I am writing to express my concerns regarding the proposed four-lane bypass to be built behind Enota School to connect Enota Avenue with South Enota Drive. This seems like a bad idea. Why does Public Works want to tear up and destroy one of Gainesville’s stable neighborhoods?
I’m sure you are aware that 65 percent of Gainesville’s housing units are already rental. When a major road to handle truck traffic is put into a stable, middle class residential neighborhood, do you think people will stay in or move to that neighborhood, or will they sell their homes and move out? What then happens to Gainesville’s tax base if the middle class continues to move into the county? What happens to the Gainesville
public schools when middle class families exit the system?
Does Gainesville need another major truck route? Green Street and Thompson Bridge Road have already been designated for those routes. The first portion of Riverside Drive must already contend with ambulances and fire trucks, and loud trucks in the early morning hours shifting gears trying to climb the hills of Enota. In addition, the break in zoning to the first portion of Riverside has forced multifamily housing units and now a large assisted living facility where once all was single-family homes. It is now so noisy, with more and more traffic, it is difficult to leave windows open for a breath of fresh air or to walk or jog along Riverside at certain hours of the day.
Additional traffic is not needed in this area. I also find plans for public comment disingenuous when they are invited after plans are drawn and financing for the project is in hand. Does Public Works also have a construction firm already in mind to handle this project? A $4 million project to destroy a quality of life in this town is not what Gainesville needs, but is an example of government run amok.
Why not simply install a traffic light where Cumberland Valley Drive intersects Morningside Drive? Best of all, a traffic light will not cost $4 million and destroy a neighborhood.
It is my understanding faculty and staff of Enota School are opposed to the proposed road. They are concerned about noise levels from trucks and traffic and safety issues with children on the playground. The “back-up” given so much attention in the newspaper affects no more than a 30-minute span of time on only 180 school days, less than 50 percent of a year. For that you want to spend $4 million tax dollars? A traffic light at Cumberland Valley Drive and Morningside would cost approximately $100,000 and not tear up a neighborhood.
Public Works must think beyond the task of moving traffic. If a holistic approach as to what benefits all of Gainesville is not used, far more will be destroyed than what was gained.