No center line, please


To the editor:

A week ago Sunday, Sept. 9, we joined a meeting of about a dozen Pyle Road residents, convened by Rhys and Laurel Price-Jones in order to draft a letter to the city manager about our views on the repaving project we had heard about. Little did we know that city council would discuss the subject the very next day.

Council member Linda Slocum attended our meeting and we thank her for apparently raising some of our concerns, since they were reported in a News-Tribune article (“Pyle-South Amherst to get a makeover,” Sept. 13). We have now learned that the project is basically a repaving project but that “sharrows” (the chevrons or arrows that remind motorists they share the road with bicyclists) will be added. This is an excellent development.

But we have a concern with one item mentioned in the plans, namely the addition of a center line. As mentioned in the article, most motorists do not know that it is legal to cross a center line (even a double line) to safely pass a slow-moving vehicle or pedestrian. We feel that a road as narrow as ours will be safer without a center line, allowing motorists to pass slower vehicles and pedestrians with a margin of safety determined by their judgment, rather than worrying about the dictates of a center line. The article notes that Professor Street, essentially the same width as Pyle Road, has no center line. Neither does another recently completed project, Morgan Street.

We hope the planners will consider Pyle Road as being in league with these and leave off the center line.

Rod and Gigi Knight