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Final Round of the Freedom Boulevard Fight?

Neighbors don't want the road changes, but no one know what to do about it now.

Residents finally got their say on the changes made to the Freedom Boulevard-Lincoln Street intersection Tuesday evening and they don't like it.

"It's a very dangerous intersection," said Debbie Ledma, who lives nearby and drives through the area daily.

But there's not much that can be done; the concrete has long since dried and city staff stand by the new design that aims to slow down motorists and protect pedestrians as they cross the busy streets.

At the last meeting, the issue came up so late, no residents remained in the audience to comment on the issue so the public hearing was held Tuesday evening.

Council Member Nancy Bilicich has been at the forefront of the conversation about Freedom and Lincoln. She has said she's fielded numerous complaints from residents about the new design, and also is worried about the lack of public involvement in the construction project.

Council Member Oscar Rios asked several community members and Bilicich what they would suggest the city do to fix the problems at this point. No options surfaced, but the city council will look at the issue again in six months.

The intersection was redesigned as part of a makeover of Freedom Boulevard earlier this year. Little public input was involved at that time.

"When changes like this are put into the city, I think there should be more transparency with the city," Bilicich said.

People began complaining about the redesign even . But frustrations rose once traffic started flowing again. Ledma, the neighbor, said new signs and reflectors go up frequently, and the city paints, then repaints areas.

Bottom line, .

"Since the obstacle was created, I've seen an accident already," Ledma said. "... The crosswalks should be called 'death walks.'"

Jennifer Squires June 13, 2012 at 05:02 AM
What are you going to do at this point? The road is paved. Tearing it up would wreak havoc on those Freedom Boulevard businesses AGAIN.
Angelito June 13, 2012 at 05:16 AM
I wish i knew about this meeting so i could bring up my story of when i popped my tire while going thru there and accidently hitting a little homeless person's shopping cart, good thing i hit only the cart and not him, to this day i cant forget about it, i couldve taken someones life that day, they need to do something about this, they should think of putting up signs that big vehicles shouldnt be passing thru there!
Jennifer Squires June 13, 2012 at 05:36 AM
You need to subscribe to Patch so you get our emails in the morning. You would have seen the story then! http://watsonville.patch.com/newsletters
Angelito June 13, 2012 at 07:27 AM
I am subscribed but i was away from internet access for the last couple days so i did not know because i had no way of using the website till today
Cathy P. June 13, 2012 at 04:38 PM
"...I think there should be more transparency with the city," Bilicich said. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BINGO!
Jennifer Squires June 13, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Bummer. Sorry you missed it. We'll let you know when it comes up for that 6-month review--maybe you can attend the meeting then or send in a letter!

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