When I saw the construction start on Route 1 in Yarmouth, for the expansion of the Beth Condon Pathway, I was incredulous. I never imagined the Town Council would lose sight of the reason for the pathway. Following Beth’s accident, our community responded in a very appropriate manner. We made every effort to ensure that this tragedy was never repeated. The community built a walkway adjacent to Route 1, but far enough away so that an impaired driver could not cause another accident.
When we came to the river, did we take a lane out of Route 1 to cross it? No. We put a pedestrian bridge over the river because it was safer. Now, to finish the pathway, we have removed a lane from Route 1 and made it into a sidewalk. What were they thinking? Will a six-inch curb and a strip of grass prevent another tragedy? No. As much as I hope and pray that this will never happen, it is a very real possibility.
My suggestion is to install a Jersey barrier all along the edge of the pathway where it abuts Route 1. This would provide some protection for pedestrians and keep cars from ending up on the pathway. I realize it would not be as attractive as the current design, but our first consideration should be safety. It seems to me that was lost somewhere in the Town Council decision-making process.
I hope that appropriate action will be taken before another tragedy occurs.