Another Turn For 1 & 33?

The town missed a chance to move the little building at 1 Wilton Road — the former yarn shop at the Post Road West corner. A land swap with David Waldman’s Save the Children development project diagonally across the street could have enabled a turning lane, helping alleviate some of the traffic at what’s been called the state’s worst intersection.

But now there’s a demolition sign posted on the southwest corner. That’s the Westport Aquarium building, at 2 Riverside Avenue.

2 Riverside Avenue

It’s probably making way for a new structure — one that would (of course) draw more traffic.

Maybe though, there’s still a way to make this a turning lane — or at least somehow reconfigure that traffic-choked intersection.

Hey — a guy can dream, right?

7 responses to “Another Turn For 1 & 33?

  1. This poor building isn’t going anywhere; it’s just being “brought into the 21st century” – which naturally means glass curtain walls, ripping its front door off and demoing other stuff.

    Never mind that it’s listed as “contributing resource” in a National Register Historic District.

    See a pattern?

  2. Chip Stephens

    The deal to move the house had many facets beyond a turning lane that were taken into account in not doing that approval, nothing is simple as it seems or is always portrayed
    Back in the years of Joe Arcudi the state offered to put in the turning lane at one and 33, all the town had to do was say it was OK to have a sidewalk that was less than a foot shy of being wide enough for a standard. The town did not agree, didn’t want to do it. No building had to be destroyed no property had to be purchased, moved or swapped.
    Today the same street configuration could be done with cooperation from the town and state but not likely. Traffic could also be greatly impproved by properly timing the lights the DOT just installed at 33 by giving west bound 33 traffic a 30 second headstart but for some reason their advanced lighting system that was just put in hasn’t been properly programmed or utilized. Go figure

  3. Jeff Giannone

    There was always enough space to drive past a car turning left…until they put in that sidewalk. Unfortunately the aquarium building will not help the situation.

  4. Further to Chip’s informative note, 1 Wilton Rd can still be pulled back from the road a smidge to allow for a turning Lane. Also, BOTH buildings (1 Wilton Rd and 2 Riverside) do a great job of visually buffering that intersection; losing both would severely and negatively impact the streetscape there.

  5. Michael Calise

    The underlying current here is burgeoning development. Our current regulations provide for sensible development which match our traffic arteries. Every instance of zoning approval beyond the scope of our regulations, notwithstanding the usual “expert” testimony, contributes to traffic overload and then we discuss situations such as this. The current draft of the Saugatuck proposal states that our regulations are “restrictive” which is a code word for more development, a greater population and more traffic. It’s easy to point fingers but hard to look in the mirror

    • Michael, I disagree, we have the same population today as we did in 1978 so I don’t think that’s the issue. We have a very high retail vacancy rate today so transient population doesn’t seem to be the problem. No, I think the problem with this particular corner is simply that silly sidewalk. The commission that wouldn’t accept a 1 foot decrease in width made a mistake which could be fixed in a day or two for a few thousand dollars.