Residents of Westwood 2 may soon have only one way to access their homes if a petition to block access from Westwood 1 to Westwood 2 is approved by West Point city officials.
The petition has been presented to many residents in Westwood 1 over the last couple of weeks, asking them to support blocking access to Hillcrest Road from Westwood 2. Residents of Westwood 1, some of whom have already signed the petition, say the petition was developed because some residents feel Westwood 2 residents are abusively using Westwood 1 roads to avoid going over speed bumps in Westwood 2. The problem, some Westwood residents say, is residents of Westwood 2 are speeding through Westwood 1, which have no speed bumps, and are putting children and other pedestrians at risk of being hit by a car.
One Westwood 1 resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she would be more in favor of a petition to put down speed bumps in the area instead of blocking access to Westwood 2 from Hillcrest Road.
â€śIf they could prove that it was the people in the other neighborhood flying through here then maybe I would support it,â€ť she said.
Another Westwood 1 resident said sheâ€™s totally opposed to the city putting down speed bumps and said she has already signed the petition to block access to Westwood 2. She said a similar plan was discussed years ago but didnâ€™t have enough â€śbodyâ€ť to it to get the support it needed.
Westwood 2 resident Nick Thomas said he understands how some residents of Westwood 1 feel in wanting to decrease speeding in Westwood 1 and deter crime in that subdivision, which some say is a part of the issue.
â€śI really donâ€™t have any problem with it because theyâ€™re right,â€ť Thomas said. â€śI donâ€™t have any complaints about it. If itâ€™s going to make them feel safe â€“ theyâ€™re just trying to protect themselves.â€ť
As far speeders coming directly from Westwood 2, Thomas said he doesnâ€™t agree. He believes those who are speeding may be visitors coming through Westwood 1 to visit tenants of apartments located near the back of Westwood 2. He exclaimed that most of the people on his street take the Westwood 2 main entrance from the highway.
Gene Allen Sanders of Westwood 2 said motorists who used to come through Westwood 2 would fly down the road until speed bumps were put in place to alleviate that issue. Affixing a few speed bumps to roads in Westwood 1 would be the solution in Westwood 1 instead of totally separating the two communities, he said.
â€śThatâ€™s pretty crazy because itâ€™s been like this for years,â€ť Sanders said. â€śAs long as I can remember both subdivisions have been open to each other. I could see people concerned about kids if traffic is like that, but they can fix that with speed bumps. Thatâ€™s common sense.â€ť
His neighbor agreed.
â€śItâ€™s sad that they feel that way,â€ť his neighbor said. â€śIf they feel like people are coming over there speeding maybe they need to put speed bumps over there to keep them from speeding. But as far as closing a road thatâ€™s been there for years that wouldnâ€™t be right.â€ť
William Sullivan, resident of Westwood 1, said it may not just be residents of Westwood 2 who are speeding through the community but residents of Westwood 1 and other motorists as well. Sullivan said he would not support the petition to block access from Westwood 1 to Westwood 2 but supports the city putting down speed bumps.
â€śThat would cut down on it because they would catch speed bumps here, they would catch speed bumps there â€“ either way it goes theyâ€™re going to catch speed bumps,â€ť Sullivan said.
Several other Westwood 1 residents expressed their opposition to the city installing speed bumps in Westwood 1 due to the potential for damage to their vehicles, but other residents of Westwood 1 and Westwood 2 feel that the safety of children and other pedestrians in that area are more important than damage to vehicles.
Sullivan said putting up a barrier separating Westwood 1 and Westwood 2 may cause more problems in the area.
â€śThat wonâ€™t set well,â€ť Sullivan said. â€śThis is not a gated neighborhood. If we had a gate down their to come through to get in here, that would be one thing, but itâ€™s kind of like saying this is our neighborhood; stay out.â€ť
The petition has not yet been presented to the West Point Board of Mayor and Selectmen and it is unclear what type of barrier would be put up to separate the two subdivisions if the board did grant the petitionersâ€™ requests.