"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Response to Nick Vazzana Sidewalk Comments

Mr. Vazzana,

Being a "senior citizen"  I wouldn't walk on a sidewalk on route 25 if you  paid me!!!
I grew up in the city of Boston and learned at a very young age, not to go looking for trouble.  Not long ago two girls were on a sidewalk on a comparatively low traffic area as compared to 25.  The were both hit by a car.  Today , with 45 years of driving experience in all fifty states and several foreign countries, I can assure you that sidewalks on 25 is a disaster waiting to happen. THINK about it, cell phones, texting, tourists gaping, drinking etc. etc. ad nauseum.  Oh yes tourist gaping.  When I retired I took a job driving a school bus.  Several times my bus was passed while stopped for boarding or discharging children. If they couldn't see a BIG YELLOW BUS WITH FLASHING LIGHTS AND A STOP SIGN. I guarantee you that it would be folly to think that they couldn't jump a curb and hit an elderly person, who can't move fast enough  to get out of the way, just as the two YOUNG girls had no chance to avoid being run down.  QUESTION...What the HELL ever happened to COMMON SENSE????

I protested this idea once before.  Take a ride around Moultonborough roads that already have sidewalks and I guarantee you that you won't find very many of them being used as such.  A last thought of wonton stupidity is to try to put a bike lane on 25.  I assure you our body count will rise with that dumb idea. We also DON'T need a dollar store on 25 to add to the already horrendous traffic problems which now exist.  If you want a preview just hop on down to Meredith via 25 and see how 
 Thursday thru Monday traffic is affected during tourist season which runs pretty much throughout the year; but especially bad in June thru October.

If OUR tax money is burning a hole in your pocket, try fixing the roads instead of foolishly suggesting that the elderly would love walking around on route 25. Save some lives and use the down season for school buses to bus them to a safe area.

Ron Santarpio


Property Rights.. said...

Ron, Great display of common sense, something missing from the town Hall closet. You are clear and correct on almost all matters.....however...for damn sure you are for property rights, and some family has owned the land opposite Blake Road for generations, and paid taxes on it.
Now they have a right to dispose of it, and if we as a town object, the only fair settlement would be to have the town buy it... Currently we are throwing thin obsticals in their path...there will be more off site runoff, as we force them to pave 37 parking places...
We could use it to establish the Terenzini Town Forest, if he would promise to leave it alone...

Throw It At The Wall..Might Stick. said...

Bikes and Semi's...route two, Vermont, is a noted bike route thru the Lake Champlain Island Chain...but the only road for all of us... So the state trans, or maybe Tourist dept took four feet from the travel lane, and gave it to the Bikes. Now they ride two abrest, chatting away, with my mirrors 2 feet from their helmets.. Scary.

Tom Randell said...

Sidewalks are safer than no-sidewalks. The town engineers and common sense agree on this. People are probably right that staying at home is safer than going out but is that any kind of reason not to build sidewalks? There are legitimate objections to sidewalks - not least expense - but saying they are dangerous is just nonsense. Please don't behave like professional politicians in Washington - keep the arguments reasonable!

Anonymous said...

Another take on sidewalks and crosswalks, and please have an open mind here: both can lead to a sense of false security. Have you ever watched someone march heedlessly across a crosswalk, looking neither to left or right, because he has the RIGHT OF WAY? By law, every driver is required to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, but not everyone does so. The same holds true for sidewalks....kids indulging in horseplay because they are on SAFE sidewalks. In our town, sidewalks lead nowhere, so let's spend the $$$ where it's needed. JMHO.

Anonymous said...

Tom, you are right in keeping the arguments reasonable. As such, you should realize that there is no "reasonable" need for side walks. There is no downtown residential area, there is no infrastructure to support a retail area without spending millions and there is insufficient justification for safety reasons. Do you realize that there is only one, that's right, only ONE child who walks to school. We can hire crossing guards and enact other safety measures that would allow for better safety than sidewalks and be far more cost effective.

Sidewalks are not the solution to a non-existent problem.

Brent said...

Sidewalks are indeed safer than no sidewalks, Tom--all things being equal. This assumption, though, ignores the false sense of security that may be instilled as young people become more oblivious to oncoming traffic. Girls transfixed by handheld devices, two or three boys abreast, pushing and shoving.

Google the Peltzman effect, a modern corollary of the Law of Unintended Consequences, to see how people act more recklessly when given greater safety.

Currently, I think there is an adequate walking lane for the handful of pedestrians—and, unlike 98.9 percent of residents, I've walked the route. Truth be told I was the Adam Weeks of 20 years ago, walking from my residence off Fox Hollow to work at various jobs and often walking Peaches, the family’s yellow lab, all around town.

I vividly recall Kate Lancor's emotional appeal at 2014 town meeting that these children walking from school to the library are at great risk. Listening to her say she and everyone else there who had settled in Moultonborough did so because of low taxes, I thought she was being disingenuous: the very low crime is the other incentive for people.

I also thought to myself of all the higher risks at present in town: the intersection of Sheridan/ Rte 25, which a local cop thinks is the most dangerous in town, and he was incredulous that the Fox Hollow intersection received top billing by the state; the dangerous lack of adequate breakdown lanes in much of the state-owned and -maintained Rte 25, causing bicyclists & walkers to be in or dangerously close to traffic; and the intersection of Glidden/Rte 25, which in my mind is worthy of a blinking yellow light. I’m sure there are others.

The approach here should be a cost-benefit analysis. I doubt the heavy cost of installing sidewalks between the school and library would be worth it--unless the students would use the library during class hours, permitting the $90-100K combined annual salaries of the two school librarians (MA and MCS) to be nixed. Ain't gonna happen, but a topic worthy of discussion.

Truth be told the greatest risk in town is also our greatest asset—our lakes. Witnessing my young son almost drown in Lake Kanasatka, I was horrified how quiet and easy it is.

Just Around the Corner said...

Two girls in Laconia last year were walking on the sidewalk and thought they were safe. One is dead and the other forever emotionally scarred from the accident that killed her friend. 'Nuf said.
Tom, using the juxtapose terms of "town engineers" and "common sense" in the same sentence is not a good idea.
Kate and all the tax and spending left love to push the emotional appeal button. Lets have some real numbers... We have the walkways on the Neck Rd and they really get used... not.

Anonymous said...

Just Around the Corner: Surely you can't be trying to state that one accident on a sidewalk means that all sidewalks are unsafe. People die in cars while wearing seatbelts all the time, but we don't try to assert that seatbelts, therefore, are unsafe. Let's focus on real issues regarding sidewalks, like need, cost and benefit, rather than false assertions. Distracting people with false logic is a lazy way to debate an issue.

Please no free stuff said...

Maybe off the subject but having to do with the village. The new Thrift Shop has only been open for a short time and already there's "free stuff" out front. What's up with that? Looks terrible and doesn't bode well for the village image.

Please bring your "free stuff" to the dump. They'd be happy to take it.