January 22, 2017
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NOW: 39°
HI 55 / LO 36
Simmons Island Park is in need of a fence to keep people from driving off of the road and all over the landscape. ( Brian Passino )

Fix It: Off-road driving on Simmons Island

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Today’s problem: Off-road driving on Simmons Island Park, one of the jewels of the City of Kenosha’s lakefront park areas.

Fix It has noticed that over the past couple of years vehicles are leaving the roadway near the park entrance, at the beach and on the hill areas and tearing up the grass and sand. You know, like it’s their own personal muddin’ track. Lately, this has become a constant problem. On a recent drive on the island, Fix It saw several areas of damage.

There are numerous tire tracks on the park grass areas near the bath house, up on the hill close to the park trees and over the sand areas. The city had installed a split-rail fence on the north side of the road when the old road extension was removed to help prevent this, but only on the north side of the hill portion of the road. Some of these are near long-standing pine trees and over what would be their root areas.

Fix It: Union Pacific railroad crossing on 39th Avenue

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Today’s problem: Everyone’s favorite railroad line in Kenosha has generated another problem and another set of complaints.

The Union Pacific rail line that cuts at a diagonal northeast to southwest across the central part of the City has a number of rough crossings. Four of these that are still in need of repair were written about in a Fix It round-up of problem crossings that was published in the Kenosha News on October 7, 2016.

Fix It: Kenosha Industrial Park sign

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Today’s problem: MH wrote “(The) industrial park sign on west 52nd St. west of Hwy. 31 has not been looked at or painted since day one and looks awful. Can you please look at this?”

Observations: Fix It visited the location. The sign MH is referring to is at the older industrial park on Highway 158, not the newer industrial park west of Highway H.

Fix It: Northside Library book drop

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Today’s problem: Ed Groelle wrote Fix It about the Northside Library’s drive-up book return.

“A few years ago, when the Northside Library was renovated, someone decided to play an apparent joke on library users. The (book) return drive-up box is located in the center of a concave arc, which makes returning books from one’s car an impossible task. Evidence of anyone having tried are the back left rear wheel tire marks on the concrete curb. Even if someone could get close enough it would require using the left arm to hold down the door and insert the books, which is a tricky maneuver in itself. Why can’t there be a push-in flap on the box?”

Fix It: Shovel out those fire hydrants

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Today’s problem: Fix It covered a house fire on December 12 in the 7900 block of 21st Avenue.

With the arrival of winter and the recent snowstorms, it occurred to Fix It that it would be a good idea for people to check for fire hydrants in their neighborhoods and make an effort to see that they are shoveled out to keep access open for the Fire Deptartment.

Fix It: Lighting on Washington Road

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Carol Leibhan wrote, “I believe a major contributing factor to the tragic death of the young man on Washington Road (on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016) was the poor lighting on that section of road. As you head east on Washington Road from Highway 31, you’ll find this section of road is very dark. Especially in the area of 55th Avenue, which is poorly marked, down to the (traffic signal) at 47th Avenue.

“Also, the traffic on this section of road has increased significantly in recent years with all the development in the area. In addition, the speed limit on this section of road remains at 45 mph. This is compared to the other major inlets into the city from Highway 31, (52nd St., 60th St., 75th St.) which are all well-lit roads with a lower speed limit. The city (or Somers) I’m not sure (who) controls this section of road, needs to both add lighting and possibly reduce the speed limit in this section of road.”

Fix It: Why so much waste dumping along Springbrook Road?

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Today’s problem: Dumping of waste materials in the 7500 block of Springbrook Road in Pleasant Prairie.

This happens every so often on this section of roadway, which is just west of Highway 31 (Green Bay Road.) and east of Highway H (88th Avenue). This area has a few homes, a small cemetery and a sanitary sewer station. Further on is the Lakeview Corporate Park.

Fix It: Lack of signs on 100th Avenue

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Today’s problem: Don Ogden called to complain about the lack of signage marking the intersection of 100th Avenue and 18th Street (Highway L) in the Town and Village of Somers.

Ogden said that there’s no marking of 18th Street when driving on 100th Avenue on approach to that intersection. Ogden says it’s not so much of a problem in the daytime, but at night you have to be prepared to turn and “It’s totally different.” Ogden says it’s difficult to see because there’s no signs for vehicles either northbound or southbound on 100th Avenue.

Fix It: Nothing faded about lane marking concerns

4

Today’s problem: Sue Kreger called to complain about the faded or missing lane markings on approach to major intersections that leaves drivers wondering where the through and turn lanes are. Kreger said, “It’s especially dangerous at night, we’re blinded. One of the worst I would have to say is Pershing Boulevard where it meets 80th Street. Is there a left lane there? You can’t really get into that lane until you’re on top of it.”

Kreger said, “In a lot of places it’s not really marked anymore.” Kreger said the city should send somebody to address the problem.

Fix It: Parking on Harrison Road

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Today’s problem: An anonymous caller said, “I’ve often wondered why on Harrison Road from 48th Avenue to 52nd Street, why parking is allowed on the north side of the street. There is a parking lane on the south side, and cars do park there, but people also park on the north side and when cars get opposite each other, it’s narrowed down to one lane. So I’ve often wondered why there aren’t any no parking signs there. It’s sort of a dangerous situation.”

This location is in the Village of Pleasant Prairie on the west side of the Forest Park neighborhood. There aren’t any parking restrictions posted for either side.

Fix It: Washington Road left-turn signal woes

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Today’s problem: GB contacted Fix It to complain about the left-turn arrow for eastbound traffic on Washington Road waiting to turn north onto 30th Ave.

GB wrote, “...At 9 a.m. that arrow hasn’t been functional for months...maybe longer. There’s usually a long line of cars trying to turn left, and I invariably sit through at least one light, sometimes two.” And in another e-mail GB wrote, “My experience has been that regardless of how many cars are traveling east on Washington and turning north onto 30th, the arrow only works when there are also cars traveling west on Washington and turning south onto 30th (Avenue).“

Fix It: Reader asks, what’s up with the mess on 30th Avenue?

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Today’s problem: The seemingly never-ending resurfacing of 30th Avenue between 75th Street and Roosevelt Road is back on Fix It’s plate.

Reader Todd Bundies wrote: “The only thing I can say is that there doesn’t seem to be any rush to finish this project. The last couple days there was only a small crew working on some of the pipes. I can’t believe this project will be complete by next Friday, like the News reports.

Fix It: Alford Park Picnic Area No. 1

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Today’s problem: JS wrote about the Picnic Area No. 1 at Alford Park: “Just south of Carthage College, on the west side of Alford Park Drive, is a small park. It sits directly across the street from a parking area and swimming beach. This small park butts up against the Pike River on the other side.

“In the past, there had been a wooden pavilion at this park used for picnics, etc. That old pavilion has since been torn down, and nearby a metal shelter was recently constructed. Here's the issue: When they tore down the old pavilion, they left the old concrete foundation and old electrical boxes in place. They did not reuse those items for the new shelter.

Fix It: Big pothole limits access to shopping center

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Today’s problem: HC called to say, “We’ve got a problem over here on 27th Ave ...We’ve got people on electric wheelchairs and with walkers” from the area senior citizen housing that have to go around a large pothole on an access road on a real estate development in order to get to the shopping center (not the same property) that is nearby.

Observations: Fix It visited the location and, yes, there is a big, honking pothole about 6 feet wide and 2-3 inches deep just to the west of 27th Avenue and south of 18th Street on an access road on the southeast side of the real estate development there. In an ideal situation, pedestrians would probably be better off using the sidewalk that extends to the north for shopping center access rather than this roadway.

Fix It: Wilson Road needs a yield sign

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Today’s problem: Guida Brown wrote, “...There needs to be a yield sign on Wilson Road for those traveling northeast toward 39th Avenue from the Forest Park area but turning left onto 40th Avenue. As an unmarked intersection, it’s dangerous for those traveling west up Wilson Road when someone is turning onto 40th Avenue, as the turners seem to think they have the right-of-way, though I admit I’m not certain why they would think that. There is a yield sign at the (south) end of 40th Avenue where people would enter onto Wilson Road, but this sign is needed for those actually traveling ON Wilson Road. So my solution would be this sign.”

Observations: This three-way intersection is a block south of 60th St. and a block west of 39th Ave. As most Kenoshans know and as Brown stated, there is already a yield sign for southbound traffic on 40th Ave., but the intersection is otherwise uncontrolled. Brown’s idea is a sign to be installed that says, “Left Turn Yield To Oncoming Traffic.” Another idea would be to also paint that yield sign on the pavement, extending out into the intersection halfway.

Fix It: More Union Pacific crossings

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Today’s problems: This is a round-up of some recent complaints about Union Pacific railroad crossings in the City of Kenosha. The four crossings mentioned here are rough, with drivers slowing to a crawl while going over them to avoid damaging their vehicles.

Bill Bryant wrote Fix It, “Take a look at the railroad crossing on 45th Ave. south of Harrison Rd. It’s in terrible shape and in need of repair. I have (been) watching this crossing degrade over the past year as more and more vehicles use 45th Avenue to access Highway 50. The asphalt has degraded at the approach and in-between the rails to the point that it’s a danger to not only cars but bicycle traffic. Take a look and you will see what I am taking about. Go slow over the tracks (because) you don’t want to damage your car.”

Fix It: In search of smooth ride on 30th Avenue

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Today’s problem: Kathy Moran wrote Fix It that, “… the area of 30th Avenue between 75th Street and Roosevelt Road is horrendous. It was dug up last year for sewer repairs and it seems the repair is worse than the rest of the crumbling road. I can’t imagine how an inspector could have approved the “repairs” to the road following the construction — it’s a jarring ride and needs to be fixed!” Walt Wrixton said of that section of 30th Avenue, “It’s extremely uneven.”

Todd Bundies wrote, “Once again in this morning’s News, it mentions the road resurfacing on 30th Avenue from 75th Street to Roosevelt Road to start July 25 and finish up in October. Well, here we are in the second week of September and it hasn’t started yet. I drive 30th (Avenue) back and forth to work and this section of road is horrible — especially the northbound section around the old LeBlanc building. Can you find out when the city plans on doing something about this stretch of road, before my shocks give out?”

Fix It: Missing HarborPark walkway lights

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Today’s problem: Dana Hutson wrote, “Is there a reason why the city is not fixing or replacing the street lamps along the lakefront path downtown? There are at least 8 of them that aren’t working between the south channel marker and the marina storage building, and they’ve been out for months.

“Especially now that there are so many more people in that area at night because of the PokemonGo craze, you would think they would make it a priority! And don’t even get me started on the damaged lookout that has been "fenced off" down there for what, almost 2 years now? Our lakefront is the city’s crown jewel and having this kind of neglect is disgraceful.”

Fix It: A burning question in Somers

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Today’s problem: Carol Hundley said, “It’s hard to put 10 years of aggravation into one phone call ... We could smell smoke inside the apartments, that’s how bad it was. It smelled acrid. I am too old for this ... my health will not allow me to live in smoke.

“Filling up a neighborhood with smoke is endangering the health of these people.”

Fix It: Kenosha water tower on Green Bay Road a rusty tub

3

Today’s problem: Jeremy Andrews wrote, “ The (City of) Kenosha water tower on the (northeast) corner of 75th Street and Green Bay Road. It’s badly rusted and needs a paint job. (It) makes the city look tacky almost for those arriving into town either on Highway 50 from the west or Green Bay Road from the north or south. It looks really unhealthy there. Also, its light beacon keeps burning out and it has not been fixed since the last time it burnt out several years ago. The city really needs to take better care of this specific water tower.”

City responds: Ed St. Peter, general manager of the Kenosha Water Utility, wrote, “I typically budget annually to paint one of our 10 water tanks. This year we are painting the west tank at 60th Street near the fire station. I will be proposing to paint the 75th Street and Green Bay Road tank in next year’s budget. The estimated cost to paint that tank is $450,000. The budget is approved by the Board of Water Commissioners in November.” As far as the light on top of the tower, St. Peter wrote, “The lights are not required by FAA, but we do replace them. I will check into it. I didn’t know it was out. Thanks for the reminder.”

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