Publisher’s Pen: Round Lake and Roundabouts

I’ve dusted off the proverbial pen. Truth is I’ve been fighting the urge to use it quite a bit lately…this topic seemed easy enough to slide into as I sit here wondering “What are they thinking?” about a variety of subjects bubbling all around the towns we try to cover and serve with news and information.

Now, I don’t live in Round Lake and I don’t love, or not love, roundabouts in general. I do travel through that particular area at least three times a week and I can attest, the commuter traffic headed west can really be a pain if you come off Exit 11 at just the right time. That area has been growing in housing and commerce for some time now and as such, it’s just busier and busier.

The Town of Malta approved the construction of the roundabouts on Round Lake Road at the end of 2013. Nearby residents have been very vocal about their opposition. There have been workshops and meetings and all the usual things that happen when a community grows, then tries to change with that growth and make it all work.

RELATED Opponents Rally Against Roundabouts

Change, it happens. Rarely is it without ups, downs, twists and turns.

But, here’s the thing: if you have the opportunity to not add insult to a neighbor’s injury, why wouldn’t you take that opportunity to try really, really hard to make the best of an uncomfortable situation?

One of the most major, if not THE major objection to the roundabouts was their proximity to the Chango Elementary School. The objections and concerns for the kids that walk to school in that area were pretty high on the list of those against the roundabouts altogether.

As a matter of function, the roundabouts appear to be necessary, safely designed, etc. etc. No issue there.

My issue is with the decision to start construction before these kids are out of school. Someone along the way really, really couldn’t find a way to make this work even the day after the last day of school? Even just to be politically correct or appropriately sensitive?

To the Town Board’s credit, they do try really hard to provide careful information and details in a formal and transparent way when it comes to the changes in their community. I get advance agenda’s and notices to share with my team, the website is always up to date as far as I can tell and it’s pretty easy to get a live person on the phone compared to some of our other local governments.

Rifenberg Construction and Creighton Manning are the best of the best. Long time, experienced and careful professionals that do what they do extremely well.

However, this is one of those times when, appearances pushed aside, actually listening to the words of the parents of these kids would make sense.

I can’t stand political correctness, I really can’t. Every now and then though, I am forced to swallow why sometimes it matters.

If your taxpayers lost the battle, is it too harsh for me to say “c’mon leadership, at least be polite?” Seems like a real kick in the can in my trying-to-be-humble opinion.

Here are the presentation slides from the Pre-Construction meeting at Town Hall on Wednesday, Jun. 4.  Give them a look and tell me honestly–

Am I being too harsh?

Angela McFarland
Chief Creative Officer and Ad Whisperer 

The statements and views expressed in the Publisher’s Pen are solely that of Angela McFarland and do not represent, or reflect, the opinions or views of The Ballston Journal Online LLC or NewzMedia Holdings LLC.


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