Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Mickey Rathbun, Chris Benfey: Clarifies article on driveway proposal

To the editor:

I would like to clarify three points in your article regarding our plan to relocate our driveway at 666 South East St. in Amherst (Gazette, June 10).

In May 2012 a DPW employee advised us that we would need to move the driveway at least 60 feet to the north and drivers would need to be traveling at 25 mph or less to make the driveway optimally safe. Moving our driveway, he wrote, would not fully solve the problem, but it would “greatly reduce it.” A civil engineer we consulted gave the same opinion.

The Amherst tree warden says that relocating our driveway would not make our driveway any safer unless cars traveled at 25 mph or less. This is simply illogical.

Of course we would prefer a 25 mph limit. However, the DPW chief has advised us that the town cannot lower the speed limit and that the town is willing only to post “advisory” speed limit and “hazardous driveway” signs.

The town concedes these steps have not slowed traffic.

It has been suggested that we relocate our driveway to the south. This would make us targets for southbound cars heading downhill around the blind curve.

Finally, it is the tree warden who insists that as many as 10 trees be cut down to make room for the driveway. We propose removing only the actual five trees in the path of the projected driveway. The tree warden argues that any trees that may be “weakened” should be removed now.

Our nerves have been frayed to the breaking point by the present hazardous situation. Guests and vehicles unfamiliar with the driveway are even more vulnerable, as are unwitting drivers coming up the hill. Anything that will make the driveway safer is, in our view, worth doing.

Mickey Rathbun, Chris Benfey

Amherst

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