Saturday, February 17, 2007

Woodland Road Meeting

The next public meeting on Woodland Road is March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the deWitt Auditorium, Winslow Hall, on the Lasell College Campus.

Because Lasell College student Kevin Flaherty died, the college community and the immediate neighborhood have put a lot of pressure on the city to solve the particular problems of Woodland Road. The last public meeting drew hundreds of people.

But, Kevin Flaherty's death shouldn't just matter to the Lasell community. And, the heightened attention given to Woodland Road because of his death should not be squandered on the resolution of the problems on Woodland Road alone. Keven Flaherty is not the only pedestrian to have died in Newton recently. Nor is Woodland Road the only unsafe or problematic street.

While there are some people in and out of city government who care about pedestrian safety and other traffic-related issues on a city-wide basis, traffic issues are typically raised and addressed neighborhood-by-neighborhood and problem-by-problem. The problems of a neighborhood only get support from the neighbors. And, the neighbors only consider traffic issues in the context of their neighborhood.

That's gotta change. The problems of Woodland Road should matter, even to those of us who never travel it. And, Kevin Flaherty's death merits more than change to a relatively small length of the city's roads.

Anyone with a traffic problem in their neighborhood should attend this meeting to make sure that the city addresses Woodland Road and all the other areas in the city where motor vehicle traffic is having a negative impact on safety and quality of life.

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