This post will explain why I support allowing non-residents of Amberley Village to purchase parking stickers in order to park in the Amberley Green parking lot:
As a woman, when I go to Amberley Green and I see cars in the parking lot with AV identification decals, I know that 1) I may encounter another person there and 2) that person is an easily identifiable Amberley resident. If there are no other cars in the parking lot and I encounter someone, I have no idea who that person is, where they came from, or if they are there for a walk or for mischief. Certainly, a person who lives close by Amberley Green can walk there and I wouldn't know they were there prior to my encounter, but most people don't live within walking distance of the Green. Or if they do, they are Amberley residents.
|Great Blue Heron at Amberley Green|
2. Law Abiding Citizens Do Not Pose a Risk
Think about it... Who do I have to fear at Amberley Green? The person who goes to Village Hall and provides their identifying information and license plate and vehicle information to our police in order to buy a parking sticker or the person who enters Amberley Green from Lakeshore Drive apartments in Reading? The person who buys the sticker is not the person who is going to cause mischief on Amberley Green. By limiting parking to residents only, we are creating the parking problem on residential streets and doing nothing to deter crime and mischief on the Green. Criminals will enter Amberley Green either way -- neither more nor less. And, to get back to number 1: Safety -- I would much rather know who is using the Green than not.
We have just completed Phase I of the We Thrive! grant process and prepared an invoice to Hamilton County Public Health for $7000. We are now ready to enter Phase II which includes the community garden at Amberley Green, a possible walking path connecting French park to Amberley's Village Hall walking path, and maybe even a Metro bus stop at the JCC, all projects paid for by the remainder of the We Thrive! grant up to $24,000. These are all areas that were identified by a working group of Amberley citizens who have put in countless hours since December in order to improve the quality of life here in Amberley Village by bringing residents together in a gathering place, increasing walkability, increasing access to fresh foods, and identifying ways to reduce smoking and chronic diseases. None of this could have been done without the grant. A condition of the grant is that we develop shared usages with other communities of our assets in ways that will promote physical activity. The most obvious solution identified by the committee is to open up parking at Amberley Green to non-residents. By opening up the parking, we allow others to enjoy walking, running, and other sports-related activities on Amberley Green -- all activities that were identified by our residents as providing enjoyment, exercise, and increased physical activity. We could allow frisbee golf to be played on the old fairways. Arborists could conduct walking tours of our trees. Children could enjoy gardening camp. When we allow land to remain vacant, it becomes attractive to people who want to conduct illegal activity. It becomes overgrown and blighted, thereby decreasing its value to the community. Amberley's long range plan includes development of Amberley Green, so it is in our best interest to keep it attractive and safe so as to obtain the highest value in the marketplace. By using the property we make it safer and also attract people to our community where they may very well choose to live.
What are your thoughts? You can either comment here or send me an email at WolfonCouncil@gmail.com.