Elderly neighbors have real concerns

As one of almost 200 residents of Broadway Plaza apartments, it is disturbing to read that there are plans underfoot to destroy two blocks to the north of us in order to build a hockey rink and other recreation facilities in downtown Everett. One can only wonder how such a site was selected, seeing as how it is one of the highest traffic locations in town, full of cars, trucks and other vehicles, spewing exhaust, carbon monoxide and noise. It is disheartening to learn that hundreds of these vehicles will be parking in the area as well.

Many of our residents are on crutches, canes, walkers and wheel chairs and find it difficult navigating steep hills in the neighborhood as it is – let alone dodging bulldozers, cranes and other demolition equipment as the buildings come crashing down. Demolition always brings with it noise, dust and lots of exhaust fumes. Since some of our people are using oxygen tanks and respirators, its small wonder that they dread the days of discomfort that may lie ahead.

Construction always takes longer – and costs more – than planned. I can see months ahead when flagmen and police officers are directing traffic in the area, when all of this could have been avoided simply by choosing a better site.

Many companies use helicopters and make aerial surveys and investigations of sites, checking out freeway access, parking space, proposed future growth and the like. What incredibly bad planning (or no planning) it was deciding to plunk this fiasco down in one of the most congested areas in the city.

And all of this for a hockey rink. Investigation would show that hockey teams come and go in America. Most of them have a hard time attracting paying fans as it is. This is not Canada. When it comes to the elderly, hockey teams are skating on thin ice. In this case, poor planning on the city’s part does constitute an emergency on our part.

We invite the assistance of anyone with ideas and support for our cause. With the hope that, ultimately, wiser heads will prevail.


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