When planning to rebuild Hamilton Street began some years ago, I insisted during the public input process that there should be proper sidewalks on both sides.
I also suggested margins should be included to allow for snow plowing to prevent compacted snow and ice from piling onto the walks and forcing pedestrians into a street with fast traffic. As usual, the provincial-minded political clique blew me off. The result is that an unfortunate soul fell victim to a pedestrian-ambivalent engineering flaw.
In Saugus, it is always about the car with a land use policy that makes automobile use all but compulsory and with traffic and parking being the perennial default of a Not In My Backyard mentality.
Proposals for a more pedestrian/cycle friendly streetscape of connecting the side streets is nearly always quashed. Pedestrians and cyclists are ghettoized to a rail trail. Political support stemming from a fear and loathing of mass transit, refuses to recognize the synergy in building to a less motor vehicle dependent community.
Those not driving are looked down on with suspicion and contempt. Complete street engineering is called for along with more speed limit signage. Planting trees is a non-solution.
Civic leaders who graduated from a high school, hard by and downwind of a six-lane divided highway, at a time when lead was added to gasoline came to resign themselves to low expectations.
Fred R. Moore
6 Ella St.