Public Safety, Public Streets and Public Housing: The Buck Stops...Where?

For three years, families living in Rondout & Colonial Gardens have been asking for speed humps for Rondout Gardens & Colonial Gardens. Both complexes are part of Kingston Housing Authority, which is the public housing authority for the city. Both complexes are full of families with children, and have a high volume of traffic driving through each day.

If someone “in power” wants to get something done, they will. Unfortunately, this has not been the case with the issue of placing removable speed humps in the streets/parking lots in Colonial and Rondout Gardens.

It began with a request to the Alderman of Ward 8, Steve Schabot, to take up the matter at Public Safety Committee back in the fall of 2015. Steve met with the prior Executive Director of Kingston Housing Authority (KHA) Dan Mills to determine “who is responsible for the street?” It is technically a city street when it comes to enforcing laws and ordinances, but KHA is responsible for it's maintenance and upkeep. Nothing ever came of these conversations except more delays and buck-passing.  

Last spring, I approached the newly appointed Interim Director of KHA Cathy Maloney about advancing the cause of speed humps for the complexes. As one private citizen, the Common Council wasn’t prioritizing the safety of children in low-income housing. But using the power of organizing, we presented signatures of every single resident sans one of the family apartments along with Cathy Maloney’s request.

Between March and August of 2017, the issue went from dead-in-the-water to Resolution 166 of 2017, authorizing the installation of speed humps in both complexes.

The resolution was passed, with the stipulation that the cost, responsibility and liability of them be borne by the Kingston Housing Authority. As the saying goes- aye, and there's the rub. As of today's date, there are still no speed humps in either Rondout or Colonial Gardens; with a projected cost of less than $7500.00 neither the City nor the Housing Authority seems to be of the opinion that protecting small children at play and traveling to and from school is a good investment.

Last month, a communication was sent to the Common Council from the Executive Director of KHA asking that they pay for the speed humps. The issue will be discussed at this months Public Safety and General Government committee on June 27th at 6:30.

Last week, Rise Up Kingston requested copies of the last board-approved budgets for the housing authority and after reviewing them, we see no compelling reason why the Kingston Housing Authority cannot spare $7500 or less to purchase them.

If you agree, please sign our petition here: http://bit.ly/2JNEEVr to demand that Kingston Housing Authority take the safety of our children seriously and purchase the speed humps they were authorized to buy last August! 

#HousingJusticeNow #ProtectOurKids #RiseUpKingston

Cassandra BurkeComment