Earlier this month, an alert, frustrated and very gridlocked “06880” reader wrote an opinion piece about traffic.
He noted some of the worst jams in Westport, and recommended the creation of a special town traffic czar an task force to examine the issue. Dozens of readers replied. Their comments ranged from “it’s even worse than you say” to “get over it.”
This week, the reader — who asked to be identified as “GS” — is back.
This time, he has one specific solution.
It’s a spot seldom mentioned when we discuss traffic woes. But it’s bad.
I-95 Exit 18 northbound getx jammed at rush hour. Cars creep up the hill; the backlog often spills all the way down the ramp, causing delays on the highway itself.
GS’ idea: Put a stoplight at the top of the exit, at the Sherwood Island Connector.
“Keep it green 85% of the time, for drivers coming off the exit,” he says. After all, virtually no one ever waits at what is now a stop sign, heading east to Sherwood Island State Park. (Even in summer, most traffic to the park comes off 95 northbound.)
Making Exit 18 more attractive would cause more drivers to get off there — easing the current congestion at Exit 17, and into Saugatuck, GS says. Waze and other traffic apps would notice, keeping drivers on 95 to Exit 18, instead of telling them to get off at 17 because of I-95 congestion ahead.
“It’s not a lot,” he admits. “But every little bit helps.”
It’s an interesting idea. So here is today’s “06880” challenge:
Come up with your own.
What little tweaks can you suggest, to ease traffic in Westport?
Where would you put a light, a stop sign, a turning lane? Where would you remove something that actually hinders the flow?
Be creative! Think outside the box! The sky’s the limit!
And if you think this is, um, pie in the sky: Think again.
These ideas will go right to our new task force and traffic czar.
Once they’re appointed, of course.