I was not planning on replying to Edwin Schwenk’s letter [“A blessing,” April 23] regarding my Viewpoint [“The ‘new’ County Road 39—blessing or curse,” April 23] because he clearly didn’t read it very carefully, but when he ended it by stating we should be congratulating Suffolk County officials because “they did a helluva good job in creating our ‘new’ County Road 39,” I couldn’t resist offering some comments.
To take that last point first, Mr. Schwenk’s “helluva good job” line sounds eerily similar to President George Bush’s “Brownie, you did a heck of a good job” comment after the former FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) director botched the Hurricane Katrina emergency response. In both cases, the report card was issued before the job was completed and evaluated.
Mr. Schwenk also erroneously reasons that, because I am critical of how Suffolk County did the “new” CR39 job, “… the alternative according to Mr. De Cillia is to leave the status quo and continue this history of carnage.” In my Viewpoint, here’s what I actually said: “You might think I was opposed to the widening of CR39, but I wasn’t. But my eventual decision to support the project came from the now mistaken belief that many other road improvements would have accompanied the addition of a fourth lane.”
Finally, he states I should take on the task of getting the state to widen Montauk Highway to four lanes east of the Southampton Princess Diner. I would no more do that than agree to have my fingernails pulled out.
My Viewpoint was intended to state that I believe the “new” four-lane CR39 will be a more dangerous road than its three-lane predecessor, and that it could have been better designed by the county to be much safer and more beautiful. Mr. Schwenk recites the horrible accident and fatality statistics of the “old” CR39. What makes him think the “new” CR39 will be any safer?
HANK DE CILLIA