SNA salutes Citizens Bank Hope Street Branch Manager Sandra Carey and Regional Manager Dennis Wyatt for their rapid action on a neighbor concerns about safety at their lot on the corner of Hope and Lauriston. Neighbors cited traffic and pedestrian safety, noise, some after-hours uses of the lot and the property’s appearance among their issues with Citizens. At the bank’s request, neighbors are now developing requests for improved landscaping.

Sandra and Dennis heard from Jack Templin, who has been the spokesperson for folks on Lauriston and Jonathan Howard, representing SNA, at a meeting at the branch on March 15. By March 30, Mr. Wyatt informed Jack of a number of steps the bank had taken or would soon take.

• The bank will have a security guard in the lot during peak business hours to direct traffic, and prevent the kinds of angry confrontations that neighbors worry could turn to real violence.
• A convex mirror is being installed at the exit from the drive-up to remove the blind spot as cars cross the sidewalk onto Hope Street.
• Bank staff will look into repairing the stop/yield sign at the exit as well.
• Painters will be out to paint the speed bumps as well as add better exit directions to lot.
• Citizens will contact the city a in regards to sidewalks, and potholes connecting the lot to the streets.
• Citizens will ask Verizon to remove the nearby pay phone, which has been linked to drug dealing.
• Citizens has asked its parking lot cleanup crew to do its work only on weekdays between 7 and 9 AM and not during weekends. (The lot is cleaned as needed, not on a fixed schedule.)
• The bank has been unable to learn who owns or controls the sidewalk newspaper boxes on the corner, but would like them to be removed as well.

On Tuesday, April 4, the Lauriston residents met to discuss steps Citizens should take to improve the lot’s landscaping. Mr. Wyatt has said that the bank will not sacrifice any of its current parking. He has also stated that the existing parking configuration and traffic flow, including entrances on both Lauriston and Hope Streets is the “optimum” design. Neighbors have cited the side entrance as creating backups and total traffic blockages on Lauriston and have suggested it be closed.


atear · May 12, 2006 at 1:05 pm

I’ll ask the folks from the Citizens project group confirm this, but my guess is that they:

a) contribute to litter on the street as people take out these papers while waiting for a bus, then leave them;
b) are targets for vandalism and graffiti, and no one owns the responsibility of repairing/replacing them;
c) are usually used to distribute advertising papers, employment times, real estate, or the like, rather than content papers (phoenix, prov/east side monthly, or the like).

Content papers can usually be found at a local merchant, where someone is responsible for keeping them neat, and there is the possibility for some local interaction !

I think you make a good point about the pay phone. However, there is another pay phone right across the street in the CVS parking lot.

Aaron Masri · May 12, 2006 at 11:38 am

Just a curious question…What exactly is the issue with the newspaper boxes that would require their removal?

Also, regarding the pay phone, I recall an SNA meeting where Lt. Schiavulli indicated that drug dealers were more inclined to use cell phones to do business because it allows them to evade detection, something a pay phone would not do since they would have to place a call and remain in public view for a period of time. Everyone agrees that all possible steps should be taken to prevent drug dealing in Summit. However, shouldn’t we take a step back and really consider that removing this pay phone will possibly prevent someone who is without a cell phone from using it for legitimate reasons instead of effectively combating illegal drug activity?

Paul Aceto · April 12, 2006 at 6:13 am

Concerning the sidewalk newspaper boxes on the corner: RI state law, Title 11, section 22-2 allows anyone to remove and destroy any signs or advertising from a public place such as a utility pole or a sidewalk. Citizens Bank (or anyone) may simply throw them away.

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