As a Richland resident, I am concerned about traffic congestion, public safety access and safe roads as we continue to grow. Although I believe that growth is great for our community, we need to make sure that we are planning appropriately.
It seems to me that the city of Richland has tried to do that in the past -- planning for many years to connect Leslie Road and Steptoe Street with a road that runs east-west. Without such a connection, traffic will become congested on Gage Boulevard, Leslie, Steptoe, Clearwater Avenue and all of the residential neighborhood streets within that "square."
Increased traffic congestion will lead to more accidents and unsafe situations for pedestrians and cyclists. This will also create havoc and unnecessary delays for our first responders, who will not have easy and direct routes to respond to emergencies.
Yes, having beautiful, natural spaces that we can enjoy is important. But that space won't go away -- more than 95 percent of it would remain if a road is built. Is it completely unthinkable to give up just a little bit of this natural space to build a road that will increase our quality of life and public safety needs?
GRETCHEN BECK, Richland