Westport Selected For Innovative Traffic Light Removal Project

Traffic lights — the bane of Westport drivers — may all but disappear from Westport roads soon.

Governor Dannel Malloy will announce later today that Westport is one of 3 Connecticut towns chosen for a pilot project that — counter-intuitively, but logically — will remove traffic lights in an attempt to improve traffic flow and ease accidents.

This may soon be obsolete in Westport.

This may soon be obsolete in Westport.

Studies show that dangerous intersections without lights — such as Westport’s complex Easton Road/Weston Road intersection near Merritt Parkway Exit 42 — have far fewer accidents than less complex intersections with lights. The reason is that drivers proceed more cautiously through tough, light-less intersections.

The plan — developed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation — involves the removal of 80 percent of traffic lights in 3 towns (Westport, Guilford and West Hartford).

“Rather than attempting to ‘beat lights,’ we expect drivers will come to full stops at all intersections without lights,” a DOT report said. “They will proceed with caution, alternating through previously lighted intersections much as drivers do now at 4-way stops controlled by stop signs.”

The pilot program will run from early August through the end of the year.

It is projected to cost $2.8 million. Funding — which includes removal of red lights, installation of stop signs (and warning signs), and a contingency legal fund in case of lawsuits — comes from the DOT and Eno Center for Transportation.

Coincidentally, William Phelps Eno — who developed many modern traffic techniques, including red lights — lived for many years in Westport.

DOT is requesting input from Westporters as to which lights should be included in the 80% that will be removed, and which should remain. Click here to suggest lights for removal or retention, or click here to offer feedback on the plan.

A typical scene: Two drivers -- from opposite directions -- head through clear red lights. This scene is at the Post Road,Roseville and Hillspoint intersection.

A typical scene: Two drivers — from opposite directions — head through clear red lights. This scene is at the Post Road,Roseville and Hillspoint intersection.

32 responses to “Westport Selected For Innovative Traffic Light Removal Project

  1. That sounds like the worst idea ever! There are so many entitled westporters that don’t stop for stop signs now. Can only imagine the chaos without stop lights!

  2. Omg, another idiot idea by government!! Canyon imagine the chaos? What bright light thought up this?

  3. Joyce Barnhart

    Oh, Dan – an inspiring innovation for spring!

  4. Always fooled

    You get me every year! Nice work.

  5. It could happen...

    The amazing aspect of this story is that it’s believable that the politicos in Hartford would actually recommend something like this. Don’t give Malloy any ideas.

  6. Good one!! Almost got me. I suggest ALL lights at intersections at the Post Road be removed. Once that occurs, Natural Selection comes into play.

  7. Glad I read the other posts before posting my comment… good one!

  8. You are The Devil, Dan Woog.

  9. Well-executed!

  10. Bart Shuldman

    Wow. Our wonderful tax payer dollars at work. $1.8 Million to remove the lights-how much to put the back? And what if some one gets hurt under this program? Is the amount they out away enough?

    Why was Westport chosen? Can we opt out? Did we offer to be in this program? Anyone know? Can we just say the Governor Malloy-go away-we already are hurting from the Bridgewater move. Can we just say no thanks.

    How do we opt out Governor Malloy?

  11. Bart Shuldman

    Dan Dan the man. April fools. It got me.

  12. Frank Boten

    People. Look at the calendar before submitting that comment! You can never sleep on Dan!

  13. Ah geez, I was completely taken in by this. And I am supposed to be smart…not much!

  14. Got me too, nice job.

  15. Dan, you are brilliant.

  16. I bought last year’s April 1 posting so completely that I was on my guard this year and caught on before ending the first sentence. But by the comments Dan you’ve once again scored with an April Fool’s tale.

  17. Darn….well done Dan. I won’t have to file any insurance forms.

  18. Catherine Burnett, Staples '84

    YATB = You are the Best! Thanks for a bit of fun.

  19. You got me! I had to laugh when I clicked the link that told me I was an April Fool! Today is my husband’s birthday, This morning we talked about how we’d been fooled in the past. I didn’t know it would happen again!

  20. Babette d'Yveine

    I guessed immediately. Maybe I’ve had too many April Fool jokes played on me.

  21. While I realize this is an “April Fool’s Day” posting, I would like to point out that there is a solution already in place here in The Villages, Florida where I am a “Snowbird”.
    We now have a population of 100,000 and very few traffic lights. Almost all 4-way intersections have roundabouts which REALLY keeps traffic moving

  22. Bev Breault

    you got me for a minute there Dan!

  23. David Stalling

    I clicked on the public comment link to suggest that instead of stop signs or lights there be armed citizens (Traffic Control Minutemen!) at every intersection. I got an immediate and justified reply.

  24. Jeff Mitchell

    Believe it or not, this is exactly what some communities are doing, successfully, no April Fools: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/04/lots-cars-and-trucks-no-traffic-signs-or-lights-chaos-or-calm/5152/

  25. Beachwalker 13

    You got me

  26. Courteous Driver

    And people driving Mercedes, BMW’s, Audis and Lexuses will automatically get the right of way…with priority always given to the car with the highest sticker price.

  27. Sighs for Signs

    After reading this story and driving through town, it actually seemed a lot more plausible than an April Fool’s joke. Anything is better than stop lights that don’t mean anything and the annoyance and of everyone required to go through the reds, because everyone else has.

  28. Not only did I believe the traffic light removal plan, but I also told my father about the plan. We discussed the pros and cons at length. It still might be an improvement… Gullible Jane