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|Tuesday, July 5, 2011 |
Dear Carmel Town Board,
I know your minds are on many issues that are more important than public safety. Issues such as picking up the pieces of the Leibell puzzle and trying to figure out what your future holds with MaryEllen Odell as your new county executive, and how many more quasi-legal explosions you'll allow on the once verdant hillside above Stoneleigh Avenue. In comparison, the issue I would like to bring to you now is nothing but a trifle. It's only about public safety and saving money so I'm sure you're not all that interested, but here goes:
I frequently drive Route 6 past the Putnam Plaza and turn onto Route 301 at the courthouse and it never fails to amaze me how much traffic builds up there in the afternoons and evenings. When I first moved here what was considered a traffic jam were three cars entering a 4-way intersection at the same time. It usually ended with all three drivers BSing together on the side of the road until someone came along we didn't know. We'd walk over and introduce ourselves, pass around another beer and, well, life was merry back in the good old BC (Before Camarda) days. But, I digress...
One day it took me almost 25 minutes to drive from the traffic light at John Simpson Road to the intersection of Route 52 and Route 301. And while that is admittedly an extreme example, those couple of miles could easily be traversed in moments - if you were to time the lights correctly and add a turning lane or two along the way.
There are two main choke-points along this route. The first, heading north out of Put Plaza is at Church Street as people attempt to turn left and traffic backs up behind them all the way down the hill. A turning lane here would be nice so that traffic could flow while others wait to turn. I know you'd have to get some land from Tim Curtis or the landowner who own the slums over there but you've done it before and can do it again.
The second choke-point is the cluster-fuck of Route 52, Route 301 and Fair Street where everyone wants to go every which way and the lights were apparently timed by a dyslexic watchmaker.
Here you need several things:
A lighted turning lane for northbound traffic to turn left onto Route 301 and that the traffic light there and 200' further at Fair Street are set so that traffic flows through both intersections not from one to the other as happens now. Then, once that area is clear cars turning north on to Route 52 have a place to go.You could also use a sidewalk from the Reed Memorial Library along Route 6 to the Donald Smith Center. Many, many people are always walking along that road with nothing to distance them from cars other than a single white, painted line. This is an accident waiting to happen!
Where to get the money? From Paul Camarda or the Town of Patterson. See, last winter they managed to finagle $1.5 million from the State DOT to upgrade the intersection of Route 311 and I84 based on what Patterson Supervisor Mike Griffin insisted is a dangerous intersection. Forget that he made that up for the benefit of State employees who don't know better. Forget that the board went along with the lie in order to secure Mr. Camarda another taxpayer funded hand-out for a project he promised he would pay for himself. So, forget all that and just petition them for monies for projects that have actual public benefit.
The truth is, Route 6 and Route 52 as far as Fair Street is a lot more dangerous and as traffic build up that $1.5 million would go a long way toward resolving the situation, making the area safer for the many pedestrians who use it now and would speed traffic along saving time, money and gasoline.
If you would like I can put you into direct contact with Supervisor Griffin and I am sure an amicable agreement can be made. Just call.
Love and knishes,
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