My name is Steven Donatone and I am a resident of Olde Point in Hampstead.  Thank you for holding this meeting here in Hampstead.

I would like to start with a definition, specifically, the definition for the term by-pass;

Oxford Dictionaries defines it as: A road passing around a town or its center to provide an alternative route for through traffic.

Merriam-Webster defines it as:  A passage to one side; especially :  a deflected route usually around a town

Collins English Dictionary defines it as: A main road built to avoid a city or other congested area

I could go on but you get the idea.

With those definitions in mind it would appear counter-intuitive to have an access to the by-pass that would route traffic right in the middle of the area intended to be by-passed.  Let’s keep in mind that regardless of future traffic volumes those who intend to visit a place in Hampstead will simply stay on business 17 while those who are going through on the way to some other destination will stay on the by-pass.  The distance between the Northern access and the one on route 210 is approximately 3 miles; traveling at a rate of 60 miles per hour, a mile per minute, we are talking about 3 minutes travel time; hardly a great burden.  Even adding time for traveling on route 210 does not create a transportation crisis.

The one thing that is perfectly clear in all of this is that many people of Hampstead do not want this middle access built at the outset especially since an outside traffic study casts serious doubt on the DOT numbers.

We  can debate whose traffic study is more accurate until the cows come home and die of old age; it would seem that given the rather speculative nature of forecasting models regardless of their mathematical complexity that a more prudent approach would be to preserve the route for the middle access in the event it would ever be needed but not build it initially and save the 30 million or more for other pressing projects like upgrading the surfaces of roads currently used that are in various states of disrepair.

Government officials whether elected or appointed are vested with a public trust.  In full-filling that trust they owe the public transparency in their actions and honesty.

Disagreements are a natural part of our system of government and often result in better outcomes.  However, when government officials simply ignore facts or are perceived to allow ego or defensivness to over-ride public interest the people lose faith in government and that is a danger to our democracy.  How to proceed should be guided by objective facts and the public interest. If such facts clearly support the middle access so be it, if they do not then don’t build it.  Right now the facts at hand suggest it should not be built.