Monday, December 1, 2008

Scenes from 47th Street in Exeter

The intersection of Oak Parkway and 47th Street in Exeter Township is more than an access road to the Exeter Library and the new shopping center -- it is home to families, both young and old. We live and play here. We need to stand on the edge of our lawns to mow, to plant flowers and trees, to get our mail and greet our neighbors. We need to walk along and across 47th Street to walk our dogs, allow our children to play on a friend's swing set, or borrow a cup of sugar while we're baking holiday cookies. Young teens cross the street to visit our oldest residents to deliver mail or take in their newspapers. Older teens cross the street in the evenings to babysit, or they ride their bicycles from their homes to the library, the park, to their friends' to play ball, or to after school activities.

In Exeter -- our street -- this beautiful street filled with young and old, different colors and different cultures, all neighborly and caring -- our street has been compromised. The integrity of our small neighborhood community has been threatened. Our quality of life has been diminished. The safety of every single one of us is at risk.

See here where road takes priority over sidewalk -- where cars become more important than people. (*note -- there will be no sidewalk continued here -- the school bus stop for children.)

Now that the construction is complete and the road is open -- "Hallelujah," say all of you who are frustrated with waiting in stopped car traffic coming and going from work, school, or errands -- but FOUR LANES OF SPEEDING TRAFFIC now race up and down along the street we call home.

We still need to stand at our lawn's edge to wait for our children to get onto and off of their school buses. We still need to interact with our neighbors and our community. We still need to walk or bike across our street -- because we are not going to drive to simply cross the street.

47th Street needs pedestrian accommodations -- sidewalks and crosswalks, school bus stop signs, and speed limit enforcement. The new traffic pattern will need to be monitored and drivers will need time to learn how to safely travel on a widened roadway that still serves only residents -- this is a neighborhood.

See if you can find a safe passage for us in the pictures below.

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