To the editor:
In regard to their recently revised position on the proposed South Lawrence Trafficway, I am profoundly disappointed in our city commissioners. Instead of acting with foresight and respect for the diversity of our community and our ecosystem, the commission, with the exception of Boog Highberger, has bowed to ill-advised pressures.
Our leaders have dismissed important new planning realities, including the city's new wastewater treatment system, the pending intermodal facility in Gardner, and the regional distribution complex that is emerging in Ottawa. These key developments, all south of the river, were never brought up in the Corps of Engineers' Environmental Impact Statement on the SLT, and are being largely ignored by the county and the Federal Highway Administration.
Indeed, the city has grown, and with it, traffic patterns and problems have expanded. But as currently proposed, the SLT's 32nd Street alignment defies logic. This road is slated to be built far too close to the city's center. It might have made sense 20 years ago, but it sure doesn't make sense now.
Further, for many people in this community, the wetlands are sacred ground. It is also a place where schoolchildren by the score have their first encounter with environmental education. Naturalists and fitness buffs alike benefit from the proximity and open space provided by this local treasure. The wetlands are a selling point for our town! And they are being sacrificed, in part, due to lack of vision and planning.
What a shame.