To the Readers' Forum:
Venturing daily onto Lakewood's Fairmount Avenue, I'm constantly reminded of the state's recent construction on the street. The touted million dollar project was undertaken without input from local government officials. For nearly three months portions of the avenue were cordoned off. Aggravation for motorists, customers, business owners, churchgoers, etc. was at a zenith. And what was accomplished?
Positively it did provide income for contractors and good wages, we trust for the workers, badly needed in these times. The end result was basically cosmetic treatment of existing entryways and driveways. Sidewalks in places were replaced and their endings reduced to street level, but for what benefit? Virtually no one utilizes them or do so at their peril. Lakewood and West Ellicott Fairmount Avenue has probably the busiest vehicle traffic on the south side of the county. For motorists stopped for traffic light, a pedestrian is a rarity to see.
However, we do have bragging rights for the most attractive off street entryways, at least countywide. Their new concrete combined with asphalt on upper levels are lovely sights to behold. How well we have been served by the state! The entire project reminds me of some of the WPA make work projects I viewed as a lad in the 1930s. T he advent of the Olive Garden is much more consequential to the avenue and area communities.
One can think of those same contractors and workers doing a truly needed job on a stretch of I-86 on the Seneca Reservation.
Thomas J. Harte