On Thursday evening, June 10th, a driver had an accident impacting our home at 800 Amherst St. that demolished a portion of fence and yard and destroyed the front porch and columns of the "Toll House," near the corner of Amherst Street and Whittier Avenue. Luckily there were no serious injuries involved, though considerable damage occurred to the property. It appears the car was traveling west to east on Amherst towards downtown. While we await more details about this particular accident, it reminds us of the ongoing problems that exist at this intersection. Cars coming from the direction of the hospital into town tend to pick up far greater speed than the posted 25 miles per hour, making for a dangerous scenario when pulling out from Whittier Avenue and turning left onto Amherst Street. Over the years many accidents and near misses have occurred at this juncture, as many residents use this turn as the most convenient way to exit the Whittier Acres subdivision. It seems past time for some kind of signal, three-way stop, or speed bump to slow traffic moving east on Amherst and allow for a safe exit from Whittier Acres.
In a related problem, when this area was torn up for new sewer lines back in early 2000s, the proper drainage cut-outs were not put back, and this area now creates a serious hazard of standing water after a hard rain. This water does not recede for long stretches of time, adding to the danger and problems. It also splashes water onto our home, whereas prior to the sewer line replacement this never occurred. In winter months with colder temperatures this creates an icing problem that again creates a dangerous hazard for drivers. Luckily death and serious injury were avoided in this latest accident, but if these traffic and water run-off issues are not addressed, we know it is only a matter of time before something far worse happens. We ask the city to please address these problems proactively, before an avoidable tragedy occurs.
Richard Johnson and Denny Rhodes are Winchester homeowners.