Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Public safety versus a Megaplex

As an interested resident who lives in an abutting neighborhood, I attended nearly every Market Street Advisory Committee (MSAC) meeting. So I am very disappointed to learn that we are forced to vote on another Megaplex at MarketStreet.

Doesn’t last year’s detailed MSAC Report recommend that before a cinema project be considered, the town should first experience one full year of operations at the Lahey Urgent Care facilities “so its impact on parking, traffic and public safety can be determined?”

In fact, the recommendation is to delay consideration of the cinema project until after Building 1350 is “open, fully leased, and operational for a period of at least one year. To do otherwise will deprive the town of that information necessary to make an informed assessment of its impact.”

The clinic at Building 1350 only opened their doors late last year, and the rest of Building 1350 has not yet been leased. While several residents have had the experience of going to the new clinic, when they comment on their experiences, they speak of the clinic as not being fully operational. Meanwhile, the number of ambulance transports by the Lynnfield Fire Department is beginning to challenge the best guess estimates of

National Development (ND) and WS Development’s (WS) expert’s opinions.

So who should we trust with the safety of Lynnfield residents and out of town visitors to MarketStreet as we drive its roadways?

Should we trust ND and WS and their hired engineers, who testified on these roadways? How about the flawed projections of these same hired experts regarding Lynnfield Fire’s ambulance responses to the newly opened clinic? Or should we heed the warnings of our Chief of Police, David Breen, who was firm in his comments about the sensibility of waiting at least one year until after Building 1350, including Lahey’s clinic operations, is fully leased and operational.

MSAC members supported this view by voting in favor of waiting. In addition, shouldn’t we listen to the fire chief’s concerns about the rising number of ambulance responses to MarketStreet from 911 calls by Lahey and other tenants?

I trust public safety professionals who are responsible for our day to day safety. If you do too, then vote “no” at spring Town Meeting.

David Basile

Lynnfield

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