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Keep Lake Mansfield a recreation area, not a thoroughfare

In her letter to the editor, Nan Wile writes: “This lakeside park is a huge gift to the community -- where else in the village is there to go?”

To the Editor:

Went to the Lake Mansfield Task Force discussion at the Fire Station on Wednesday night. First, I love this town for standing-room-only attendance and was particularly gratified at the Lake Mansfield crew presentation — they showed ever-evolving plans to accommodate community response. They clearly, actively, listen. So, before I go on: Kudos galore, LMTF, for respectful follow-up.

This last session showed that a number of people thought of the lakeside road as a valuable two-way thoroughfare, an important short cut. I think two-way traffic is muddled thinking.

The traffic study referred to at the meeting was requested by the Barrington Brook developer, using the skewed statistic average of weekday cars, not factoring weekend or seasonal vacation use. It’s hardly credible. Certainly, not relevant.

It is not only our winters but the frequent auto and heavy truck traffic that contribute most to the pot holes and cracked tarmac. The wider lanes mandated in any repair will be tidy but with cars no longer slowed by the road surface, safety becomes an even larger issue. Already, cars whiz by, large trucks with three mowers stacked on them lumber past, a 16-wheeler full of lumber is liable to fishtail by, and the area is further denigrated as a park or recreational facility. Would you walk your grandchildren along that improved beach road?

The argument that the area is an exclusive nest used only by wealthy nearby residents is false. I see large families use the BBQ facilities and picnic tables, beach and grassy area along the shore. The cars parked are vehicles from outside the neighborhood, more modest than those owned by those “elite” folk who live nearer by. This lakeside park is a huge gift to the community — where else in the village is there to go?

Let’s reserve what we can of our neighborhoods. I vote for no through road (except for an emergency access lane) so that this community resource is preserved for recreational use. It’s an important public park, a hiking and biking facility which should be maintained and preserved as that.

Please – maintain this for people to romp and frolic, stroll and bike around.

Nan Wile

Great Barrington

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