Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Safety Tips - from City of Rochester web site and City Planning Commission Meetings

Cool Safety Tips for a Hot Summer

Summer is finally here! The kids are off from school, families are packing for vacations, backyard pools are open and everyone is looking for ways to beat the heat. The Rochester Police Department offers these helpful tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer.

General Safety

  • Headed out to skate or ride your bike? Wear a helmet and other safety equipment. Helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by as much as 85 percent. Wrist and knee pads will help you spend the summer cast-free!
  • What’s summer without a barbecue? Make sure that your grill is in good working order before using. Never use a charcoal grill indoors and make sure your grill is located away from any structures and out of the path of children.
  • Is your playground safe? Falls cause 60 percent of playground injuries, so use at least 9 inches of wood chips or mulch to provide a safe cushion. Secure playground sets properly and encourage the use of appropriate safety equipment when playing games. Make sure to remove nets when not in use. Trampolines should be used by only one person at a time and have side guards to prevent falls. Never let young children play on or near a trampoline without supervision.
  • Open windows can help cool you down but also pose a danger. Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of open windows. Whenever possible, open windows from the top - not the bottom, and keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows.
  • Time to cut the grass? Make sure small children are out of the yard. Turn the mower off if children enter the area. If the lawn slopes, mow across the slope with walk-behind rotary mowers, never up and down. With a riding mower, drive up and down the slope, not across it. Never carry children on a riding mower.

Pool Safety*

Each year, about 300 children under the age of five drown in pool accidents, and over 2,100 children are rushed to the emergency room for near-drowning accidents. In 2005, 17 children drowned in accidents involving home inflatable pools, up significantly from previous years. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than 5 minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.

  • Use layers of protection to prevent a swimming pool tragedy. This includes placing barriers completely around your pool to prevent access, using door and pool alarms, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an emergency.
  • At public pools or beaches, swim only in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Swimming lessons are available at many of the City of Rochester’s Recreation Centers and pools. Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.

*Provided courtesy of the American Red Cross

Home & Vehicle Security

Whether you are heading out of town for a week-long vacation or just into the backyard to do some gardening, keep the following tips in mind. To learn more, contact your City of Rochester Neighborhood Service Center to schedule a home security evaluation or crime prevention session for you and your neighbors.

  • Call 911 immediately to report all suspicious activity such as persons loitering, going door to door, or the sound of glass breaking.
  • Report any attempt to break into your house, garage or vehicle, such as cuts on your window screens near the locks, broken auto glass or rummaging through your car.
  • Never leave items of any value in an unattended car; always roll up your windows, lock your vehicle and use security devices like alarms or steering wheel locks.
  • Keep your doors, windows and garages locked when not at home – even when you’re in the yard or at a neighbor’s.
  • Install and use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • Notify a neighbor when you are going to be away.
  • Discontinue newspaper delivery when going on vacation.
  • Keep outside lights on all night AND use motion sensor lights all around your home.
  • Trim shrubs to deny burglars a hiding place, especially shrubs around windows.
  • Lock up ladders and trash toters where they cannot be used by a burglar.
  • Don’t leave returnable cans etc. out for the “homeless”.
  • Never open your door for a stranger.
  • Be a good neighbor…watch your neighbors' property.

Motorcycle Safety

There’s nothing like the freedom of riding your motorcycle on the open road. But motorcycles are especially vulnerable to distracted or reckless driving. So be extra cautious and remember these tips.*

For motorcyclists:

  • Get trained and licensed.
  • Wear protective gear -- all the gear, all the time -- including a helmet manufactured to the standards set by the DOT.
  • Ride unimpaired by alcohol or other drugs.
  • Ride within your own skill limits.
  • Be a lifelong learner by taking refresher rider courses.

For vehicle drivers:

  • Look for motorcyclists -- Use your eyes and mirrors to see what's around, and check the blind spots when you're changing lanes or turning at intersections. Look, and look again.
  • Focus on driving -- Hang up the phone, put down the MP3 player, settle the passengers, and drive.
  • Use your turn signals -- Signal your intentions for everyone's safety.
  • Give two-wheelers some room -- Don't tailgate or pass too closely.
  • Take your time -- Nothing is as important as the safety of your loved ones, yourself, and the others with whom you share the road.

*Provided courtesy of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation



The City Planning Commission conducted a Public Informational Meeting on June 14, 2010 regarding the proposed Zoning Text Changes prepared by the City Zoning Office.

At that meeting it was announced that a second Public Informational Meeting will be conducted by the City Planning Commission on July 19, 2010, beginning at 6:30 PM in City Council Chambers, Room 302A, to receive and review written and verbal testimony regarding this project. This item is Case #8 on the Planning Commission agenda.

Also at that meeting, speakers requested that the Zoning Office hold a workshop to present and discuss the proposed changes in preparation for the July 19th meeting. In response, two workshops have been scheduled as follows:

Thursday, July 8, 2010, from 3:00-5:00 PM in City Council Chambers, City Hall, Room 302A, or

Tuesday, July 13, 2010, from 3:00-5:00 PM in City Council Chambers, City Hall, Room 302A.

Please consider attending one of these meetings. Also, please share this information with others that may be interested.

Attached are the documents that will be presented and discussed, which include: 1) a spreadsheet itemizing the proposed changes; 2) the draft legislation which shows that physical changes to the zoning text; and, 3) a separate document that outlines the changes to the Site Plan Review triggers as noted in the spreadsheet.

At the conclusion of the July 19th meeting and after reviewing all written and verbal testimony, the City Planning Commission will prepare a recommendation to City Council regarding the Zoning Text changes.

City Council will conduct a Public Hearing on August 17, 2010, to be held in City Council Chambers, Room 302A, beginning at 8:00 PM to consider the Planning Commission’s recommendation regarding the legislation.

If you have any questions, please contact me by e-mail or phone, or Marcia Barry at

We look forward to seeing you. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this project.


Zina Lagonegro, AICP
City of Rochester
Bureau of Planning and Zoning
30 Church Street, Rm. 125B
Rochester, NY 14614
Fax 585-428-6137

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