Don’t Cross At The Green

For decades, pedestrians have reached Main Street from the Post Road by crossing to the YMCA from — first — Colgan’s and Thompson’s Pharmacy; then Ships, and now Tiffany.

No more.

The crosswalk was  recently erased — poorly, but officially.

The Board of Selectmen believed that intersection was dangerous — the Post Road is wide there, 2 lanes of traffic diverge, and well, why not?

The lone (legal) way to cross now is a few yards away, from the west corner of Taylor Place to what was once the library.

Any bets on how long it will take Westporters to stop crossing the Post Road by the Y?

I say never.

16 responses to “Don’t Cross At The Green

  1. So much for finding creative ways to make downtown more pedestrian friendly and welcoming to shoppers. Very disappointed in seeing such a blunt and uncreative “solution” imposed on Westport. Where were the public hearings? Were they publicized beyond a simple legal notice? Who knew that this was happening? Who had input into this? Was any opposition voiced? What were the alternatives that were considered?

    This is yet another decision with long lasting impact made by the 1st selectman (oops, sorry, Board of Selectman) under the radar. Was it legally noticed? Probably. Was it right to make a decision that changes decades long traffic patterns without a robust debate? Disappointing but not surprised as this is a pattern of behavior we see too frequently in town.

  2. I’m bummed the overpainting is so slapdash. I’d never have known I wasn’t supposed to cross there anymore.

  3. Why not just stop all traffic with dual reds and let all crossers just proceed to any corner, from any corner, easily. Actually there is probably enough un-used pavement in this intersection to establish a new bank location.

  4. I was wondering where the light on the corner of the Y went. I use Taylor frequently. I concur that the old crossing was dangerous. No one could make it across the Post Road in the light’s time, and when they tried drivers on the Post Road, or Taylor, were impatient and crowded them.

  5. The Dude Abides

    I find no difficulty crossing to the YMCA and I am there every day. While drivers go fast, they are usually very courteous. They could put a “green man” out there like down by the Post Office to remind drivers that it is a state law to yield to walkers. OR, better yet, divert traffic on the Post Road and have the entire downtown area a roam-around- walk-free-shop-till-drop zone.

  6. A fellow RTM member has forwarded onto me the minutes which approved these changes. He said that it was all done legally and said that it sounded like I thought this was stealth government. I responded

    “There is the legal way to do things and there is the right way to do
    things. This was legal. But it wasn’t the right way to go about it.
    With all the tools at our disposal we should be over communicating
    what is being decided upon, either in public notices or in other
    forums. Simply noticing that the BOS “will be considering a proposal
    to reconfigure the post road/main street intersection” is weak . I
    would have liked to have seen a public notice, a blog post or a press
    release which gave more detail along the lines of “for safety reasons
    the BOS is considering doing away with one of the most important and
    widely used crosswalks in Westport, tell us what you think?”

    Merely complying with the letter of the law is stealth government, in
    my mind. And it is wrong when simple methods for conveying more
    detailed information are available.
    And we wonder why people don’t trust government.”

  7. The entitled are screaming yet again. For decades you could drive Main Street in either direction. Traffic increased, and along with it the danger of accidents. The Town government made it one way . No vote or public hearings, just a notificaion and date . The Selectmen now feel that the old crossing is unsafe, and moved it. And the cries start: “Did they post a legal notice”, “Was there enough publicity”, ” Did the people have a voice in this”.
    Suck it up, folks, and walk the 20 extra steps. And if you need an outlet to vent your frustration, grab a can of paint and make the messy old crosswalk pretty agaiin .

    • If wanting more information and communication from my town government makes me “the entitled” then so be it.

  8. John, communication is important and necessary. Approval by the public is not. It would be nice, but you’re not “entitled” to it. That’s why Westport has a representative government, Selectmen and RTM. Want different decisions? Elect different people. Want a personal say in local matters? Petition for a Town Meeting form of government, like Weston’s.

    • What you say is fine, but if the ruling elite choose to act in a way deemed foolish, then each of us is free to point out that fact. I do not expect communications or a demonstration of intelligence from those chosen to govern Westport. After more than 30 years in town, I realize it would be more likely to see a unicorn than a spark of intelligence in town government.

  9. Dick Lowenstein

    I am the “fellow traveler” and I made the point that not only was I able to discern the importance of this item when it was posted via the Town Hall list, I also discussed it with Chief Fiore before the meeting. If I could, any other participant in town government could have. Here is the extract from those minutes:
    BOS Minutes
    January 23, 2008


    2. Item #2 was presented by Police Chief Alfred Fiore. Chief Fiore stated that the proposal was to re-stripe the intersection. The proposal was for two lanes westbound and one right turn lane onto Main Street. Board members expressed their concern about eliminating the crosswalk on the eastbound side of the intersection. Chief Fiore would follow up on the board’s concerns with the CONNDOT – perhaps some type of barrier could be installed to prevent pedestrians from crossing at that corner insuring that they use the other crosswalk. Upon motion by Shelly A. Kassen, seconded by Robert F. Lasprogato and passed by a vote of 3-0, it was:

  10. The Dude Abides

    Just jaywalk folks. Who is gonna stop ya? Cops are all hiding out
    behind the Willowbrook Cemetery all day regardless.