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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Wednesday, September 28

Traffic and politics? Or not.

Christian Mathiesen announced his candidacy for public safety commissioner in early June and said he was running on a platform of — among other things — improving traffic and pedestrian safety in the city.

"There are a lot of traffic safety issues that need to be addressed in Saratoga Springs," he said.

At Sept. 19's City Council meeting, though, current Commissioner Richard Wirth seemed to beat Mathiesen to that punch.

At that meeting, he formally announced he was forming the Public Safety Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, a committee to address traffic safety issues around the city.

Wirth said the move was "absolutely not" a political one. "I've been considering this for months-- formulating the idea in my head," he said. "It's just a way to better address the influx of people commenting on issues we've received."

Mathiesen said he doesn't care if it is political or not. "I think it's a good thing they are looking at these issues. I was surprised to find (Wirth) doesn't seem to be aware about the number of issues, but I'm glad he is looking at them," he said.

However, he added, "I'm not sure how necessary it is to have a committee. I wouldn't say it's a bad idea, but between the commissioner, the deputy commissioner and the whole public safety staff, I don't know why they can't deal with them already."

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course Wirth's establishment of a "committee" is political.

The real question is this: Why did Wirth not use - not know about - the process that had been used for years?

Does he not know that no traffic control can legally be placed legally until a traffic warrant analysis is completed consistent with the State Uniform Code for Traffic Safety Devices.

The process is to apply that standard to "problem," determine then if a control is "warranted," then, if it is deemed advisable, amend the City Code following public hearing.

This analysis was always conducted by Traffic Safety.

Chris knows all this and will reinstate the proper and legal process.

Speaking of traffic safety, under Wirth's "leadership" personal injury accidents are UP 8%, DWI arrests DOWN 9%, and traffic citations DOWN 8%.

Great record. You betcha.

September 30, 2011 at 11:37 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This last post has an error. According to the 2010 Public Safety annual report, Wirth has presided over a 17% decrease in DWI arrests.

He probably doesn't want to scare off the Caroline Street bar business.

September 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM 

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