A property owner on the 700 block of West Magnolia repeatedly drove over a freshly-poured concrete median Wednesday because she says she has no other choice.
“There is no way of accessing my driveway without destroying my front yard or destroying my vehicle going over this median,” said Lisa Hatherley, who owns several properties in the Beacon Hill and Alta Vista neighborhoods
The medians are part of a city project to keep drivers from going around railroad crossing bars while they are down to signal an approaching train. That would permit the area to be designated a “quiet zone” allowing trains not to be required to blow their horns as they approach the intersection with West Magnolia.
Hatherley does not live in the home on West Magnolia- which sits next to the railroad tracks- but she is angry because the median means her tenants cannot turn left out of the driveway and Hatherley cannot back her trailer into the driveway without hitting the median.
So that’s just what she did Wednesday evening, damaging the wet cement.
Hector Cardenas, president of the Alta Vista Neighborhood Association, arrived to see the damage and quickly called police.
“Its ridiculous. I can’t believe a woman, who is a landlord who doesn’t even live here, is worried about backing up a trailer,” said Cardenas. “Three thousand other people in this neighborhood want the quiet zone. This has been going on for a year.”
Hatherley owns multiple properties in the area and uses the trailer to routinely haul supplies and appliances from the homes for continued maintenance, she says.
April Alcoser, spokesperson for the city’s Public Works department, says homeowners in the affected area were made aware of the project and several community meetings were held during which residents could ask questions and voice concerns.
But Hatherley claims she was not notified. She wants the city to find another option- such as installing quad bars onto the railroad crossing arms to prevent drivers from going around.
That alternative, said Alcoser, is just too expensive.
Alcoser and District 1 city councilman Diego Bernal said the city has offered to widen Hatherley’s driveway for free or move it to the other side of her house to provide a pathway clear of the median.
Hatherley said she was never offered the second option, but that would still create a problem because of the location of her garage.
“If they do not like the noise or the horn or if its bothering them, they can choose to live elsewhere,” Hatherley said of neighbors who want the quiet zone.
"Destroying city property, the lady should be in jail,” said Cardenas.
SAPD was called to West Magnolia earlier Wednesday after neighbors said Hatherley drove over the median the first time.
During their second visit, officers said they did not plan on citing her.
Bernal took to Twitter to address the issue tweeting “An unhappy resident drove over an in-progress quiet zone median, destroying it and endangering the city crew. Our hardworking men and women deserve better. So does the neighborhood. That's the point. The work will continue."