To the Editor:
I believe the proposed Path from Helen Keller to the Village store is not good for Easton. It seems like a big solution to a confined problem. There has not been enough consideration of the traffic and development impact, the high cost relative to similar public works and the viability of alternative solutions that would better target the particular problems.
I have reviewed the design materials, read the public letters, and listened to the comments at the public hearing. As a father myself, I certainly empathize with the concern for the safety of the children, but this seems like an out-sized response. If something of this scale is required, then a proper traffic and/or development study needs to be performed to assess the whole area which includes the Old Oak Road intersection, the fire station, the Village store (and gas pumps), the EMS building and Silverman’s. Anyone who’s traveled in and out of this area, in a vehicle or on foot knows it is already problematic and dangerous, and I worry the proposed path will not relieve the situation but will likely make it worse.
The state grant seems attractive at first glance but we should be cautious. For example, it’s not clear why this project seems to be so much more expensive than similar public projects. The cost of maintenance appears to be underestimated, and it also seems that costly add-ons such as lights and guardrails may suddenly become required in the future.
I believe it makes sense to further explore and study our options to solve this problem, in light of Easton’s financial priorities, rather than committing now to the current proposal.