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THE LANDMARK VIEW
Anyone who's lived in Brookfield or has had occasion to drive down its residential streets knows that doing so can sometimes be a white-knuckle experience. Even in cases where streets are one way, if there are cars parked directly across from one another, you have to squeeze your way through.
If you're driving anything bigger than a minivan, that squeeze can seem even tighter. If you're driving a fire truck, you'd better find an alternate route.
Why Brookfield residents haven't pitched a fit about this situation already is puzzling, but public safety and public works officials have long called for changes to parking rules in order to allow their vehicles to pass through the narrow streets.
Public works has gotten relief in the form of winter rules that restrict parking to allow snow plows to clear the streets. Now it's time for public officials to fundamentally change the way Brookfield residents park their vehicles on the street.
And it's not just an overnight concern. Restricting parking overnight doesn't solve the same problems that exist during the day.
The only solution we can see working is limiting parking to one side of the street and finding some way (whether it's weekly or monthly) to allow street sweepers to clear the side where people are allowed to park.
In areas where driveways are plentiful, this should prove no problem at all. In areas served by alleys, this will put some pressure on the owners of multiple vehicles, but public safety should be of paramount concern.
Change is always a hard thing to adjust to, but residents can really help each other out by giving officials the kind of input they need to craft a solution that will allow people to continue parking on the streets yet be mindful of public safety.
On May 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the village hall, the Brookfield Public Safety Committee will discuss the issue. If you think you can help, don't be shy about giving your two cent's worth.
Let's hear it for mid-century modern
Everybody knows about Riverside's historic buildings, architects and planners. While a whole lot of ink has been spilled on extolling the likes of Frederick Law Olmsted, Frank Lloyd Wright and William LeBaron Jenney, there's a whole segment of Riverside history - it's postwar history - that doesn't get the respect it deserves.
The village lost a real landmark when the Babson Estate was demolished, but it gained a whole chapter of the modern residential architectural history book, too. Sunday's housewalk, brought to the village every other year by the Olmsted Society, shines a light on the development that replaced the Babson Estate and some of the landmark mid-century homes that are being treated as lovingly by their owners as any 19th-century Victorian.
If you get a chance on Sunday, go and take a look. You'll get an inside look at a part of Riverside architectural tourists rarely know to look for.