April 9, 2008: Worth the effort
To The Editor:
I recently read that 250 people in Grand Gorge signed a negative petition against the proposed intersection safety project and understand it was circulated and signed before the DOT representatives gave their three-hour presentation at the Civic Center.
Frankly, I am mystified by this approach because not only do we have a senior apartment complex in the town center which also houses a meal site, courtroom, meetings of the senior social club, community action group, weight-watchers, periodic town meetings, but children‚Äôs facilities as well including a gymnasium, Little League baseball field, playground, holiday children‚Äôs parties and occasional private parties. Grand Gorge is also a commercial area with approximately 38 businesses around town. What may have been permissible several years ago is not appropriate for the voluminous car and truck traffic we now encounter.
I have seen elderly people with wheelchairs, walkers and canes forced to use the street because of ruined walkways filled with debris, nervously attempting to cross to the other side. Not only must you check traffic at the intersection, but numerous car pull-outs from driveways in the area while watching your footing so you don‚Äôt trip on rocks and broken macadam. At the same time we value the close proximity of businesses in town for shopping, dining and recreation as they largely contribute to this vital, growing community.
If the petitioners are not involved in the situation which many of us face concerning the welfare and safety of the general residents, elderly and children, let me propose another reason. Over the years other towns in the vicinity have revitalized and upgraded their towns while the Grand Gorge Center is depressing and not a pleasant place to visit or walk. A visitor once said, ‚ÄúThe center of town looks like a junkyard in the middle of heaven.‚Äù He was referring to the beautiful surroundings in which we live.
I also respect the fact that a new situation is not infallible but certainly trying to improve the safety and livability of Grand Gorge is worth the effort and sincerely hope some of the petitioners could review the proposal more closely and ultimately see the benefits of the intersection project.