East End Residents Association
The president of the influential East End Residents Association stated that its members have been campaigning for the past two years for the police to address traffic problems arising from rapid growth in their part of the city. The association identifies traffic control as the number one policing issue in the city. While the number of vehicles has increased dramatically, road construction has not kept up. What were once rural roads are now used as arterial connectors leading to Benville, or to the expressway ramps to Benville. During commuting hours these roads are often totally gridlocked. Impatient and aggressive drivers add to the problem, and because these roads do not have sidewalks or large shoulder areas, pedestrians and bicycle riders are increasingly at risk.
Further, where there is road construction – and there has been lots of it this year – there seems to have been very little planning on how best to keep traffic moving safely and fluidly, especially to allow the movement of ambulances and fire trucks. The association president maintained that when traffic completely bogs down, particularly at minor accident sites or intersections where lights are out of commission, there is rarely a police presence to sort it out.
The association president complained that he and some of the association's members have met with community police officers on these and other issues, including increased youth crime, but feel that these officers are not really committed to the exercise and/or have no real power. The president confided that his perception is that community policing officers seem to be "on sabbatical" (i.e., taking a break from real policing) rather than really working with the association's members to address community policing issues. In closing, he expressed the view that policing in Hope City appeared to be reactive rather than preventive, and committed to token consultation rather than real partnerships.