Forest Avenue, a Tragedy Waiting to Happen
After a lively Thanksgiving dinner in Rhode Island with family and friends, our friend Amy asked who would join her for a walk with their dog. Her 11-year-old daughter, Christina, was the only taker. Minutes into their walk, Amy and Christina were hit by an elderly driver who was sober. Amy was killed and Christina is trying to recover from her physical injuries … without her mother. That’s all it took; maybe five minutes.
I share this horrible story because I think a Forest Avenue tragedy is inevitable unless we make changes. Every single night – and now in the late afternoon – on Forest there are runners, walkers, nannies, baby strollers, and countless dogs walking in the road without the slightest hint of light or reflective material.
Much attention has rightfully been paid to Midland Avenue, but Midland has two wide lanes, a double-yellow divider, streetlights, and sidewalks! Forest is narrow, undivided, and dark.
Drivers, please slow down and pay attention. Pedestrians, please don’t assume drivers can see you. Take a flashlight, wear something reflective, and don’t walk in the middle of the road! Teenagers, you probably won’t read this, but if you are walking along Forest at night and your feet aren’t on grass you are doing it wrong!
Setting the Record Straight
Now that the recent election is over, we, as representatives of friends and neighbors of Suzanna Keith, would like to set the record straight versus letters written by a local political activist, a former City Councilman, and a resident of Highland Hall. The claims in the letters against Councilwoman Keith were inaccurate.
When Suzanna was Co-President of Midland PTO, she never endorsed any School Board candidate nor was permitted to speak for existing Board members who were part of an election as instructed by the PTO’s by-laws. Moreover, Suzanna partnered with the Board on important pedestrian safety issues around town. She has always treated each member with the respect they deserve since they are so giving of their time to Rye. Finally, Suzanna has always worked hard to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of all parents.
With respect to bringing coffee to Highland Hall and never appearing again, Suzanna was the only elected official involved. Afterward she continued to try to help displaced residents, but off the radar screen. She did not feel it was appropriate to inject the issue into the campaign.
Hopefully, the incorrect information did not damage the spirit of volunteerism and democracy in our community. We believe the recent election has made our community stronger, and hopefully, voters in the 7th district were able to make a more informed choice based on facts instead of faulty perceptions. While we were obviously disappointed with the results, we are proud that Suzanna’s message was strong and based on facts, not falsehoods.
Lastly, we would further like to mention that the Mayor, members of the City Council, and trustees on the Board of Education are all volunteers who work hard to make Rye a better place. They make a real difference in our community and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. To knowingly attack any elected official with false statements is to attack the very spirit of democracy, as it diminishes the possibility of qualified individuals willing to serve in the public interest. Now, more than ever, we need highly qualified individuals to meet the enormous challenges facing our country and community.
We hope that future campaigns will be contests founded on vigorous debates of facts and figures, not rumors, innuendo and statements known to be false.