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Published August 30th, 2023
Letters to the editor

Remove abandoned vehicles in Moraga

If you're tired of the blight from abandoned vehicles in Moraga, please read this.
Like many of you, I'm tired of being overwhelmed by the number of abandoned and wrecked vehicles in and around town.
In response to recent resident complaints, Town staff has been undertaking the process of code enforcement to get the offending businesses to remove these vehicles. Unfortunately, this process appears to be lengthy and time consuming, especially where cars have been stored for a long period of time. On-going, this process includes Town staff visiting each offending property, compilation of data, sending out letters to each business and/or property owner, additional requests to remove the vehicles, issuing of progressive fines, potential litigation, and, then the ultimate removal of unauthorized vehicles.
How can we help expediate the removal of these vehicles
Sending emails (from as many residents as possible) to the Town Manager's Office is a strategic and helpful way to ensure our voice is heard and to keep Town Hall focused on this serious quality of life problem. The more our local government hears from us (in writing), the more ammunition they will have to continue the effort to clean up our town!
So, here's my ask:
Please take a minute to send a polite (but forceful) email directly to the Town Manager. Be sure to be specific about the vehicle(`s) location and share your point of view and concerns about how this problem has affected you. Feel free to share how this has impacted how you feel about living in Moraga. Include information like how long you've lived in Moraga. Use words/phrases like "blight," "dilapidated vehicles," "abandoned vehicles," "inoperable vehicles," and so on to convey how this has degraded our community to the point where our two shopping centers have become automotive junkyards. You can certainly come up with your own words.
Please send your emails directly to Town Manager Scott Mitnick: smitnick@moraga.ca.us
It'll only take a few minutes and our collective emails will be instrumental in accelerating a solution to this problem.
Thank you!

Paul Cohune

Slow Down Lafayette

Although at face value the Slow Down Lafayette program sounds like a great program, I do not think that it is enough to actually work. As a resident of Lafayette for over 50 years I've heard this rhetoric for far too long.
Not only are cars easier to drive, they accelerate much faster. The roads are smoother as well. Car ads, movies, and TV promote speed and frankly reckless driving.
I was told by a Lafayette police officer that they don't even issue tickets for speed any longer. Moraga sure does.
If you want people to obey the law you'll have to start enforcing it. Video evidence and/or cameras may help, yet it's the police presence that tames people. Set up speed traps on an alternating basis in various locations. Do something. Bikes, pedestrians, and auto drivers would be safer. I see speed signs in a few areas yet no enforcement.
Heavily traveled roads through town like Mt Diablo, St Mary's, and Moraga Road are driven at ridiculous speeds. People have no consideration for those that live on those roads and need to slow to enter their driveways. When schools let out the roads are packed beyond capacity and those same residents have an even harder time getting into their driveways. Safety takes a back seat then.
Come on police and city government, get busy, start enforcing the law and following through with prosecution. You've been talking about controlling traffic for at least 25 years. So do something about it.

Neil Stewart

Orinda's evacuation analysis must be redone

Folks in Orinda and Moraga who intend to evacuate through downtown Orinda, in the event of a wildfire, should insist that Orinda's Evacuation Analysis be redone. It assumed that a wildfire would not spread. Of course, in that event, there would be no need to evacuate. The MOFD Fire Chief pointed out this flaw to Orinda staff last fall, saying that wildfire spread should be modeled. Attorney General Bonta has said the same thing. Orinda staff did not relay the Fire Chief's concerns to the City Council, even though he asked staff to do so. Orinda's staff also promised that the Evacuation Analysis would analyze the effect on evacuation through downtown of the planned 1,618 new housing units to be built downtown. But it didn't do so; it only analyzed current conditions. Even so, and without considering any spread of a wildfire, it determined that it would take 60 to 90 minutes to evacuate. This is troublesome because many residents of Orinda and Moraga will need to evacuate through downtown, which is a known pinch point. Unfortunately, to date, although the Orinda City Council has been made aware of these issues, there is no indication that it intends to do anything about them.

Nick Waranoff

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