To the Editor:
I have talked to a number of people and businesses along Main Street, about this Downtown Corridor Project. Most people not around the Main Street area have no idea what’s really going on, or the important details. One neighbor has filed a number of Freedom Of Information Act [requests] to get the “real” info, because the town is not being transparent to residents. I’m one of 90-plus who received a registered letter from the town, [asking] to “donate” my front lawn property with two permanent easements, known as “the town’s right of way(s).” Your taxes are paying for these easements!
Our Town Common has remained unchanged for years, and the people who came before us made sure of that. I am against any changes to our Town Common, Doughboy monument, Marathon start line. This project clearly changes that. This project changes Main Street properties in the Historic District by dismantling granite walls and moving them for two bike lanes.
Have you ever ridden your bike up the street next to a rubbish truck or loaded gravel truck? What happens when that truck does not see you? Have you ever driven a big truck, loaded, to know how hard this really is? Have you ever seen two bike lanes on the same side of the street together? Ready, kids? With the loss of on-street parking, your quick stop for a coffee or muffin goes away, and so does business. For some residents, when you come out your front door, the snowplow will be pushing snow/salt right at your door.
One mile out of town, down Route 85 at Chestnut Street, I have watched a traffic light install stagger along for more than a year. Can you imagine what it will be like in the center of town when utility issues stall, state money gets tied up, contractor issues stop work, a $2 million overrun comes, safety is jeopardized? Where is my granite wall?
Use some common sense. This is a monster project with critical consequences, much different from paving roads, fixing sidewalks, replacing storm drains. Our officials have said 14,000 townspeople all want this, [but] did those people all get into the town auditorium meeting at 12:15 a.m. to say that? I didn’t! What is this whole thing going to cost in taxes? No one knows or how long it will take. A number of us are finding out the real story. For politics, money, and a line on your resume!
— John Stockwell, Hopkinton