Some ideas
for traffic on Western Ave.

Editor of the Reformer:

The idea of narrowing the egress from Union Street on to Western Avenue is a bad idea. Sensible drivers restricted to a narrow entrance lane from the hill must stop on a nearly level area in order to see traffic, and the very top of the hill is too steep to allow that. If, under the proposed narrowing, the driver trying to enter traffic from this steep area will only see the tops of trees and not traffic. As it is now, drivers coming up the hill must make a left or right jog before stopping in the crosswalk area in order to see the Western Avenue traffic. Physics alone tells us that a car cannot accelerate enough from such a steep place to enter traffic safely.

Furthermore, the sign on the right hand side of Western Avenue traveling east, slowing speed from 30 mph to 25 mph is much too close to Union Street and on a nearly blind curve. It is not uncommon to see cars going past this dangerous intersection driving at 35 mph. In the other direction, driving west on Western Avenue, the sign changing speeds from 25 mph to 30 mph is located about 500 feet past Union Street. In other words, the street has a section of roadway with two different speed limits. This makes no sense, because more accidents happen in the east direction, with the higher speed limit on Western Avenue.

Thirdly, drivers impaired with prescription drugs that warn against operating machinery are routinely let off with being charged with an accident after a pedestrian is fatally injured. Only if the investigation can find alcohol or illegal drug use by the driver, or from improper operation, can it be called vehicular homicide. A few states allow traffic investigation to examine the drug history of the driver, including prescription drugs, but this law was tabled in the state legislature, and will likely not become law. The situation now stands that your drivers license is like agent 007’s, a license to kill. The situation will be complicated with the pot laws, and pot testing may not be done if legalized pot is involved. After all the killer does have rights of privacy.

Lowering the speed limits on Union Street, Western Avenue and Green Street to 20 mph makes sense, but may involve the Vermont Agency of Transportation, especially on heavily traveled Western Avenue.

The badly placed sign on Western Avenue next to Union Street must be moved a few hundred feet westward to a distance coinciding with the speed transition sign on the opposite side of the road. Another idea would be to make Union Street one way, down the hill going southward.

Demetrius Latchis,

Brattleboro, Dec. 18

Unhappy with the punishment

Editor of the Reformer:

I read with dismay the sentencing results of two women convicted of drug dealing in connection with the Frank Caraballo murder trial. These people and their friends and acquaintances have been soiling our communities for years with their complete disregard for common decency, laws and the sanctity of life. They ruined lives, terrorized their neighbors and fostered more and more fear in Brattleboro. And now they are set free to perhaps sell more cocaine and heroin and to bring more to town?

So, what’s the message? These folks can continue to expect excellent social services across the board so that they can enjoy their chosen lifestyles. And they can continue to expect that creating the mayhem in the lives of lawful residents of Brattleboro will not result in anything of consequence in their own lives. What a continuing shame for all of Brattleboro that we can’t expect that criminals who are responsible for the terrible downturn in the social fabric of our town will receive their just desserts. Residents in our community should be outraged, and would be if they really knew the extent to which those living in the underbelly of our town are encroaching into our lives and neighborhoods.

Shannon Wilder,

Brattleboro, Dec. 18