To the Editor:
As the State Representative for Ward 3 in Portsmouth, which includes the Peverly Hill Road, I have heard from many residents over the years regarding their need for a sidewalk on that street. That is why I am very happy to learn that they are finally getting the sidewalks that will make their neighborhood safer. I live only ¼ of a mile off of Peverly Hill Road and have often walked that street to get to the Toyota dealership and Market Basket. It is indeed a very dangerous road to walk on, and I understand families who are concerned about their children waiting for a school bus. At the walk-about organized by Peter Rice of the Public Works Deptartment, I heard some of the reservations regarding property impacts and questions about how to safely add bicycle lanes to that street.
But it is also important to remember that the money spent on the Peverly Hill Road project is being paid for by all Portsmouth residents and the State of New Hampshire. The residents of that road will benefit directly by reducing vehicle speeds, enhancing pedestrian safety as well as enhancing safety for bicyclists, whether they are individuals or families. This project will improve the quality of life for all city residents but will also increase the value of properties on Peverly Hill Road.
I find the original project proposed by the city a good one. However, as Mr. Rice mentioned, there is still time for improvement. On the other hand, our city is committed to a Complete Streets Policy, i.e., safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists alike, not to mention mitigating the need to always use a car to get to a destination. We should make this project as good as possible, but we should not delay it. Such an opportunity only comes around every 20 years or so. Also, please don’t remove the trees from the original plan, they make our city healthier and more beautiful.
Portsmouth claims to be an Eco-Municipality and a city that supports green and environmental technologies. Bicycling and walking are certainly in line with that philosophy. Let the City Council know your opinion.
Rep. Peter Somssich
Ward 3, Portsmouth, N.H.
It’s decidedly off-topic, and it was well before your time, but the editor’s great x 9 grandparents, Thomas and Jane Walford, used to live over your way. That was after they got more or less thrown out of Boston—a fairly common happenstance among our crew. For the record, none of the witchcraft complaints against Jane were ever proven.