Windshield Survey of Palatine City
The windshield survey was conducted on the west side of Palatine on Sunday, November 1st at 4 p.m. The temperature was 60F, and it was sunny and cold. The boundaries of the neighborhood included Quentin Road, Euclid Avenue, Smith Road, and Dundee Road; the whole area is residential. While driving I saw a wooden plate with the city’s name in Dundee and Quentin, and flags on the light poles along Quentin Road, which made it easier to coordinate.
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The majority of the houses that I met are about 30-40 years old. Some of them have new constructions. Mostly I observe single houses that have two stories, but there are also ranges of houses. Moreover, there are new three apartment buildings on the crossroad of Quentin and Palatine Roads. Everything is made of brick. Between the houses, there are well-grounded spaces with flower gardens. To my mind, the houses are in a good condition. They are very well maintained and seem to be new ones. I have noticed no signs of despair.
There are cars in the driveways. As it is Sunday, there is a high possibility that people are not working and have a day-off. So it is not surprising that they are outside, and kids are playing near. I observed no vacant houses, so believe that all of them are occupied. There are no boarded up and dilapidated buildings as well as those for sale. I also saw well-maintained sidewalks and drainages and curbs that look clean and open.
There are lots of open spaces for parks opened for the general public (I observed at least 5). I saw no trash and abandoned cars there; instead, they have playgrounds and golf courses, bike paths, and walking paths as well as small lakes. There are light poles on the major paths and around playgrounds. Moreover, there are two recreational areas: Birchwood and Hamilton.
I saw a big shopping center with the European grocery store, Walgreens, US bank, laundry, Seven-Eleven, Italian restaurant, Vitamin store, subway, woman care center, McDonald’s, and Pancake house in the middle of the community. A smaller shopping center is located about 2 miles south of the first one with a Goodwill donation center, two banks, a nail salon Walgreens, Sushi Bistro, Jimmy Johns, and a driving school. As I was driving I have noticed one more Seven-Eleven store, Subway, and Thai Cuisine on the small plaza on Smith Road. Thus, the resources cluster in shopping areas. I observed no ethnic stores that display other than the English language. Even though the European grocery store has products from Europe as well as those locally produced, everything is given in the English language. I have also noticed no tobacco and alcohol stores.
There are many public schools in the neighborhood. They include Pleasant Hill Elementary School, Walter Sundling Middle School, Northwest Suburban Special Education School, Today’s Child Learning Center (daycare), and William Fremd High School. Play areas and sports fields are connected to them. I have noticed no graffiti, and the school grounds appear to be very well-kept. There are school bus stops and crossing guards with blinking signs even though it is Sunday.
The religion is presented by different churches such as Korean Bethel Presbyterian Church, Resurrection Orthodox Church, Second-Baptist Church, and Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist. I also noticed the signs for Sunday religious school for kids on the first two, which proves that they are targeted at the community.
I was looking for human services but saw only Woman’s care center. I think that they use the Walgreens minute clinics located on Northwest Highway and Euclid Avenue. I noticed Alexian Brothers Immediate care center is 5 miles away on Northwest Highway and Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights is 10 minutes away. I saw two offices of CVS pharmacy clinic on Smith and Northwest highways but no alternative medicine centers. Moreover, I noticed a food party in the Palatine Township Bridge and a daycare for low-income families. There is Palatine Senior Center on Quentin Road and Today’s Child Learning Center and daycare in Township center.
As I saw people get in and out mostly with cars. I have noticed several bus stops but no buses during the time spent in the neighborhood. There was also a metro sign, but the station is not there. It appears that Quentin Road and Euclid Road were paved this summer, and some parts of Smith Road were still under reconstruction during the survey. It is a high traffic area because the streets lead to highway 190 and major commercial areas. I saw speed limits signs and speed zones in front of the schools.
Projective services include the fire department (2 miles away) and the police department (5 miles away). The community looks safe. Police cars are rounding around the small streets and fire hydrants are everywhere. Half of the bigger houses have security systems, and there is a tornado shelter in the Township Center. So people who live there feel safe even though they have no neighborhood watch program.
On the streets, I saw elderly people, women, and children. They belong to different ethnic groups (Caucasians, Asians, and Indians) but I noticed no bilingual signs. As I got to know, men usually gather in the golf clubs, and kids at Birchwood residential center. There are social clubs for all ages and sexes (fitness, reading, dance, etc.). As the weather was nice, people spent time communicating with one another. The community seems to be nice and safe, as I saw only a few dogs and no homeless people.
The reason why I have chosen this community is that I had recently moved to another side of Palatine city and wanted to explore this one also. They occurred to be rather different. This one has many strengths, as people look friendly and hospitable, they are ready to help strangers. This and the fact that they are of different nations reduces the number of possible issues during the interaction. Speed limit signs and reconstructed roads and payments make the area safer.
Palatine Township Bridge and Goodwill donation center involve the population in programs that enhance the lives of many people. Unfortunately, the majority of human services are just near the community, which means that the help may come with delay. Hospitals, fire, and police departments are not far away but sometimes even one minute is crucial. The community lacks a neighborhood watch program as well. Still, according to the words of the police officers, they receive the calls only about skunks and squirrels making noise at night. All in all, some improvements may be implemented but generally, the condition of the community has a positive influence on the citizens’ health.