LETTER TO THE EDITOR from LISA R. BASSETT
To the Editor:
Regarding the headline in your Jan. 2 edition, “NYDOT Said ‘No’ To Grant At Lettis,” I am really sorry that the transportation grant, applied for by the Town and City of Oneonta, was turned down. But, come to think of it, all of that requested money is not necessary.
The lady, April Johnson, crossed the highway 100 yards from a legal pedestrian crossing area – the intersection. People should know better than to cross a four-lane highway in the dark of night on a roadway that has poor lighting, and especially where automobile drivers do not expect, therefore, are not looking for pedestrians to be crossing.
The second issue is that a lot of people, including myself, walk on that highway to get to the Southside shopping area. Mayor Herzig is right when he said that the roadway could be safer for pedestrians. Yes, we all use it out of necessity, because OPT does not have the Southside Bus operating after 5:30 p.m., except for Wednesday-Saturday, only when the colleges are operating. That is why so many pedestrians are on the road out of necessity to shop and get to work.
A large percent of the permanent residents (non-students) are in the low-income range and don’t have a car, so without a bus, we have to walk on Lettis Highway. Either that or starve and become unemployed!
Solution: Have the Southside bus run until 9 p.m. every night, no matter if the students are here or not. It will keep a lot of people off of the road, minimizing accidents, and the need for a big green median.
If the colleges will not allow OPT to have the buses run apart from their students’ needs, then the only things that are needed are more lighting on the walkway and adding a little more walkway to the one side of the street that has more pedestrians.
From the corner of Maple and Main streets, where that Baptist Church is, you cross Main Street. Install a sidewalk there, along the west side of Lettis Highway, to join the rest of the sidewalk. There are only two or three spots that really need a sidewalk added, such as the bridge, and after the overpass of I-88 to Route 23.
With just those improvements, the money of which will probably be granted since it won’t be as much as was initially requested, and some commonsense by pedestrians, the problem would be solved!
Once again, the commonsense solution, which will eliminate a need for a grant, and the necessity for pedestrians to be on the road at all, would be for the Southside bus to be running past 5:30 p.m. every night Monday-Saturday.
LISA R. BASSETT