Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

May 16, 2013

Rethink Doherty park plans

Editor, Townsman:

The youth center juggernaut proceeds apace, with zero consideration for the impact on its neighbors on Whittier Place (who face the near certainty of increased flooding from Rogers Brook) and on Bartlet Street. The plan to bulldoze a loop drive and several parking spaces into the serene little park in front of Doherty School is an abomination, an inexcusable assault on a residential neighborhood that puts up with enough noise and traffic as it is. The park has served since the school’s construction in the early ‘50s as a welcome and necessary buffer between school zone and homes, and its destruction would be a crime against the Bartlet homeowners and the neighborhood. (Although the paving design people insist there will be no healthy trees cut, how long can those beautiful mature specimens survive with their roots excavated and paved over?)

This plan or a variant was proposed once before, and rightly shot down. It should have been again. The latest excuse is Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, but the true reason is that the misplaced monster building going up behind the school will wipe out existing parking and the planners are looking for something else to pave over to compensate. The neighborhood should not have to pay for the town’s idiocy in shoehorning the youth center into this worst possible location.

Leave the Doherty park alone, please! Andover can do better for its citizens, and for its trees.

Kristina Trott

Morton Street

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