Posts Tagged ‘Police’

A New Downtown Surveillance Camera

October 5, 2008

According to the annual evaluation report of the Downtown Monitored Surveillance Camera Program, a decision has been made to install a camera “near the intersection of Richmond and Kent Streets.” The area is identified by LPS as “one of highest for calls for service in the downtown area.”

The 16 current cameras cost $136,000 to operate in 2007. They are monitored “from approximately 9pm to 5am daily and as staff are available during the off times.”

According to a London Police Services analysis, “crime rate in the area covered by the cameras was 14% lower in 2007 compared to 2006” whereas “the area neighbouring the camera coverage showed a 2% increase in incidents from 2006.”

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Thanks for Helping!

September 19, 2008

What can I say about The Londoner that won’t sound self-serving? I mean, they’ve been so accomodating to me!

During the last municipal election campaign when other media outlets were ignoring the way that I couldn’t participate, Ben Benedict wrote an article about it. They’ve published many of the letters that I’ve sent to them. Phil has given me permission to republish a number of their articles on my site, and he even responds to my emails.

And now this.

scanned graphic

I hope that the Transportation Advisory Committee and the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee and the Environment and Transportation Committee and the Community and Protective Services Committee and Shane Maguire and Sgt. Tom O’Brien all read it.

Thanks for the validation, Bill.

Perhaps they’ll have more difficulty ignoring someone of your stature.

Stop For Pedestrians!

September 18, 2008

From: Gregory Fowler
To: Heather Lysynski
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 1:43:12 PM
Subject: Fw: FYI – Channelized Driver Behaviour

Chair and Members
Community Safety and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee

September 18, 2008

Further to my previous delegation and communications with respect to pedestrian safety, and particularly with respect to the intersection at Commissioners/Pond Mills which a police report identifies as dangerous to pedestrians and which City Council and staff continue to ignore…

Please review my communication to LPS Sgt. Thomas O’Brien and the attached video clip in conjunction with Const. Riley’s report.

Also, with respect to pedestrian stats. Can you please tell me if the stats that are provided to you and to ETC reflect the number of traffic complaints by pedestrians, or do they simply reflect the number of police charges laid?

Respectfully,

962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ontario N5Z 3H7
(h) 519-649-0502
(c) 519-719-4615

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Gregory Fowler
To: Thomas O’Brien
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 1:20:28 PM
Subject: FYI – Channelized Driver Behaviour

Sgt. O’Brien,

Further to my previous complaints and the Riley report which confirms the danger posed by the Commissioners/Pond Mills intersection to pedestrians.

Please review this short video clip which I recorded last evening as I was in the process of stepping off the pedestrian island in that same intersection. It is a perfect proof of the kind of illegal driver behaviour that is all too common, not only in the Commissioners/Pond Mills intersection, but in many ‘channelized’ intersections.

Respectfully,

Greg Fowler

962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ontario N5Z 3H7
(h) 519-649-0502
(c) 519-719-4615



Heads Up!

September 17, 2008

Normally speaking, drivers aren’t held accountable for the traffic-related nonsense that I witness on a daily basis. And that’s very frustrating when you realize that putting more traffic officers out on the street, or photo radar, or red light cameras, would make a big difference.

Sometimes though, police do happen to be in the right place at the right time.

While I was engaged in conversation with a traffic officer in front of the Commissioners/Adelaide plaza earlier this afternoon, a bicyclist traveling in a westward direction along the south bike path got very lucky when a vehicle that was exiting the plaza pulled out over the sidewalk directly in front of him.

Bicyclist and driver were both obviously guilty of inattention, and it was only the officer’s quick verbal alert to the bicyclist (CLICK TO LISTEN) which allowed him to escape a nasty collision (and perhaps injury).

What’s it going to take …

September 14, 2008

… before pedestrians can cross Commissioners Road E. without risking their lives?

From: Gregory Fowler

To: Thomas O’Brien

Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 1:52:03 PM

Subject: 2008/09/14 Complaint

photo

Sgt. O’Brien:

On Sunday 2008/09/14 I left the Tim Horton coffee shop which is located at Adelaide/Commissioners at approx. 12:40 pm. Waiting until there was no eastbound traffic on the south side of Commissioners, I crossed to the median without incident. I then waited to proceed until there was no westbound traffic on the north side of Commissioners. As I stepped off the median, a red pickup turned west from Leathorne St. directly into the center lane (across two closer lanes) and bore directly down on me. Stepping backwards onto the median I shouted “idiot” at the male operator as he passed by. I then crossed the north portion of Commissioners and proceeded east along the north sidewalk on my way home. As I approached the corner of Commissioners/Eagle I was approached by a younger male who objected to having been called an idiot. I asked him if he was the operator of the vehicle which had turned off Leathorne just moments previously and he acknowleged that he was. When I observed that he had put me at risk with his behaviour he accused me of having “jaywalked” and proceeded to deliver a two-handed shove to my chest, forcing me backwards. When I withdrew my cellphone from my pocket and cautioned him that I intended to call the police he returned to his vehicle (which had been left idling on the west side of Eagle just north of Commissioners) and quickly drove away. I noted that the license number was ‘168 4RR’ and managed to get the photo of the vehicle which is attached.

You are well aware that I have long complained that this arterial is unsafe to pedestrians and that this is not the first incident that I have reported to you. I have also complained verbally and in writing to local politicians and city staff about the situation, to no avail.

You must be well aware that there is no designated pedestrian crossing between Adelaide Street and Frontenac Avenue. And at Adelaide Street, the east side of that intersection is closed to pedestrians.

You must also be well aware that besides the Eagle Crescent neighbourhood in which I reside, there are also high-occupancy apartment complexes located in this area on either side of the arterial. Every day, pedestrians risk injury and/or death trying to cross this high-volume roadway.

Quite apart from whatever action you may take (or typically not take) with respect to this particular incident, I implore you to do whatever you can to influence those at City Hall who have responsibility for such things to examine this issue seriously. Before a tragedy occurs.

Respectfully,

Mr. Gregory Fowler

962 Eagle Crescent

London, Ontario N5Z 3H7

City Hall can keep me off the Transportation Advisory Committee. They can continue to ignore the police report about Commissioners/Pond Mills. They can continue to spend millions of dollars on paving/widening roads and filling potholes while ignoring the unsafe conditions for pedestrians. But they can’t stop me from telling you about it. Not so far at least.

Stay tuned.

What the Police Chief Said to CAPS

September 12, 2008

Police Chief Murray Faulkner appeared before CAPS this week to speak about Project Learn and the problem of rowdy students. Here’s what he said.

Unfortunately, even though the sound system is better in that room than in the others, it requires that people turn on their microphones and pull them close enough and speak into them. It’s hard to believe judging by their behaviour, but that was one of my submissions to the Governance Task Forcel. Maybe they don’t want citizens to know what they’re up to?

Worst offender of all (and one of the most experienced) was Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell who pushed his chair away from the table when he spoke.

Pedestrian Obstruction

August 28, 2008

This morning. Just before noon. More of the same…

media1.jpeg

Forget calling the police or complaining to City Hall … pedestrians aren’t even on their radar screen unless it comes to meaningless rhetoric. All I can do is continue to document this and other pedestrian problems and hope that over time it will contribute to similar action by other people. That might provide sufficient public embarrassment that they finally feel compelled to do something.

Other Links:
2008/08/01 – FMBS: Friday Walkabout link
2008/05/10 – FMBS: City Hall Sidewalk
2008/02/29 – FMBS: My CSCP Appearance
2008/01/20 – FMBS: Because They’re Allowed To
2007/11/14 – FMBS: Obstructive Landscaping

London’s Traffic Enforcement Stinks

August 20, 2008

Three weeks ago, Phil McLeod penned an editorial in The Londoner which concluded that there needs to be more police enforcement of speed limits in London (‘Needed, more enforcement of speed limits.’) Sgt. Tom O’Brien (London Police Services) responded with an article of his own (‘More Enforcement to catch speeders won’t be enough‘). What did we learn?

Phil referred to “red light jumpers at every intersection.” Sgt. Tom admitted that “London drivers are running red and amber lights” and that “London drivers speed.”

Sgt. Tom wrote that because of stepped-up enforcement of aggressive drivers, police had 6,274 speeding tickets Y-T-D vs 5,050 for the same period last year, 446 red light tickets vs 407, and 99 amber light tickets vs 79. What that suggests to me is that police could have laid many more charges for these types of driver behaviours in the previous year if they had been as motivated to deploy their resources toward that end.

Sgt. Tom tells us that “with limited resources police must be selective in where we deploy our efforts.” In other words, we’re being told that there aren’t enough traffic enforcement officers and equipment to properly do the job. One can only guess how many tickets might have been issued had there been sufficient effort. That being the case, the numbers offered by Sgt. Tom are only mildly interesting, and cannot be used to understand the seriousness of the problem of dangerous driving in London.

The fact that fatalities have gone down can only be attributed to dumb luck.

Sgt. Tom tells us that “fines and enforcement are not enough to alter the distracted and selfish behaviour of many drivers.” That’s true. But it doesn’t excuse the lack of sufficient enforcement.

Sgt. Tom tells us that the problem of providing sufficient enforcement continues to increase along with urban sprawl. That’s something that concerned citizens have been saying loudly for years. And it’s not just police services that are negatively impacted. Other emergency services are similarly challenged to meet increased demand, at the same time that local politicians berate them for failing to stay within arbitrarily-imposed budget constraints.

Sgt. Tom claims that “roadside electric sign boards” are employed in the effort to combat speeding. Last time I inquired, I was ignored. Before that, Sgt. Tom told me that LPS only has a single device. Has that changed? I haven’t seen one since I tried to get police/politicians to attend to the dangerous Commissioners/King Edward Ave. intersection.

Why doesn’t LPS use dummy sign boards? For that matter, why aren’t dummy police vehicles being strategically located to slow down drivers?

We’re told that LPS is currently using two “ghost traffic cars which are virtually invisible to inattentive drivers.” In a city of this size and the continually increasing volume of traffic on our roads, that seems like a token gesture, at best. Why aren’t there many more?

London media seldom draws much attention on these subjects, so Mr. McLeod’s editorial was much appreciated by me. But it’s a drop in the bucket. There needs be much more scrutiny by London media before we’re likely to see much real action by local police/politicians. But given the way that they all ignored the way in which my applications to TAC and CSCPAC were secretly ‘handled’ that’s not likely going to happen.

London’s Other Pride Parade.

July 28, 2008

John Leschinski avatarPro-Pride banditos.As I arrived at Colbourne and Dundas the distinct lack of any protesters was overshadowed by the amount of police officers milling about, waiting for the group to arrive, notifying people waiting for the annual Pride Parade about the possibility of trouble with another type of parade organizing at this corner. One mother took the opportunity to explained to her child that some “bad people” who’s views didn’t match her own might show up, not unlike those “bad people” might tell their children about the other protest group that arrived latter on and the parade itself.

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Better Police Enforcement Needed

May 24, 2008

The case of a Toronto bicyclist who was killed when a motorist opened her car’s door in front of him, highlights the inequitable way in which police routinely treat vehicle collisions. And it also shines a light on the need for local governments to allow municipal advisory groups representing pedestrians and bicyclists.

The 57-y.o. father was cycling along Toronto’s Eglinton Avenue on Thursday afternoon when “the door to a parked Volvo opened in front of him…the victim struck the door and fell to the roadway, into the path of an eastbound truck…suffered massive internal injuries…died about four hours later in hospital.” 01

Toronto police admit that ‘being doored’ is a common occurence and that it’s a problem. 02

Nevertheless, Toronto police Sgt. Burrows is reported to have said that even if the motorist looked before opening the door, “it’d be very hard to label that as negligent.” 01

Excuse me?

Sources:
01. 2008/05/24 – National Post: Call to charge driver over bicycle death
02. 2008/05/24 – Globe & Mail: Cyclist hits car door, is killed by passing truck

Paul Berton’s ‘Road Sharing’ Half-Truths

May 18, 2008

With respect to Paul Berton’s recent Point Of View column…

The LFP editor asks “how disturbing…to hear about hit-and-runs involving cars and cyclists like one over the weekend on Exeter Road”? He asks some questions about interaction between motorists/biyclists/pedestrians and he cites some stats (presumably obtained from the police, although he doesn’t say so).

Since Mr. Berton generally just ignores my posts to the LFP website, I’ll put it here as well, and you can comment about it if you like:

It’s About Time
Greg Fowler (https://frommybottomstep.wordpress.com

How long have I been trying to interest you in pedestrian rights/safety issues? Nice of you to finally get around to writing something. Too bad though that you didn’t think to pick up the phone and talk to me. Are pedestrians using crosswalks? Who’s determined to be at fault, numbers of tickets issued, etc? Did you think to ask any questions about those stats, Paul? Did you think to ask Tom O’Brien why only 30% of auto operators are being ticketed for striking pedestrians? When you want to give this serious issue the attention that it deserves, you let me know.

Berton’s Pedestrian Pronouncement

May 14, 2008

If you haven’t done so yet, click HERE to read Paul Berton’s latest pretentious POV newspaper column.

You probably won’t ever see it printed in the LFP, and it’ll likely be about 4 days before they post it on their website (so fewer people will read it), but you don’t have to worry about that. Because here’s a copy of the response that I submitted to Mr. Berton just moments ago:

It’s About Time

How long have I been trying to interest you in pedestrian rights/safety issues? Nice of you to finally get around to writing something. Too bad though that you didn’t think to pick up the phone and talk to me. Are pedestrians using crosswalks? Who’s determined to be at fault, numbers of tickets issued, etc? Did you think to ask any questions about those stats, Paul? Did you think to ask Tom O’Brien why only 30% of auto operators are being ticketed for striking pedestrians? When you want to give this serious issue the attention that it deserves, you let me know.

Obstructive Drivers

May 1, 2008

car blocking sidewalk

At one of the city’s strangest intersections (Commissioners/Adelaide) it isn’t at all unusual for vehicles exiting the plaza to block the pedestrian roadway (ie sidewalk). Typically, there’s never a cop around when you need one.

Fined For Walking?

March 13, 2008

First there was a letter to the LFP editor (‘Too Lazy to Use Sidewalk’; ‘jeff’; 2008/03/09) from one of those dull pencils who think that nothing should be allowed to inconvenience automobile drivers and that pedestrians are some kind of 2nd class lifeform: “I looked in the opposite lanes to see a person walking, head down up the road…because they were too lazy to break a trail down the sidewalk.”

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Will London Spring For Cost-Share Police Hires?

February 27, 2008

One of the provisions of yesterdays federal government budget is a commitment to provide resources to recruit 2,500 more police officers across the country. Provinces and territories have until March 31, 2008 to opt into the cost-share initiative. 01

It’s no secret that I’ve long advocated for the hiring of additional police officers, and I continue to do so. As I attempted to demonstrate in a recent post, the ratio of police officers to hormone-charged young males in our community pales in comparison to many other Canadian cities. And the StatsCan numbers upon which that conclusion is based do not take into account the swelling of that demographic during the UWO and Fanshawe school years.

There is always considerable debate here in London about the size of the police budget and the ability of local ratepayers to sustain it. And the just-concluded budget deliberations were no exception. That being the case, can local police and politicians ignore this opportunity to secure federal financial assistance in order to increase our number of front-line officers?

If I have any questions, they pertain to the timing of this announcement and the arbitrary time frame being imposed by the feds.

Sources:
01. 2008/02/27 – CNW: CPA Applauds Government’s Commitment …

Other Links:
Canadian Police Association
Ontario Assoc. of Chiefs of Police
London Police Service
London Police Association