By Joan Mahoney
I am writing regarding the conceptual design report presented November 14, for Hartford Street/Crescent Avenue/Bacon Road area. [Click this link to read the consultant’s report.] I live at 21 Bacon Road. I agree that traffic is an issue throughout the corridor and sidewalks and road calming efforts are necessary to make the road safer. I strongly disagree with making the corridor a one-way street.
My sense from the meeting the other night is there is a core group of 4-5 families from Hartford Street pushing for this. They would not be as adversely affected as residents on the Bacon Road end of the corridor. It is unacceptable that to return to my house during peak travel times, my options would be to use Webber Ave or sit on South Road for extended periods. Also, being unable to ever exit Bacon Road onto Great Road is ridiculous.
I understand the concern my neighbors’ have for their children. I also raised children on this heavily traveled road. Sidewalks would have been wonderful. At no time, however, did I wish to limit travel on this road. I live in the center of town. Traffic is a given. The people in those cars just want to get home after work or go about their daily lives. Most are respectful of our neighborhood. Preventing the free flow of traffic out of town during the afternoon commute just prolongs the congestion of all of Bedford’s roads. Making the road one-way benefits a handful of homeowners to the detriment not just of me and my immediate neighbors, but so many others along South Road, Springs Road, Hancock Street, Webber Ave, and the commuters trying to get home during the afternoon commute. It would also extend the time traffic persists all over town in the afternoons and evenings by not funneling cars through in the most efficient manner.
The traffic consultant stated at the meeting that making the road one-way would not alleviate traffic in town at all, it would just divert it to other streets. Not including all the Bedford residents who would be affected by making Bacon Road a one way street in this discussion seems to be favoring one small group of homeowners over a much broader constituency.
Living in the center of Bedford comes with many advantages, the trade-off is all the other people who don’t live here need to use our neighborhood streets to get to where they want to be. I am in favor of sidewalks on the east side of the road plus raised crosswalks or speed humps to regulate traffic speeds.
Adversely affecting one group of residents to benefit another is not the way this project should be done. I cannot emphasize enough how making Bacon Road one way would negatively impact us. Please do not allow Bacon Road to become a one-way street.