Safe Sidewalk Implementation In Cumberland
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On Monday, May 2, 2016, Carl John III, a teenager and longtime resident of Cumberland was struck by a vehicle while walking home from work at a local coffee shop on the side of Bear Hill Road in a hit-and-run accident. On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at 2:37 PM, less than 48 hours after the initial incident, CJ died as a result of complications of the accident. For years, local residents have noted how the street where the accident took place itself is poorly lit, the sidewalks nonexistent. Unfortunately, this type of scenario is not anywhere close to an isolated incident. In a large portion of Cumberland, a sizeable portion alongside main roads, there are zero sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to cater as far to the edge of the street as the landscaping will allow and forcing drivers to swerve in and out of their designated lanes, creating high tension and driver safety issues. For years, local residents have cried out for, at the very least, sidewalks on the main roads in Cumberland; and each time, nothing was done. If there were sidewalks implemented throughout the town prior, Carl John might still be with every one of us today-- touching lives, making jokes, and finishing college; opportunities that were ripped away from him far too soon and at no fault of his own.
We are reaching out to compel the town of Cumberland to implement sidewalks in all heavily-trafficked areas, including the location of the accident involving CJ, Bear Hill Road, and along Diamond Hill Road, to prevent something like this from ever taking place again. As a frequent pedestrian, I understand what it is like on our streets: there is no safe route from the local library to a CVS, Dave’s Marketplace, or even a Dunkin’ Donuts. As a town, we need to collectively demand sidewalks and collectively demand safety for drivers and pedestrians alike.
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