26 April 2012

City Responds Within Hours to Citizen Comment

City of Omaha officials responded within hours to a comment regarding the situation associated with a project along Happy Hollow Creek.

These are the notable details:

at 1:50 p.m. April 25, a set of four picture was sent to Omaha officials, and two media outlets, with the following comments:

The attached pictures indicate the current situation at the rec trail along Happy Hollow, a condition which has not changed for at least ten days.

There is a prominent error in the placement pads for the base of the barricades as shown in the pictures, representing different spots, not just one...

Please tell me why people have to jog in the street because of a construction error, and a failure to move ahead and address the issue so the trail could be reopened?

How simple it would be to get rid of the dirt piles at the south end and move the traffic barriers close to the barricade being installed, allowing at least partial access to the sidewalk.

I'm not sure yet if I will post these pictures online. They certainly do indicate how the people responsible for this project are indifferent to trail users and are willing to put people into unsafe conditions, by forcing them to run in the street or cross the street in an area where there is nothing to slow the traffic.

I'd think city officials would go out of their way to work with the neighborhood, but as this is a second instance of negative significance that has been left to languish, that is apparently not the case!

Perhaps local residents should revise the conditions at the site to make it safe for their community? It would only take a few minutes to move the barriers...

Along Happy Hollow Creek, though the situation was not quite pleasant at the time. It was ironic that three Turkey Vultures were soaring over the site when the media arrived.

At 4:15 p.m. a local television station was filming at the scene, and conducted an interview
The news item was presented on the 10 p.m. news, the same day; the reporter was live at the scene, and the story included custom graphics, including map
A written version of the report was available on the morning of the 26th, and later the video
At 10 a.m., the construction contractor was at the site, beginning to move the barricades and remove the dirt pile
By 1 p.m., the trail was partially open

The recreational trail was obviously being used once obstructions were removed.

The Happy Hollow trail on Thursday afternoon.

Once again, no response was received by the officials of the city of Omaha to whom the email was sent. The "acting" parks director also preferred to indicate a contractor's mistake, though it is entirely possible that the engineer plans were not correct.

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