All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fire station #3 already IS in the right place!

If the goal of the Fire/EMS Task Force study was to make travel times more equally distributed, it is difficult to understand how relocating the #3 station 1 mile to the west can possibly accomplish that result. I won’t go into the “hot spot” discussion here. Station #3’s close proximity to that area of highest need (hotels, interstate, and Brookfield Square) is easy enough to see.

Monday, I again conducted some time/travel tests of my own. I was curious to see how far some of those Weston Hills addresses were from the present Moorland #3 fire station. If the Task Force’s recommended location for #3 was on Calhoun, surely the new travel times to the farthest reaches of the south side should improve, right? WRONG!

According to the Task Force travel time map, the 3 random addresses below I-94 in Weston Hills (the western most area of Brookfield) are: in clockwise order: 3:27, 3:48, and 2:37. (The area north of I-94 is really in Station #1’s area.) The 3 sites on the east side (not the easternmost border) are: 5:13, 6:50, and 5:30. Does that seem equitable to you? Keep in mind, those eastern locations are not the furthermost addresses on the eastside. The proposed redevelopment of the Quebecor property will add 200(?)condo/apartment addresses northeast of that 6:50 site on the map.

So what are the travel times to those western Weston Hills destinations that are so terrible we have to relocate fire station #3 from its current “hot spot” location? Again in the same order: 5:26, 5:47, and 4:37. Moorland #3 services the eastern addresses at 3:12, 4:40, and 4:30.

Logic compels me to ask:
Why is a 6:50 travel time (not the most easterly address) to a densely populated area of the eastside an acceptable travel time for the new location, but a travel time of 5:26 and 5:47 to Weston Hills unacceptable for the present station location? Moving station #3 to the west is not only borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, it is going into debt to boot! The new travel times are worse than before!

At the HRPS meeting, Alderman Mahkorn said that you will hear argument there are more calls to #3 (on Moorland). That argument is for today. But I am envisioning for the future 15 – 20 years. Where will the demographics be? It will be more to the west.

I could not disagree more! Unless we annex more of the Town of Brookfield, we are already built out as far west as we can. The density of the current eastside homes is not going away—and more condos will be added.

If Mahkorn was referring to VK’s Ruby/WTMJ property, that could be serviced by Station #1, which is just 2 miles away, or Station #3 which is currently also 2 miles away. If he was speaking of the possible annexation of the Town, then that is ALL THE MORE REASON TO NOT MOVE FIRE STATION #3! If annexation is the case, we will have their Town fire station for the west side.

The trend is toward better fire service: quicker response times. Moving station #3 to the west will make that goal impossible to achieve. Currently, we enjoy a fairly balanced service to both the southeast side and southwest side of our city. Let’s not make a $3 million dollar mistake now that will cost far more to correct later.

Coming up next: Field Trip to the Town of Brookfield’s fire house--it’s not like Mayberry RFD


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