Let's clean up the trash

During the week before Christmas, while my wife and I were parked in Magnolia's only pay lot, we couldn't help but notice the messy appearance of the area.

Upon closer inspection we noted an abandoned living room sofa surrounded by black garbage bags oozing their filthy contents upon the ground. Some kind of large, unattached orange pole was protruding from the bushes as well-perhaps a remnant of a portable basketball system.

The large industrial containers, besides looking bad, emanated a cloud of foul orders.

And on the opposite side of the lot, where two giant, white donation containers reside, there were bags of who-knew-what casually strewn about. Either the bins were completely full, or these items were simply slung out of passing cars by lazy, inconsiderate drivers.

If it was the latter, I am really ticked. I thought the Magnolia personality forbade such poor manners.

The parking lot of which I speak has become a de facto RV site. Several motor homes appear to be parked permanently in spaces designed for smaller vehicles-like a car!

Plus, a mobile espresso van parks right in the middle of the lot, doing what appears a decent business. Magnolians must be caffeine addicts par excellence; in addition to the drive thru, the Village hosts by my count at least four establishments serving espresso.

I predicted a traffic issue when the new, 28-condominium complex was being built. Now that it's been up and running, I'd have to say my prediction came true-in spades. Negotiating the exit from Washington Mutual's lot onto Smith Street is a most hazardous adventure. And a drive on the short section of 33rd Avenue West between Smith and McGraw streets is not only heart-pumping; as a test of visual acuity it rivals any opthamologist's exam.

Try driving through the alley on West Wheeler Street, connecting 32nd and 33rd streets: every time I attempted that route last month it was blocked by a huge delivery truck. Or it was clogged with cars double parked, ostensibly so their occupants could "just run in for a second to UPS."

I moved into our home on 35th Avenue West in the spring of 1978. Magnolia Village was then a sleepy, comfortable place with no traffic problems. For my first two decades living there, I always felt safe driving around the area.

All that has changed in the past couple of years. For example, my 1993 LeSabre was broken into while parked in the visitor's lot adjacent to Magnolia Park. Speeding cars have recklessly passed me while I was driving at the speed limit on the Clise Street section near the park.

And mailing a letter using the drive-by option is so upsetting for my wife these days that she insists I park in the pay lot while she gets out of the car and walks to the post office receptacle.

"It seems silly, I know," Rita says, "but I feel better, safer and surer that no one will crash into our car." I dare say that others feel as we do.

The space allotted in that area for a vehicle to pass by, mail a letter and safely exit is no longer sufficient. I have one suggestion for the drivers who peeled down that alley the week prior to Christmas: tranquilizers. Only now do I truly realize how many people drive enormous SUVs.

I have state-sanctioned handicapped license plates on my automobile. However, there are no handicapped parking spaces on any of the streets in Magnolia Village. Some exist for a few businesses such as Bartells, Albertsons, Bank of America and Key Bank. But try and park a van with a power lift to exit a wheelchair!

I wonder if the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce would place this issue on its agenda for future discussions? It makes sense that they'd be interested in any project that would bring additional shoppers to the Village-shoppers who otherwise might be rebuked due to lack of handicapped parking.[[In-content Ad]]