Problem remains for pedestrians
This letter is in response to Ryan Sharp’s commentary in the Rutland Herald dated April 2. Mr. Sharp states a number of reasons why the so-called road diet is a good idea. He is principal planner Hoboken (N.J.) Department of Transportation and Parking. I concede therefore that he is probably an expert on traffic flow. I disagree with him on one important point though.
The problem with Mr. Sharp’s commentary is that his fourth reason for saying that this so-called road diet is a good idea is that of pedestrian safety. In fact, Mr. Sharp goes on to say that because the pedestrian has to cross fewer lanes of traffic (the right, left and the center lane) the pedestrian walk light can be decreased in duration.
Unfortunately, Mr. Sharp fails to take into account that fact that this only takes care of the automobiles. It does little good to cross out of the automobiles path only to be hit by a bicyclist.
I am, therefore, requesting that if the city goes through with this road diet plan, that they do not under any circumstances reduce the pedestrian light duration. In fact, given that Deer Street/Woodstock Avenue is so close to the Senior Center as well as Templewood Court, where many seniors live, I believe the pedestrian light duration should be increased. I have been told by more than one senior that they don’t have the speed to cross the street before the pedestrian light changes on them. The pedestrian lights are designed to allow the average pedestrian enough time. If you are a slower than average pedestrian, then you are out of luck.