ASK ANN

"They're back. Well, actually, they never left but it just seems like we have more and more geese in our parks and on our golf courses. We tried letting the native grasses grow up around the perimeters to scare them off but all that did was make the residents complain that we weren't mowing. Is there anything else you can suggest?"

Doesn't matter where I go, I hear the same problem. It's either geese or pigeons. Since the environmentalists get touchy when we talk about disturbing the geese eggs, we'll talk about more mundane possibilities. Brookline, MA is using Japanese kites in the shape of coyotes that flutter in the breeze close to the ground. Seems if you move them around your area, the geese think they are real. You might like to contact Tom Brady at tom_brady@town.brookline.ma.us.

Another practice is using trained dogs that scare the geese away. While there is expense involved in purchasing and training the dogs, the results sound very worthwhile. If you'd like more information, contact Harry Weed with the Village of Rockville Center, NY at hlwadpw@aol.com.

"I heard there will be a new edition of the Public Works Management Practices Manual next year. Who decides what practices should be included? If you had a public works responsibility that isn't covered now, how would you go about getting it included?"

You heard right. The 6th edition of the Public Works Management Practices Manual will be released in August at Congress in New Orleans. The timing of your question couldn't be better. A review committee is being formed and they will begin meeting to review the existing practices and consider new chapters that have been suggested by public works practitioners. Three potential new chapters are Bridges, Beaches, and Code Enforcement. It is likely there will be a few new practices added to existing chapters, as well. If you have suggestions, please contact me at adaniels@apwa.net and I'll be happy to share your information with the committee members when they meet.

As an FYI reminder, the release of the 6th edition of the Manual means that anyone who is planning to become accredited and wishes to continue using the 5th edition will need to sign a contract for Voluntary Accreditation by September 15, 2008 to ensure continuation with that edition. The contract allows you to be locked into that edition and allows for a three-year time period to be ready for an Accreditation Site Visit. After September 15, anyone signing a contract will be required to utilize the 6th edition.

"With all the emphasis being placed on the safety of our bridges, our elected officials are interested in whether there are departments that purchase insurance specifically for bridges. Do you have any information to share?"

Not really, but it's a question I'd also like to have answered. If any of our readers have attempted to purchase or have been successful in purchasing insurance to cover major bridges against a catastrophic event such as an earthquake or hurricane, would you please share the information with our readers? Please send me your comments to adaniels@apwa.net and I'll pass them along.

"My consulting firm works with several agencies in California and we need to have a copy of the APWA Standards and Specifications. I can't find them listed in the APWA catalog. Can you tell me how I can obtain them?"

I'd be happy to if they existed! However, there are no National APWA Standards and Specifications. Several chapters have developed standards for local use, some of which have been "standard" for their states or regions. When you see an "APWA Standard" referenced, please check the "Chapters" pages of our website at www.apwa.net, locate the chapter in your geographical area, and contact one of the chapter officers to determine where you might secure the appropriate Standards.

"I recently read an article that referred to a 'complete streets program.' It was a term I'm not familiar with. Can you help?"

The term refers to the design of streets to incorporate bike lanes and sidewalks to provide space for pedestrians and bikers which may even mean narrowing roads or lanes of traffic to make this accommodation. The program is aimed at giving more people access to the use of the roads. An increase in senior citizens lies behind the complete streets programs in most places where they are being tried. As people become unable to drive, they need to be able to walk safely, including taking a walk to the local bus stop. As you would imagine, it costs less to design the sidewalks and bike paths when the street is originally built, rather than adding it later. Of course, these lanes are not used on highways but rather on residential streets. Fourteen states are currently using one or more complete streets programs, as are cities such as Colorado Springs, CO and Louisville, KY. If you're interested in more specifics, check each city's web page for contact information.

Ask Ann...

Questions are welcome.

Please address all inquiries to:

Ann Daniels
Director of Technical Services
APWA, 2345 Grand Blvd., Suite 500
Kansas City, MO 64108-2625

Fax questions to: (816) 472-1610
E-mail:
adaniels@apwa.net