I am a pediatrician and a mother and thus extremely concerned about the well-being, health and safety of children and young people. I co-own a six-unit apartment building. Our unit is located on the corner of Dorrance Way and Elm Avenue which has historically been a small and safe cul-de-sac with very limited traffic. Opening up this cul-de-sac to allow for a large public access parking lot will put our tenants and their families at great risk.
Pedestrian injury is the third-leading cause of injury-related death for children aged 5 to 14 in the U.S. Most childhood pedestrian injuries occur in residential locations close to home, frequently occurring while the child is at play, often in a “dart-out” situation where a child impulsively and suddenly runs out into the street to chase a ball, a pet, etc.
Because our apartment building does not have significant adjoining play area space, these children will be at great risk should this adjacent parking space come to be, as there will be a huge increase in through traffic. There are obviously other health and safety factors at play here as well, including the many strangers who would now be passing through this quiet neighborhood street, effects on air quality and increased likelihood for nearby crime, all of which will impact the lives and well-being of those living directly next to this proposed construction. There are children’s lives at stake here. We must do everything we can to protect them. This parking lot proposal does just the opposite.