EDITOR'S NOTE: The state is planning to widen East Main Street in Westminster. To accomplish that, most of the trees along the street will have to be removed. A number of citizens oppose the project, especially if the trees -- part of the city's historic setting -- are removed. We have been asking readers whether they think the street should be widened. If so, is it acceptable to remove the trees? We also are asking whether they would prefer to see parking limited to only one side of the street as an alternative to the widening. Here are some ofthe replies we have received so far:
From: Deborah Lee Frazier
It is not necessary to widen our country street or destroy our trees.
We have Route 140 as a bypass!
Yes, parking being limited to only one side as an alternative to the widening is a great solution.
Let's keep downtown Westminster as it is. If it is widened, it will lose its country appeal.
From: Mary Jo Lindeman
Please do not cut down any trees.
Some are older than any of us.
Limited parking on one side is a good idea.
I tried toattend meeting last week -- but couldn't due to snow. Thanks!
From: Nancy B. Palmer
No, the street should not be widened; parking on one side would be fine.
If the street is widened, there will be no need for parking; the town will be just a big drive-through for people in trucks avoiding Route 140.
Already, traffic drives over the sidewalks in many places, making it hard for pedestrians and shoppers.
More trees, more walkers.
From: Melvin D. Palmer
Do not want street widened.
Do not want anything that would rush traffic through town.
Would like preference given to walkers, trees -- (would like to see walking streets with lots of trees.)
From: Jay Hammond
I think every effort should be made to preserve the charm and historic nature of Westminster.
I don't think the street should be widened or the trees cut down. I think an effort should be made to relocate the unsightly wiring either underground or in the alley.
From: Rebecca Orenstein
I strongly believe the citizens of Westminster are pleading with our elected officials to give us a people-focus downtown, plenty of sidewalk width with majestic trees.
The health of our downtown is seriously damaged by allowing 16,000 fast-moving vehicles a day to stream through town. These vehicles are primarily using Main Street as a by-pass to Route 140, regardless of what our town Planning and Public Works departments would have us believe.
Pedestrian-oriented towns like Frederick and Annapolis have had very successful revitalization plans and these towns are flourishing, while we of Westminster are being asked to accept greater and greater accommodation to through traffic.
All this, while many of our store fronts stare emptily out at the passing cars.
From: Emily Johnston
Frankly, I think the state should go mess with some other town and leave Westminster alone.
To get an idea of how Main Street will look when they get finished with it, all you have to do is go look at West Main Street. Bare, sterile, no trees, boring.
Widening the street, eliminating parking and narrowing sidewalks will only encourage more traffic, of which there is plenty already. It would be better to solve the congestion problems with a few simple and obviouslyless costly measures, to wit:
1. Eliminate four or five parking spaces across the street from the post office, giving cars a way to get around people who are trying to turn left into the parking lot.
2. Eliminate five parking spaces at each traffic light, so that thereare two unobstructed lanes in each direction at those points, for the same reason as above. Also, consider putting in left-turn arrows onthe appropriate traffic lights.
3. Adjust the traffic light timing to eliminate stop-and-go driving. This not only makes the traffic flow more smoothly, but saves gas as well.
4. Redirect the existingone-way side streets so that every other street goes the same way. At present, one has to drive several unnecessary blocks on Main Streetin order to get off of it.
In other words, my vote is to save thetrees and leave the street alone.
From: Edith Keeney
I like the trees and I think we should preserve all the trees possible.
If the street is widened, the sidewalks will be very narrow.
I would prefer parking on one side or making the street one-way so that the trees can be saved and the character of Main Street will remain the same.
From: Catherine M. Ditman
No! No!! No!!!
Limit the population of those who would take our trees away -- limit developers' rape of our nature and tell the suburbanites to go back to the already-ruined areas they came from!
HONOR DOMESTIC VICTIMS
From: Marcia Meyer
Family and Children's Services
of Central Maryland