Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Development on Hawksnest Road

Today I visited Hawksnest, and noticed a new development along Hawksnest Road (the old name is Seth Whitfield Rd).

The road has been widened substantially.

The widening has led to an increase in through traffic.  Encouraged by the "improvement," some vehicles are now driving at high speed.  I've even seen a truck the size of a moving van headed north on the narrow part of the road.  Vehicles now use the route as a shortcut to bypass the heavy traffic at the junction of 137 and 39. 

Increased traffic is a threat to wildlife.  This road bisects the park, providing a path for invasive plants or other problem species like cowbirds, which parisitize the nests of forest birds.

It's also a threat to turtles.  This certainly must be Eastern box turtle habitat, and that fact stopped a large development on Meeting House Rd. in Sandwich.

The Harwich Trails Committee has considered establishing some new trails at Hawksnest.  What about preserving the trails we already have?  Seth Whitfield Rd, along with Nathan Walker Rd, are ideal for strolling and jogging.  Portions of these historic roads still look the way they did 50 or 100 years ago.

If traffic continues to increase, there will be pressure for the town to maintain the road, at taxpayer expense.  Better for wildlife, recreation, and taxpayers to leave it nearly impassible to vehicles.

The rest of Seth Whitfield Road should be designated as a historic landmark, to be left as it is--narrow and rustic

Looking north. Hawksnest State Park is on the left. You can see the rustic Seth Whitfield County Rd. in it's former condition.

Click here for more information on the box turtle

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