerouting the 450 and 456 buses to go through the parking lot.  Market Basket was very supportive and is going to try to make this work.  No timetable was given, but we are optimistic something will happen soon.
  • Project Lifesaver:  Andy LaPointe has good news:  The funding for Project Lifesaver is set and officers of the Salem PD will be getting training in mid-December (21st-22nd).  The public announcement for Project Lifesaver will be given after the first of the year.
  • Congress & Derby:  As noted elsewhere, the traffic signals at Congress & Derby have been approved.
  • “Sober House”/St. Jean’s (Salem & Dow Sts.).  The owner has extended the completion date for his project to July 2010.  The 2nd floor is supposed to be single family residential, with 1st floor retail.  However, according to the city inspector, there are four (unrelated) people living there so the owner is in violation, currently.
  • 4 First St.:  A meeting has been set for Thursday, December 17th, 10 AM with Tom St. Pierre, Jack Harris and the management company at 4 First St. to try to get the access problem in the parking lot (no curbcut to the lot from the building entrance) straightened out.  This has been ongoing for some time.
  • Bypass Road (now Veteran’s Way) bikepath:  Two of four ADA-compliant access paths have been constructed;  Jack will do a site visit with Dave Knowlton to verify this and check on the other two pathways.  The Commission appreciates this and only wishes it were done during original construction, since it was more expensive to fix afterwards.
  • Highland Ave. Audible Signals and crosswalks:  Andy is going to send a registered letter to the state (cc’d to city engineer Dave Knowlton) about two concerns of his (and ours).  Several audible signals on Highland Ave., and one on Loring Ave. (Rt. 1A) @ Omega Pizza, are too soft (low volume) to be heard above traffic.  Also, sidewalk access at Highland Ave @ Ravenna Ave. was very rough and unfinished and not really a sidewalk or curb cut at all.  Andy visited the site with Tom Muxie several months back, and will revisit the area again before sending his letter.
  • The Commission has decided to cancel our January meeting, since it falls on the same day of the state’s special election for the US Senate and several commissioners will be working at the polls.  All business will be deferred to February, but the Commission will keep the public informed of any developments through the city’s web site. 
  • Tentative for February:  Meg Robertson of the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired will be our guest, along with Salem  police captain John Jodoin.  Main discussion will be the right turn on red law as it affects blind pedestrians.
  • Next meeting:  February 16th, 2009, 4 PM, Salem Access Television, 285 Derby St.

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