April 9, 2009
Roundabout is waste of money
I would like to express my concern regarding the Williston Selectboard’s recent, unanimous decision to build a roundabout in historic Williston village, despite approximately 30 residents’ (primarily property owners and taxpayers) strong public expression of not wanting it. The fact that federal monies would be spent to build something that may not, in fact, be needed boggles my mind.
The accident data used to support this decision is pre-2006. Those of us who attended the February Selectboard meeting regarding this issue heard a resident share her research on accidents at the North Williston Road/Route 2 intersection from 2006 to the present … zero accidents. How can we justify using taxpayer money to build something totally out of character for the historic village that may very well not even be needed or desired by the majority of the taxpayers in the town?
I must say, I echo the disbelief, outrage and lack of comprehension so eloquently expressed in the various letters to the editor last week about the Selectboard’s decision to construct a rotary in the beautiful, historic intersection which graces the center of our village. While I generally support the concept of rotaries as a creative approach to problematic intersections, the potential downsides of this particular rotary far outweigh the possible benefits.
My most significant concern is that once installed, it cannot be undone. Are we certain that a potentially monstrous rotary is the right solution for a problem, which may already have been resolved through the practical and much less obtrusive installation of a flashing light? Has the short-term lure of 100 percent funding clouded our judgment?
I agree wholeheartedly with Summer Bishop’s assessment that in order to accommodate large vehicles (and avoid the serious drawbacks of the undersized rotary at Maple Tree Place), a very large rotary will be required. Is anyone else concerned about the aesthetic impact this will have on the historic structures at the corners of this intersection?
I also wonder how the Selectboard members have come to the conclusion that there is an apparently silent majority of residents who favor this solution. Why were they not in attendance at the meetings where the topic was discussed? Why should the “votes” of those not in attendance outweigh those of the citizens who actually made the effort to participate in the process? Are we certain these “votes in favor” actually exist? Perhaps we should conduct a town-wide vote to find out.
Williston residents don’t count
Let me get this straight: Public opinion by our very own Williston residents say to leave the Williston village intersection alone, but the Selectboard chose a roundabout. Now, private citizens will have their properties carved up for a state-of-the-art roundabout that the rest of the country could look at and learn from.
Let the rest of the country go to Taft Corners and see that the roundabout in the shopping center barely works. It’s been there for quite a few years and it still takes 30 seconds for six cars to figure out. Hardly anyone observes the yield signs and instead uses them as stop signs, halting any flow of traffic.
There’s a reason for us citizens living in a small town or village and one of those is so our voices can be heard. Well, we spoke and the Selectboard went deaf, again. Just because there is funding for such a project doesn’t mean we have to waste the government’s money on something that’s not wanted by the very citizens that are supposed to be the ones who decide.
If anything should be changed, put up some stoplights that change to yellow during the evening rush hour and blink red the rest of the time. Stop wasting the government’s money for unwanted projects or we’ll be no different than other businesses with their hands out these days.
Jill T. Mellion