Crawford Road needed for city’s growth

Crawford Road needed for city's growth
For an opposing viewpoint I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the three questions posed by last week's guest commentary Dr. Virginia P. Johnson. She asks us:

1) Should the city build a bypass in the middle of a well established residential neighborhood?

Crawford Road is not a bypass. Using that term implies some sort of highway or truck route will be built to connect the two sections already in place. Crawford Road is not going to be built for either purpose. It is a minor arterial road which Dr. Johnson indicates later in her commentary, but only after making many references to a bypass which will be used by an array of people who will be using it to leave town.

I think we are forgetting the families that live in the addition who will need more than one way in and out. Without Crawford Road the bottleneck in traffic on University will continue to get worse as families continue to fill in the addition. Dr. Johnson does supply a possible solution for this. She suggests closing traffic temporarily during peak hours. This seems unfeasible with all the people who live in the area who need to drive through just to get to work or back home.

Do we want a permanent detour that has to be used every day when there is the opportunity to have another road available? Do we want to have an arterial road with, as she describes, "no cross traffic" or leave University Street as the main "arterial road" (even though it is not categorized as such, but out of necessity has become one) with cross traffic, residents entering traffic, and children crossing to get to school?

Crawford Road will be like any other street in Vermillion with curb, gutter, and storm sewers. The storm sewers for the addition to Crawford Road are already in place and that money will be wasted if left without a road. Having another option to travel will only decrease the traffic on University Street by giving travelers a choice.

Vermillion has many arterial roads. Some are major like the bypass but the Crawford Road already in place is considered a minor arterial road that will be finished should the vote pass.

2) Is a new, million-dollar street absolutely needed for Dave Hertz's addition to have access to town?

Crawford Road may not be "absolutely needed" for families in the addition to access town � at least not now anyway. Should that little addition fill up with houses and families, those families will want a safe route for their children to get to parks, schools, and the swimming pool. Having a paved street directly connecting the two neighborhoods instead of a county highway will greatly benefit those homeowners.

I should remind you that this street was in the comprehensive plan when Dave Hertz decided to develop that area. What kind of message are we sending to anyone who wishes to invest in our community if we say in one moment that we are going through with something but when the time comes to make good on that, we say we don't want to, we would rather have a nature walk put in instead of a paved street?

We are saying we don't want our city to grow and we don't want people here willing to invest in the community. When the word gets out that we let this one down, how can we gain the trust of others who want to come here, and I am not just talking about residential developers? There is the possibility that other commercial and industrial developers' who could say no to Vermillion because of this problem.

3) Should Vermillion build and maintain a road with tax dollars to enhance the salability and profitability of a privately owned residential development?

Vermillion constantly builds and maintains roads for privately owned residential property. We all drive on them to get to work, bring our kids to school, our police patrol them and emergency workers use them. We are forgetting that these roads benefit the homeowners and all citizens in Vermillion.

Those citizens include those who work for Dave Hertz, the bank, and the people employed by the "housing industry," businesses mentioned in Dr. Johnson's commentary. But the beneficiaries are not limited to those people alone. There is a bigger picture we need to be looking at.

Where would our local economy be without growth and development like the Countryside Addition? Dave Hertz is doing what a developer does � he is working on behalf of all those who buy or build in his development. He is also providing needed jobs by keeping his development growing, jobs that are necessary to citizens of Vermillion who are not necessarily living in the development. Does anyone else see the ripple effect?

Dr. Johnson makes some other references to environmentalism. I will just say this:

I love the environment as much as the next person. Vermillion has many nature areas I visit; "Crawford Wood" is not one of them. It is easy to jump on the environmental bandwagon any time a tree is threatened.

As for the census, maybe it hasn't increased much in decades but it isn't apparent by looking at the landscape by the golf course. All kinds of buildings have sprung up, along with new roads to get there. How much does the census need to increase before we decide to finish building a road or expand a community? Can a change in the census happen without further infrastructure?

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