Letter to the editor: Commuter backs Ferrisburgh lights

Over the summer I was traveling home from the Burlington area with my daughter after her dance class, and had stopped at the Ferrisburgh Short Stop in North Ferrisburgh. Just as we were exiting the store to return to our car, an 18-wheeler rumbled down Route 7, obviously traveling well in excess of the posted 40 mph speed limit (as in that’s the fastest you should go in safe traveling conditions.) My daughter said “Whoa!!” upon seeing the truck rush past where we had turned off minutes earlier. This sparked an impromptu conversation about driver safety as we walked to our car. I try to take advantage of these teaching opportunities as all my daughters get ever closer to driving age. As we entered our car, another large truck passed on Route 7 going much closer to the posted speed limit.
I may not be a North Ferrisburgh resident, but I have traveled the Route 7 corridor enough in the 21 years I have been a licensed driver to know that the intersection with Old Hollow and Stage Roads has become a very dangerous place. Couple that with the fact that Route 7 has become more built up near this intersection, and you have a recipe for disaster. In other words, I stand with the Ferrisburgh residents and officials who are trying to make their roadways safer.
I am pleased to hear that state officials are finally heeding Ferrisburgh’s cry. It’s a shame that it took a serious collision to help get their attention. While I believe that any steps taken to slow traffic down in this area would be beneficial, I am not sure a roundabout would be the best option. My experiences with roundabouts (almost daily in Middlebury, in many other locations too) are not often very pleasant. I still feel as if collisions are imminent on these intersections. I don’t think all drivers are fully clear on how they should act in a roundabout situation. I don’t see other drivers signaling where they intend to go, and miss opportunities to enter as a result. I also feel many drivers are still traveling too fast through these features. A traffic light would amply slow traffic enough to allow for safe passage onto, crossing,off of, and crossing Route 7.
Ian Ross

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