To the Editor:
In response to remarks made by councilman William Lutz at the Nov. 12 meeting of the streets and sidewalks committee saying that we people on Riverside Drive were not at all against having a bike path in our front yards (and said with a fair amount of sarcasm and venom) let me just set the record straight.
When this road project was first brought to our attention we were told that there would be a bike path in our front yards but there was no mention of annexing us to the city of Troy. That was brought up only at a later time when we showed resistance to having the bike path, to which we are still adamantly opposed.
Mr. Lutz and others appeared to be completely indifferent to the inconvenience, unsightliness and possible danger which a bike path on the west side of Riverside will cause us. There is a legal concept referred to as In Harm’s Way relating to the law on compensation. Liability for compensation depends partly on the causality between an action & an injury and partly on the fact that an injury is a foreseeable consequence of an action. Do you not foresee that, if in crossing our driveways and bike path, we might injure someone on the path? Not only might the injured party sue us, but the city as well, because if the bike path were not present there would be no opportunity to have the accident. We homeowners could sue you as well because you insisted on placing the path in our front yard.
I am angry that some apparently cannot understand the peril and responsibility under which the city is placing us. Many of us are senior citizens and thus not as adept or quick on reflex as we used to be. There is a big difference in looking straight ahead to a crosswalk than in looking in all directions at once when crossing our driveways and a bike path. There are, of course, other reasons we are against the bike path, not the least of which would be the trauma of running over someone in the path. It would be a devastating event for any one of us. But Mr. Lutz has looked at us askance because he believes we are “only against the annexation to the city of Troy.”
We are not against the annexation. But maybe we should be. City personnel have omitted information, changed or hidden information, and outright lied to us about various aspects. For example, it was only in the Nov 12 meeting that the idea of putting in a sidewalk on our side instead of a path was mentioned. They have employed the use of the stick rather than the carrot. At this point in time we are not looking trustingly at our hometown government. Mr. Titterington approached this project with the single- minded idea that come hell or high water he was going to have his way.
It has been stated that this is a “Twenty Year” project plan, not a five year. We would argue that to NOT have the bike path on the west side of the road is a twenty year advantage because it creates a safer environment than running it across 12 driveways.
Finally, someone asserted at the Nov. 12 committee meeting that the residents should sacrifice for “the Greater Good” on this project. That is exactly what we are trying to get across when we say that putting the path on the west side of the road is the wrong way to fix the problem as you see it. Yes, upgrade the roadway and utilities as you have planned, a much needed improvement. But there is no compelling or good reason to “connect” the two parks other than they are already connected — IF you just upgrade the existing crosswalks. (Google 3D crosswalks)
You are wasting money, time, effort and good will on a boondoggle of a project that is ill-conceived and badly handled.
But your minds have been made up already — or have they?
— Mary Jane Harrod