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July 23, 2019  |  

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Landing in Jeopardy

Published July 25, 2018

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Deep River Landing as we know it is in jeopardy. The landing is a meeting place where neighbors walk, push strollers, run, bring their dogs, ride their bikes, and enjoy the quiet safety of our leafy streets and the beauty of the river, often pausing to chat.

The risk we now face: a proposed expansion by the Valley Railroad Company of boat traffic on our riverfront and a considerably larger parking lot to take overflow vehicles resulting from more activity and people drawn by the extended commerce. This will result in more traffic, more noise, and a less comfortable atmosphere than neighbors currently enjoy as they move up and down our presently safe streets.

The landing neighborhood is a special place in our historic river town. It’s an interesting setting—not showy, but connected to the past architecturally, which preservationists treasure and visitors admire.

We’ve been comfortable with the existing steam trains and the riverboat, facsimiles of the past, but more parking and more boat traffic and boat noise will radically diminish the charm and quiet of our neighborhood, moving us inexorably toward commercial crowding of our waterfront not consonant with a small river town’s look or feel.

Much is said nowadays about quality of life. Quality of life is defined by what you see and hear and feel and breathe. Small-town life is comforting, not glitzy, not wildly busy, not afflicted by the din of much urban life. More traffic requires more parking areas, which are mostly ugly spaces we don’t linger in. Parking lots are complicated, requiring surface treatment, lighting, traffic management, and are attended by some noise and fumes, drainage problems, and the danger from trucks and cars.

Ask yourself, would you tolerate a parking lot next door or across the street if you could avoid it?

Marilyn Q. Sparks
Deep River

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