Dear fellow Crotonite,
I have been concerned about pedestrian safety, with a focus on one location, the block of Cleveland Drive between Gerstein and Jacoby streets (heavily trafficked alternate to major thoroughfare Route 129, undivided roadway, tight S curves with obstructed views, no sidewalks or shoulders, no street lights, heavy pedestrian use from hikers, bikers, school runners, baby carriages, children walking to school – it is an access street to an elementary school and a connection to a greenway trail).
Over the past several years, I have written letters to The Gazette, met with the police chief and mayor, attended a Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee meeting, and mailed letters.
My experience has led me to recognize two things:
1. Our village government is generally competent, responsive, and well-intentioned.
2. Many officials do not know the difference between speed bumps and a speed humps, and, as I suspect is true for many communities, officials do not practice risk management procedures when assessing proposals. (September 23, 2019 Board of Trustees Work Session minutes, https://crotononhudson.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=4631&MeetingID=709), and meeting video (https://view.earthchannel.com/PlayerController.aspx?&PGD=crotononhudson&eID=753)
I also came to realize the difficulty in addressing critical issues individually when basic concepts of comparing risks – potential gains to possible losses – are not fully understood and considered. And so I have written a basic description of risk management, put that information in a website (https://communityriskmanagement.org), and in a book (Community Risk Management: Provoking Responsive, Transparent Local Government), and again, I am reaching out.
Applying risk management methods to local communities is not a new idea. For one example, see the La Crosse, WI plan (https://www.cityoflacrosse.org/your-government/departments/fire-department/community-risk-management-899).
Nor is risk management new to me: I have applied what I know from my (now past) career overseeing the repair and maintenance of medical equipment in NYC hospitals, plus having written (peer-reviewed) articles on the subject of risk (https://meridian.allenpress.com/bit/search-results?f_Authors=Alan+Pakaln).
I’m introducing this idea with the hope that it strikes a chord.
I’ll close with what are basic parts of a risk management process – it’s not “rocket science” though it is definitely practiced in that field!
- Create a clear description of the issue, the narrative.
2. Make a list of the component parts of this issue, the risk factors.
3. Identify those parts that represent the greatest potential for risk or loss.
4. Identify ways to mitigate loss.
5. Select options offering the greatest gain for the least loss, and document the process.
A fuller explanation can be found at: https://communityriskmanagement.org
Thanks for reading.