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One Dalton dilemma easier than the other

| December 4, 2020 1:00 AM

Idyllic Dalton Gardens has an infestation problem: Four-legged and four-wheeled.

This week, the community of about 2,500 attempted to tackle the issue of too many deer and too many vehicles.

The idea of trapping or hunting deer is nothing new for Dalton denizens. It's been a hot topic for years, but no matter how much it's been debated, the deer have steadfastly refused to comply. Bambi remains bent on property damage, from destroying valuable plants and fencing to denting vehicles — which usually leads to Bambi's demise.

The idea of archers unleashing lethal missiles at the beasts raises legitimate concerns about the safety of humans who might somehow get in the way. And frankly, there's something seriously unsettling about putting an archer's arrow through a grazing deer's heart while it meanders or munches in a neighbor's back yard, even when the neighbor has granted permission. We're just not used to seeing creatures from the wild hunted inside city limits.

And yet, city government has every right to solve the community's problems as it deems best, so long as the solutions are legal. If hunting the deer is decided upon, city leaders are figuring how to enlist expert archers and mitigate other significant concerns.

Vehicular traffic is another matter. North Fourth Street, in particular, is a shortcut or a scenic option for a number of drivers who don't live in Dalton Gardens. More popular north-south routes, like U.S. 95, Government Way and even farther westward with Ramsey Road, are increasingly congested. No wonder many motorists don't mind the 25 mph slowdown through Dalton because at least it's pretty much a straight shot from point A to point B.

However, this is where a little bit of civility and consideration can go a long way. Dalton citizens cherish their small-town traits, and one of those is the lack of bumper to bumper traffic. While the City Council is figuring out how to dissuade outsiders from packing Dalton thoroughfares and speeding along them, those motorists can simply choose to be thoughtful and get where they want to go via some other route.

Unlike the deer problem, too much traffic can be solved without any bloodshed by non-residents simply driving somewhere besides Dalton Gardens.