To the Editor-
I recently watched a town meeting where they discussed proposed changes to Kenwood Avenue between the bypass and Delaware Avenue. Supervisor VanLuven mentioned that the main objective of these changes is to reduce the speed of traffic on Kenwood Avenue, which is currently known as one of the fastest roads in town. He also mentioned that some people may oppose any change simply because they dislike it. While I understand that there may be an issue with speeding for drivers exiting the bypass, I was unaware that speeding was a problem all along the stretch. I was hoping that pedestrian accessibility and safety would be the primary focus of the redesign. There is a portion of the road that is so thin, that a pedestrian was hit by the rear view mirror of a car. Moreover, I respectfully disagree with the notion that opposition to change is solely due to aversion. In fact, many of us welcome change when it aligns with the majority’s interests and enhances our community.
The proposal to install mini roundabouts at various locations along Kenwood Avenue, such as Adams Place, Delmar Place, Oakwood Place (near the Middle School), Elsmere Avenue, Dumbarton Drive, and Winne Place, has been put forward. While I understand that this is just one of the solutions being considered and is a more long term solution, I believe the other alternatives are more suitable. Mini roundabouts may be the latest trend in traffic management, but their implementation on Kenwood Avenue raises several concerns. These roundabouts can be challenging for pedestrians to navigate and may create additional difficulties for drivers, especially when they need to yield to pedestrians in close proximity to a roundabout entrance or exit. This situation could be particularly problematic for school students and cyclists. Additionally, the increased traffic redirection caused by roundabouts might lead to cars cutting through side streets to reach Adams Place, creating potential safety issues.
The road is well-traveled by students attending Bethlehem Middle School and St. Thomas School, and it is crucial that we prioritize their safety. Rather than focusing solely on speed reduction, we should concentrate on making the road safer for those who walk to school and navigate the busy intersections. I encourage the town to consider lower-cost alternatives that promote safety while still addressing the concerns related to speed. These alternatives should enhance the overall pedestrian experience and reduce the risk for students traveling to school.
I strongly urge all residents to visit the town website to voice their opinions on this matter.