To the editor:
Nothing means more to me than my family. My three children were my whole world. Then one day, Jan. 12, 1976, everything changed. My oldest son, then 7 years old, was struck and killed by a city truck while he was crossing a dead-end street to visit a friend. My world came crashing down on me. I was terrified for the safety of my other two young children. My husband and I found this beautiful little neighborhood that was perfect for our family to live in. We felt our children would be safe here. They could walk to school by crossing our street, which led to the field behind the Belleville School, now Bresnahan School. We could play in the field, fly kites in summer, sled on the hills in winter, and my son played baseball on the diamond when he got older. A lot of other children lived in this lovely neighborhood, as well. Hardly any traffic came on our street, except for the people who lived here.
Our children are now grown, but our grandchildren came along, and they enjoy playing here, as well. New families with young children also moved here on this quiet street. We all feel the same way. A great place to raise a family! My husband and I love this street so much that we have always said if we ever won the lottery, we would build a new house on this very spot. The name of this street is Norman Avenue. Our neighborhood is very concerned about the proposal of a new school being built in the field behind our houses. The traffic it will create will destroy the safety of this small neighborhood. Murphy Street and Norman Avenue are much too narrow for all the buses and cars that would travel on them.
Now about the fields. Multiple ball games are played here: soccer, field hockey, football practice, basketball, and kids just playing, etc. Why must the city take away all of this recreation from our children? Oh, plans to create a new play area? Yeah right! Promises, promises. When? Years from now? What about the money? If Bresnahan School must be torn down, rebuild a new school on the original site. Traffic flow is already established, and it will save our fields and the safety of our street.
As for the senior center, if taxes keep rising every time we blink an eye, and the rising costs of water and sewer bills, there will be no seniors living in Newburyport, because they will not be able to afford to live in this city.
If I had to turn back time and the new school is where the city wants to build it now, I would never move here. The neighborhood would not be safe for all of our children and future generations of children to come.