My family has lived on Sleepy Valley Rd. for 40 years. We have several concerns about the proposed Village View Development. Sleepy Valley Rd. is an antique road with poor visibility in many areas. It is narrow and has no shoulder on either side. There have been many accidents in front of our house.
For many years, cars coming down Sleepy Valley Rd. have had to swerve to the right to avoid cars unable to negotiate the turn coming up the road. Our mailbox was hit so many times that the post office moved it from the side where the other mailboxes are. The mailbox is now safe but the danger to lives remains.
The intersection of Locust and Maple Ave. (Main) St. is a worrisome location. I have approached that intersection from all three directions, often several times a day. Cars, trucks, and buses coming down Locust often do not pull as far to the right as possible at the stop sign, and, even if they do, vehicles turning on to Locust from either direction often have minimal or inadequate clearance to make the turn, resulting in one or both lanes of the Main St. being obstructed. Traffic is usually moving pretty fast on Main St. and I have seen many close calls and have narrowly avoided a few myself.
Entering that intersection from Locust or from Main is often dangerous. Cars are frequently backed up on Locust. What would happen if we add two cars per household from the new development? That means an additional 80-plus cars needing to negotiate that turn.
I wonder if Locust will be made wider and the land at the intersection cleared? We are talking about very expensive considerations and ones that would cut into front lawns and side yards. Houses that now have lovely front lawns would then sit close to a busy street. Such changes certainly would not appeal to the owners of the attractive houses on the street and on the corner.
Is the developer being asked by our Planning Board to set aside funds to compensate for the losses to the homeowners? What about the problems that come with the loss of the front yards and the increased traffic? What about the children playing near the street or children waiting for school buses? It might be a good idea for the Planning Board to ask school bus drivers about the blind spots on these streets. The bus drivers may be able to give the Board information not obvious to the outside firms hired by the developer.
We do not have any place to walk at all. These are narrow streets with no shoulders in many areas. Are any sidewalks planned? We are all encouraged to walk nowadays. That means risking our lives in this area as it stands now. What happens when we add those 80-plus cars? Please take a look at the people walking their dogs.
I am grateful that frequently now both the people and the dogs are wearing articles that reflect the light of oncoming cars, yet when the walkers are on both sides of the street, swinging one’s car one way means taking the chance of hitting the walkers on the other side. And we are all ducking deer now. What happens when the deer and the bears and all the other displaced animals hit Woodside and Locust and Sleepy Valley Rd.?
Sidewalks might be helpful but, again, how do we fit them and where would the money come from? Have the developer and the village agreed to build sidewalks? If not, why not?
I hope the Planning Board is considering the protection of the residents of Warwick.
MARK TUCKFELT, MD