Common Sense Solutions – Traffic
Welcome to the first of an eight-part digital series where I will address my positions on a range of different town issues that Westporters care about.
There is one issue all Westporters agree on: traffic congestion in town has gotten worse. Realistically we can’t always provide bike paths or sidewalks, but there are some simple, common sense solutions we can implement ourselves, without spending a lot of money or waiting years to act.
The Downtown Master Plan and its outside consultants and engineers unilaterally installed these signs and never asked or sought the approval of the town’s elected Traffic Authority let alone the actual people who use those intersections multiple times daily. They just did it. And, not surprisingly, as a result, the new signs have increased our traffic congestion downtown.
Second, let’s start using the tools we have now to improve traffic flow movements.
Simple changes in the timing of traffic lights clear out intersections and improve flow. For example, a three-second change in a left turn arrow can clear six or seven more cars. Why don’t we try this at some of our problem intersections and analyze the results? That makes more sense than paying outside consultants to study the problem for years.
Or consider one of the town’s most notorious congested intersections – Route 1 and 33.
We actually had an opportunity over a year ago to work with DOT and implement a public/private partnership plan to fix the intersection at Route 1 & 33. A private developer was willing to move the old Knitting Shop on the northwest corner of the intersection in order to install a much-needed left hand turn lane on Route 33.
But it never happened. Why?
Unfortunately, my two main opponents, who now argue we should find ways to “work with DOT” dropped the ball. They were jointly responsible for getting the state’s approval to make the needed improvements. Neither of them followed through with the town’s part of the project. And so, after all the money and effort that was ultimately squandered on the Downtown Master Plan…
…it never happened.
And the congestion has only worsened.
As your First Selectman, I will listen to you, not consultants, and not accept changes that make our lives worse. I will experiment with common sense solutions, and when investment in infrastructure is required and will improve the quality of life for all Westporters, I will not be afraid to lead.
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And finally, any donation, in any amount, is critical in getting our message out. With the fiscal mess in Hartford headed our way, we need independent leadership committed to common sense solutions now more than ever.
Working together we can do this!