Of more than 30 citizens who recently spoke to the Richland Planning Commission, only three spoke in favor of the Rachel Road extension across the Amon Basin Natural Preserve. Most spoke against the idea. Yet the city of Richland has a duty to ensure that the city's transportation network remains efficient in spite of relentless growth. The Rachel Road decision is indeed a "destiny-shaper" because it reflects the values of Richland's citizens.
To me, the pictures of the schoolchildren on nature field trips to Amon Basin are telling. Where else can their teachers take them to learn about the natural environment? Consider this: a nearby nature preserve would attract residents to the Hayden Homes development. Why then would the city consider a move that would destroy Amon Basin? What do the citizens of Richland gain by having a road run through their nature preserve so a few residents can get to the mall a little faster?
I believe other options that would preserve Amon Creek are possible with a little creative thinking and discussion. We need the city council to back off and give the matter a thorough study. The city's destiny most assuredly depends upon it.
CHARLES A. LoPRESTI, Richland