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August 21, 2001

Itís really good to see police, city and school officials looking at traffic problems in Perry. Among the most pressing considerations are ways of clearing the flow of vehicles and pedestrians in areas near the elementary school and the middle school where young students are delivered and picked up by parents. If you have ever been in those zones when classes are dismissed for the day, you know the problem. Congestion results in numerous near-accidents. The newly designated one-way streets should bring some relief, but they wonít eliminate the need for careful driving. Youngsters have a way of moving suddenly in unexpected directions. Weíve been very lucky in avoiding some tragic accidents up to now. I say this as the grandfather of two young ladies whose safety is one of my principal concerns.

Other problem areas under scrutiny are the busy intersections at Fifteenth and Fir and at Seventh and Fir. Surveys indicate that many accidents occurring there are the result of faulty vision from left-turn lanes. Not too long ago this column suggested that left-turn-only traffic lights are needed at some of the busiest intersections around town, and itís reassuring to read that signals of that sort are now being considered. Letís hope all of our traffic problems can be solved before someone is badly hurt. These are tough issues and they may seem expensive to correct, but nobody profits from a bad smashup. Good luck to those who have the responsibility of looking into these matters.

Another community matter under scrutiny is the survey being made of our parks and other recreational areas. One of the most pressing problems seems to be the CCC Park southeast of town. When the Civilian Conservation Corps converted Perryís ďcity farmĒ from a little-used rural area into a proud, scenic recreational site in the 1930s, local officials were delighted. In a rustic area, families could safely spread picnic tables, go fishing, enjoy boating and even swimming in a small but picturesque setting. The park has had its ups and downs in many respects, but to a casual observer it seems the area has been frequently neglected. We are aware that municipal budgets can only be stretched so far, but that little park seems destined to become unkempt and unsightly if something isnít done. We hope the park survey will bear this out and that some kind of positive action sill be forthcoming. If you havenít visited the park lately, spend a few minutes one of these late summer evenings and drive through it. Be careful, though. The roads are not in the greatest shape.

Some who use the park regularly believe the CCC Park is still the scene of frequent criminal acts, despite officersí attempts to curb such things. Obviously it is difficult to patrol the park on a regular basis, but we need to find a way to stem such things if they really are being carried out there. The Perry CCC Park has the potential of becoming one of our greatest assets. Iím anxious to learn what the survey says about all this.

Other parks within the city limits appear to be in good shape. Tennis courts at the Lions West Park and Leo East Park are well maintained as are other facilities. Century Park is a very popular place for walkers and as a childrenís playground. Certainly we need such things and they deserve to be kept in the best shape possible. Residents of this city are proud of our facilities and we appreciate the care they are given.