Thursday, August 19, 2010

Regarding the Las Flores Closure / La Buena Vista Drive Re-Direct

. . . look at it as if you live on Las Flores and you have children, or even a beloved pet, that could get killed or severely hurt by reckless and irresponsible drivers

An open letter from Wimberleyite Rocky Boschert . . .

There is an e-mail circulating among us trying to get Wimberley residents out to Thursday night's (8-19) Wimberley City Council meeting regarding the pending closure of Las Flores as a through road from RR 12 to RR 2325. Here is one side of the debate as written in the e-mail:

"....(anonymous) is circulating petitions to present to council asking them to rethink the closing of Las Flores. She needs your support at this week's city council meeting, Thursday, August 19th at 6 PM. She will be stating her case for keeping the NEWLY PAVED (to the tune of thousands of dollars) LAS FLORES OPEN to ALL Wimberley residents, not just 11-12 families who city council has given possession of "their street."

You will be given a 3 minute window to speak your piece and let the council know how you feel about their decision to close this public street. Please get there early enough to sign up to speak. Let's pack city hall and use our 3 minutes to let them know we are not happy about their decision and want them to, "DO THE RIGHT THING FOR ALL OF WIMBERLEY, NOT JUST A FEW."

The e-mail goes on to point out that Johnny White was the ONLY city council member to not vote for the closure. To me, that says something right there: The ONLY member to not vote for the closure.

But more importantly, there are facts that most Wimberley residents (who will be so terribly inconvenienced by 5 minutes more of driving because they will be forced to drive through to 2325 on Buena Vista Drive) do not understand or know.

First of all, for many years now the "few" residents on Las Flores have been subjected to a dangerous and irresponsible flow of drivers often speeding up to 55 mph or more and not caring about these "few" residents safety and rights. Over those same many years the Las Flores residents have asked the City Council to put in speed bumps and the CC have always been denied their requests, apparently for legitimate "road design" reasons.

Second, and more importantly, one resident on Las Flores – who is forced to use a wheelchair – takes his dog for a walk on Las Flores and more than once had cowardly disturbed drivers pull in front of him, stopped, blocking his way – ominously harassing and challenging him while sitting hidden behind their tinted windows. This is the result of irresponsible people behind the driver's wheel. And it is clearly these flaky and irresponsible drivers who have caused this problem and debate and who the anti-closure folks should blame for the problem (not the Las Flores residents).

Moreover, the safety police are nowhere to be found when such incidents as the wheelchair harassment occur and the county does not have the manpower to position safety officers on Las Flores to stop the irresponsible, flaky adults and high school kids who drive through on Las Flores at high speeds – caring little about safety and rights of the Las Flores residents.

Personally, I totally support the current solution since nothing else has worked to alleviate the problem. Unfortunately, we cannot legislate responsible drivers. In the end, I would like to know this: Where was the mass concern from the opponents of the closure when the Las Flores residents tried to get a simple solution like speed bumps installed so all of us could still use Las Flores as a road through to 2325? The truth is some opponents of the current closure also organized against the more simple speed bump solution as well.

Now we again know what the true meaning of the cliché "penny wise and pound foolish" actually means?

The Wimberley City Council is exactly correct to do what they are doing, in spite of ONE member opposing the Las Flores closure. If you go to the CC meeting, look at it as if you live on Las Flores and you have children, or even a beloved pet, that could get killed or severely hurt by reckless and irresponsible drivers. I know also Wimberley Montessori School has no problem with the closure as the owner of the school will always support safety of community residents and families over a little driver inconvenience.

If you come to the CC meeting tonight, tell the closure opposition to spend their time educating themselves and other drivers about community responsibility. Don't punish the residents of Las Flores for community insensitivity.

Peace, love and hope.

Rocky Boschert
Arrowhead Asset Management


Anonymous said...

I've ridden a bicycle on Las Flores as well as La Buena Vista, La Paz, 2325 and RR 12 for the past 4 years. The rage of people directed to someone who is not in a car is really dumbfounding. I've had many close calls to the point where I've called 911 while being verbally assaulted and afraid for my life. Using our tax dollars to pave a road then make it private for the residents who live there is unethical. It will not stop the actions of unaware, enraged, drivers who don't abide by the law anyway. La Buena Vista and the residents of this street along with a pre-school (you know, lots of kids with their moms dropping them off) combined with all the high school and middle school traffic will now have to go on La Buena Vista. 1 road instead of 2. How is this a solution for growth in Wimberley? I don't appreciate my tax dollars being used to, for all intents and purposes, privatize a road for a group of residents. It doesn't solve the problem of idiots on the road. Now when the gentleman takes a ride in his wheelchair with his puppy on La Buena Vista, there's going to be major traffic and even more of a safety issue. This city is growing. Closing a road that is used by many to satisfy a few people is bad decision making. It's definitely not a decision made for the safety of a community but a decision made and propably paid for by a group of a few people making enough noise to get the oil. The downtown area is completely unsafe. I feel I take my life into my own hands every time I attempt to cross the street even in the cross walks. Cars fly through this area. Hey, let's just shut that down so the tourists can't drive their cars down there, have to go an alternate route and bypass the square. Oh, and good-bye Wimberley revenue. Oh, well, we can still be safe crossing the street.

Anonymous said...

So Anonymous 1 is agreeing with the writer that Las Flores is dangerous but the closure is unethical because it is going to hurt growth in Wimberley?

Wow, since when is growth more important than the safety of our residents and the community.

And by the way, I think closing off RR 12 at the Square on weekend days is a great idea. What a great walking and shopping environment that would be. Why, that might even increase sales and tourism - and GROWTH.

Madonna said...

RB: Where was the mass concern from the opponents of the closure when the Las Flores residents tried to get a simple solution like speed bumps installed so all of us could still use Las Flores as a road through to 2325?
Glad you asked seems that the group of people who were asking for speed humps and traffic enforcement were getting what they asked for until Mayor Flocke, in his infinite wisdom suggested that the street be blocked off. Simple speed humps and traffic control would have taken care of the problem. Who thought mass concern was necessary when council voted to do exactly what the neighbors wanted...speed humps. But then council did a flip flop and decided to change their vote and close the street. Oh how we can believe anything they say or vote on.
RB: The truth is some opponents of the current closure also organized against the more simple speed bump solution as well.
I'd like you to tell me ONE person who was against the speed humps as a solution. If you are implying it was one of us who voted to keep the street open, you need to get your facts correct.
RB I know also Wimberley Montessori School has no problem with the closure as the owner of the school will always support safety of community residents and families...
And the street that the traffic has been dumped on is a narrow dangerous street and it was done without the knowledge of anyone on the street. Just move a problem from one street to another. I'm anxious to see how happy you are once school starts and you have all that traffic coming past YOUR WIFE's school.
Interestingly enough I didn't see you at the council meeting when we presented council with a petition of 575 names of people who do not want the street closed and traffic dumped a more DANGEROUS street.
I drove LaBuena Vista today and can show you a picture of a truck coming at me that took up 3/4 of the street and there was nowhere for me to go except in a neighbor's yard. The dangerous turn at the end of the street is a very real potential spot for cars to go through the buildings on the curve.

Anonymous said...

Closing off streets and speed humps are getting to be the fashion here in the Wimberley Valley. I guess it has to do with so many old folks that have changed their perspective. Roads are for cars, not hiking paths or bike trails. Law enforcement usually takes care of speeders, but if you do away with your Marshall you shouldn’t be allowed to complain. It is a shame that the Wimberley city fathers seem afraid if their constituents and cave at the slightest whimper.

A recent survey by the County in an area where the residents were complaining about speeders found that the speeding was way overstated. It must be when you get older everything appears faster because you have become so slow. I know, I’m 70.

Rocky Boschert said...

Writing e-mails and blog articles sometimes can make the writer sound impersonal or even insensitive, no matter how good one's writing skills are. So, given that qualification, let me respond both honestly, and hopefully, understandingly, to Madonna's comments.

First of all, there were definitely people in the Las Flores closure opposition who opposed any type of solution to the Las Flores speeding problem - believing that they should not be limited in any way from getting to 2325. I do not need to name names. It is a fact. And it matters not at this point, anyway.

What matters is that prevention is the best cure, and the Las Flores closure opponents failed to help the Las Flores residents when they were looking for reasonable solutions to the constantly lurking driving dangers on their street. And now much of the community are acting like betrayed victims of a very free markets focused City Council.

I suggest it is time the closure opponents - especially those who live around Las Flores - take responsibility for their failure to help fellow residents when they needed it. Had they done that, the Las Flores closure frustration would have been alleviated long ago and we would all still be driving down Las Flores in a safe and responsible manner. There is a great lesson here and a chance to finally do the right thing if the anger and the blaming can be put aside.

But most importantly, the Las Flores closure and the La Buena Driver redirect is in reality a very minor time inconvenience of maybe one or two more minutes. And hopefully we will finally see sane driving on La Buena Vista Drive that will be on a road with school zone signs and, finally, speed humps. I ask: "Is this very minor inconvenience really worth demonizing the Las Flores residents over and acting like the great town of Wimberley is coming to an unceremonious socialist end?"

Finally, regarding the Wimberley Montessori School, we certainly would have preferred the Las Flores speed hump solution. And we hope that the traffic which will now come by the school moves sanely and heeds the signs, the narrow road, and the curves. The school will also use this community imbroglio as a lesson for the older students as an example of community problem solving and how to better solve a problem to make sure all parties can win. We will focus the lesson on community egalitarianism and the understanding that we more than not create our own problems, frustrations and inconveniences.

In essence, we always want to show our students what is best said in this timeless cliché: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

As far as the Wimberley community goes, maybe it's time to heed the prayer advice used in the 12 Step movement: "grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Madonna said...

I would love to sit down and talk with Rocky and find out who he is talking about, as I'm afraid he has been misinformed as to the opposition of the closure of Las Flores. I for one, talked to and corresponded through e-mail with some of the people on Las Flores. At the public hearing we all went into the meeting with the same goal...speed humps and enforcement of the speed limit.

RB: take responsibility for their failure to help fellow residents when they needed it.

Where was Rocky when the public hearing took place? I was told he was out of the country (may or may not be true), but the bottom line is we all were under the opinion that the speed humps and enforcement was going to happen. It was not until the flip flop vote that the "opponents" realized what a mess the council was creating and how thousands of dollars were being spent to repave a road that was to become a private road to be used by a handful of people.

The only anger we feel is toward Mayor Flocke who suggested the closure instead of the logical solution of...again...speed humps and enforcement.

Sorry, but I disagree; having never been in a 12 step program, I will continue to spend my efforts, courage and wisdom in finding change that benefits the "community" and not just a handful of people. I have no ill feelings toward them, they have been led down a path that should never have been an option. And I firmly believe 575 signatures on petitions presented to council should send a clear message when it only took 30 to get the road closed.

Anonymous2 said...

Let's not overlook the most important facts:

1. During the year that we had a city marshall to enforce the law, ther were only two complaints about speeding on Las Flores registered with the city.

2. During the time after the marshall was eliminated, there have been hundreds of complaints about speeders on Las Flores.

When did common sense become so uncommon?

Anonymous said...

When the current city council was elected.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't know all the history of this thing but some people are really weird.

Al-Anonymous 2 is ignoring the fact that the residents of Las Flores cannot possibly report every incident of speeding on their road. That is ludicrous. Al-Anon 2 is twisting reality to suit his limited thinking.

Also, this Madonna woman (is that her real name?) points out that the rights of almost 600 people should be more important than the rights of 30 people. That is what the Nazis believed in Germany back in the 30s. And that is the logic of most genocidal regimes.

I am not suggesting that the folks who opposes the Wimberley City council's decision are Nazis, but that type of thinking is a slippery slope to a dangerous society without morality.

A true democracy will at least give equal treatment to the minority compared to the majority.

Mob rule is always a bad thing.

Anonymous2 said...

Who's twisting the facts now? Couldn't possibly report all???? Wow, what a reach! The simple untwisted fact remains that while we had law enforcement, complaints were virtually non-existent. After eliminating the marshall complaints skyrocketed to hundreds of people who picked up the phone and made a call. The cause and effect here is blatantly obvious no matter how you try to spin it.

By the way, lowering yourself to name calling doesn't really help anything, (al-anonymous.... pleeeeeeease!).

Rocky Boschert said...

Until I read the one Anonymous comment about the Nazi reference, I had decided I would not say anything more about the Las Flores issue and let the community take care of it.

But I must say I am really tired of Americans – both locally and nationally – using the Nazi comparison (or the Hitler mustache) with such hateful ignorance of the facts. Now I don’t know if Anonymous above was just trying to make a point or was engaging in mean-spirit innuendo, but the use of the term “Nazi” is inappropriate here.

Although Madonna and I don’t agree on parts of the Las Flores issue, she is a very positive force for our community. She was silently instrumental in helping to make the most recent KAPS fundraising concert last spring the most successful ever (I am on the KAPS Board) and I know she is an unquestionable supporter of making sure the Wimberley Montessori School (WMS) is successful. Her concern for the safety of the WMS children due to the new direction on La Buena Vista Drive is certainly warranted.

For those of you who need educating on the true definition of the Nazi mindset, here it is: “suppressing all opposition and establishing a dictatorship over all cultural, economic, and political activities of the people”

This "Nazi" consciousness does not apply to Obama or Bush and it certainly does not apply to anyone I know locally. If anything, it may only apply to the people who use the word “Nazi” or the Hitler mustache with such historical ignorance.

Anonymous said...