My turn, Jerry Shelby: City attention, action needed at Morlan Park – Salisbury Post
By Jerry Shelby
Morlan Park Neighborhood Security Patrol is once again cleaning up another security issue on the East End.
For six months, the neighborhood tried to get the city to correct the safety concerns and tripping hazards created on Crown Point Street, Carolina Boulevard, Park Circle, Morlan Park Road and the church parking lot due to reckless work and disrespect for neighborhood property and streets when paving Jake Alexander. There were remaining rumble strips, large chunks of asphalt like rocks on the sidewalk and ripped yards and dangerous conditions in the neighborhood.
The city said the asphalt debris is in fair condition compared to other areas of the city. The city council was invited to compare our street to theirs and bring their shovels. We are still waiting.
Council must assume that the eastern city limits end at the interstate. Also, if the safety issue is not in their neighborhood, then that is not a problem.
As a member of the Security Patrol, we removed the tallest, but why should we redo the work of the city and the state? Spring is here and there will be more riders and walkers going to the park.
It is a neighborhood on foot and by bike. I tripped over the bumps on my daily rides and destroyed my bicycle by hitting a few. I tripped on my way to the mailbox. Children ride scooters and bicycles to get to the park. Walkers and parents who push strollers on their walks must walk over treads and debris left behind by heavy equipment.
Then buses and other vehicles pass through it every day, making cleaning more difficult.
I used a shovel, chisel and lifted up the cemented rocks on the road and cleared a path to my mailbox and others. It was difficult to remove them. After an hour and with blisters on both hands, I ask why I am doing the city’s job again, which is to secure the Morlan Park neighborhood. It should be the city that tackles the security problem. The 80-year-old shouldn’t have to do city security work.
Look at Crown Point, Carolina Boulevard, Park Circle, Morlan Park, Ivy Streets, and the church parking lots. It is shameful the disorder and the danger to security the state has left behind. Now when we walk we have to look down at the dangers instead of our neighbors.
Every time I call the city about the security issue and the mess in our neighborhood from Jake Alexander’s paving, I’m told to call the state at 704-630-3200. Why am I disheartened and should I call the state? The problem is in the streets of the city. The state says they are only responsible for Jake Alexander and really are not responsible for him because he is contracted out to a private company. Also, they are not responsible for the five streets and the church parking lot they messed up. These streets are the cities, not the state. Why are we told that it is our responsibility to do things right when we call the city? The state does not return phone calls, respond to emails, or appear.
It took 14 weeks to finally mend the missing manhole cover before anyone walking past fell in or a child took it down to explore and then could get out. Why didn’t many of the workers who oversee the drying of the cement use a shovel to eliminate the risk of tripping in the streets? Why did the city not force the state to solve the problem of dangers?
Traffic in the neighborhood has increased since the city closed Morlan Park Road and diverted traffic to our old low traffic neighborhood. We don’t have the city’s safety gear, the cutting and grinding machines, the orange cones and the flashing blue lights of the police cars to help protect us.
The Morlan Park neighborhood is hoping this won’t be another Morlan Park Street closure event like a few years ago. Then we had to cut down the bushes and trees that were blocking the view of oncoming traffic when the city and state refused to do so. The city and state didn’t listen to the neighborhood, still closed the street and made it more dangerous by forcing U-turns instead of going straight. The city is in the process of becoming a turnless U-turn city.
When someone wants to bring a problem to the city council meeting, all they want to do is rock you and cut you off after three minutes and get you out of there.
I have training in logistics and manufacturing. Our philosophy is that if you see a problem or a potential problem, you solve it immediately. The philosophy of the city is that when it sees a problem, it’s someone else’s problem or wait for someone to be injured or killed and then fix the problem.
Jerry Shelby lives in the community of Morlan Park.