Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bike Trail Slasher

Just last fall I wrote about the opening of the Campbell Creek bike trail under the Seward Highway.

Today, when I went to see Chong Kim, the Department of Transportation Project Engineer who was in charge of that project so I could ask questions about the three final options for 36th and Seward Highway, he was very upset because someone, over the winter, slashed the screens that are used to protect bikers and pedestrians from debris falling off the highway.  Other places these are also to keep snow plowed on the road above from hitting people on the trail.  Here, along Campbell Creek, they aren't allowed to plow snow into the creek, but I'm sure it happens once in a while.  Chong had worked hard to get screens that were both functional and decorative.   He's clearly upset about this.

Here are some pictures of what's happened.

It was a little hard taking pictures because the screens are see-through to a certain extent.  But on the near left side you can see a big rectangle cut out. 

This project goes under four different roads - two frontage roads and then the north and south parts of the highway.  So there are a bunch of screens and parts of most of them have been damaged.

Here's Chong Kim, the project manager on video.  I've talked to him about a number of projects over the last few years and he's always been very candid and passionate about the projects.  The kind of public administrator who gives this member of the public confidence.

These aren't cheap screens.  He said the fabric for all these screens cost $10,000.  The material, with the images of a skier, runner, and biker were specially ordered.

Chong was truly upset and trying to figure out how to fix these in a way that will still be attractive, but harder to destroy.


Here they just slashed it.

And here they made a long narrow peek hole.

There's more, but I figure that's enough to get the idea across.

Of course, I wish I could talk with the person(s) who did this.  What was he thinking?  (Research seems to indicate it's almost always a male.)  I looked for interviews with vandals on google, but that got me to a talk with a rock group. 

A brief google search for research sort of confirmed this, but the research was old. It suggested that the need for
  • love and security
  • new experiences
  • praise and recognition
  • responsibility
were the basic causes for vandalism and violence.  From The Roots Of Vandalism and Violence:
Anger, hate and lack of concern for others are common reactions to being unloved and rejected.  Vandalism and violence are an expression of these feelings. 
I tend to believe this is the case, but while it said the findings were based on research, it didn't show the sources.

It's not a simple problem.  It's about getting parents training on how to raise their kids.  It's about schools making sure all kids' strengths can find expression and be rewarded.  It's about funding good pre-school programs and good day care.

It's about governments that put money into the education of young kids.  Our current legislature isn't going to decrease vandalism.  

1 comment:

  1. I hate to say it, but they should install surveillance cameras and when they catch the miscreants, force their parents to pay for the damage.


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