Those Main St. Bike Lanes
To the editor:
It is unfortunate that your article “After 7 years, the Plan to Fix Route 6 at Main St. Is One-Fourth Done” [Oct. 7, page A6] did not include the views of any abutters on the south side of Main Street.
Rather than saying that “the town will have to pursue the taking by eminent domain” and owners will “pursue aggressive price negotiations,” we on the south side have been working to develop common-sense solutions.
The proposed dedicated bike lanes on Main Street are only 625 feet long, ending near the Wicked Oyster. Bicycles and vehicles merging there, with vehicles turning into or exiting parking lots, will create a safety hazard. It is hard to envision the benefits of such short dedicated bike lanes.
Instead, we favor a lower speed limit of 25 mph and shared lanes for vehicles and cyclists with pavement markings and “Share the Road” signs.
For pedestrians, the north side of Main Street should have a three-to-four-foot-wide sidewalk separated from the roadway by a two-foot-wide raised grass buffer. The town already owns about three feet next to the pavement. This would minimize land taking, place the walk on the side of the street where businesses are located, eliminate the need for additional crosswalks, minimize the effects on the Duck Creek wetlands, accommodate the disabled, and eliminate the need for walkers to contend with the utility poles on the south side, thereby reducing project costs.
My 20 years of personal experience and observation tell me the footpaths along the south side of Main Street exist because it is too dangerous to cross the street at the current intersection with Route 6. The proposed Route 6 reconstruction will provide a safe crossing.
With luck, Wellfleet will agree on an acceptable design in time to stay in the budget cycle.
Housing Versus Woods
To the editor:
It always pains me when one of the solutions to the housing issue seems to be leveling more forests to make space for more homes. In the Sept. 30 issue of the Provincetown Independent, the spots Eastham was reported to be considering for affordable housing included vacant motels, the T-Time wasteland, and 22 acres of woodland on the unfortunately named Ballwic Road [“Housing Plan Finds Massive Unmet Need,” Sept. 30, front page].
A satellite image of Eastham shows that this parcel is one of the largest wooded areas in town not owned by the National Seashore. You don’t need me to tell you the Outer Cape is a special place or that its natural beauty — and solitude — is one of the reasons it is so special. It is critically important that the town protects whatever natural resources it has. Once you tear down woods for houses, those homes are there to stay, and the woods never come back.
For a dying planet, the answer to overpopulation shouldn’t be an acceleration of this death and destruction by demolishing more woodland. As the band Defiance, Ohio sang in their song “Oh, Susquehanna!”: “I feel like this could all come to no good. The kids who populate these cul-de-sacs will never know what stood beneath their cookie-cutter houses: fields and streams and woods.”
The fate of places like T-Time and vacant motels has already been decided. They’ve been developed, or soon will be. They’ll never again be fields and streams and woods. But the Ballwic woods still have a chance to remain as is — untouched.