Roadblock to sidewalks on Dalton Division Road
To the editor:
I am a home owner on Dalton Division Road. I frequently walk my two golden retrievers and understand the need to make the road more pedestrian-friendly. A number of other residents run and walk along that road, and it can be quite dangerous given the propensity of drivers to ignore the speed limits.
It is also harrowing how frequently I, as a pedestrian, am on the receiving end of some pretty disgusting verbal harassment shouted to me from cars passing by. There have even been times when drivers seem to think it entertaining to swerve their cars toward my dogs and I, who are trying to remain safely on the side of the road and out of traffic. In some areas along our walking route, we are forced to encroach on the grass in front of people's homes to stay safe.
I am one of the fortunate residents with ample square footage at the front of my property. However, my neighbor to my immediate left has almost none. Herein lies the problem with the idea of adding sidewalks — there is little uniformity to the frontage of properties built at various times and in various stages along the road.
Unlike many residential streets, Dalton Division Road homes are not uniformly adjacent to each other at all. In fact, along some portions of the road, there seems to have been little thought given to the placement of houses in relation to each other. So while it is easy for me to support the measures proposed to widen the road and add pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, I can certainly understand the opposition from other residents.
While driving on that road the next time you're in the area, take note of how closely some homes were built to the roadway, and imagine how much closer they would be if the proposed changes are made. The road is already dangerous to those who choose to walk, run, or bike along its narrow shoulders. It shouldn't be dangerous to walk out of one's front door, which will quite realistically be the case if the road is widened and/or sidewalks are installed.
Patricia Wallace, Pittsfield