Dear Councilman Cote,
In April of this year a traffic reconfiguration plan was submitted to the Traffic Calming Committee at the monthly meeting concerning the future traffic safety issues that will be created once the Laurel Avenue bridge is re-opened in December.
As you are aware, with your attendance at that meeting, myself and many other citizens spoke of the impending safety issues to include, foremost, pedestrian traffic that has been created with the construction of the greenway which was not in existence prior to the the bridge closing.
With continuing changes to the area to include the restoration of the Anthony Mill with 2 to 3 bedroom apartments, this area is being reverted to a village-like atmosphere which caters to increased pedestrian foot traffic. With such an increase it is imperative to protect citizens from the almost two million vehicles a year that traverse this bridge according to the 2008 traffic study that was recently updated as part of the approval process for the Anthony Mill. This study also noted that the accident rate for Laurel Avenue is more than three times higher than any other street observed in the report.
This reconfiguration plan was designed to address all of the pending safety issues that have plagued this area for years and the ones that will be created in the near future. This is not a political issue rather a public safety issue and if not addressed could pose an unwanted liability to the town. This plan has drawn bipartisan support from state representatives and local representation to include a prominent member of the Coventry Planning Board. As of this date I have yet to hear any negative comments as to why this proposal should not become reality including town officials.
Over the past several months I have communicated with members of the Traffic Calming Committee reaching out to help move this proposal forward and hopefully bring it to fruition. These efforts seem to have fallen to the wayside as a response has yet to be given concerning a decision whether or not the town has any inclination to incorporate such a plan. As the initiator of the proposal I used proper protocol for submission to the committee which has failed to yield any in return. Scores of individuals are interested in the outcome of this proposal and deserve an answer be it positive or negative with the rationalization for the decision.
This is the reason I am reaching out to you is to intervene and cut through the red tape and sort out the reasons for such delays. With the knowledge in hand and a clear look into the future it is apparent that this plan is a viable solution to protect and maintain a quality of life in the area. It controls the flow and speed of vehicle traffic and dramatically improves the safety of all pedestrians frequenting the area. A unique opportunity has been afforded with the possibility of increased economic development in the area with a pedestrian friendly destination.
The Coventry Director of Parks and Recreation was quoted in an article from the Daily Times, dated 7-3-12 Mill House Will Get A Face Lift, saying "We're hoping to have a walking tour that would include the mill area, village green, boarding house and bike way come together as a tour". With that sentiment in mind it is paramount to protect all of the pedestrians who will be using this area from the onslaught of vehicle traffic that will inundate the area once the bridge is open.
Approval of the reconfiguration plan would not only play an instrumental role in securing the safety of the general public it will shine a positive light on the town in it's efforts to enhance the economic development of the area and the minimal funds needed for implementation would be an investment in the future of Coventry and the citizens of the town. Your attention and response in this matter would be greatly appreciated.