Summit Drive name change nixed

WESTFIELD – Residents of Summit Drive petitioned the City Council Thursday night to change the name of a city street, just not their street name.
Ward 5 Councilor Richard E. Onofrey Jr., asked the council to suspend its rules to allow residents of the Summit Drive neighborhood to speak during public participation. The current council rules prohibit public discussion of any issue which is on the agenda.
Onofrey, who sponsored the motion to change the name of Summit Drive, said that he received numerous calls from residents of the street, located in the Knollwood Drive subdivision, to keep the name of the street located between Cedar Lane and Northridge Road.
“The residents have asked me that we not go through with this (street name change process),” Onofrey said. “I have asked the Legislative & Ordinance Committee to remove the (name change) motion without action and I will bring a new motion to the council in January to change the Summit Lock Road name.”
Onofrey originally made the request to change the name of Summit Drive because tractor-trailer units coming into the city to go to businesses on Summit Lock Drive, located off Southampton Road, were ending up in the Pontoosic Road residential neighborhood across town.
The truckers were entering the word “Summit” into their on-board navigation systems. The GPS then directed the truck operators to Summit Drive rather than Summit Lock Road.
“Those residential roads were not designed for 18-wheel, 40-feet long trucks,” Onofrey said. “The trucks were getting stuck and were driving over lawns to get out of there.”
Edward Ziskowski of 34 Northridge Road asked the council members to vote no on the Summit Drive name change if the motion was brought out of the Legislative & Ordinance Committee for council action.
“There are 15 residents of Summit Drive and only five businesses on Summit Lock Road,” Ziskowski said. “It’s a problem that’s been going on for a year now.”
Robert Myco of 15 Summit Drive said changing the name of the residential street would create a hardship for residents.
“I oppose any street name change because the 15 or 16 residents would have to change their addresses,” Myco said. “I don’t have email and I still get all of my communication by mail. I would have to change my home insurance information, my deed, my driver’s license and car registration, my bank and retirement accounts, my mortgage, my will, my medical records, my organization affiliations, my excise tax, water and sewer bill, everything that has my address. Changing my address will create a hardship and confusion.”
“The solution to this problem lies in the hands of the businesses on Summit Lock Road,” Myco said.
The Legislative & Ordinance Committee, at the request of Onofrey did bring the name change out of committee later on in the council session with a request of no action. The council approved that request.

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