Sent: Monday, June 23, 2014 10:34 PM
To: Norwich Selectboard
Subject: Re: Main St. Paving project
I would like to relay my concerns regarding the proposed Main St. paving project. I think it is far too overreaching, literally. Please consider only paving the current existing roadway and not extending it beyond what exists now.
Please refrain from curbing as was installed around MCS at Main St. and from painting parking areas all the way up Main St. These things would dramatically change the aesthetic of our small rural village, into something closer resembling a suburban town, with a commercial center that would now extend into the residential neighborhood.
I am curious to know what prompted the plans for such dramatic changes? Have towns people asked for these changes? Are there traffic and pedestrian concerns that have prompted them? If so, why have we not been asked how we would like to address it?
Please do not presume that just because "its the way its done everywhere else", that it is what we want in Norwich. There have been many changes to the rural character of our town that I wonder about. Why was Barrett Park, or better known as The Bread Oven, cordoned off with obtrusive fencing, and a parking lot created? Why were so many large mature trees planted, while natural overgrowth was pulled out and 'landscaped'. Unless this is being maintained privately or by some sort of endowment, why was it presumed that we want to expend town monies to maintain these changes.
Why were these changes made? Was there a well spring asking for changes there? Were there accidents that prompted a concern? It is now harder for cars to maneuver in and out of the very small area created for 'parking', as opposed to folks being able to park along the grass in an orderly fashion. Now cars need to park on Beaver Meadow at times because of the difficulty getting in and out of the parking lot that was created with the fencing. It seems like yesterday that Officer Brittner would ticket everyone parked on Bragg Hill going to the bread oven, and everyone was told to park inside the Park. Now that isn't possible.
I am concerned about how these changes are decided. Please don't presume that folks want things changed, or to "look better". People live here for many reasons, many because it is a rural, bucolic, small town. Please refrain from turning it into suburbia.
Please do not change our Main St. into a veritable highway. Please leave well enough alone. I would rather pay more to keep things the same, than putting money into public works to maintain landscaped park and have perfect sidewalks and curbs.
Ann Marie Smith