Letters: Concerned about music venue’s effect on seniors, traffic

To the editor:

I live in the largest senior citizen community in the entire county: Hawthorne Hills, Willow Manor, and the nursing home. A drive down Hawthorne Dive will show many seniors trying to get to IGA for food, etc. They walk slowly, walk with a cane, or use a motorized wheelchair. I am one of those people.

As it is now, it is not a safe situation to cross Hawthorne Drive. Cars do NOT stop at the stop sign. On two occasions, approaching drivers even accelerated after I was already in the road trying to get to IGA. The driver did not want to wait for the old man with a cane, so he raced me. Two more steps and I would have been killed. I went to the police station and reported it. Nothing was done.

Go stand near the intersection of the four-way stop and observe. Nobody stops. Rolling stops are the norm, and often not even that. It is a “yield” sign, and old people are in the way.

So what is the solution by the town council to protect us? Let’s widen Hawthorne to three lanes, and drive 2,000 more cars right in the middle of the old people’s homes and around the nursing home. What could possibly go wrong?

Rock concert-goers: “Hey, man, let’s get high before we go. We better do a lot so it will last the whole concert.” So we will have a bunch of spaced-out drivers using the old people like an obstacle course.

Country music-goers: “Let’s have a few cold ones before we go. Better have some extra so it will last through the concert.” Now we have a bunch of drunken drivers coming at us.

Expand Chestnut drive, so seniors can now be endangered just walking to McDonald’s or the Family Dollar. Only this time, you have Mom and Dad wheeling Grandma from the nursing home for some fresh air.

It is WHEN, not IF, someone gets killed. And when death occurs, how will the town council respond when it is too late?

Oh, well, they were going to die soon, anyway. Let’s drive more cars through their living rooms. At least The Democrat will have this letter in their archives to shame you — and law firms to say you were warned.

I want to say how glad I am that the Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center is being built next door to me. I do not drive, and this would be a great way for me to attend events I otherwise could not see. It will also bring visitors here, bring in more tourist dollars, more restaurant dollars, more souvenirs at the local shops. The result will be more jobs. This is a brilliant idea. Please do it.

But whoever got the idea to drive the most traffic in history right through the middle of the senior communities and nursing home has no idea what they are creating: Death. Not maybe, but for certain.

You have no idea how many senior citizens are prepared to hold signs, “Senior Lives Matter,” and barricade Hawthorne Drive. The police need to be prepared to drag disabled people off the street and to jail. Many will fall and get hurt. Photographers will snap pictures of the police dragging disabled people to jail. Seniors will fall during the protests and get hurt. Tourists will be aghast. Nashville will get national publicity. If you think we are kidding, wait and see. There are many more seniors than police. If you won’t protect us, we will do it ourselves.

Keep the venue. We will love it. But are you crazy? Pick a different route. Your decision will lead to death. That is tantamount to murder. Use your brains. Stand at the intersection inconspicuously now and watch all the drivers run the stop signs. Then imagine 2,000 more drivers, many of them impaired, and making the disabled seniors cross three lanes, instead of two.

James Mullen, Hawthorne Hills Apartments (submitted by Michael Mullen)

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