Letters to the Editor

... And a Camelia History Lesson

Here’s a history lesson for those of you who complain about the 35 MPH speed limit and the cost of sound walls and/or fences on Camellia Boulevard.

The Camellia bridge project was under consideration long before my family moved from Liberal, Kansas to our home in Rivers Edge in 1988. At that time my Realtor told me it was for the Mount Vernon Street corridor. We found a great house on Pickwick Drive with great neighbors on both sides and across the street. Then the plan was developed to use the Camellia corridor and remove my backyard neighbors, their “front door” neighbors, and the quiet Camellia Boulevard. Those of us who remained requested talks with city officials of the previous administration to address our concerns about the noise and security of our properties. These talks were held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church — a central location for property owners on the Johnston Street side of the Vermilion River. Several alternatives were discussed, but the option of a sound/security wall was decided upon. A 12-foot-tall composite wall was presented to and selected by all in attendance. We were told that funding was available, and it could be done. In addition, for the safety of pedestrians who would use the “Linear Park” and the noise level the residents bordering the thoroughfare would have to endure, a speed limit of 35 MPH would be put in place. All of these measures were to try and maintain a quality of life of a previously quiet neighborhood.

In the 20 years my bank and I have owned this property I have seen very few moving vans on the streets boarding Camellia Boulevard. So the argument that “they knew what it was like when they moved in” doesn’t hold water. All of us who bought our property didn’t know it was coming when we bought.

So in conclusion: If you get behind me on Camellia Boulevard, and I am driving 35 MPH — on both sides of the river — don’t tailgate. Just take a breath and enjoy what Joey Durel has called “the most beautiful street in Lafayette.”