Published DateTo the editor,
Every day, students from Moultonborough Central School and Moultonborough Academy leave school and walk up Rte. 25 through Moultonborough's village area. They are walking home, heading to the library or after school program at the rec center. More often than not, they walk two or three abreast, on the wrong side of the road, and are forced to cross busy Rte. 25 wherever they're able.
As the weather warms, cyclists begin to appear on the narrow shoulders through the village, competing for space with traffic that includes logging trucks and 18-wheelers. If you live in town and haven't barely avoided a collision with someone who refuses to wait patiently behind a cyclist and instead crosses the yellow line into your lane, it's a good bet that you don't drive here in the summertime.
It's time we started to take real steps toward creating a safe path through the village for pedestrians and cyclists. Moultonborough's Master Plan Survey (2006) and Master Plan (2008), Safe Routes to School Report (2009) and Village Charrette report (2012) all reflect committee recommendations and community support for a safe pedestrian route through town. Seven years after the latest master plan survey, however, there has been absolutely no movement toward discussing or planning such a route.
On Saturday, March 16th, voters will have a chance to finally start the conversation about a plan for sidewalks in the village area. I urge voters to consider approving Warrant Article 27, which provides for the surveying, planning and engineering of a sidewalk through the village, to be presented to the town for approval at the 2014 town meeting.
A yes vote on Article 27 is a vote to begin a discussion about a subject that has repeatedly been put off, despite strong support and recommendation as demonstrated in the town's own reports and surveys.
Please consider beginning the process of improving the safety and infrastructure of the village area by voting yes on Article 27.