To the editor:
What a difference a few hundred feet of sidewalk can make. With the start of this school year, there’s a safe way for pedestrians and Simsbury High School students to walk and cross West Street and access local businesses. For those who travel that route regularly, you know that crossing West Street had been a jaywalking free-for-all.
That’s why I’d like to thank those who helped keep our streets safe. The idea to install a crosswalk and a sidewalk began when Simsbury High School students Maggie Barnard and Teresa Cortes contacted me last fall to express their concern about the safety of students crossing in that area. Responding to their concerns, I worked with them, and student Jefferson Wilkes, to find a solution. From the moment the issue was raised, Town and School officials and staff came together to make this happen.
I am proud to say that in less than a year, the new sidewalk, cross walk and pedestrian signals have been installed– which is an amazing timeframe for a state project.
I would like to give special thanks to school officials, Superintendent of Schools Matt Curtis and former Superintendent Diane Ullman; Simsbury High School Principal Neil Sullivan; Assistant Principal Steve Patrina, Business Manger Burke LaClair, as well as the leadership of the Simsbury Parent Teacher Council for their support. On the Town side, the project would not have happened without Police Chief Peter Ingvertsen, Town Engineer Richard Sawitzke, First Selectman Mary Glassman, and Deputy Selectman John Hampton and Selectman Sean Askham, who worked with the Public Safety Committee. Thanks also to the Board of Selectmen, Board of Education and the Board of Finance for their unanimous support.
Simsbury is a community we can all be proud of. A small idea, supported by parents, other residents and community volunteers, can make a difference for our students, visitors and businesses. Thanks!