In a letter published in the Gazette on December 9, 2021, I questioned the wisdom of council’s decision to spend $163,119 on a new crosswalk in Bloomfield when other communities seemed able to install them at a cost of $2,600 to $5,000.
My arguments appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Bloomfield now has its crosswalk “bump-out”—two projections of the sidewalk into the middle of the road—and the county presumably now has a dent of $163,119 in its budget.
My first observation is that the bump-out makes it much more difficult for cars, school buses, farm machinery and trucks to turn right from Corey Street onto Bloomfield Main Street because they have to drive out much further into the street in order to drive around the bump-out. This increases the probability of collisions at that intersection.
Second, I have watched bicyclists having to swerve into the middle of the road in order to drive around the bump-outs, thereby endangering their lives as well as alarming and distracting motorists.
Third, the easternmost of the two parking spots in front of the Bloomfield post office is no longer accessible by safely backing into it if the westernmost spot is occupied, because the bump-out is in the way. So although theoretically there has been no loss of parking spaces at that location, in reality one of the spaces is far less usable than before. There had been no history of accidents at that location before the “improvement” of the crosswalk, but it appears likely that in future there will be more collisions, resulting in property damage, personal injury and possibly loss of life.
This highly predictable outcome makes me very glad that municipal elections are coming up this fall, giving us the opportunity to toss out each and every one of the short-sighted, lemming-like councillors who voted to waste taxpayers’ money on this boondoggle.