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What Would You Improve in Westfield in 2013?

If you could make a New Year's resolution for Westfield, what would it be?

More than 45 percent of Americans make a resolution every year, according to statisticbrain.com. Some people vow to live a healthier lifestyle, others promise to spend more time with family, and many say they will try to save money.

As millions of Americans make resolutions to improve their lives, what could we do right here in Westfield to make it an even better place to live? Throughout 2012 residents have made suggestions that include increasing pedestrian and cyclist safety, making downtown parking improvements and keeping roadways clear of leaves, debris and snow.

What is on your Westfield wish list? What is one thing you would improve in 2013?

Tell us in the comment section below or blogĀ about why you love living here!

slk2003 December 28, 2012 at 06:02 PM
1. A traffic light at Tuttle and North 2. A traffic light at Lord & Taylor 3. more frequent recycling collection 4. a pedestrian bridge over the intersection of Broad and North 5. lower speed limits along North Ave in the residential parts -- and enforce them.
slk2003 December 28, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I would also Add that better street lighting on residential streets would be nice so one does not feel the need to carry a flashlight when walking home from the train at night.
South Westfielder December 28, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Those NYC commuters are as bad as the skateboarders. When they get off that train, watch out!
South Westfielder December 28, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Larry, anonymous commentary and opinion is not any less valid. So often people in public positions use it as an excuse to dodge a criticism or accept accountability. There are good reasons why people, like me use pseudonyms.
Jyll Farren December 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Snow removal!!!! Westfield is the worst in all of Union County
Gary McCready December 28, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I'd agree Larry, but it would be a lot less fun to read - keep in mind Patch is the spawn of AOL, which was not exactly built on intelligent commentary.
Peter Hogaboom December 28, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Put a sign on the South Ave. Circle. No right hand turns from the left lane.
South Westfielder December 28, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Gary, you, Larry, Mitch and A.John can open up your own blog then and require people to put their real names. Posting using one's real name certainly does not guarantee intelligent commentary. On the contrary. I also kow that some of the same people who complain when others do not use their real names also post other commentary using pseudonyms.
South Westfielder December 28, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Crack down on the helicopter parents who drive their kids to school like maniacs, double parking, talking on cell phones, letting their kids out in the middle of the street, cut other drivers off, etc.
Mara Zilberberg December 28, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Fix the traffic light at the corner of South and Central!
Frank December 28, 2012 at 09:32 PM
A nice place to start would be for the DPW to have scheduled tasks on a regular basis- every truck and the 2 drivers would have a section to maintain to include: trimming tree branches they see looking weak or hanging by a thread; clearing the street drains on a regular basis; paying more attention to the town besides the monument circle, and making that department accountable from the top down.
Gary McCready December 28, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Certainly using one's own name will not guarantee intelligence (with some, nothing will help!), and I don't think that Patch is necessarily really the place for that. A good place for a "real name" (assuming it could be validated) is a forum associated with a government body, such as a BoE or a town council. Then, as happens when someone is there in person, you are standing up and representing your comments as a resident of the district/town/state whose issue you are commenting on. So, I would improve Westfield by asking the various government bodies to set up a comments/forum site where real names would be required to give feedback on issues that affect the town. I'd be concerned if board/council members thought the patch forums always had representative views.
Kim P. December 28, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Crack down on the helicopter police who ticket the parents picking up their kids at McKinleyschool in the afternoon. We're parents we look out for each others kids. Instead they should harass and ticket the drivers coming down broad past McKinley who damn near run the crossing guards over who are trying to cross people.
South Westfielder December 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Gary, remind me NOT to vote for any candidate for the BoE or any other governmental agency who would support such a thing. Doing so will discount valid points of view, especially those that run contrary to the personal views of certain members. Mr. Slater has already has bullied those who do not feel they can go public with their names and has dismissed opposing points of view because they are not written by those who post using their real names. Not all of us who are not Board members and have kids in the system or are close to someone who works for the system as an educator or facilities person feel that those BoE can be trusted.
South Westfielder December 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Kim, I take it that you are one of those parents who deserve to be ticketed. The attitude and behavior of parents who drop off and pick up their kids are absolutely horrible. I see it every morning. Ticket the speeders, too.
Kim P. December 28, 2012 at 11:19 PM
No, actually i'm not. None of us deserve to be ticketed, that's the point i'm making. We're there for the most 5 minutes to see our kids go into the school and most of us must rush to get to another school to do another pick up. They're more at risk for getting hit by a speeder than by another parent.
NR9 December 28, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I agree with South Westfielder on this topic. In fact, I actually think there would be a good deal of value if everyone used a pseudonym and no one used their real names. That way, the comments would stand on their own, without being biased by who the author is, nor would there be an opportunity for “retaliation” from politicians or others who may disagree with the view of a particular author. I do agree with larry cary about those who use pseudonyms to post malicious comments. That is clearly a cowardly and unproductive act. However, the use of a pseudonym for posting constructive comments where the author's intent (in the author’s view) is to somehow improve a community (even if someone disagrees with him/her on the particular topic) is not cowardly and unproductive. The ability to agree/disagree with those in public office is very much a part of what has allowed our country to grow and improve. (continued…)
NR9 December 28, 2012 at 11:36 PM
(part 2 of 2) The danger in what larry cary is proposing is that some very valuable ideas that might otherwise be brought to the discussion table might not be voiced because the author might not want to risk retaliation from local politicians, municipal employees, school personnel, neighbors who might have opposing views, etc. I’m totally in agreement with South Westfielder on this one. I think those who repeatedly post such comments demanding the use of “real names” are the “bullies” just as much as the ones who use pseudonyms to post malicious comments. What is most important is that the messages being posted are thoughtful and with the intent to improve a community. The name alongside the comment, real or otherwise, is irrelevant and should be viewed as such.
South Westfielder December 29, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Kim, 5 minutes times the number of helicopter parents who are dropping off their kids and walking them into the school is a hell of a back-up and traffic hazard.
JC December 29, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Better roads. So many side roads need repaving. So many potholes on Boulevard that need to be fixed near Grove. There was a major pothole for months that might still be there on E. Broad heading west across from the Cemetery by Kimball. Why do we have to notify the DPW where the potholes are? Don't DPW employees ride around town and take notice themselves? Why do we have to email DPW to get on a list to have a street repaved? Shouldn't DPW just take note of that themselves and get it done?
Maureen December 29, 2012 at 03:03 AM
PLant more trees to start making up for all those we lost during Sandy
GBS December 29, 2012 at 03:16 AM
People really need to start learning how to drive on the circle on south ave. you can't be in the left hand lane to turn right. Clearly people don't know that so a sign is needed (or change the way driving is taught in this state as people can't seem to drive). Better street lighting as the current lighting is totally pointless. The town needs to trim its trees, especially the ones that are hanging over power lines. The sidewaks are terrible, especially on w. dudley ave. they are destroying my son's stroller. Simple things but they need addressing
Gary McCready December 29, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I acknowledge that at times anonymous comments may be useful to protect the posters, but there is also a long tradition for those who speak at public meetings in Westfield (at least at the podium) to state their name and perhaps address (with limited allowance otherwise). Even if you were allowed to be anonymous in person, it is likely someone would know who you are anyway. Online, no one knows who you are, what otherwise hidden agenda you may be protecting or even if you are a resident - I'm sure we can think of many examples of positions taken that might be self serving. Putting a verified name on the comment I believe can add validity to the position at times. But, in the spirit of compromise not usually evidenced in politics, I'll amend my position to allow for verified names for only those who want that, and everyone else can call themselves whatever. That way, an imposter could easily be ousted if need be. On this forum, who knows who is really posting... But I really think both the town council and the BoE are losing out by not allowing at least moderated comments in a public forum that could be reviewed either prior to or after a meeting.
NR9 December 29, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Gary McCready wrote: “… but there is also a long tradition for those who speak at public meetings in Westfield… to state their name and perhaps address…” Response: Just because something has been done a long time (i.e. a “tradition”) does not mean it has to keep being done that way. Gary McCready wrote: “Putting a verified name on the comment I believe can add validity to the position at times.” Response: I would agree with you if, for example, a member of the Town Council or Board of Education was using a made-up name to promote some dubious agenda. But, for the most part, I think those using pseudonyms are just “regular folks” living in Westfield who want to speak up on topics of local interest with the ultimate goal being to, hopefully, make Westfield a better place for all. Pseudonym or real name, that’s an honorable goal. Gary McCready wrote: “But, in the spirit of compromise not usually evidenced in politics, I'll amend my position to allow for verified names for only those who want that, and everyone else can call themselves whatever.” Response: I like that comment. It isn’t often that people listen to someone else’s point, think again about their own point, and then realize and admit that maybe they were a bit strong in the first place. That’s something that has been lacking in our Mayor, but that’s another topic altogether.
Erics December 29, 2012 at 03:45 PM
First, some sound rationale by the DPW. Like when you come into a neighborhood with 3 roads don't only pave 2! Especially when the other road is beginning to have sink holes. Also, may want to think about cleanup and plowing by schools first. Second, pay stations that actually work or take a credit card like all other towns. Or perhaps accepting a parking app. Might see more folks willing to shop and eat downtown. Finally, don't threaten me to cut teachers and aides to pass a next bond. They are our most important asset in town. I am sure we can find a lot of other waste to cut first if we ran the system like a business!
JERSEY GIRL December 29, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Besides ticketing moms who drive while talking on cell phones,loitering of teens and young adults downtown and drivers who blow through the crosswalk while pedestrians are waiting to get to the other side of the street, especially at the HS and downtown, how about the moms who pick up their kids at Mckinley and block entrance to residental driveways... thats not cool.
JERSEY GIRL December 29, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Kim P, your comment regarding "rush to another school for pickup " is telling in itself.Unless your child is under 10 , there is no reason why you must pull up in front of a school for pick up. Never hurt any kid to walk half a block to the car. Besides teens drivers there are plenty of moms to my surprise who are driving through the crosswalks in town ignoring pedetrians.Many times while i was stopped to allow a person to cross, a car or two has actually attempted to go around my car. Lord and Taylor is an awful situation,accident waiting to happen, again. Wish there was some sort of enforcement, regarding the speeding on West Broad as well as Rahway Ave. Do we have to have another number of students hit by a car to do something about this?
South Westfielder December 29, 2012 at 05:03 PM
@GBS, I say ban strollers from the sidewalks. They have become so big and the parents and their doublewides think they own the sidewalks and stores. To use strollers for 5 year olds or just to fill them with purchases creates a hazard for other pedestrians. While I know banning them is impossible, the inconsiderate parents who only care about themselves and use these "monster" strollers are more hazardous than the trees.
NJD December 30, 2012 at 03:35 AM
I'm a parent who spent 7 years at McKinley school dropping my kids off and I have seen things that nearly made my head explode! Parents do not need to watch their kids walk into the school!!! If you do, then park the car a few blocks away and walk them in. You should not be clogging up the drop-off lanes or double parking. If you need to watch your child walk across the forty feet into the building then yes, you are a helicopter parent. Your 6 year old is capable of walking that distance on their own. I have seen parents park for extended periods of time in the drop-off lanes. I have politely explained to them that they are not supposed to park there and have heard a million excuses and/or angry retorts to mind my own business. I have seen people not only double park but triple park, causing traffic to back up all the way to Broad Street making me 10 minutes late to pick up my children. I have seen children run across the street to these double and triple parked cars, nearly getting hit more times than I like to think about. Both Principals who presided over the school while my children were there sent out numerous notes, emails, and begged the parents and caregivers to cease this dangerous
NJD December 30, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Cont. behavior time and again to no avail. The police issued numerous warnings to no avail. The only thing that had any effect at all? You guessed it. Ticketing the people who violated these safety rules. So when Kim P. takes issue with the police ticketing parents picking up their kids, all I can say is if you follow the rules which are there for your child's safety, you will not be ticketed.

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