~ Submitted by Daisy Girifalco
I am the owner of Bedford Children’s Center (BCC). In our daycare we have 81 children totaling 45 families, mostly Bedford residents, and 25 team members. I also reside on Concord Rd. The bike path details presented this spring are very concerning.
At BCC, we use every inch of our property and what the surrounding property offers us. Construction and increased bike traffic will negatively impact the entire BCC community. It’s my job to prevent that and advocate for our concerns including:
- The proposed path will now be about 10 feet from 2 playgrounds with far less tree coverage. Currently it’s more than 30 feet away with an extensive tree barrier. Clear cutting so many trees will likely affect the natural playground shade.
- A new picnic area about 30 feet from my playgrounds with less tree boundary.
- I was told that during construction, we cannot safely play in the play areas that face Concord Rd. This eliminates a playground and hosts 20 children each day multiple times a day.
- We go to Chip-In Farm or on nature walks. Increased bike traffic and speed may make it more dangerous for the children.
- During construction traffic will be routed through my driveway and parking area where my front sign is at school. The construction buffer will eliminate at least 6 staff parking spots that are sorely needed.
- There is no confirmed timeline of how long the construction will take affecting BCC for an indefinite amount of time affecting my enrollment and appeal for future staff.
- The paving will stop shortly after the opposite side of the tunnel but not before taking many more trees down on that side of the road.
- Concord just voted down any restoration on the path and today their community stands firm of keeping the path natural.
- Cement sides entering the tunnel like on the highway, smaller, but still large cement entrance.
- A traffic study was never done which would provide data for residents to make an informed decision.
As a Bedford Chamber of Commerce board member for the past 11 years, I want nothing more than for Bedford to be the best town it can be. This is not the trajectory that will get us there. I feel the town will be better served by a much smaller investment to improve the path we have.