To the Editor:
This is the body of an email I submitted to the Riverhead Town Board on May 1. In light of the recent approval of a June 19-20 drag racing event, I’d like to share it with everyone:
Dear Honorable Members of the Town Board:
I was surprised to learn that the Town is considering proposals to allow drag racing at EPCAL as this issue has been addressed in Riverhead time and time again. The very last thing Riverhead needs is a drag strip. Negative effects of a drag strip include noise pollution, air pollution, traffic congestion, and historically unruly and destructive crowds.
We in Calverton already suffer the noise of low-flying aircraft on their way to East Hampton from New York City. This noise is a constant factor from Thursday through Tuesday every week from April through October, seven months of the year. Add to that the weekend noise from the Riverhead Raceway, which can be heard for miles. Is there not enough noise? It is significant to note that promoters of such proposals do not live near the sites.
Moreover, it is a fact that vehicular operation results in four major pollutants: carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, which collectively contribute to respiratory illnesses, life-threatening cancers, and premature deaths. And let’s not forget climate change. Furthermore, these effects are even greater in areas near major highways (think Long Island Expressway). Why would we wish to threaten our own health and lives and those of our children as well as add to the destruction of our environment?
We live in a rural area. When it is convenient, everyone wants to “preserve the rural character” of the East End. We have few roads, all of which are already congested and overburdened for more than half of the year, so much so that local residents avoid all but essential outings on the weekends. This proposal and the resulting onslaught, both human and vehicular, would only exacerbate the problem.
I strongly oppose this proposal and urge the Town Board to encourage venues and events that do not create such a burdensome impact on our lives.
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