During the last two weeks there has been much discussion about road safety in Scottsboro. As others have been, I was baffled by a recent decision by the city council to not approve the project presented.
Let me first say that having experienced four years on the city council things are not exactly as they seem to the public. A lot of work is put into planning before the mayor presents those ideas. Council members often put in an equal amount of time into making sure those plans, in their opinion, are going to be the best for Scottsboro.
Often times, opinions are made based on experiences of the past, information that is available in the present and the effect it will have on the future. After reviewing the information presented to the public and following the last two city council meetings, it is my opinion that the approval of the Highway 72 and County Park Road project would be best for Scottsboro.
I have met with elected officials, business owners, property owners, law enforcement officials and citizens over the last two weeks. The general consensus seems to be a majority is in favor of the planned project.
I understand the need for additional safety measures along the highway corridor. I also understand a long-term and more comprehensive solution is needed in the discussed area. However, considering the present and how it will affect the citizens of Scottsboro and visitors into our city, I believe the proposed plan was better than nothing at all.
Completing the service roads on both sides of the highway is a long-term goal and it has been for some time. These projects are nothing new and should be expected at some point or another. I also believe they should be welcomed, sooner than later. I will admit I would rather not have to make my commute any longer than the next driver. Traffic signals are often viewed as a nuisance. That same nuisance and extra commute time isn’t to annoy us, it is to protect us.
Change is inevitable. It will happen whether we are prepared for it or not. It will happen whether we accept it or not. Perhaps we can delay that change. But imagine if we accept the challenge of that change. Consider how much of an impact we can have on our community if we are the ones advocating and involved in that change.
Remove any notion of a restaurant coming to Scottsboro. Deduct the potential revenue from businesses that may or may not build along the highway. And forget the dreadful idea of having to stop at a second traffic signal in the same vicinity. Instead, consider the high school student traveling to track or football practice. Consider the mother picking up her child from school. Or consider the family of vacationers stopping in town for a bite to eat.
The project is now. The safety concerns are now. The money is allocated. Save lives now and march on to the next intersection with the same goal.