Road would make community unsafe

Published 9:27 pm Thursday, June 16, 2011

To the editor:

Suffolk officials are telling my neighbors and me that they have no choice but to increase the risks to our personal safety. A connector street between our neighborhood and a new development is required by the city Unified Development Ordnance.

They tell us that “local residential access streets shall connect with surrounding streets to permit the convenient movement of traffic between residential neighborhoods or facilitate emergency access and evacuation.”

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It sounds good on the surface, but the devil is in the details. The streets in our neighborhood have no sidewalks. Children and adults regularly play on and walk our streets to visit friends and neighbors or just exercise. In addition, our streets are not particularly wide. Cars parked on the street obstruct vision.

Right now, we are used to looking out for each other and the traffic level from the drivers from the 30-odd homes that use our street is low. What happens when 60+ homes are added to the mix? What happens when most of those cars are just coming through your neighborhood to get somewhere else?

What city officials failed to tell us was the last part of the sentence requiring the connector street: “… but such connections shall not be permitted where the effect would be to encourage the use of such streets by substantial through traffic.”

Who gets to decide what constitutes substantial through traffic? Some think a city traffic engineer who just looks at the cold hard numbers can quantify substantial?

I think the father who may have to look at the cold, dead body of his little girl should decide what constitutes substantial.

Chris Dove