Letter: Route 142 not safe for pedestrians
It sounds good that the Brattleboro Traffic Safety Committee is so concerned about pedestrian safety in the town. If I was a resident of the condominium housing located off Route 142 I would ask "When have you ever considered our safety?" Ever since that housing first opened, how many years ago, pedestrians walking from their condo homes to the Main Street area to shop have been forced to walk on the side of the road without the safety of a sidewalk. Has the Traffic Safety Committee ever considered this issue at their meetings?
As a former big rig driver using Route 142 on a daily basis, I have seen many times people walking on the side of or in the roadway itself, as they made their way to and from Main Street. This is a very busy highway with heavy big rig traffic and there is no room on the one side of the road because of the stone wall along the road. It would be a very stressful walk into town for any parent pushing a stroller and having a toddler or two walking alongside the stroller and staying out of harm's way, hopefully. There is a stretch of abandoned railroad track alongside the road that could easily be claimed by eminent domain and filled in with concrete or asphalt to create a suitable sidewalk.
Also, this safety issue is even worse when winter comes along and snow banks are all along Route 142. The street lighting is less than sufficient for pedestrian travel, also. Perhaps the residents of the condos and the condo association should consider withholding their town taxes until they are heard and the town does something about this safety issue. Or is it a case of "out of sight out of mind" when the pedestrians are walking on the side of Route 142 and putting their health and safety in jeopardy?
Seems to me that for far too long the Traffic Safety Committee and the town of Brattleboro have been very lucky a tragedy has not happened along that stretch of highway. This safety issue will only get worse once that new bridge is built and vehicle traffic to and from New Hampshire is increased many times over the current amount of traffic as traffic is dumped onto Route 142.
Vernon, Nov. 27
H 802-254-2088; C 802-380-6999
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