This is a letter recently sent to Longmeadow School Committee members by Mark Gold/ Longmeadow Select Board member about the potential safety issue to our school children if the Longmeadow Shops residential to commercial rezoning petition is granted.
Dear School Committee members,
At a Special town meeting that will be held on February 3, 2015, the residents of the town of Longmeadow will be acting on a petition to rezone additional property adjacent to the Longmeadow Shops from residential to commercial. This rezoning petition is being brought before town residents by Grove Properties, the owners of the Longmeadow Shops, for the purpose of adding additional commercial businesses.
Along with those businesses will come a significant increase in traffic. That traffic will most certainly have an impact on the safety of students in both Blueberry Hill elementary school and Longmeadow High School. Of particular concern to the school committee members should be the safety of students who must cross Bliss Road to participate in athletics on Russell Field. The crossing situation there is already tenuous, and additional traffic will only make that crossing more dangerous. At Blueberry Hill School, added traffic turning into the shops will impact students who walk to school from areas east of the shops, and after school student pick-up, which already has traffic backed up to Bliss Road on many days, will be further impaired by the additional traffic that 20,000 sq. ft. of new retail space will generate.
I urge the School Committee, as elected town officials entrusted with the safety of our students, to consider the impact that additional vehicles will have and to make your concerns known to the town meeting as it considers a proposal that will likely compromise the safety of students attending these two schools.
Mark P. Gold
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