Letter to the editor: Reconsider rerouting traffic until safety study is done
What started out benign (built only with donations and fundraising) morphed into a very large taxpayer funded square that removes part of a main road. Until recently, the majority of our community didn't engage. We love parks, and built with donations and fundraising, no problem. When the about face happened and the current council decided to close that portion of Patriot Avenue, borrowing the money for it and sticking a future council with paying for it and its maintenance, people woke up and voiced their opinions. Public records record that the city engineer recommended a traffic study at the 1/3/2017 meeting before deciding this project. The people at the 4/23 meeting asked the same. The informal traffic count performed is not a traffic and safety study. If the council continues to refuse to do a study before pulling up Patriot Avenue, what will the future bring if someone is hurt on Government Drive or Front Street and then find out the council refused to do this study? What kind of legal predicament does that put our community in?
I encourage the community to request this before pulling up Patriot Avenue. Businesses cannot lose parking spots, and yet we have to be concerned about safety. At the same time, I have hope for the future in our town. We have a strong school, and I personally have always believed it will be the very thing that saves us from the bypass. I have hope in seeing so many people become engaged and willing to voice their concerns at the 4/23 meeting, especially those who admitted to questioning their support for the park after hearing all of the concerns about borrowing money to fund it, loss of Patriot Avenue and the unintended consequences. (Third of four letters to the editor.)
Dr. Michelle Lelwica,
Owner of Hopkins Health & Wellness and Snap Fitness,