Letter: A Sidewalk Does Not a City Make

To the Editor:

Many Eastonites are fighting against the proposed sidewalk as a dangerous step towards the urbanization of our town.

I believe this is a foolish exaggeration that could not be further than the truth. Our town is marked by community spirit and pride, neighbors knowing neighbors. Adding a piece of sidewalk to safely connect middle schoolers to a town gathering place is exactly what small town living means. Expecting children to slog through the woods on dark winter afternoons, or on rainy/snowy days, is a narrow-minded “that’s the way it’s always been and that’s good enough” trope.

The world changes. That’s reality. We can’t and shouldn’t try to stop time if we are to continue being a desirable place to live, to bring up children. We need to be open to new ideas to make it easier for our children to connect — whether that’s walking together to get some ice cream, or learning to respect and embrace racial and ethnic differences in the classroom.

I’m sure some of our Easton forebearers were against paving roads when autos became the norm. Against renovating homes to add indoor plumbing and central heating (both critical safety issues). Putting in telephone lines. Bringing in cable and satellite TV. Even recently, people have fought against improving cell service, even for 911 access in open areas. These are not destructive acts; they are acknowledgements that Easton is committed to keeping our children safe in a changing world, while building on our rich past and making the most of the future.

The proposed sidewalk is not a skyscraper. It’s not a takeover of private land. It’s not a danger to our water supply. It’s not a pathway to a population boom or to sidewalks all around town. And it’s not a replacement for improving the current EMS building. It’s a way for everyone, not just our middle schoolers, to get out and enjoy just a small part of what Easton has to offer.

The Barer Family will be voting yes.

Debbi Barer

Easton Resident since 2002

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