Terra Friedrichs

& her local work in
Acton, Massachusetts

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Kelley's Corner

While I would LOVE to have serious pedestrian and mobility issues addressed, I believe most of what we need can be done without spending millions of dollars, and without actually decreasing safety.

The current proposed "official 25%" Kelley's Corner infrastructure plan would add lanes to SPEED traffic. By adding lanes, the distance a person would have to travel to get from one side to another will increase 20-30%. The risk of pedestrian injury increases significantly when lanes are added at a busy intersection.

Officials told us that we could get changes AFTER the 25% design was submitted, and that the 25% submission was a "formality". Now they are telling us that it's "final" and we should have raised the red flag about changes we wanted BEFORE the 25% submission. Yet, I personally, have registered formal complaints for years, and I kept being told that we could make those changes "later". Well, now is later. This is our last chance.

Also, I have recently found out how few parents even realize what is being planned.

I urge a phased approach, where we engage in immediate fixes to Kelley's Corner for address urgent safety concerns.

THEN we see how this impacts the traffic. And take that into consideration in a redesign for the final design.

We can already, and very affordably:

- add a no-left turn on the Rt27/R111 South approach
- fix the timing on the lights
- add blinking pedestrian crossing lights at both ends of No Name Road (that crosses through the Roche Bros parking lot)

The cost of these fixes are minimal. Before we spend hundreds of thousands of additional dollars to appraise the cost of takings, etc, for a design that may actually be more dangers, why not try these very affordable fixes? and THEN commit to the longer term, larger design.

If we do not want to do these affordable fixes, I think we should seriously consider redesigning to take out the extra turn lanes.

Here are more concerns:

- the Hosmer House site, which is protected under federal law, because it's a significant historic structure
    - why not CHERISH this site and build meandering paths which highlight the site's beauty and avoid killing very significant old trees? such a solution would be more affordable and would add to the value of the site, which adds to the value of our properties, and the quality of life

- the trees at Rt27/2. the current plan is to clear cut the intersection of Rt2 and Rt27. It's not entirely clear on the drawings but it looks like potentially thousands of trees will be lost, from one end to the other. these trees cool the earth and process CO2 from the traffic

- the trees along McCarthy Towne land are ancient grandmother trees. It's my understanding that the parents have not been involved in making the choice whether to try and save these trees. Shouldn't the parents at least be asked? Shouldn't the parents ultimately be involved in any decision about land use on school property? [[see graphic below, if you are a McCarthy Towne parent, I would very much like your opinion on whether you're willing to support giving up some playground space to save the trees or not]]

- the trees along other sections. Don't we deserve a "meandering path" design (so called by the engineers who proposed it and advocate for it) instead of a straight square design right next to the roadway?

- the islands will cause more danger. the plan is for the islands to be where kids stand in between the traffic that's whizzing by. yet the the islands are tiny! why not just put in a pedestrian light, which is super affordable...we can do this now

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