Friday, May 14, 2021


Character and Beauty

We live at 650 Leetes Island Road, the former home of Judge Calvin M. Leete. This letter summarizes my concerns about the resurgence of interest in changes to our historic, beautiful Route 146 and what those changes might bring.

Our first impression upon seeing the SCRCOG study proposal for Route 146 was: Not again! We’d hoped this matter was settled several years ago after many lengthy, well-attended meetings at our home and at the Guilford Town Hall. During those previous hearings, my wife and I hoped to convince local politicians and state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials of our concerns and desire to avoid unwanted changes, including the widening of our historic and scenic roadway.

Traffic calming, widening 146, and sea level rise are among those issues that arose during those early meetings.

I believe the majority of residents supported traffic calming; opposition seemed to come mainly from those passing through. How to calm that traffic was discussed at length. The DOT highway design manual lists a number of tools for doing this; there was no consensus on which tools to use.

Widening 146 was considered along with adding bike lanes on either side of the road. A concern was that the widened road would do nothing to calm traffic, and would almost surely take historic property.

A bridge across the crabbing area that floods Route 146 regularly was proposed several years ago by the state. The result wasn’t well received by those living along 146. The solution offered by the state was out of character with our neighborhood; worse, it would’ve created a straightaway that would accelerate traffic flow through the area.

Since these issues and others have come to the fore again, we hope the character and beauty of our historic neighborhood can be preserved during those hearings.

Everett M. Barber