Opinion

Safety issues need attention

Recently a newsletter to the people of the city of Snoqualmie appeared

in local mailboxes. It carried the city logo, but did not display the date

of publication nor the author's name. Subjects addressed included the

city's official committees and boards together with their responsibilities.

Significantly absent was mention of a critically needed, fully

professional public health unit. Most communities have them, especially in

view of the rapid development of new types of health problems.

Public health units have primary responsibility for the overall health

of community residents. Basically, the methodology includes surveys,

laboratory work and educational programs. Topics may range from water

quality to human psychiatric problems. The scope is wide and quite technical.

As to the health needs of the people in the Snoqualmie area, the

historically high level of domestic abuse has long been a serious problem. Its

consequences have often affected families through more than one generation.

For purposes of this letter, domestic abuse is divided into two types

_ overt and covert. The latter is silent and leaves no superficial marks.

Eventually, successful covert abuse in the home encourages experimentation

of the practice in outside group activities, including the political arena. In

this way it has achieved a significant place in the unofficial culture of the

community.

Three examples of the problem in the political arena in Snoqualmie

are as follows:

1. For more than a year and a half at least, the public basketball court

at Riverview Park in Snoqualmie has been too dangerous for would-be

players to use. But, some try it anyway.

As most basketball enthusiasts are aware, a completely level court is

a "must" for personal safety as well as proper ball control.

The cement court at Riverview tilts noticeably toward the southeast

corner _ approximately _ which in turn sinks even deeper. Attached to the corner

is a cement walkway leading toward the street. No danger signs seem to

have been posted by city officials or anyone else.

2. The problem of bicycle and unicycle riding on pedestrian

sidewalks within the city of Snoqualmie continues to be significant. Are both

riders and pedestrians aware that bicycles in motion guided by pedaling riders

require at least three separate actions on the part of the rider in order to

come to a full stop? The first is application of the brakes, the second is control

of the front wheel direction and the third is the placement of both feet on

the sidewalk for safe balance.

In contrast, the already dismounted bicycle rider has only to stop walking!

Corrective action rests with city officials who have been elected to

ensure safe sidewalks for pedestrians. Why are these officials so reluctant

to carry out their responsibility effectively?

3. What is the value of a pedestrian's life while its owner

is crossing the S.R. 202 highway intersection at River Street in the city

of Snoqualmie? To date, it seems to be just a nuisance to the elected

officials at Snoqualmie City Hall.

The marked crossing at S.R. 202 and River Street has long been

grossly inadequate for safety requirements of the pedestrian. In addition, the

stated assumption by elected city officials that the community must continue

to wait is more than absurd!

It is long past time that elected city officials accept their primary

responsibility for health and safety of community residents by assigning

crossing guards to personally escort all people who wish to cross the

state highway at that intersection. A guard should be available from at least

early a.m. to early evening.

The current situation is nothing less than silent abuse through neglect.

The happiest people in the world are those with good health. Doesn't

it stand to reason that the people of Snoqualmie begin building their

fair share of it now?

Vivian Holdsworth

Snoqualmie

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