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It would seem that Port authority CEO Steve Bland believes that possibly saving a little time commuting via the trolley is worth jeopardizing the safety of his exorbitant-fee-paying customers. Case in point is the elimination of the Smith Road transit stop. This is not just a simple case of inconvenience for riders. Without this stop, these riders will need to walk to the Washington Junction or St. Anne boarding points.
Accessing these stops by foot requires walking heavily trafficked Route 88 or Willow Avenue. These routes were not designed for foot traffic. First of all, there are no sidewalks on these stretches of road. Also, a walker in these locations is faced with high-volume, fast-paced traffic. Ice and snow in the winter make things even more unsafe. This is an extremely dangerous environment for any pedestrian including the elderly and otherwise challenged rider.
To my knowledge, there are no data to support what, if any, travel time savings will result from eliminating the Smith Road stop. In any case, is possibly saving a little time for some customers worth risking the health and safety of other customers? We believe the answer to that question is definitely no. We also hope that even the most time-conscious commuter would agree.
As a responsible member of the community as well as a provider of safe customer service, the Port Authority needs to re-establish the Smith Road stop.
CATHERINE and THOMAS YAKEMOVIC
First Published June 20, 2012 12:00 am