To the Editor,
At the BOS meeting last night there were some startling revelations from the traffic study.
First, I cannot believe the traffic study for this very important issue was done on December 29, 2020. It was completed during school and work vacation during a Covid lockdown. How could this possibly reflect “normal” use when normal use would have school traffic, work traffic, construction traffic, visitor traffic, etc. none of which would have been happening on that day.
The consultant also assumes that the considerable majority of tenants do not leave the property in the morning. No good reason was offered for this important assumption. The consultant noted that 79% of drivers are assumed to stay home during peak morning hours -- with apparently only 21% needing to drive to work or drop their children off at school. That equates to roughly 188 parked cars and only 39 leaving the property in the morning. When questioned about these assumptions, the traffic consultant gushed about the benefits of carpooling. How interesting. Are all of these people going to the same jobs? Same schools? The traffic consultant also seemed to indicate that the residents could make use of a shuttle bus, which the developer has quite specifically indicated he will not pay for. Are the selectmen offering to have a town funded shuttle?
The traffic consultant seemed perplexed that the town might be interested in a study looking at increased congestion in town, away from the immediate building site. With 157 proposed units, and 188 new cars in town, we may indeed expect increased congestion in an already cramped downtown, especially during busy summer months. Might the town be interested in that additional congestion as we evaluate the number of units to permit?
Last but not least -- the proposed road into the development is steep, narrow, and curvy. There is no planned sidewalk. How are pedestrians meant to exit the property? Will pedestrian traffic be forbidden on that already questionably dangerous roadway?
The traffic study has raised more questions than it answered.
Erin Greenwood, Manchester