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Letter to the editor: Closing part of Patriot Avenue a safety concern

Being vocal about an issue is a risk when you are a healthcare provider and business person in your community. Yet, I have to represent our patients and our businesses.

On 4/23 the council presented an "informal traffic count," stating that in the slow month of April, it would bring an average of 100 more cars per hour on both of those streets. I already cringe when a large truck travels down Government. There is not room for regular cars to travel two lanes in front of businesses when the parking is full, which, thankfully, is frequently.

We are thankful for the need for those parking spaces, and businesses will suffer even more if there is not convenient, close parking. Eliminating close parking is not an option. More congestion = less safety.

What the citizens were asking for was a professional traffic and safety study before moving forward with this idea. A traffic study and some alterations of the plan based on those results, along with a revised commitment to upgrade the park without raising taxes, would certainly increase the park's restructuring popularity.

Instead, the council voted to move ahead as planned with this project, to eliminate part of Patriot Avenue and to raise our taxes, without a traffic study to support such a move, without a vote of the people and without consideration of over 1,200 people's concerns.

I don't know anyone who is against a park. People just want common sense that considers safety along with the businesses' livelihood into account. It should not be too late to ask for a formal study.

Please consider asking your council person to do this study to assure the safety of our pedestrians and the livelihood of our businesses. (Second of four letters to the editor.)

Dr. Michelle Lelwica,

Owner of Hopkins Health & Wellness and Snap Fitness,

Pequot Lakes