Part 5 of presentation for the 5/11 LP3 Informational Public Meeting:
"Environmental Impact" - by Mark Cheever
The Langley Parkway Extension Phase 3 would introduce several negative environmental impacts to the area including pollution, an increase in wildlife motor vehicle accidents, and habitat fragmentation. These adverse impacts would be felt by people, wildlife, and the local habitat.
Negative effects of the Langley Parkway Extension Phase 3 include:
An increase in wildlife motor vehicle accidents: Concord is home to a large number of animal species including deer which cause up to 1.5 million motor vehicle accidents per year in the U.S. Smaller animals like turkeys, squirrels, and skunks would also be subject to collisions and ensuing roadside mortality. Inevitably and unfortunately, the carcasses of animals would line the roadway resulting in smells and health risks.
An increase in pollution: Roadways transmit a large amount of trash, harmful chemicals, and debris into the nearby environment. Litter accompanies every roadway in America – it would be no different along the extension of the Langley Parkway. Salt used in winter and oil from cars can have negative impacts on the chemical makeup of the nearby habitat, as well as leach into the groundwater. Additionally, exhaust from cars introduces foul smells and harmful chemicals into the areas adjacent to roadways. Debris from tires, auto accidents, and construction can harm plant and animal life. Finally, light and noise pollution has been known to have a profound detrimental impact on both humans and other animals.
Habitat fragmentation: Breaking up natural habitat has been proven to negatively impact the health of natural ecosystems. A roadway can be a barrier for smaller species to cross and it also increases the weather exposure to trees and other plant life. It can also be a vector for the introduction of invasive species. Habitat fragmentation leads to a degradation of ecological health and reduces the ability of both flora and fauna to adjust to the impacts of climate change.
The Langley Parkway Extension Phase 3 contains a number of harmful environmental consequences that would be both immediate and lasting. Humans depend on a healthy and vibrant natural world – let’s not degrade our local environment for a poorly conceived infrastructure project.