With marina expansion, drive safely

For the first time, I felt compelled to write a few comments on the projected development of the old Duso’s annex marina. As a resident of lower Lake Street, I have quietly reviewed the corporation’s future plans, attended the zoning board meetings, had discussions with many locals and neighbors about their thoughts and feelings, and have read multiple letters sent out to local agencies and the newspaper expressing their concerns and thoughts.

Since the snowmelt, there has been a lot of activity down at the annex. The new owners and managers have done an amazing job cleaning up the site (taking out garbage, old lumber, etc.) and making the property much more aesthetically pleasing (cleaning up the landscape and attempting to mend the dilapidated boathouses). They have really done a great job so far making it look aesthetically pleasing.

Based on conversations and reading many letters, it seems like the general consensus is that most residents are happy to see a new and improved marina; it also seems as though most people believe increasing the size and making major new improvements is also a great idea. The concern still seems to be the size and scale. I can only speak for myself, but I agree that great improvements can be done at a much smaller scale. However, my letter isn’t about expressing my personal thoughts on the actual project itself.

This letter is to address my number-one concern, which is how this is already impacting the amount of traffic on our road and the the driving etiquette of workers and boat owners. The responsibility of the road is split between Saranac Lake village (speed limit 30 mph) and the town of Harrietstown. Since living here, I know that generally our road is very quiet in the winter and busier in the summer months as the marina annex opens. This typically means an incredible increase in car traffic and a noticeable disregard for the signed speed limit.

Our neighborhood is diverse, including families with teens, retired couples, single families, summer residents and many of us pet owners. As new parents, our concerns have evolved into the general welfare of our family and, of course, our neighbors’ families. As I see how recklessly people drive on our road, I begin to fear the safety of my daughter, my neighbors’ children and any neighborhood pets.

There isn’t a day that cars don’t cruise at speeds over 40 mph on this small, quiet village street. I wouldn’t be surprised if several of the cars exceed this speed as well. Of particular concern are the vehicles that are towing boats and trailers.

As a lover of the Adirondacks, I can completely understand the excitement and joy of a having the opportunity to take a boat ride on Lower Saranac on a perfect and warm sunny day, especially because of the winters we endure. I can also understand how workers have tons of things to do to get the boats in and ready and making sure the annex is running smoothly. I surely know how there is always so much to do and so little time.

With all this said, I am asking, respectfully, that anyone who drives on lower Lake Street to please, please have some respect for the residents of this neighborhood. Please slow down and mind the speed limit. The road is not even a mile long, and you will surely get to your destination in no time at all, even at 15 mph.

Also, if this marina project is approved, I ask that either LS Marina LLC, the village of Saranac Lake or the town of Harrietstown consider putting in speed bumps on our road or have the road policed regularly to ensure the safety of our residents, as I am sure this letter will have little impact on how people drive here in the future.

We sincerely thank you.

Meg Archer lives in Saranac Lake.