The Readers Write

Bay Road stop signs don’t work

The new STOP signs and one-way traffic at the Bay Road underpass is a classic example of using falsehoods and scare tactics as reasons to coddle a small minority. Underpass safety has not been an issue when common sense and courtesy are used by all. There has not been an accident involving a pedestrian or bicyclists in the underpass in over 43 years. The ‘evidence’ of gouges in the underpass walls is bunk because the deepest ones were made in the 50s and 60s–when traffic was a small percent of what it is today. Bay Road is one of the safest roads in Shelburne even with heavy school, Shelburne Farms, fishing/boating and Shelburne Point access traffic.

The truth is, most vehicle drivers made the underpass a one-way based on common courtesy and allowed the first vehicle to go through before these new signs. It is bicyclists that endanger themselves and cause the “dangerous” conditions that the new STOP signs are supposed to protect them from. Pedestrians or joggers that did not know enough to wait for both lanes to be clear of motor vehicles before entering the underpass should not be on the streets PERIOD.

These STOP signs are going to be the reason for an accident–giving some bicyclist the false sense of entitlement that they have the RIGHT to barrel through the driving lane even if there is a motor vehicle in there–because the VEHICLE has to STOP—right?

Why should motor vehicle drivers—who pay registration fees and gas taxes to maintain the roads–be made to STOP when bicyclists are still sailing through the underpass blowing past the STOP signs? When traffic backs up are bicyclists going to take and KEEP their place in line–or pass the vehicles on the right like they do–and cut ahead of the vehicles at the STOP sign? I thought that bicyclists were supposed to OBEY all traffic laws! What makes them so special? If they do not like having to obey the rules of the road like the drivers who pay to keep the roads maintained and plowed–let them go ride in their driveways–where they can do as they please.

I have watched bicyclists ride Bay Road for 40+ years–they FLY down the westbound hill to the underpass, often two or more abreast, and wonder why there is a scramble and near-misses when they encounter a motor vehicle coming through. I have watched every bicyclist I saw on Bay Road since May 31st and have not seen ONE stop for the new STOP signs. I see about half of the motor vehicles stop, the rest either commit the rolling stop violation or barely even slow down.

So when a motor vehicle collides with a speeding bicyclist committing a road violation and sailing through the NOW single lane whose fault will that be? Besides the bicyclist, the short-sighted folks who thought traffic signs were a replacement for common sense, courtesy and taking personal responsibility for keeping oneself safe. You cannot regulate away stupid or arrogant.

As a taxpayer I have been screwed again by a town and regional government that took tax dollars (disguised as “grants” and such) to do studies that made someone money and will make a narrow underpass less safe. Yes–LESS SAFE! Until bicyclists obey STOP signs they will be putting themselves at risk and will punish the unfortunate driver that they collide with. And if a pedestrian thinks those flimsy white posts will protect them from a swerving vehicle OR bicycle they are misguided. I have seen the posts laying down on the pavement once already. Better to watch and wait and be smart, than to assume a STOP sign will keep you safe.

The underpass has handled two-way traffic forever–the STOP signs will NOT make it safer. Their unintended consequences of emboldening the minority that they are intended to ‘protect’ will CAUSE an accident.

Mr. Colangelo—Tear DOWN those SIGNS!!

Linda Lavalette, resident and property owner on Bay Road for over four decades.

Kate Webb running for re-election

Dear fellow Shelburne residents:

I am pleased to announce that I am running for re-election to the Vermont House of Representatives for Chittenden District 5-1. From 2009 to the present, I have become best known for my advocacy and leadership in the passage of legislation to protect the environment with a particular emphasis on water quality. My leadership in 2010, recognizing the importance of river corridor protection, helped our state be better prepared when Irene hit. Over the next five years, I helped shepherd through legislation designed to reduce pollution into our lakes and ponds, with particular emphasis on Lake Champlain.

I have also become known as a legislator who can help people with seemingly irreconcilable differences come together to find resolution to solve tough problems. In 2011, I was elected to the Democratic house leadership team and served as assistant majority leader from 2014-2016. This position brought me into weekly meetings with Democratic, Republican and Progressive leadership teams. In 2015, I worked with the assistant leaders of the Republican and Progressive parties to sponsor a workshop on civil discourse, something we still have and must maintain in Vermont.

I am driven to serve another term by a desire to take Results Based Accountability in budgeting to the next level. How much are we doing? How well did we do it? And–most critically–is anybody better off?
Kate Webb

Support of Grad Challenge

As a long-time participant in the education process (54 years as teacher­—38 of them as head of schools in the U.S. and in Europe), I was privileged to serve as a Community Panelist during the most recent Grad Challenge presentations. I was much impressed by several aspects of the exercise:

1. Having to research in depth a topic which is meaningful both to oneself and to the community is an effective way to relate education to the real world;

2. Having to step up to the plate and deliver a formal presentation before adults is an invaluable experience for everyone;

3. A respectful and purposeful atmosphere that permeated the high school building on the day was apparent and the overall quality of the presentations was excellent.

John Curtis, Former Overseas Representative of The European Council of International Schools to The New England Association of Schools and Colleges

One Response to "The Readers Write"

  1. Susan Dunne   July 4, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I happen to agree with Ms. Lavalette. Stop signs won’t stop people who think that they don’t need to abide by the traffic laws that are set in place to protect them. Unfortunately, Ms. Lavalette forgot to mention the amount of speeding on Bay Road done by motorists, the amount of trailer traffic now that it is summer and the increased amount of cyclists that use Bay Road as an alternative to Shelburne Road. As someone who lives on Bay Road, I can attest to the fact that when Shelburne Police put the digital speed machine up to remind people that the speed limit on Bay Road is 35 mph, I saw people increasing their speeds, not decreasing. People going in excess of 40 mph on Bay Road, a residential area, with people walking or jogging and cyclists buzzing down the hill at the same time doesn’t make for a safe situation.
    While the traffic issue with the railroad trestle may cause a problem, as stated by many, it has not been a major issue for the past 40 or so years. No, the problem on Bay Road is the amount of motorists who feel the need for speed, cyclists who think that traffic laws were not meant for them and pedestrians who are easily distracted by their iPods or smart phones. As a motorist, cyclist and pedestrian, I would like to see Bay Road safe for all who travel on it.


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