LETTER: Main Street Resident Issues Statement To Selectmen On Sidewalks

The following was submitted by Tony Vacca to Scott Hazelton, chairman of the Westford Board of Selectmen. Vacca also sent this letter to WestfordCAT News Online requesting it be published. Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of WestfordCAT, its board of directors or its underwriters. To submit a letter to the editor, e-mail [email protected]

Mr. Chairman,
In case you missed it, the point of all of this, is to question the Pedestrian Safety Committee‘s support of  The Main Street Sidewalk.
Realistically, due to the Town’s finite financial resources, 1 or 2 costly sidewalk requests per year, if any??? might be approved.
However, sidewalks are clearly needed, in so very many other, much more dangerous, places in Town.
While you, as a serving member of the PSC, may know, I feel that it is very important for all of the Selectmen to more clearly understand the PSC’s motivation/stance/rationale on supporting this pricy issue… which, obviously, will significantly push all of the other much needed sidewalks onto the back burner for who knows how long.
I believe that the people who took the hours and made the effort at the Town-Wide Strategic Planning Retreat to request sidewalks (168 of them) in other locations will be thoroughly disappointed that their documented needs will be significantly delayed
…for an expensive sidewalk that NONE of the attending townspeople requested.
In fact, based on the visible evidence, perhaps the Board of Selectmen might want to consider changing the committee’s name to the “Sidewalk Committee” since they had other tools at their disposal.
In this case, in my opinion, the appropriate solution would to have been the placement of caution signs
warning about “Pedestrians in Road” …and I believe that it would be somewhat less expensive
than the estimated $430,000 to $440,000.
PSC Master 11-19-2012000040002As to your comment about “five year old sidewalk master plans”, I have a copy of one dated at the end of 2012, specifically 11/19/2012 (attached), which is almost exactly two (2) years and eleven (11) months old.   And, as did its predecessor dated 2000, it still did NOT contain a sidewalk for this section of Main Street! … So, my question is, “Who put it there …and why should it, all of a sudden, be put ahead of all the other well-established, actually needed requested sidewalks… especially in view of the fact that none of us ordinary citizens requested it?”
Since my presentation would have gone beyond a few questions, I will leave it to you, the rest of the Board of Selectmen, Jodi Ross and John Mangiaratti et al to discover the source and rationale of the PSC who serve as your advisors.
Meanwhile, I will work the issue in other venues and tend to other responsibilities tonight.
Tony Vacca