Ban All Post Road Parking?

Today’s post comes from someone who moved to Westport in the mid-1960s. The writer prefers anonymity. “My reward will come when traffic improves,” the author says.

There are many great things about Westport, like its public school system, Compo Beach and Longshore. These are great because the town spends much time and money on them.

Unfortunately, one area that affects more people than any other: the Post Road.

It is used every day by everyone who lives, works or travels through Westport. Traffic gets worse each year, as more cars and trucks are on the road. They get bigger and park anywhere they like, blocking entire lanes. Yet no effort is made to remedy the situation.

The worst congestion is downtown, at the intersection of Main Street. This problem is caused primarily by private cars using a public road for free parking. In order to conveniece 20 or so people and perhaps a dozen commercial establishments, we permit them to inconvenience 20,000 or more people a day.

Westporters have parked on the Post Road since at least the time of the Fine Arts Theater. It opened in 1916.

Westporters have parked on the Post Road since at least the time of the Fine Arts Theater (now Restoration Hardware). The movie house opened in 1916.

We can help this situation with a few simple changes. First, there should be no parking on either side of the Post Road, from one end of town to the other.

Synchronizing the traffic light on both sides of the downtown bridge would also help. Eliminating left turns on the Post Road (except at turning lanes with lights) should be considered. Restricting large delivery trucks from the center of town to nighttime delivery hours would help.

I can hear town government people protesting, “Route 1 is a state road. We have no control over it. We are helpless.” Demand help from the state. Don’t we have representatives in Hartford? Don’t we vote? Don’t we pay state taxes?

Others will say, having 2 unobstructed lanes through town will cause more speeders and accidents. Have you not heard of overhead cameras that mail speeders $150 tickets?

Revitalization of downtown Westport is unlikely without solving our traffic problems.

 

4 responses to “Ban All Post Road Parking?

  1. We can’t do that. It would mean taking away the valet parking for the restaurant in front of the old post office building (How do they have the right to cordon off that area when it’s state property?).

  2. More left turn lanes and lights would be a big improvement. So would pedestrian crossing points where all traffic is stopped so people can cross safely.

  3. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Parking meters on the Post Road might solve the problem and resolve the issue.

  4. Bart Shuldman

    So much talk about the so called traffic and how we need it to help revalitize Main Street. This weekend I traveled both ways–from CVS down Post Road and the other way. At most, with such wonderful weather and a busy town it took no more than 3-4 minutes.

    So what are we trying to improve? Go to 2 minutes? Is 3-4 minutes too long?

    And at the end, with the downtown committee, who will pay for all this? The intersection of Post Road and Main Street–the change to the buildings in question– who will pay? Will the building owners pay? Or is it our tax dollars in discussion?

    I understand some think the amount of time is, I guess, takes too long to drive to Main Street. But is it really? This was a wonderful weekend with schools out and college people home. But we don’t face ‘real’ heavy traffic. It takes a few minutes.

    Are we trying to fix something that might not exist. And more
    Importantly, before shooting the messenger, at what cost to tax payers?

    Go USA.