The other day, signs were quietly posted near the intersection of Bayberry Lane and Easton Road (Route 136).
They announced a meeting for Wednesday, February 27 (7 p.m., Room 201, Town Hall).
A nearby resident did some digging. She found a report, issued by the South Western Regional Planning Agency. To her surprise — and most Westporters’, I imagine — the tough, well-traveled intersection has already been extensively (and expensively) studied.
SWRPA’s engineering consultants — Milone & MacBroom — have come up with 4 alternatives.
Two are near-term:
- Realignment of 136 with Bayberry Lane, and installation of 3 stop signs ($922,000).
- Construction of a roundabout on 136, with a center “vegetated island’ ($973,000).
Two are long-term:
- Realignment of the intersection, making it perpendicular (think Post Road/Compo Road North and South), rather than the current Bayberry Lane Extension “jog” (think Post Road/Trader Joe’s/CVS parking lots — though with stop signs, not lights) ($1.22 million)
- Realignment of the intersection as above, including a roundabout ($1.35 million).
SWRPA prefers the roundabout alternatives.
There are 2 challenges to realigning the road. One is the house at 300 Bayberry Lane, which apparently would have its front yard cut diagonally in half. The other is wetlands on the northwest corner of Bayberry and 136.
A traffic light is not an option. It’s a state road, and Connecticut tries to keep lights to a minimum.
Residents have long complained of speeders on 136 — especially during rush hour. (Many drivers use it to avoid the Merritt Parkway “no exit zone” between 44 and 42.) Most cars at least double the 20 mph sign displayed at the Bayberry Road curve.
Meanwhile, White Birch — which turns into Bayberry Lane at the Westport line — is a main thoroughfare for Weston residents hurrying south.
SWRPA’s realignment solutions are very expensive. Area residents — concerned about both traffic and cost — wonder why simple stop signs (with other signs warning of the stop sign) can’t do the trick. Cutting back trees, to improve sightlines, would also help.
All of those issues will be discussed on February 27 at Town Hall — just a few minutes down Easton Road, from Bayberry Lane.
Depending, of course, on traffic.