, Salem, MA

December 10, 2013

Letter: Peace needed in Garden City

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

In 1979 we bought our house in North Beverly. We thought it would be great to live in a place called “The Garden City.” It was conveniently located and not at all a stressful, tense environment. Fast forward to the present day. Things are very different 34 years later. It seems that every inch of available space along 1A has been built upon. This creates stop-and-go traffic and gridlock several times a day. We can scarcely exit from our street in the morning and have a difficult time re-entering due to heavy traffic. This isn’t what we bought into, for sure. Yes, we expect change; it’s the magnitude and permanence of the changes that have us worried.

This leaves us very concerned about the impact of the Brimbal Avenue interchange project. What does this mean for the homeowners? Will our main thoroughfares take on the look of Rte. 114 in Peabody or Rte. 1 in Saugus? This situation reminds me of a favorite story for children, “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton. “She was a pretty little house, built so well ... time passed and things changed ... The little house watched trucks, automobiles, gas stations, roadside stands, a new road, and everyone and everything moved faster than before. Everyone seemed to be very busy and everyone seemed to be in a hurry. They hurried by without a glance.” Will this be the fate for the houses and residents on Brimbal Avenue and surrounding areas? The entire character of the area will be permanently altered. So will the quality of life. It makes me think that we may need to rename Beverly “The Asphalt City.”

Do we truly need another shopping center and all the associated development that is sure to follow? It’s time to step back, slow down and truly examine this entire plan. And by the way, The Little House was put on wheels and moved to a lovely sylvan setting, much like its original, not an option for most of us. “…and all was quiet and peaceful in the country.” How about some peace for the people in The Garden City?

Paula Piraino