Recently, it was suggested that the city of Norway should consider changing the traffic flow through town on U.S. 2 from four lanes of traffic to three lanes.
The three-lane option has been used in many cities across the country as a way to calm and slow traffic down a bit.
Most people in Norway agree that traffic needs to slow down on U.S. 2 within the city.
In addition to improving safety by slowing down traffic, this could also provide five extra feet of space on each side of the highway so folks could walk safely on the sidewalk, without fear of being sideswiped by a logging truck or speeding car.
It could also improve the appearance of our town because it would leave room for attractive landscaping or trees in the future, as opposed to the thin, unprotected, ugly, bare sidewalk that we have now.
This is a measure that required careful consideration as it would affect many people, and should have been a thoroughly informed decision.
The the idea of adapting to three lanes needed promotion, as many new ideas do, so that the community could have a chance to weigh the pros and cons and have a realistic idea of how the change would work.
Unfortunately, the people of Norway were not given a chance to be properly informed. A hasty, one-sided survey was drawn up and people voiced their opinions without knowing the facts.
This was unfortunate, but the real shame was how the promoters of the three lane road were treated while trying to help inform the community.
Gail Galotta and Carol Sundstrom were enlisted by the city to spread the word about the many benefits of the three lane road.
Instead of being met with even the most basic respect, they were shamelessly verbally abused. They were screamed at by some business owners and interrupted with mockery and jeering while trying to speak at city council meetings, simply for offering facts that some individuals did not care to hear.
Norway is a great town with many wonderful people and I am grateful that I get to live here, but I was angered and embarrassed by how badly Gail and Carol were treated, and how the abuse was allowed to go unchecked.
I think most folks would have been appalled had they seen the shameful display.
A few people seem to have forgotten that being titled to your own opinion does not give you the right to attack and censor others. I feel some comfort in knowing that this is not the general attitude of the town, I truly hope that this is the last of that behavior that I will have to see.
If you happen to see Carol Sundstrom and Gail Galotta, please recognize them for having a vision for Norway to make it an even nicer place to live.
Carol has worked tirelessly for our community by volunteering at the school, serving on the museum board, being a Preservation Partner, organizing the barn dance each year to raise money for the Norway tennis courts, teaching school classes at the Myr for the Dickinson Co. Conservation Dept., organizing the Music in the Park program, and being a board member of Hamilton Lakes Association.
Gail has served on YAK, campaigned for the Norway bond issue, raised money for the museum, been a museum volunteer wrote and performed "Christmas Memories" as a community fund-raiser and taught classes at the myr.
Not to mention, there probably wouldn't be a Leif Erikson day in Norway if it wasn't for them. And if you cannot find it in your heart to show your appreciation to them, do your best to offer them, and everyone else, some common courtesy.
Swedish Passport Co.