Form a committee for Amherst traffic issues

At a recent meeting of the Amherst Board of Selectmen, Linda Kaiser, a resident concerned about possible traffic issues once the bridge on Manchester Road is reopened, suggested an overall look at village traffic, an idea that grabbed some traction with Selectman Mike Akillian.

Kaiser told selectmen she was concerned about “traffic speeding by my house all day long,” something for which she said she would not stand. We can understand her concern, especially in a day and age when too many people do idiotic things like text and drive or talk on the phone and drive, multiplying danger exponentially.

Akillian suggested a “micro master plan” for village traffic and said, “We are in danger of dealing with this incrementally rather than holistically.”

That is too often what happens when potential problems are brought to the attention of public officials: They seek to appease people who are complaining because, generally, it’s easier, and cheaper, than tackling the problem “holistically.”

No, we’re not saying that is the case in Amherst, and certainly not with the Board of Selectmen, but the history of the village in the last 25 years will indicate that traffic has long been an issue and it would certainly appear that an holistic approach was never used.

Of course, it’s also possible that previous town officials determined that all that could be done about traffic had been done, and any new look might conclude the same. Still, it behooves Amherst to take that look and, should a committee be formed, by including Akillian and Kaiser. And, of course, someone from the police and fire departments, who have to deal with traffic issues at the worst of times.

We know, we know: Another committee. But that’s OK. The idea is to get a comprehensive look at what the issue is and the selectmen simply don’t have the time.

If the bridge that so concerns Kaiser reopens and her fears are proven correct, the town will regret not having done something sooner.

So, since already there are two strong voices willing to take a comprehensive look, it seems like things are off to a running start.