Sunday, September 16, 2018

About Town

This week's photos from around town . . .

Egret looking for breakfast


At the southern end of Heritage Drive (shown above), there's nothing between the road and the railroad tracks, not even any weeds. A public safety issue?

A security fence (shown above) was installed along Heritage Drive last year at a cost to taxpayers of $32,000. At last Monday's council meeting, a resident asked what the purpose of the fence is. He noted that there are openings in the fence along the road (seven by our count, some several vehicles wide). The mayor explained that the fence was required by Norfolk Southern for “the sale of the property.” He said the company "apparently approved" the fence. "I think they're more concerned about people going out through the yards than they are going over the tracks," he said.

However, at the November 2017 public works committee meeting, officials said the improvements were needed for privacy and aesthetics, and to resolve trespassing issues. Public Works Director Ron Miller said cottage owners told him that, due to the increased number of visitors to Columbia River Park, people are entering Riverfront Drive, a private road that runs through the tract. He said the new fence was a way to make a boundary. Mayor Lutz added that the fence will also prevent encroachment on Heritage Drive by the cottage owners. “By putting the fence there, that's stopping that encroachment,” he said.

So . . . here’s another “however”: There are seven openings in the fence. How, then, does the fence stop “encroachment”?

Miller also said “They [cottage owners] thought they needed a fence for some privacy or some delineation between the property and the park.” A slightly more expensive fence was preferred over a plain chain link fence for consistency. “I thought it would be pretty ugly to put a chain link fence along there, so we matched up what we had at the parking lot [at the bottom of Locust Street]," Miller said. "It's the same exact fence.” Miller said he decided on the security fence due to the minimal cost difference. The borough paid about $32,000 for the fence, according to Miller. The borough will be responsible for maintaining the fence. 

Miller said the original plan for a fence on the boundary between Heritage Drive and the railroad tracks was nixed because Norfolk Southern, which owns the railroad, didn't want a fence that was only 25 feet from the center line of the tracks. Consequently, the fence was moved to other side of the road, toward the cottages. “I talked with the homeowners down there and the people - they thought it would be great to put it on that side,” Miller said. He added that Norfolk Southern plans to put "riprap" along the bank on the railroad side of Heritage Drive. (Riprap consists of rocks and chunks of concrete used to stabilize sloped areas and prevent erosion.) 

However, as of today’s posting (September 16, 2018 - almost a year later), no riprap appears to have been added, only weeds. At the southern end of Heritage Drive, there aren’t even any weeds. There’s no delineation at all between the road and the railroad tracks.

To top it all off, there is a chain link fence running along the unpaved section of Heritage Drive that is fairly close to the railroad tracks. So why is this "cheap," ugly fence all right here, so close to the railroad tracks when it wasn't all right further down on Heritage Drive? Why was it even installed, when there's a length of road further down with no delineation at all between the road and the tracks?


 Not a scene from West Side Story, just South 3rd Street stories

 Someone lost her head and fell over.  She must have just opened the school tax bill.

 Lichens and the like on a piece of a fallen limb along the sidewalk next to Locust Street Park

 Same here, on the 700 block of Locust

 Rooftop spindle about to let go

 The one next to it already did.

 Avenue sign

 Unique grave marker at Mount Bethel Cemetery

 They cut down an old oak tree, and all we got was this lousy tree stump.

 Behind CVS

 Screw loose

 At the former Catholic War Vets building

(And save on those T's. We may need 'em later.)

 Caving in, in Avenue H?

 What you might see in an alley

 Two sticks . . . for a double whammy

 Flooded again

 Watching the waters rise

 Someone was watching here, too, at the Civil War bridge pier.

 It's a private viewing spot.

 Three at once, with an interloper flying in at the top left

 Bridge in the background

 Some folks like to sleep in.

 The sparrow convention is in town.

 No Parking . . . or maybe there is

 And this is why these hedges need to be removed and a sidewalk installed (North 4th).

 30-something-year-old graffiti bleeding through from March 1985 - 
(Do you think Jody and Shane are still together?)

 Bridge lost in the fog

 The fog lights are on.

 Civil War bridge piers

 These Canada Geese flew a few feet over the Veterans Memorial Bridge and continued upriver.

 They went thataway.

 Columbia Crossing was covered.

 And the river disappeared.

Keep the faith - The bridge really does continue out there.

 Coming down (and heading up) over 441

 Two to light up your life

 Rest your butt on this concrete bench.

 A brief history of Columbia

A brief history of the Lincoln Highway

 A few more details of Columbia's famed architecture

 Nothing captures the spirit of Columbia like this sign.
We're a feisty bunch 'round here.

 Uh . . . no


 Susquehanna Glass still has a facility in the 700 block of Avenue H.

 Products are shipped from there via truck.  Tractor-trailers routinely exit the alley onto 8th Street.

 The trouble started when residents on 8th Street were recently cited for broken sidewalks which they say were caused by the trucks turning onto 8th from Avenue H.

 Drivers must negotiate a tight turn and their trucks often run onto the sidewalks, damaging them, residents claim. Shown above is a view of 8th Street, looking east on Avenue H. Note the "No Trucks" sign.

 Here's a photo of a damaged corner of the sidewalk at 8th Street and Avenue H.

Shown above is the area where Avenue H meets 8th Street. At last week's Columbia Borough Safety Committee meeting, the facilities manager of Susquehanna Glass met with committee members to try to find a solution to the problem. Ideas ranged from doing a traffic study to using smaller trailers to using tandem trailers. The issue was not resolved at the meeting.


 Meanwhile, over at CVS...

 Damn GPS!
The driver eventually got his truck out of there, with some fancy maneuvering.
It took just 15 minutes or so.

 Hung up

Hung up

 Splashes of color at 7th and Poplar

You don't see many of these nowadays.

 Instant mural . . . just add water.

 Heron or egret?

 Crossing the tracks

 Signs for ONE WAY, REGULATIONS - COLUMBIA RIVER PARK, and something about PARKING...maybe (?) 

 Down at Lloyd Mifflin's place

 Deer on Laurel Hill Road

 Just coated - 4th and Chestnut

 Some sort of contraption holding some sort of contraption

 Fog again

The mayor said, “The gutters in Columbia are not open trash cans, and we need to do a better job of picking up that debris in our community.”

Ready for the big dig on the 600 block of Walnut

Here's a photo of a sunset from Chiques Rock, submitted by Todd Stahl.

And last, but certainly not least, the following two submitted photos of a Re-Bath worker working in the rain (which seems somehow appropriate, if you think about it)...


Radical rag said...

Did the susquehanna automotive go out of buisness???

Joe Lintner said...

I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Excellent photo study!! So much to ponder after reviewing these!!! Wow, Cole!!

Anonymous said...

How much did the 2 damaged sections of fence cost the tax payer ???

Anonymous said...

We have a person cleans up the money pits parking lot every morning , what's wrong with the rest of town? The street sweeper does a good job , now the employees have to pick out some things but what do other towns do, they have the same things going on. If the mayor is worried about cans and plastic why didn't they drop some old patch in the 8 inch hole in the gutter at320 s 2nd street , it has been there a year and the sweeper makes it worse ever time it goes over it.

Anonymous said...

@ 320 s 2nd street hole in the gutter , it might be come a sink hole soon , then the powers that be will get in the news, and the property owner will be able to sue , we know it is the wrong end of town but they pay taxes too, pull someone out of the money pit maintaince for an hour and fix the damn thing, common sense, Borough manager please comment here ?????

Anonymous said...

awwww c'mon!! You know better than that!!! There will be no comment by a borough official!

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of ordering take out food at Columbia Pizza on Locust street on Saturday evening, while the shop was busy I can see that it will be challenging to get people out in Columbia for an evening. It's kind of creepy at night even dusk. There is nothing going on other than the pizza shop. I don't see a Lititz, Marietta, Lancaster city happening any time soon.

Anonymous said...

ASK Ron Miller

Anonymous said...

Way more than a 200 foot section of chain link fence like is on the north side of walnut street along heritage drive or road which ever they are calling it today.

Anonymous said...

When that hole is big enough to eat up a child maybe something will be done, heck it has only been 3 years .