Ins And Outs Of Post Road Shopping Centers

On July 8, representatives from Connecticut’s Department of Transportation gave a public presentation on proposed work on the Post Road. Much of it involves the stretch between Fresh Market, and the Roseville/Hillspoint Road intersection.

The $5.3 million project (80% federally funded, 20% state funds) would include special left-turn-only lanes, as well as traffic signals, curbing, curb ramps, sidewalks and crosswalks.

Proposals for the Post Road near Fresh Market.

Alert “06880” reader Jennifer Johnson agrees with many of the ideas. However, she also has concerns. She wrote the DOT about several, including the need for a sidewalk on the south side from Mitchells to the fire station, and care of the cherry trees in front of the Volvo dealer.

However, what really caught my eye was this:

Eliminate multiple single-property curb cuts. There are an excessive number of curb cuts (17) on both sides of the road, from the traffic light at Fresh Market to the light at Roseville/Hillspoint Road.

The number of curb cuts is a source of danger to people regardless of how they travel (foot, car or bicycle). Now is the time to correct problems that have evolved as the Post Road developed.

There are many ways in and out of the shopping centers, and adjacent lots.

I never thought about that — but now that I have, it makes a lot of sense.

Why do we need so many entrances and exits at Fresh Market? Across the street, there are also a number of ways to get into and out of the Dunkin’ Donuts/UPS Store/Westport Hardware/Mumbai Times lot. (No one ever calls it by its official no-meaning name, Village Center.)

There are other spots in town too with multiple entrances and exits, like Stop & Shop, and Aux Delices/Carvel/Stiles.

There are only a couple of ways in and out of the CVS/Trader Joe’s clusterf***. But at the end of her email, Jennifer notes that this intersection appears to have been ignored by DOT.

Finally, she asks that one person be appointed to oversee and coordinate all of DOT’s Westport projects (there are others besides the Fresh Market initiative).

Great idea! I nominate Jennifer Johnson for the job.

(For full details of the project on the Westport town website, click here. Questions about the Post Road project can be sent to  the CT DOT project manager: Brian.Natwick@ct.com)

Proposed work at the Post Road/Roseville/Hillspoint intersection.

9 responses to “Ins And Outs Of Post Road Shopping Centers

  1. Rozanne Gates

    I second the nomination.

  2. Yeah!! Yes for LEFT turning lanes. We need them if only because no one seems to remember how to do what they learned; Put on your signal & move to the CENTER of the intersection. Instead, they wait at the light which backs up traffic. Besides, Left turns are the ones that cause most of the accidents statistically. Please put in Left turning lanes on ALL streets where possible, it would save lives and reduce traffic.

  3. Michael Calise

    Internal traffic lanes. The only town planner that encouraged that in new developments was Mel Barr and he was quite successful at it. This project like many other state projects looks more like money chasing work. The cost will probably be grossly inflated as all state projects are. Given the financial problems we have on the state level and the metro north and other infrastructure problems we have this project seems foolish.

  4. This plan appears to possibly contemplate narrowing the Post Road in places to one lane in each direction. That would very likely have implications – especially for rush hour thru traffic.

  5. Cathy Walsh, P&Z Commission

    I have a few concerns about this project. 1) possible eminent domain issues on a few properties, 2) P&Z has approved parking lot site plan applications that are in the final permitting stages. Those plans are now put on hold-including the Fresh Market plan which does address the curb cut issue. 3) Every tree taken must be replaced by the State .

    30+years ago there was a greening of the Post Road by the Beautification Committee with over 300 trees planted.. Since then the State has taken down numerous trees without replacement. P&Z (Al Gratrix and myself) rewrote the regulations,to make the addition of street trees and sidewalks along the Post Road mandatory. Stakeholders are now required to do both when they come to P&Z for any site plan modification. If the State takes the State must replace and must replace with input from P&Z Landscape committee who co-ordinates with the Tree Board.

    The other intersections mentioned thru out the comments above are being discussed in The Main to Train Study.

  6. At first glance, there appears to be substantial narrowing of the Post Road (little shoulder or room for cyclists going to and from the beach using Hillspoint) in favor of sidewalks to nowhere and too many left turn opportunities. Two years ago an experienced Weston cyclist (retired man in his sixties) was killed at the Roseville/Post Road intersection by a pickup truck turning into McDonalds.

    This plan does nothing to improve the site lines in that horrible intersection or the dip in the Post Road or the dangers posed by vehicles making left turns. The plan accentuates the making of left turns all along the Post Road at the expense of the road shoulder and private property.

    The planners need to look more at the causes of accidents and fatalities and do more study. They also need to look at the accident rate before and after they added the center left turn lane on the Post Road in Norwalk near the Westport line. Did adding this center lane make accidents and fatalities go up or down?

  7. The lack of a traffic signal at the Lansdowne Condominium complex and the former trailer park (beautifully rebuilt) multi family community has gone begging for a traffic light for many years. It is a very dangerous left turn situation . for many of the residents to navigate and will become more of a hazard due to the additional housing complex at the corner of Morningside Drive and the Post Rd. and the assisted living complex. It is a long overdue situation that should be addressed immediately. Curb cuts are one thing, safety is another.

  8. Isabelle Breen

    Living nearby and using this intersection multiple times a day, I applaud the creation of left turn lanes on all 4 axes.
    I do see the safety logic in reducing curb cuts, but these are already congested parking lots, reducing egress will create more likelihood of accidents in the lots. Unless the only access will be at the light, that could work (but then the light needs to be longer :-), who here hasn’t bottomed out trying to catch the 3 second light to get out of Fresh market.

  9. The state did a similar project on US 1 in Orange, making it five lanes – two lanes in each direction with a center lane only for left turns. I guess that would work in the area we’re talking about here, but it involved significant widening of the road. My question is what can be done for the stretch of US 1 from Fresh Market west to Riverside Ave. / Wilton Road? The Post Road is hemmed in by buildings, sidewalks, on-street parking, etc. Also, Isabelle is right – I bottom out every time I leave Fresh Market, especially when turning left!!

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