Meeting to discuss transit center proposal
The Valley Transportation Authority is hosting another community meeting for the proposed Gilroy Transit Center Transit-Oriented Development on April 22 at 6pm.
In February, VTA held two community meetings to discuss the community’s vision for the site. Based on the input received at those meetings, VTA prepared some conceptual designs, which will be presented at the virtual meeting.
The meeting will be conducted simultaneously in English and Spanish.
To view the livestream, without participating, visit youtu.be/UR3ljzmqWmA.
Don’t text and drive
The Gilroy Police Department is reminding drivers about the dangers and consequences of texting and distracted driving. This annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. enforcement effort.
According to NHTSA, between 2012 and 2019, 26,004 people throughout the country died in crashes involving a distracted driver. While fatalities from motor-vehicle crashes decreased slightly from 2018, distraction-related fatalities increased by 10 percent.
According to NHTSA research from 2017, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007. In 2019, nine percent of people killed in teen (15-19) driving crashes died when the teen drivers were distracted at the time of the crash.
“We aren’t out here for the fun of it,” said Officer Rene Arbizu. “Texting, messaging and other forms of distracted driving are increasing habits that put everyone at risk, even those of us in law enforcement. We want drivers to focus on the most important task: hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”
Violating California’s distracted-driving laws can be costly. A first violation will likely exceed $150, and a second or subsequent offense can cost more than $250.
For information, visit nhtsa.gov/campaign/distracted-driving.
Fabric art on display downtown
6th Street Studios & Art Center, 64 West Sixth St., is presenting the work of local artist Jennifer Blalack.
“Fabric of Life” will be on view in the window front gallery through April 30.
In this exhibit, Blalack incorporates fabrics and materials gifted to her from individuals visiting or living in other countries.
Public safety communicator retires
Gilroy Police Department Public Safety Communicator Bonnie Snyder worked her last shift on April 11, capping a 20-year career of public safety service.
“PSC Snyder was known for her strong work ethic and for striving to provide excellent customer service to the Gilroy community,” Gilroy Police Department posted on Facebook. “She will be missed by the entire Gilroy Police Department and the Gilroy community. Congratulations PSC Snyder.”
Defensible space inspections begin
The Cal Fire Santa Clara Unit has begun defensible space inspections throughout Santa Clara County.
This year, inspectors will practice social distancing while conducting inspections. In order to safely inspect homes while keeping residents and inspectors safe, inspections may include drive-by inspections or those taking place on foot from the sidewalk or street.
California Public Resources Code 4291 requires homeowners living in the State Responsibility Area to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around structures. Cal Fire inspectors will be educating residents and evaluating properties to ensure they are in compliance with state law.
Here are some tips that can help homes survive wildfires:
• Maintain 100 feet of defensible space around all structures.
• Clear all needles and leaves from roofs, eaves and rain gutters.
• Trim branches six feet from the ground.
• Use trimming, mowing and power equipment before 10am.
• Landscape with fire-resistant and drought-tolerant plants that require little water.
• Remove branches away from roofs and 10 feet from the chimney.
• Keep wood piles and flammable materials at least 30 feet from the home.
• Use fire ignition resistant building material.
For information on preparing for wildfires and defensible space, visit readyforwildfire.org.