July 22, 2019

Opinion: If You Do One Thing Today, Visit Old Lyme Town Hall to Give Your Thoughts on the Halls Rd. Project

This file photo shows Halls Road today. How do YOU want it to look in five or 10 years? Go and give your thoughts today!

Today the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen (BOS) and the Halls Road Improvement Committee (HRIC) are hosting an Open House at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  They really do want to hear from the residents of Old Lyme what their current thinking and opinions are regarding the future of Halls Rd.  Or maybe you just want to ask questions about how we have reached the point where we are now and find out the tentative ideas the committee has already discussed.  Or perhaps you want to vent about the project because you don’t think it’s necessary at all.

We would urge two things:  first, take a minute to read Mark Terwilliger’s insightful op-ed on why, in his opinion, things have to change at Halls Rd.  He explains in simple terms why (again, in his opinion) sticking with the status quo is not an option, making the point clearly and succinctly that the world has changed since the 1950s when the Halls Rd. strip-mall was built.  He argues — and we agree — that if we fail to plan for the future in light of these changes, then change will happen anyway, but in an uncontrolled fashion and not necessarily in the best interests of the town’s residents.

The second thing we would ask is simply that you go to the Open House — whatever your opinions are about the project.  If you don’t go and share your thoughts, how can you then complain when a proposal is finally made?  It’s like that old adage, “You can’t win it, if you’re not in it” — the HRIC has deliberately made this Open House a non-threatening, informal environment so that people are comfortable speaking their minds to committee members.

We’ve heard plenty of comments both on and off the record about the HRIC and the BOS supposedly acting in isolation on the project and taking unilateral decisions.  This Open House is designed to put those rumors to rest and represents a great opportunity to give your input to the future of our town.

Don’t miss it … carpe diem!

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