Planners Jumped The Gun – Editorial | Falmouth Opinion | #elderly | #seniors | #execrise
The planning board had a lot to say about the affordable housing project the Falmouth Housing Corporation is planning to build on the corner of Scranton Avenue and Main Street. Chief among their concerns were the appearance of the place and the safety of “seniors” crossing Main Street to go to the new senior center.
That the planning board put the project on its agenda in the first place is curious. The project is in its infancy, and no plans have been filed with the appeals board. Any renditions of the place are conceptual; they are not part of any formal filing. The board jumped the gun on this aspect.
We found it a little amusing that one board member raised a concern about residents of the facility being able to safely cross Main Street. The crosswalk in front of the police station must be one of the most pedestrian-friendly crossings in town.
But more to the point is the concern about “seniors.” Plans are to build an independent living center for residents age 62 and older. We don’t know of anyone in their 60s or 70s who would appreciate being referred to as seniors. And to suggest they might have difficulty crossing the street is simply insulting.
Don’t call people over 62 seniors, and don’t dare call them “elderly.” Some years ago we ran a police report in which the reporting officer referred to an “elderly woman” who was 68 years old. The next day we received a phone call from the woman, and she was absolutely irate that we referred to her as “elderly.”
We are not worried that the planning board will somehow scuttle the project. The Falmouth Housing Corporation has done wonderful work in Falmouth. It has now developed 236 units of affordable housing, the latest being affordable housing on Spring Bars Road.
The planned center on Scranton Avenue promises to be first class. There will be amenities such as a computer room, exercise room and a community room. And the location couldn’t be better. It is on the sewer line, near a grocery store and other stores, and it is right across from the new senior center.
The planning board might reserve judgment until its members have more information.