Thoughts on the state Route 47 Improvement Project

To the editor:

I debated over writing this letter because the subject is so controversial, and because I really admire our mayor, Mike Barhorst, and the city council members, who make such important decisions on behalf of all of us in Sidney.

However, for the same reasons, I decided to do it before it is too late, and because I am an American and free speech is part of what “makes America great!”

Unlike John Burnside, whose letter was published on April, 8, I did go to the public meeting that was held to get input from us citizens on the proposed changes to state Route 47 and the installation of the roundabout. I thought those who spoke, especially the two engineers who understood the proposal better than some of us, pointed out the problems very well. All 20-plus speakers made good points — and none was in favor of the changes — and were applauded by the 200-plus in attendance!

Afterward, I submitted my opinions as we were invited to do. But I wonder “if” and “who” will read and really consider what was said in any of those papers, and were they really listening at that meeting in March? It should have caused much more serious thinking for all of them.

Even the statistics used in the proposal were challenged as not being accurate. Has anyone checked that? Could there be a chance that records were manipulated?

My main concern, and the most ridiculous idea, is reducing state Route 47 to a two-lane highway, when it is obvious it needs to be its current double-lane. It is used too much by too many to mess it up with beautification! I much prefer that guardrail barrier between me and the other side traffic to a tree and flowers! A little paint would help make it more attractive, of course!

It would be interesting to take a poll of Sidney residents, instead of only the few council members making such a controversial decision. This project should be honestly considered on its own merits, not because we might get a future grant if we turn this one down!

Anyone else want to share an opinion?

Farrel Kaplan