There is a busy residential street in Saco that now has proper signage. The hope? To slow down traffic to prevent the injury or death of the children who live and play there.
Skyline Drive is used as a cut-through street for those traveling from Boom Road to Bradley Street. It’s very easy to go above the speed limit when going through the residential neighborhood. I’m guilty of this from time to time as well. What we forget sometimes are the people that are on the receiving end of the fast and the furious around the corner.
There is one family in particular that this issue has become personal for. I’ve known the King family now for a few years. They are some of the nicest people you will meet. They have three children. One is deaf and the other is hearing impaired. If the children are playing in the yard, near the street, or loading up onto the bus to go to school, it can be a nerve-wracking thing to see people not paying attention while at the wheel.
The big thing is hearing the vehicles coming. Obviously the children have to learn to be alert and the parents have to be ever-watchful, but there is also an onus on drivers to understand the warning signs and for the city to provide proper notification and enforcement.
When the King family tried to get something resolved, they were initially met with some closed doors and apprehension. Once I put them in touch with the right people, things went smoothly. Couldn’t help but think if we had a more accessible city councilor in Ward 5, the family would have an immediate advocate for them at city hall.
A big shout out goes to our public works department. I have been thoroughly impressed with their responsiveness, especially its director, Pat Fox. It’s great to see people that really take pride in their work and enjoy what they do. That shows. They were able to get “Caution hearing impaired child,” signs up within just a few weeks of our active discussions of the need.
According to the family and others on the street, speeding is still an issue, though the signs have helped. Hopefully we can help raise awareness for the issue and people will take notice. We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of our children in our community.
Justin Chenette is serving his second term as state representative for Saco District 15. Outside the Legislature, he is owner of Chenette Media LLC, a multimedia public relations company, and is the president/CEO of the Saco Bay Center of Civic Engagement, a 501c3 nonprofit service organization. Follow updates at www.justinchenette.com, Facebook.com/JustinChenette, and Twitter.com/ JustinChenette.
Beyond the Headlines
Weekly Column featured in The Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier Newspaper by Rep. Justin Chenette of Saco