Letter to the editor: Bring on First Avenue conversion, reader says

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A tractor 20 feet wide cannot pass a tractor equally wide -- or even a bicycle -- on newly rebuilt 150th Street, 26 feet wide, near Lake Robbins Ballroom.


To the editor:

In regard to your story, “First Avenue conversion draws few to open house Thursday,” I regret not being at this open house, but I totally support the proposed changes.

I take exception to having large farm implements using First Street. I question the necessity of most farmers in the area having to come through town when most of them could take the gravel roads on the perimeter of town and not go out of their way whatsoever.

For Heaven’s sake, just how many farmers actually have diametrically opposing acreages north and south of town? Just how often does any other farmer or farm worker need to make a transit through Perry when they couldn’t take five or 10 minutes more going around town?

Sure, a few might be inconvenienced by going around, but I suggest that would be much less an inconvenience than that of other drivers needing virtually to drive over the curbs to avoid the equipment, creeping behind the machines at a snail’s pace or putting their lives in the hands of God by trying to pass them.

I’m all for the farmers doing what they need to do to succeed, but I’m thinking their bottom line would not be significantly impacted by driving their behemoth equipment around town. Perry is no longer the quiet and laid back little town that could deal with the occasional tractor hauling grain or the much smaller planters and combines coming through town.

Between the ever-increasing traffic and the immense size of the modern combines, we need to reconsider allowing agricultural equipment to come through town unless it is absolutely necessary. I think such a need would be very infrequent or even non-existent.

I have registered my complaints about the hazards of walking across the intersection of First and Willis before. I don’t see any problem with the crossing lights or crosswalks. In my experience, quite a few drivers don’t seem to be paying attention.

Also, I’m not the only person an impatient and frustrated driver has nearly hit by trying to make a right hand turn into a crosswalk while the walk light was plainly flashing. I’ve been cussed by one driver who didn’t want to wait and nearly had my toes flattened by two others trying to make that right on red after I’d already taken a couple steps onto the street.

No, I don’t see any problem with the lights on First and Willis. I don’t see any problem with the proposed changes. The problem I do see is the reluctance of people to accept change.

Nick Eakins
Perry

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