DELMAR – Dear Editor,
I am voting NO on two proposals on the November 2, ballot this year. The Delaware Ave road project and the amendment to the New York State Constitution on an individual right to clean air and water.
As for the Delaware Road project, it is irrational to slow down Delaware Ave and simultaneously build a roundabout intended to speed up Route 9W in Glenmont. The roundabout which I think will be very dangerous to pedestrians is being built at an intersection where there are many stores, restaurants and other facilities to which many people currently access on foot or bike. This demonstrates that’s ok to speed up traffic for pedestrians, and that it is not necessary to slow down Delaware Ave for others. There is nothing wrong with the current Delaware Ave. I have never seen a bicyclist on Delaware Ave between mid-November and mid-March and few at any other time. Slowing down Delaware Ave in favor of bike riders is a myth. Sidewalks should solve the pedestrian problem. If is isn’t broken don’t spend $5 Million to fix it.
On the ballot this year is the following Proposal # 2:
“Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That article I of the constitution be amended by adding a new section 19 to read as follows:
- 19. Environmental rights. Each person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”
I am not opposed to a clean environment. However, there are many clean air and water laws on the books so this has to add something more. Whenever there is a right there is a corresponding duty. So who will have the duty to provide each person with clean air and water? It is unanswered. So under this new amendment will I be allowed sue my neighbor if I think my neighbor’s back yard barbecue is depriving me of my clean air? Sounds absurd but there was a time when outlawing public smoking also seemed absurd and today there are many places where outdoor smoking is prohibited. Will it be everyone” duty to have a solar panel so that may be the only way electricity is generated? How about power boats? Will the owner of a power boat be sued for having an engine that leaks something into the lake water? The Amendment is simply overly broad and vague. If the duty is imposed on the State and Local governments, how large of an increase in the budgets of those entities will be required to insure that each person has clean air and water? How large a tax increase will be needed to meet this new governmental obligation? Will this new right increase litigation and overburden the court system? So many unanswered questions. Just because I want a clean environment does not mean that I will vote for the wrong way to go about achieving it.
Alan Pfeffer, Glenmont
Editor’s note: This letter will appear online only. Our policy is we do not run political or voting issue letters in print the Wed. before election day.