Straight Talk: Safety First

  • Published
  • By Col. Stacy L. Yike
  • 66th Air Base Group commander
Question: I live in the Flintlock Ridge area of Hanscom Air Force Base housing. I'd like to ask if the large contractor construction fence located at the very top of the hill at the end of Patterson road could be moved slightly so that neighborhood children could continue to use the playground that is now completely closed off. The renovation affecting the house next to it is nearing completion and its new occupants, along with other nearby residents, would certainly appreciate the use of a nearby playground. To my knowledge, this now off limits playground is one of only a few playgrounds in the Flintlock Ridge area and in all of base housing. It would be nice for the younger local residents to regain its use in the near future.

Response: Thanks for asking, however, after looking at the area, I think safety wins. The Hunt Pinnacle construction teams are using the adjacent parking lot for overflow parking, giving us a lot of construction traffic flowing in and out. We have had lots of concerns from residents on the speed and inattentiveness of some of the construction drivers. While we are working that issue, as well, Hunt Pinnacle wants to stay focused on the safety of the children above all else and believes that the playground is not yet in a safe location. I don't think it will open until next year when construction is complete. This is consistent with the information Hunt Pinnacle sent to all Flintlock Ridge residents this spring. Meanwhile, there is a great playground at the bottom of Patterson. That extra distance will burn off a little energy and maybe even count for points in the Fit Factor at the Youth Center. The playground between Ent and Patterson should be open by Thanksgiving, as well.

Question: Every duty day, during lunch hours, many people enjoy walking in the warm weather. However, from the MIT gate to base pool, lots of those people walk on the road next to the sidewalk instead of on the sidewalk. This creates a very dangerous situation for all involved. Is it possible for the Safety Office or commander to put out a reminder that sidewalks are there to use and not just for looks? It just may save a life.

Response: Safety is imperative! Of course, so is getting outside for exercise and that last little bit of sunshine before winter arrives. I understand that section of road is less traveled than some, but walkers still need to exercise care. My historian tells me that we actually built the sidewalks on that part of base especially for the walkers, but the walkers tell me the sidewalks aren't wide enough to walk three and four abreast. I would ask everyone to be considerate of others and keep safety in mind during your daily routine. Remember, if you must walk on the road, you should always move against traffic, as this gives you better visibility of on-coming vehicles. Peak traffic hours around Hanscom are 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m. during the week, so exercise extra caution then. Additional information for pedestrian and bicycle safety can be reviewed in AFI31-204. If you have any safety concerns, please contact the Safety Office at 781-377-5135.