Many people use Polish Hill as a cut through, but it is a neighborhood of resolute fixtures who clean, green and pick up trash on city lots. Among the members of the Polish Hill Civic Association’s board, Valerie Testa (above)has led greening efforts along Gold Way, a wooded and winding road that leads into Oakland.
“We have had quite a few accidents” involving bicyclists because the road is relatively flat, she said, but it has a lot of blind curves due in part to weeds. “I see greening measures as a way to do traffic calming.”
Several new trees have been planted in a thicket just west of the Bloomfield Bridge supports. Valerie worked with the city and graphic designer Myra Falisz to have “No Spray” signs, which Myra designed, posted in several places to abate chemical spraying where milkweed is growing.
Several residents of Polish Hill voluntarily keep grass mowed, weeds pulled and trash picked up along Gold Way, among other areas of the neighborhood.
Two “Love Your Block: grants from the city have supported residents’ clean-up and repainting of city step railings along Dawson Street.
I have used Gold Way as a cut through as many people do, but I drive slowly because people live on the portion that links to Melwood Street and because cars come flying around the curves, some of them blind curves.
Valerie said she hopes the greening efforts and signs will make people aware that this isn't just a loose thread of road; it's part of a beloved neighborhood.