Good ideas now, not later

Editor of the Reformer:

At the excellent Brattleboro Safer Streets Forum (May 5), the town manager invited everyone to suggest how Brattleboro streets could be safer for pedestrians and cyclists, saying that good ideas could be implemented as soon as possible.

Then officials responsible told us why not. An experienced crossing guard explained how an infamous intersection endangers schoolchildren and crossing guards. Officials said that engineers have approved it. Some Keene crosswalks double as speed bumps. Officials said not in Brattleboro, because they slow emergency vehicles, too.

There can be no sidewalk, crosswalks nor safe bike lanes along upper Putney Road until the Vermont Agency of Transportation allows them. On the other hand, official initiatives cited are good ideas, they said. When a vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist, the driver always survives. Cyclists and pedestrians should not be collateral damage.

"Experts" should be on tap, not on top, helping us do what must be done instead of telling us that nothing more can be done.

Howard Fairman, Putney, May 9