My wife and I attended the three planning meetings for the road widening project and are left somewhat skeptical on at least a few fronts.
Far be it that we’re connected to any irrational conspiracy theorists but I do think we’re collectively owed a little more honesty from Massachusetts (or DOT—Washington) when it comes to this entire “complete street” theory we are told is now essential for America.
Isn’t this massive accommodation for bicycle transportation regressive rather than progressive? When did we collectively decide to put bicycles on a par with auto transportation? Cars pay road taxes—bicycles, not that I’ve noticed.
I know no one who, in their advancing years (about a third of our Cape Cod population), plans to abandon or diminish the use of their cars to start driving their bicycles once more as we did when we were children, particularly with the constant wet and worse weather we experience here 10 months a year. Is the town committing to snow removal for all bike paths to make it viable for 12 months of transportation use?
And is this the “infrastructure” they plan to provide for the next generation as our kids do worse economically every generation to have to resort to bike travel? Are we projecting unaffordability of cars for future citizens of Cape Cod, hence the need to revert to pedaling? If that is the long-term game plan, I think we should at least know why we’re galloping in that direction with large bike paths on each side of every road.
Are bicycles really the future of transportation? Not from what I’m reading about the popularity of LYFT and BIRD scooters, hoverboards, battery-powered microcars, and who knows what else in the near years ahead (flying cars?), which probably would not even be allowed on these new bike paths. Ubers and self-driving cars are now a reality, too, but do these schemes take them into consideration? Constant traffic flows sound great, but don’t these vehicles need to stop routinely to pick up and drop off passengers? Beep your horn at a driverless car and see what that gets you.
After we take all kinds of property away from Falmouth Fish, Supreme Pizza, 62 homes, Falmouth Lumber, historical trees, et cetera, through eminent domain, will we then find that Route 28 resembles the Mass Turnpike instead of the feeder road we’ve all grown used to using (winter) and dodging (summer) and wish we hadn’t done that to our neighbors.
Maybe just replacing the water pipes and telling the state to keep their money is a more viable alternative than we realize at the moment. Bicyclists can’t honestly say that Falmouth hasn’t broken their backs already accommodating them with road closing races, a big investment on the bike paths, and plenty of other signage and access enhancements. Tourists, too, enjoy all kinds of bike entertainment here each summer and really aren’t owed more tax-crippling toys from us fixed-income retiree residents just struggling to survive here.
Falmouth has been hurt badly (high school, wind farm) by impetuous government decisions by selectmen dazzled by dollar signs. Let’s all think this one through.
Richard Hughes, East Falmouth Highway, East Falmouth