Letter to the Editor - Wagar Park Extension Onto Rosewood Ave.
I submitted the following letter to the Mayor and my councilpersons, and received a reply from Tom Bullock who met with me at the park. He stated that the city would "probably" pilot the art installation and observe the impact of the traffic diversion for a year. My impression from him was that there have been no objections to the closing of Rosewood Avenue at Park Place and that no concerns for convenience or safety (including timely emergency access) have been expressed by the residents of Rosewood, Orchard Grove or Park Place. Any area resident, recognizing that north-eastbound traffic on Hilliard now has an additional 3 traffic lights and 6 turns to navigate before it reaches Rosewood, should have something to say about it. I share my objections and concerns here, hoping to persuade others to seriously consider the situation and speak up too.
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Dear Mayor Summers and Councilpersons:
I am in receipt of the Mayor’s letter notifying of the planned closure of Rosewood Avenue’s south end, and I write in hopes that the opportunity for homeowners and other taxpayers to object to this plan has not yet passed. While I commend the idea of improving our parks (and Design Concept No. 1 shown on the website looks like a fine plan), it seems that an expansion of Wagar Park over what is currently our street may be an elaborate accommodation to the preschool at Grace Presbyterian. Citing the Madison/Hilliard triangle as “a dangerous and confusing intersection” does not justify detouring traffic beyond limitations already instated. The expectation that the area will be safer when Rosewood traffic is diverted to Park Place, a narrow and high-caution street especially in winter, simply makes no sense. It should then follow for street parking to be banned on Park Place and the south end of Orchard Grove, as it is difficult to see oncoming traffic when turning out of Park Place. The closure will create more problems than it solves for residents and ordinary traffic, not to mention utility and emergency vehicles. Also note that parking is already at a premium on certain nights of the week due to AA meetings at the church.
If the city had wanted to make the intersection safer, it would have long ago installed clear signage indicating that a right turn on red is impermissible for south-westbound Hilliard traffic turning onto either Rosewood or Madison, a fact brought to our attention by an officer shortly after we moved to this street in 1995. As for north-eastbound vehicles traveling Hilliard (many from I-90) there will be no reasonable way to access Rosewood as no left turn is allowed onto Madison. Instead, that traffic will be required to drive east on Madison to Westwood to Hilliard to Madison to Orchard Grove to Park Place to Rosewood. A more convoluted route and confusing intersection cannot easily be imagined.
I hope that you will reconsider this plan. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.