Merry Cushing: Newly built roundabouts must be maintained
To the editor:
It appears that the roundabouts at Atkins Corner in South Amherst are finished.
I am aware that extensive planning was done for the project, but it appears that there was no plan for maintenance.
An attractive planting of ornamental grass, Shasta daisies and yellow daylilies was planted.
Every gardener knows that planting nice plants is not the end of the garden process.
Ongoing maintenance is necessary and that seems to have been neglected.
The roundabouts are now an eyesore that are overgrown with tall weeds that are not only unattractive but a safety hazard because they block the view of oncoming traffic in some places.
I realize the lovely planting was to make the roundabouts more pleasing and calming. The beautiful garden areas in Sunderland at the intersection of routes 116 and 47 are stunning and I always hope to get a red light there so I can stop and enjoy the well-designed and maintained gardens. It is good for one’s mood and attitude to spend even a short time surrounded by such beauty.
The striking planters on the median strip in Northampton give viewers a lift, too. They are nicely designed and well maintained. In the winter, I cross-country skied to Hampshire College and planned to carry my skis and walk on the new broad sidewalk along Route 116 to Atkins.
I was surprised to see that the sidewalk had not been cleared, forcing me to walk on Route 116 with traffic, which was unsafe.
The sidewalk is useless to pedestrians when it is not cleared of ice or snow.
I hope the Atkins Corner roundabouts will be maintained so they will be an attractive addition to the corner as well as safe for both vehicles and pedestrians.