The state Department of Transportation calls the Post Road/Riverside Avenue/Wilton Road intersection one of the most dangerous in Connecticut.
Everyone in Westport agrees. But every day, Breno Donatti gets a first-hand view of exactly how horrible it is.
In just the few weeks since he took over Art’s Delicatessen, the owner of what is now Winfield Street Italian Deli watches pedestrians run for their lives as they cross the street.
He gets plenty of lunch and catering orders from the Wright Street building and the offices on Wilton Road. His employees are terrified to deliver, though. At least twice, they’ve nearly been hit by cars.
It cuts both ways. “People who work across the street don’t feel like risking their lives to get coffee here,” Breno says.
And customers parking in front of Winfield Deli are beeped at constantly, as they back into a space.
This morning, Breno emailed First Selectman Jim Marpe. He asked for a simple “Yield to Pedestrians” sign, or maybe a pedestrian button on the traffic light.
What happened next made him realize that — despite the Post Road hassles — he opened his store in a great town.
Within minutes, Kirsten Carr from the selectman’s office wrote back. She said that although the streets are state property, she would forward his concerns to the town’s traffic control officer.
And just a few minutes after that, 2 police officers — Ashley Del Vecchio and Al D’Amura — strolled in.
They told Breno that they’d already called state officials, to plead for more signs or a renovation of the intersection. And they assured him they’ll do everything in their power to help the state make the area safer for pedestrians.
“They were so courteous, gracious and responsive,” Breno says. “Wonderful people!”
The intersection won’t improve instantly. But plenty of people are working on it.
Including the concerned — and now pleased — owner of Winfield Deli.