Ask the commander – October 22, 2015

Col. Mary Martin, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander

Col. Mary Martin, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander

What another fabulous week of the Things to Do in USAG Wiesbaden! Please don’t forget to turn your clocks back this weekend and we hope to see everyone at the Movie on the Lawn’s viewing of “Hocus Pocus” at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24. Thanks for the great support to our community; your comments, suggestions, and concerns help make our community more aware of all that goes on here in USAG Wiesbaden. Until the next edition; Auf Wiedersehen!

Editor’s note: Have something you’d like to share with the commander? Send an ICE comment or contact the Commander’s Hotline (click the Feedback link on the garrison home page).

School crossings

Anonymous said: There is a safety concern after school with the elementary, middle, and high schools. There are no crossing guards or MPs as the students are released from school and going to buses. Students cross between the middle school/high school without looking, and traffic backs up without the ability to safely go through that one lane intersection at the cross walk. There is usually a civilian there in the morning, but never anyone in the afternoon. There should always be someone directing pedestrian and vehicular traffic as school commences and releases.

Response: Thank you for your concern, the safety of our children is exceptionally important. The Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) supports school areas with military police on a daily basis at the start, and at the end of the school day with officers to direct and monitor traffic. If you notice an area without coverage, please call DES and let them know. Another note for community members to be aware of is that USAG Wiesbaden, Commander, staff, principals and others discuss traffic, vehicle and pedestrian safety at the Installation Advisory Committee. This committee meets quarterly and has made many recommendations over the past several years which have been adopted by the community to improve safety in school areas. Schools and community continue to make the community aware of the concern and educate children, youth and adults on safety in and around our schools.

ACP traffic arms

Gary M. said: This is in reference to the recent email about the traffic arms at the Clay Kaserne traffic circle. I would like to point out that the timing and operation of the arms have changed several times. In addition, at times the arms are not functioning at all. Currently, the arm comes down in yellow light and continues to some down before the red light. Sometimes when approaching the arms in yellow the light changes to green. Sometimes when approaching the light in yellow the arm comes down. The arm remains up thru the yellow light. Once the light is red then the arm comes down.

Response: Thank you for sharing your concerns about the drop arms at the Clay Kaserne ACP. We have made only one change to the lights and drop arm system since the gate opened nine months ago. As indicated in the Garrison’s informational notice, the cause of the accidents at the gate is unfortunately people not obeying the traffic light. Drivers should approach the barrier area, which also has a speed bump installed, at a relatively slow pace. By doing so, and by following the traffic lights direction, accidents should be avoided.

Vehicle registration

Erving V. said: I find the hours of operations for Vehicle Registration to be awful. Currently it is “walk-ins” from 7:30-11:30 a.m., and appointments only after this time. I believe it should be the other way around, 7:30-11:30 a.m. for appointments and after, walk-ins. It seems the times are set up so the persons working at the office have less to do. Better yet, remove the appointment requirements and have all walk-ins with a sign-in sheet like it was before. It is a pain to have the car inspected and then having to return at a later date for the registration paperwork.

Response: Thank you for your comment. Over a year ago we identified the need to add appointments for our customers to help reduce wait times. Appointments can be scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The reason we only take walk-in customers in the morning hours is to ensure that there is still time for the clerks to help the customers who have signed in before 11:30.

Hainerberg traffic

Michael F. said: Has any thought been given to having two inbound lanes for Hainerberg during the afternoon rush hour? That seems to work well for the morning traffic and the traffic onto Hainerberg seems as bad or worse at 1700. My wife just waited in line 20 minutes to take our children to their CYS sports practice. It has to frustrate the host nation as well.

Response: Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the temporary ACP at Hainerberg. We have assessed the option of making the temporary ACP open for only inbound traffic during the afternoons or evenings. When the temporary ACP was planned, designed and constructed we assessed the need for several adjustments or variations. Computer traffic modelling was done at multiple stages, vehicle counts have been conducted, and physical observations have been done. None of these efforts indicate that there would be a significant increase in traffic flow into the temporary ACP. The morning adjustment was made specifically to address the concern of delays for children getting to school on time.

Fitness annex

Garrett C. said: I would like to make a few suggestions to improve the current Annex: 1) Install mirrors in the free weights area (this will ensure individual are using proper form when exercising). 2) Install shelves for placement of bags (this will eliminate the bags from various locations within the gym area and provide central storage location). Note, shelves won’t need doors or locks, just a location to place workout bags and still facilitate maintaining visibility on the items. 3) Increase lighting level.

Response: Thank you for your suggestions, some of our future improvements to the Fitness Center Annex include mirrors and storage bins for small bags/jackets. We ask for your continued patience as we strive to improve our Annex; however, please be aware the Cardio and Strength Training areas will return to the Fitness Center as soon as repairs are made to the Fitness Center’s floor.

ID card appointments

Christopher B. said: What is the procedure for being recognized at the ID card office when you have an appointment?

Response: Thank you for your question. During appointment dates the ID Verifying Officer will call the name of the individual. If the individual is not present they move to the next person in line. If this is not happening or you do not hear your name, please bring it to the Verifying Officers attention.

Rheinblick ‘on course’

Anonymous (for Rheinblick Golf Course): What a wonderful establishment. Very family friendly and really enjoyed the outside terrace while dining and even made a few German friends! We will be back!

Fire department praise

Anonymous (for DES Fire Department): Our school age center visited fire prevention week presentation at the PX yesterday and the children were blown away by the experience. Karen, Timo and the rest of the fire crew were professional and informative and showed great patience with children we had with us. The new hook and ladder truck looked great. Too bad it was too wet to take a ride on it. Please pass our thanks to the fire crew.

Recycle center thanks

Anonymous (for Recycle Center): I really like the concept of the re-use center. I am able to find various items that may otherwise be too expensive for me to purchase. I have contributed to the center as well and it’s good to know my old items are given to someone who may need it. The staff is helpful and polite. They were patient with me and provided excellent customer service. I thanked them in person and would like to thank them again in writing. Thanks a lot!