In 2016 the National Night Out event was shifted from its location of the past few years in Olympian Park, to the intersection of Westwood Avenue and Manson Avenue. Food was grilled, and neighbors mingled with Councilmember C.T. Martin, Major Moore, and police officers.
Westview neighbors have been fighting for years to have speed humps installed and slow down speeding through-traffic. East Ontario Avenue residents initially attempted to collect signatures in 2003; South Gordon Street neighbors have made several attempts over the last few years to collect enough signatures to receive speed humps. The largest challenge has been to reach enough property owners to collect the signatures. 75% of property owners are required to approve the proposal to move forward. As Westview was hit hard with mortgage fraud in the early and mid 2000s, followed by the recession and foreclosures in mid to late 2000s, the number of abandoned vacant properties and absentee owners proved to be a major hurdle to reach the required signatures within the allotted 30-day time frame.
After the third attempt East Ontario Avenue neighbors managed to collect the necessary signatures in 2015 thanks, in part, to the fact that the street is short, and over the years enough of the vacant houses were filled with owner occupants and accessible landlords; however, the next hurdle was finding funding for the project.
In early 2016 the fate of Westview’s dead end speed humps would take a turn due to a heart wrenching accident where a car involved in a police chase hit a and killed a grandmother and her two grandchildren at the intersection of Rogers Avenue and South Gordon Street. Neighbors were in uproar at the February Westview Community Organization meeting and demanded action – and politicians listened. Thanks to Councilmembers C. T. Martin and Caesar Mitchell speed tables would be installed on East Ontario Avenue, South Gordon Street, Westwood Avenue, and Rogers Avenue.
Residents received notice in June that the project would be implemented in July. Indeed, in July crews and equipment arrived and have implemented a majority of the marked speed tables. Neighbors have already noted the success of slower traffic thanks to the speed tables.
On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Westview community organizations joined hundreds of other neighborhood organizations across the country for National Night Out, a public safety awareness event.
The West End Coalition held its annual event at the intersection of Mathewson and Greenwich with food, music, and socializing. In the meanwhile the Westview Community Organization held its annual event at the intersection of South Olympian and Waters with food and an art auction held by the children that participated in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) summer camp. Firefighters, police, and elected officials dropped by to celebrate the evening with neighbors.
To view photos of National Night Out view the photo gallery below (click “continue reading”) or visit the Westview Facebook page.