The American Institute of Architects states, "consideration of the natural setting is essential in every decision a community makes about how it should build." There is agreement that Amon Creek Natural Preserve possesses unique qualities worth preserving. The controversy centers on whether to include a central artery. Kennewick School District is the major proponent; the city of Richland appears noncommital.
The road would parallel much of the creek. Inhabitants of sensitive areas, as well as local residents, would be subjected to constant traffic noise, air emissions and terminal encounters with vehicles. A decision to construct this roadway would call into question the city's commitment to protect its natural resources.
Most Americans support policies to make their communities more livable by reducing traffic speed. More than half of all pedestrian fatalities occur on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or higher. Where traffic is a nuisance, people tend to stay inside their homes. It would seem a sad result to preserve the Amon Watershed but effectively discourage the use of this resource.
The American Institute of Architects notes that a balance of nature and development not only protects the local ecosystem, but also improves property values. Isn't that something that is worth considering?
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LARRY OATES, Benton City