My Turn: ‘Unsightly barriers in the center of town’

  • A car drives through the new pattern after Court Square was blocked to traffic. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 8/2/2021 6:14:49 AM

We, the undersigned citizens and taxpayers of Greenfield and surrounding areas, demand that the barriers blocking the public road in front of Town Hall be removed immediately. These barriers inhibit the free flow of traffic and create a significant safety hazard, especially for Town Hall, Second Congregational Church and McCarthy Funeral Home. Emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, etc., would not be able to maneuver behind Veteran’s Mall on Newton Place. Furthermore, the access to parking spaces in front of the five thriving businesses on the west side of Bank Row is severely hampered. It is impossible to approach these six parking spots from Bank Row due to the uphill angle without driving illegally and dangerously against traffic.

We also demand the removal of the No Parking bonnets on the two parking meters on Main Street on the north side of Town Common. Also, the restoration of the seventh parking meter space on the west side of Bank Row, which now has a No Parking bonnet and new yellow No Parking stripes on the road. The five 15-minute free parking spots on Court Square in front of Town Hall also are eliminated due to the barriers, increasing the difficulty of citizens especially the elderly, handicapped and infirm to access Town Hall in order to pay taxes and conduct necessary town-related business.

So, due to the installation of these barriers, a total of at least eight parking spaces are eliminated when parking is already hard to find in town. The parking garage is located down the hill and could be utilized; however, many people are afraid to park there due to used needles, trash and human waste found there. It is also expensive and inaccessible to drivers with disability placards.

In addition, it is counterproductive to spend $28,000 of taxpayer money for a three-minute PSA to promote the town while making our town ugly with the sight of concrete barriers next to our beautiful Town Common. It is not a welcoming look and very unattractive to new businesses and visitors. Such disrespect and disregard for the citizens and taxpayers of Greenfield to put these unsightly barriers in the center of town without approval or notification. Shameful!

David E. Lewis, a Greenfield resident, submitted this op-ed that was sent to the mayor and City Council.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


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