Chatham Group Seeks to Make Improvements to Route 28

KA_Chatham_town offices 2_110615WEST CHATHAM – The group known as the Ad Hoc Citizens Committee wants to plant trees, install benches, eliminate the middle turning lane and make other cosmetic improvements to a 1,200 foot stretch of Route 28 in West Chatham.

Committee member Rick Leavitt told selectmen at a recent meeting that “a little landscaping goes a long way.”

The plans call for a 10 foot wide multipurpose path to be installed, along with a 5 foot buffer of grass between the sidewalk and roadway; essentially, the committee’s goal is to make a transient village out of what Leavitt referred to as a “barren” stretch of road.

Other ornamental plants were proposed by Leavitt, including flowering shrubs and low-growing trees which will avoid wires yet screen telephone poles.

“Compared with other investments and civic improvements, street trees are relatively inexpensive and yield substantial community and environmental benefits,” Leavitt said.

He said the committee has followed many guidelines within the State Department of Transportation’s (DOT) design guide.

According to Leavitt, the committee’s idea is not solely vested in cosmetics. A few years ago, town officials submitted an application to the DOT in response to a concern about driver speed and the safety of the center turning lane.

Leavitt said narrowing the perceived width of the roadway would slow traffic down.

Selectmen responded to the proposition by suggesting the committee drum up more public support from citizens and businesses.

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