McCallum Park Concerns:
Hello, my family has been residents of the Rosemary Ln / Jannebo Rd neighborhood well before the city was established and we have accumulated a series of complaints concerns regarding McCallum Park. This is formed from a collection of experiences I have had with this park from an adolescent to an adult with two young children. We have thoroughly enjoyed the park and I believe in its importance, especially to children, but it has increasingly become a hazard to us, our neighbors, and to visitors of the park and neighborhood. The time for experimentation is over and our safety to be taken more seriously. This is the only park of its kind in the city where it is completely surrounded by a residential area. The park is tucked away and cut off from the road leading in, making it an attractive place for crime. The city needs to look into how this park must be treated differently than any other.
Our neighborhood is a destination for people all over Birmingham to come and walk in (which is an amazing asset), but it has become and increasingly dangerous place to be a pedestrian. Kids from all over the city walk in our neighborhood because of the safe atmosphere and road condition. I cannot think of any other neighborhood who gets as much pedestrian traffic as we do on a beautiful spring weekend. With the park opening it created a destination for local teens to come drive recklessly through the neighborhood and park. This place has become such a destination because teens have found it to be a safe haven from authority. But when people (mostly teens) do get caught in the park for trespassing or reckless driving, they get let go with just a warning or ticket nearly every time. I have seen and experienced countless close calls with the dangerous traffic coming up and down Rosemary Lane.
Drug-dealing, robberies, car-jackings, and a suicide has plagued this park and nothing has changed to assure the safety of park goers or residence of the surrounding community. Police presence is characterized by the occasional patrol car driving through without maintaining a substantial presence. Police response time to the area is sluggish at best and I fear that our calls are not taken as serious as they once were.
The park and surrounding neighborhood is prideful in its natural appeal thus I do not wish to see the city invest into costly infrastructural projects like street-side lampposts or a sidewalks through the neighborhood. Instead I wish to see the city take action within the park and only minimally the surrounding streets. To slow incoming and outgoing traffic, we need 2-3 substantial speed bumps on Rosemary lane and a bump put at the entrance of McCallum park itself. The residents of Rosemary Ln and Jannebo Rd will be affected most by these speedbumps, but if it can keep a kid from being struck by a vehicle I'm sure no one would oppose. Wald park is open, close to other public facilities, and is marked by constant police presence (cause of the school, rec center, etc.). Meadowlawn Park in Cahaba Heights is open, close to businesses, is easily and readily patrolled by police because of its visibility from the road. McCallum Park does not have any of these characteristics thus should be designated it own policeman to watch over the area at all times. Frequent patrols do nothing when criminals can see police coming from Rocky Ridge Rd and have time to scatter into the surrounding woods (and sometimes into neighboring private properties). A constant police presence is needed in this park. I believe that lighting inside the parking area would also help deter crime within the park. A camera should be installed at the front entrance of the park to record any sort of crime or suspicious vehicle/person. I believe a cameral would also to serve as a deterrent to any potential criminals to stay away from the area. Please do something to address these concerns because I fear it is only a matter of time until something tragic happens in the park or in the surrounding neighborhood.