December 26, 2013GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Once upon a time, motorists were dissuaded from routinely jumping the curb at the foot of Vernier at Lakeshore and smashing straight through the wrought iron fence into Osius Park.
"My understanding was, years ago, there was a very large arrow that you couldn't miss," said John Schulte, chief of public safety in Grosse Pointe Shores.
True, according to Brett Smith, the city's public works director.
The foot of Vernier used to be highlighted by a 4-by-4 foot yellow, double-ended arrow pointing left and right onto Lakeshore, he said.
"You could see it from Morningside (a half-mile away)," Smith said of the sign. "Wayne County took that sign down a number of years ago. That's when these problems started with this fence."
Four motorists this year jumped the curb and landed in the park. All were arrested for being drunk.
The most recent repair cost was $2,313, according to a Dec. 2 entry in the city's check register.
Guilty drivers must compensate the city for damage to municipal property.
"I think we're getting money back for that from the person who hit it," said Mark Wollenweber, city manager.
One driver hit the fence before it was fully fixed from an earlier crash.
"We still have to collect from them," Wollenweber said.
"Thus far, we've collected almost $10,000 on fencing," said John Schulte, chief of public safety. "I spend a lot of time invoicing for that. We're keeping (the fence repair) guy in business.".
"We should get frequent driver miles," said Mayor Ted Kedzierski.
The city's engineering consultants are reviewing the intersection, Smith said.
"Hopefully, the engineering people will come up with an alternative to detour people from entering the park without their park pass."
Smith also announced that the city qualified for a federal grant to improve traffic signals at the intersection.