Letter to the Editor: For the members of the council and Mayor Lempert

To the Editor:

For several weeks now too many of us have had to endure the now intolerable and dangerous traffic congestion at the intersections of Cherry Hill – Mount Lucas – Terhune – Valley Roads. The closure of Terhune Road at Route 206 and the relocation and significant expansion of the fueling station have made already bad traffic conditions far worse.

Now that the Town Council has relinquished the option of turning left onto Route 206 from Terhune, it is imperative that the town leadership continue to work to achieve a safe left turn from Valley Road onto Route 206. This option will release some of the pressure on the intersection of Cherry Hill and Route 206 and alleviate some of the traffic congestion on the section of Mount Lucas Road leading up to Cherry Hill.

We neighbors are pleased that the Town Council has voted to remove the intrusive canopy. However, your refusal to consider relocating the entire fueling station has galvanized residents. There are alternative sites for the fueling station and the traffic safety issues are sufficiently serious for us to urgently request that the town relocate it.

Primarily, we are concerned about the many pedestrians and bicyclists who traverse this series of intersections to get to school, work and play – Community Park School, the town pool, the playing fields and tennis courts, as well as to the center of town. Many of these pedestrians and cyclists are children. What’s more, traffic safety is further worsened by the numerous vehicles making left turns across traffic on Mount Lucas Road to enter the fueling station at all hours.

At the neighborhood meeting on April 11, the town offered a commitment to restrict the use of the fueling station during the morning rush hour (8-8:30 a.m.). The town also assured the neighbors that the direction of entry and exit would correspond to the direction of Mount Lucas and require no traffic-stopping left turns. However, three weeks later, these commitments are not being enforced – police cars, school vehicles and a municipal dump truck have all been seen fueling during the morning rush and facing the wrong direction. It is unrealistic that these commitments will be enforced as they place a real hardship on our municipal staff to be limited in their re-fueling hours and routes.

In addition to safety and traffic concerns, neighbors and others living in the area, and those who must drive, bike, or walk through the area, find it incomprehensible that the town did not disclose its plans before construction and re-routing began.  All are shocked that the town government would allow this unsightly structure to be placed at one of the gateways to our town – let alone adjacent to their homes. They have also found the night time lighting to be intrusive, if not invasive.

Therefore, we strongly request that the town move the fueling station to a location that has fewer safety, traffic, and aesthetic problems. Surely the town’s procedures are not so rigid as to preclude listening and responding to the views of the many impacted citizens.

Sincerely yours,
Toshi Abe
Edward Baring
Katja Guenther
Jonathan and Carrie Besler
John Borneman
Linda Bosniak
Andrew Bush
Bevin Cahill
Anthony Yadao
Lindsay and Chip Casto
Reggie and Gloria Caudill
Robert Cerutti
Callie Hancock
Phyllis and Bryce Chase
Louisa and Austin Clayton
Nancy and Angelo DiMeglio
Elena Dotsenko
Konstantin Styrkas
Huck Fairman
Carol and Hal Feiveson
Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi
Dayle Gillespie
Jill and John Guthrie
Liz Guthrie
Claudia Guzman
Eduardo Lopez
Sue and John Hurley
Louise Hutner
Deborah and Lawrence Jordan
Marcy and Antoine Kahn
Faith and Chris Kotsen
Debra Lambo
Dominic Vigiano
Carolyn Leeuwenburgh
Franklin Pierce
Roxanne and Jim List
Cate and Jim Litvack
Barbara Martin
Joe and Jeanne Mazzetti
Dr. Jack and Susan McCaskie
Michelle McKenna
Patrick Bernuth
Dana and Alberto Molina
Wendy and Joe Perello
Hilary Persky
Joyce and Mike Rappeport
Sara Reichart
Daniel Rogers
Dennis and Christine Scheil
Sylvie Schereen
Anne Seltzer
Louise Senior
Dunbar Birnie
Maria Shchelkova
Yakov Prokoshin
Sally and Jerry Skey
Kathy Taylor
Celia and Eric Tazelaar
Louis and Carolyn Torre
Ann Vehslage
Katerina Visnjic
Mark Ioffe
Vladimir Visnjic
Georgia Triantafillou
Joe and Mary Wisnovsky
Rob Woolfolk
Lee and Steve Yonish
Frank Zhao
Harold and Marilyn Jerry
Beverly Kestinis
Eleanor and Anna Pinelli
Teri McIntire